As the Cold War fades into history, Americans are realizing that they need a better understanding of the multipolar world now taking shape. The confrontation with the Soviet Union was in many ways an unusual chapter of American history. At century’s end, the U.S. faces not one but many challenges; to meet them, Americans will need to recollect the many traditions and dimensions of their foreign policy that go beyond the superpower confrontation.
The future will not be like the past, but without knowing the past, Americans will not be able to understand the emerging new world. U.S. foreign policy has been more than a series of pendulum shifts between isolationism and engagement. In certain times and places, we have been imperialists; in others, moralists; in others, realists. American foreign policy has drawn, and will continue to draw, on a repertory of worldviews, impulses, and interests. Knowing what these are and how they have affected our fate and that of the world is the best foundation for a deeper understanding of what is happening in the world today, and how the U.S. can contribute to global freedom, security, and prosperity.
FPRI is proud to announce a History Institute on American foreign policy, part of a special project that examines America’s identity and relates it to the way history is taught in our schools. A program specially designed for secondary-school teachers and curriculum supervisors, the History Institute will provide an intensive weekend of instruction about the history of U.S. foreign policy, what that history reveals about the American identity, and what lessons it holds for America’s future role in the world. Seminars will be conducted by leading scholars and supplemented by workshops that will provide an opportunity to brainstorm about new teaching strategies.
Topics and Speakers
Promised Land/Crusader State: American Foreign Relations Since 1776