Research event

No fighting for face: The Obama Doctrine and the purpose of military force

A presentation by Payam Ghalehdar. This event is part of the International Security Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for International Security.

The use of military force is a common yardstick for judging the foreign policies of US presidents. Yet, presidents differ not only in the extent to which they use force, but also in the purpose for which force is used, distinguishing between coercive and reputational purposes. To illustrate how presidents have preferred one purpose over the other, this presentation discusses Barack Obama’s disinclination to use force in order to bolster US credibility, i.e. fight for face, and inquires into psychological attributes that account for this tendency.

Payam Ghalehdar is an international security fellow at the Hertie School's Centre for International Security. From 2017 to 2019, he was a postdoctoral research fellow with the international security program at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Prior to joining the Belfer Center, he was a lecturer in international relations at the University of Cambridge and a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Duisburg, Germany. His research interests span US foreign policy, grand strategy, military intervention, and the role of emotions in foreign policy decision-making. He obtained his Ph.D. from the European University Institute and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Mannheim.

Registration is required.