Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2009

Ready to Lead? Rethinking America's Role in a Changed World

Robin Niblett

February 2009

Chatham House


This report by Director of Chatham House Dr Robin Niblett draws on Chatham House's international expertise and contacts to offer an in-depth analysis of President Obama administration's ambitions to renew US leadership in the world.

The report explores how the Obama administration can promote US global leadership at a time when many of the pillars of its international role have been weakened. Looking at how the US will need to craft new ways of using its unique power and capacity to influence others, the report's key conclusions are as follows:

America needs to change how it uses its power by sharing leadership where partners have as much - or more - to offer.

America needs to focus less on its 'opponents' and more on supporting its friends and allies in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

America needs to place less emphasis on individual leaders and parties and more on governance and political processes.