Past Program

Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2015

The Search for a New Global Balance: America's Changing Role in the World

Session Overview

While a new sense of globalism is shared by all countries, it nevertheless still brings with it conflicts and tensions between national groupings. Issues of world-wide concern, such as matters of climate change conflict with commercial imperatives and competition. Cross national groupings emerge even as countries increasingly fragment. Old tensions between major powers re-emerge in spite of common global concerns.

These international changes coincide with major internal demographic changes within the United States itself, including the dramatic rise in the Hispanic population and an accelerating polarization of United States' internal politics. In the face of contemporary shifting power relations, including changes in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC nations) in Latin America, and in Asian nations, the power and influence of the United States, both in terms of world affairs and in terms of its relations with its hemispheric neighbors in the Americas, is evolving.

Conceptions of power and its appropriate use have also changed. In light of this, can the United States expect to pursue its national interests, using its powerful position in the world, feeling free to intervene in other countries, seizing terrorists in foreign cities, sending drones across national borders, tapping into communications by ordinary citizens and world leaders?

This session, organized in partnership with the Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, The Netherlands, examined the United States' changing role in the world and the implications of changes in global, regional and national power for the future of the United States as a national state and as a global political, economic and cultural power in the 21st century and beyond.

For further information, please contact the Symposium Director Marty Gecek at

Key Questions

Some questions kept in mind throughout the symposium:

  • To what extent have expectations of the United States and its role in the world shifted as result of globalization?
  • In a time of changing world powers, especially including shifts in relative power between the United States, China, India, and Russia, what role should the United States expect to assume?
  • What global and regional challenges should the United States anticipate regarding its national interests?
  • How might further globalization, technology development and communication changes be expected to affect the search for a new global balance?


Session Report

Download the report as a PDF (low-res) 

Hi-res version is available on request. Contact Salzburg Global Editor Louise Hallman.

Session Photos

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