Past Program

Oct 06 - Oct 10, 2011

Continuity and Change in US Presidential Foreign Policy: Plans, Policies and Doctrines


This symposium will focus on comparative developments, continuity and changes in the international role and policies of the United States of post- war presidential administrations, with a special emphasis on the Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. The purpose of the symposium is to gain historical insight into the factors that advance consistency or lead to changes in America's foreign policies.

Sessions will focus on trends, variations and tensions between presidential principles and their encounter with practical conflicting interests. This approach will illuminate the historical origins and evolution of presidential policies related to the United States' involvement in world affairs. Discussions will consider the international political, cultural, and social implications in relation to U.S. policy formulation and implementation.

Factors to be analyzed will include party politics, campaign promises and the role of economic/financial advisers and social scientists as part of the transition process. We will also consider the role of Congress and the Executive Departments in policy formulation, management and implementation as well as the significance of popular opinion and the media in the formation and conduct of foreign policies.

Participants and speakers will consider the historic and current responsibilities of the United States in world affairs and assess the future role expected abroad and at home of the United States in the changing global arena. The symposium will conclude with an assessment of the relevance of the current administration's policies to world-wide changes and priorities.

Specific questions to be considered will include the following: Is there a place for doctrine in the pursuit of a coherent foreign policy? What has the historic role of foreign policy doctrines in the United States been? How has it evolved and changed with different administrations? How have recent Presidents responded to trends, changed or continued policies of previous administrations? To what degree has the United States fulfilled or not met its obligations abroad? In what way has the historic role and responsibility of the United States developed and changed? What role do cultural values and national interests appear to play in the United States' involvement abroad? What was and is now expected abroad of the United States and the current administration?

The 2011 American Studies symposium is open to all Salzburg Global Seminar Fellows as well as other individuals working in a field related to the topic.

The symposium will consist of presentations, plenary discussions, and theme-based discussion groups led by distinguished speakers and panelists. Additional events include receptions, a barbeque, a classical concert in the Schloss, and a gala dinner on the final evening.

Payment Information: The fee for the symposium is € 650 for a single and € 1050 for a double room. The fee includes accommodation and meals for four nights, tuition and fees and all social events, but does not include travel expenses.

Limited financial aid is available for partial scholarships to help cover the symposium fee.

Bank Transfer: IBAN: AT 401953000100180942; Bankhaus Carl Spängler & Co., Salzburg

BIC (Bank Code) SPAEAT2S, Austria

Credit cards are accepted (payment in Euro only)

In order to reserve a space, a completed registration form and a 100 Euro deposit (refundable until August 15, 2011) is required.

Space is limited and reservations will be confirmed in the order in which they are received. For further information about the symposium, contact symposium director Ms. Marty Gecek, mgecek(at)

Please click here for the registration form.