Video On Demand

Book Talk: "Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy" with Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman

October 30, 2023 • 11:00 – 11:45 am EDT
Weaponized Economy Book Cover

The CSIS Project on Trade and Technology welcomes Georgetown professor Abraham Newman and Johns Hopkins professor Henry Farrell for a talk on their new book, “Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy.” This virtual event will be livestreamed on October 30th at 11:00am ET. Emily Benson and Federico Steinberg will moderate this discussion.

About the Book: Today’s headlines about trade wars, sanctions, and semiconductor battles are merely surface tremors hinting at a greater tensions within. Multinational companies like AT&T and Citigroup once made vast profits by reorganizing the international economy and putting themselves at the center. After 9/11, America’s security state discovered it could weaponize these economic hubs for espionage and as choke points in the war against terror. Before long, the United States began using these new powers as a matter of course. Now, other countries are pushing back.

Slowly but surely, Washington has turned the most vital pathways of the world economy into tools of domination over foreign businesses and countries, whether they are rivals or allies, allowing the U.S. to maintain global supremacy. In the process, we have sleepwalked into a new struggle for empire. Using true stories, field-defining findings, and original reporting, Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman reveal what we must do to ensure that this new arms race doesn’t spiral out of control.

About the Authors: Henry Farrell is the SNF Agora Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, the 2019 winner of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics and Technology, Editor-in-Chief of The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post, and co-founder of the popular academic blog, Crooked Timber. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Farrell has written for publications such as The New York Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Monthly, The Boston Review, Aeon, New Scientist, and The Nation. Abraham L. Newman is a professor at the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. Known for his research on the politics generated by globalization, he serves as a frequent commentator on international affairs, appearing on news programs ranging from Al Jazeera to Deutsche Welle and NPR. His work has been published in leading outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nature, Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review, and Politico.

This event was made possible through general support to CSIS.


Emily Benson
Director, Project on Trade and Technology and Senior Fellow, Scholl Chair in International Business

Henry Farrell

SNF Agora Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Abraham Newman

Professor at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service