FSI Director Blacker on Fukuyama

![Francis Fukuyama](http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/francis-fukuyama.jpg)
Francis Fukuyama
The first issue of Volume 43 of *The Stanford Review* is now out! In the new issue, we’ve got an interview with scholar [Francis Fukuyama](http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/) (who will be [joining Stanford](http://fsi.stanford.edu/news/world_renowned_expert_on_democracy_and_development_francis_fukuyama_to_join_fsi_20090604/) in 2010). Fukuyama, [as previously discussed on this blog](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/2009/07/01/fukuyama-comes-to-stanford/), is a big nab for the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL). For a taste of his current research, check out *Review* reporting on [a talk he gave at Stanford](http://stanfordreview.org/article/fukuyama-visits-stanford/) two years ago.
Fukuyama is most famous for his work entitled [*The End of History*](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_History_and_the_Last_Man), which argued that the political progression of mankind and the battle between ideologies had largely come to an end with the conclusion of the Cold War. At the time, Fukuyama was a staunch neoconservative, but since then he has broken ranks with many of his former colleagues — most notably, during the run-up to the Iraq War and during the most recent presidential election.

Because of his supposed “neocon” status, his critique of American interventionism and his endorsement of Barack Obama both earned him significant national attention. I found Fukuyama’s political evolution to be fascinating, and I asked two of his colleagues, Larry Diamond and Coit Blacker (both Stanford professors) about that shift in his politics.

As a web exclusive, we present excerpts of the interview with Professor Blacker (who is the Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies).** Professor Blacker spoke with us by phone from his FSI office and shared his views on Fukuyama’s political stances:

I think Frank’s views have been consistent – although you have to be dunce if your views don’t evolve over time. They way he thought and the way he wrote resembles very much the way he writes, talks, and thinks now. […] There’s an intellectual honesty to Professor Fukuyama – I’ve always found it incredibly refreshing.

Blacker also commented on Fukuyama’s previous affiliation with the neoconservative movement:

*I think that it did make sense at one point in time to refer to as neoconservative. […] **That definition has changed, and Frank became uncomfortable as being labeled as such. Ronald Reagan used to say about his own political evolution: “I didn’t leave the *Democratic Party,; the Democratic Party left me.” That’s the sense that I have based on what he’s written.


Commenting on issues on which they disagree, Professor Blacker said:

**I think Frank has always had more confidence in the well-planned use of force as an instrument of foreign policy – I have to say that my views have evolved and now stand closer. **


For more on Fukuyama’s political evolution and his role at Stanford, check out the latest issue of The Stanford Review – on newsstands now!

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