Six former U.S. State Department officials, all of whom were involved in U.S. foreign policy during the Carter administration, respond to the article by James Blight and janet Lang. Their reactions vary, but one common point of concern is whether Blight and Lang are correct in arguing that “empathy” as an organizing concept or analytical tool will be useful “not just in conferences in which the past is revisited, but also in the present and future, when it really matters.” Even though most of the commentators accept at least some of the points about the U.S.-Soviet détente in the late 1970s, they have questions about the conceptual underpinnings of the article. The forum ends with a response from Blight and Lang.

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