Andrew Gawthorpe is a historian of the United States at Leiden University. He hosts a podcast about American politics, foreign policy and culture called America Explained. In January 2022 he will begin an NWO Vidi-funded research project on “American foreign policy and illiberalism”.
Andrew’s first book, To Build as well as Destroy: The American Experience of Nation-Building in South Vietnam, was published by Cornell University Press. The book is a history of American attempts to alter the political, economic and social fabric of South Vietnam as part of the Vietnam War. By demonstrating that even the most well-resourced and intensively-planned nation-building effort in American history failed, the book stands as a warning against pursuit of the hubristic and unrealistic goal of transforming foreign lands.
Andrew received his graduate training at the University of Cambridge and King’s College London before receiving his PhD from the latter institution in 2015. He was then a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Andrew also previously served as a Teaching Fellow at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, the UK military’s premier institution of higher education, and as a British civil servant in the Cabinet Office.
Andrew is a strong advocate of academic engagement in the public sphere, and his writing has appeared in media outlets on every continent. His popular writing focuses on world affairs and the contentious point where domestic politics meets international relations. He tweets regularly at @andygawt.