Credibility Cartel: Extra Governmental Organizations in US National Security Politics
The Virginia Tech Center for Humanities presents "Vox Humanities Conversations", a series of live-streamed discussions with Faculty Research Associates who will speak about their work. These conversations are free and open to the public and we invite anyone to join the online presentation.
This discussion between Assistant Professor Chad Levinson and Center for Humanities Director Sylvester Johnson examines collaborations between presidents and outside organizations seeking influence in national security politics. It explains how the structure of US politics---checks and balances, the participation of civil society, legal restrictions on propaganda, and public opinion---create incentives for administrations to out-source their public relations efforts to ostensibly independent actors. In laying out the logic and history of this practice, Dr. Levinson examines how the extra-governmental contingent of the national security establishment---experts at think-tanks and other private organizations---has sustained a consensus for overseas intervention despite internal differences over why and how to pursue such strategies. It explains why outside groups gain access to policy-makers, how they convert that access into durable influence, and why favored groups tend toward interventionism.
Dr. Chad Levinson is an academic political scientist, teaching in the Government and International Affairs program at Virginia Tech's D.C. Metro Area campus. In 2023, he will be in residence at the Library of Congress as a Kluge Fellow, completing a book manuscript about extra-governmental organizations and their involvement in U.S. national security politics.His research focuses on US foreign policy, the presidency, interest groups, propaganda, and information warfare. His publications have appeared in Foreign Policy Analysis, Presidential Studies Quarterly, War on the Rocks, and elsewhere. In addition to his book manuscript, he is working on a long-term project about the strategic application of framing and source effects in public relations campaigns regarding foreign interventions.
There will be a brief Q & A session with viewers following the conversation. If you wish to participate, please use your Google log in to post your questions or comments to the YouTube chat during the presentation. If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact the Center for Humanities at 540-231-1981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 10 business days prior to the event.