Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts FPRI and Its Network of Institutional Partners

FPRI and Its Network of Institutional Partners

  • August 6, 2012

FPRI and Its Network of Institutional Partners

  • August 6, 2012

We have discovered that collaborating with the right nonprofits—where different organizations bring their unique strengths to accomplish a shared goal—the outcome is often better than if each organization worked alone. FPRI, and the constituencies we serve, have certainly benefited from our numerous institutional partnerships. I’d like to tell you about some of them.

For six years the First Division Museum in Wheaton, Illinois has hosted and cosponsored our History Institute for Teachers focused on topics in American military history; we are compiling into an E-Book the complete lectures from those weekend conferences. In 2012, the theme of the history weekend was “Great Battles and How They Shaped American History”; in 2013, we will explore “Great Captains.”

For five years, the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C. has hosted and cosponsored most of our programming in Washington, D.C., including one-day conferences, two-hour symposia, or free standing briefings. Our internal planning calls for six such programs a year. In 2012, they’ve hosted a symposium on “The Arab Spring and the Rise of Islamism,” a conference on “Energy, Environment and Security in East Asia,” and a symposium on “The Future of Professional Military Education.” In October, we’ll conduct a symposium on the Venezuela-Hezbollah-Iran nexus.

For three years, Temple University’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy has cosponsored our Consortium on Grand Strategy, bringing together faculty from 13 institutions of higher learning on a monthly basis. This year we’ve hosted Jackie Newmyer Deal on “Chinese Nationalism and Grand Strategy,” Walter Russell Mead on “Is The Constitution a Grand Strategy?” and Eliot Cohen on “The American Way of War.”[1]

In the fall, the National Liberty Museum is hosting and cosponsoring a semester-long series (the Stanley and Arlene Ginsburg Lecture Series) featuring the scholars of FPRI 2.0. Some years ago, both the Museum and the National Constitution Center hosted and cosponsored our History Institute on “Living Without Freedom”—is there a better way to help students understand the benefits of a free society than by a vivid exploration of the most tyrannical societies in the 20th century? This fall, our booktalk with Robert Kaplan on “The Revenge of Geography” will be hosted and cosponsored by the Independence Seaport Museum.

Two years ago, we put together a coalition of organizations at the University of Pennsylvania to host and cosponsor a History Institute on “China and India: Rising Powers, Ancient Civilizations, Great Societies, and Contrasting Models of Economic Development.” These included Penn’s Center for East Asian Studies, Penn’s South Asia Center, and Penn Lauder CIBER.

This fall, we’ll be taking the History Institute to Pittsburgh, which will be hosted and cosponsored by the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Pittsburgh World Affairs Council for a weekend on “Understanding Iran and the Geopolitics of the Middle East.” Other hosts of our History Institute include the Asia Program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin (which provides graduate credits for all our history weekends), the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas (that proved a very popular venue!), and the American Institute for History Education (based in New Jersey).[2]

A companion project to our History Institute for Teachers was the series of volumes for students we worked on with Mason Crest Publishers in Broomall, Pennsylvania, including a 10-volume series on “The Making of the Modern Middle East” and a 10-volume series on “The World of Islam.”

In 2008, we inaugurated our program on Teaching the History of Innovation, a unique program that embraces history, science, technology, and economics; this was undertaken with the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and was hosted by the foundation in their state-of-the-art conference center in Kansas, Missouri.

This was followed by a day-long event on the history of rotorcraft as a case study in the history of innovation, hosted and cosponsored by the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Boeing Company.


Here in Philadelphia, we’ve also partnered with the World Affairs Council of Greater Philadelphia, jointly hosting guest speakers, and with the International Visitors Council and the Eisenhower Fellowships, both of whom send their international visitors our way from time to time. FPRI was also a founding member of the new Global Philadelphia Association, designed to help Philadelphia realize the benefits due to a possessing such an abundance of internationally oriented organizations.

Of course, we’ve also cosponsored conferences with think tanks in other parts of the world-such as the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Israel, the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies in Turkey, the Japan Institute for International Affairs in Tokyo, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies in China, Hong Kong Baptist University, Institute of International Relations in Taipei, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, and the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies in Spain. And we carried out an influential study of Afghan Police Reform with the Royal United Services Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in London (RUSI). [We note that FPRI Senior Fellow James McGann convened a conference in June 2012 that included think tank executives from all the G-20 countries under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania and Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).]

In the fall, we are inaugurating a cooperative relationship with the New York Historical Society, featuring two FPRI scholars on “The Coming of World War II.” NYHS is the premier venue for public lectures on history in Manhattan. We see this opportunity as reinforcing our “Manhattan Initiative,” a series of salons hosted by our Manhattan co-chairs, Devon Cross and Vanessa Neumann.

What a privilege to work with all these significant institutions[3], and what an efficient way to allocate the resources we have available to us to carry out our mission—embracing history and geography to illuminate contemporary international issues and inform our policy recommendations to defend the national interest.[4]

You will be hearing from us soon about new cooperative ventures now in the planning stage. Rest assured that your support for FPRI—whether in the past or in prospect—has an enormous multiplier effect through FPRI’s many institutional alliances. If you would like to discuss our programs in more detail, we are available at your convenience. If you wish to make a contribution online, you can do so here: /support



  1. ^ Among the institutions represented in the Consortium and in FPRI’s other InterUniversity Study Groups are Drexel University, Haverford College, St. Joseph’s University, La Salle University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Swarthmore College, Temple University, University of Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, US Army War College, Villanova University, and West Chester University.
  2. ^ Faculty from over 600 high schools in 46 states have participated in these history weekends. See: /education/hihonorroll.html
  3. ^ This is just a partial list of cooperating institutions over the past few years.
  4. ^ For a great introduction to FPRI, listen to Prof. James Kurth’s talk on “Why is This Think Tank Different from All Other Think Tanks?” at /multimedia/2012/20120606.kurth.thinktanks.html.