In 2011, the Obama administration unveiled the “pivot to Asia”—a new grand strategy to strengthen America’s strategic position in the region. I will study how policymakers are using historical “lessons” like the Munich Agreement and the containment of the Soviet Union to justify balancing against China’s economic and military rise. To date, there has been no robust attempt to explain the pivot as the result of a policymaking process.
Hometown: Manchester, MA
Future Plans: I hope my honors thesis will prepare me to conduct research at a scholarly level, especially as I consider graduate school in political science. By reconstructing the characters and plotline that generated “the pivot,” I hope to contribute to the diminutive literature on historical analogy making and, in some small way, to international peace and security.
Hobbies: I am a founding member and editor for The Botetourt Squat, W&M’s monthly satirical newspaper.
Fun Fact: I once played the trumpet for two weeks
Follow Jake’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!