Following President Donald Trump’s speech at the United Nations, associate professor of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Martin Edwards was featured in media across the globe, offering his expertise on the matter.
Interviewed by the newswire AFP, Edwards contributed comments that were picked up by numerous publications across the globe, including MSN and Yahoo.
“It is pretty humbling to see a news story run in a lot of places,” Edwards said. “But that’s an indication that people want to learn more about the U.N.”
When he joined the diplomacy school in 2006, Edwards was already well versed in the world of international relations as well as politics. He’s provided commentary for multiple outlets, both local and international.
“I approach media interviews the same way that I approach teaching,” Edwards said. “If I can help people to see an issue differently then they did before, then that’s a plus.”
News outlets far and wide paid a special attention to President Trump in his debut at the U.N., where not only 129 heads of state were watching, but also countless people across the country.
Trump is notable for having a rather interesting approach to giving speeches; this one appeared to be no different when he most memorably referred to the leader of North Korea as “rocket man.”
In the article “All eyes on Donald Trump as world leaders gather at United Nations,” Edwards predicted that Trump would have a tone that was “off-putting rather than engaging.” Even a fellow UN expert featured in the article, Richard Gowan said that globally, expectations were “low” regarding the president.
Edwards explained that tone is something that heads of state strongly consider when listening to Trump speak, and taking into account the colorful language the president used at the U.N., Edwards was not impressed and neither were his students.
“Students wanted to talk about it in both my Global Governance classes,” Edwards said. “Reactions ranged from, ‘Can the president really do that?’ to a genuine fear that we’ll be in in a war with North Korea.”
Being in the field for so many years, Edwards noted that while some of the president’s remarks at the U.N. were concerning, perhaps even frightening, issues between U.S. administration and the United Nations, is not necessarily anything new. New US leaders coming into power shake up the dynamics of the U.N. because, according to Edwards, they have their own ideas about what role it should have.
“We cannot hide from the world,” he said. “We have to try to model what responsible citizens look like.”
A current student of Edwards, junior Abigail Cordaro, broke down all the major themes they cover in the Institutions of Global Governance class Edwards teaches, ranging from international institutions to discussing importance of international organizations.
A diplomacy and international relations and modern languages double major, Cordaro talked about what she takes away from Edwards’ teaching.
“Dr. Edwards is extremely enthusiastic and easy to listen to,” Cordaro said. “He is always well prepared and obviously passionate about the subject at hand.”
The political climate is certainly something that seems to fluctuate, but instead of seeing that negatively, Edwards says he sees it as a benefit.
“It’s my job to pose questions about the world,” said Edwards. “That should never be thought of as a dangerous act.”
Megan Beauchamp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.