Past Program

Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2008

The United States in the World: New Strategies of Engagement


Whatever the outcome of the US presidential elections in November 2008, the change in administration will bring about a reorientation of US foreign policy. George W. Bush's successor will inherit a number of acute international crises and a country whose military power and economic dominance have been weakened in an increasingly multi-polar world. This world, which does not fit into the post Cold War framework, requires a serious rethinking of many of the premises of American foreign policy.

The session brings together high-level decision-makers and analysts to examine the foundations that underlie American foreign policy; to look at possible agendas for the first 100 days; to assess the long-term challenges, opportunities and risks the US is likely to face in its foreign policy; and to critically examine the implications for the rest of the world.

Consideration will be given to the following questions:

  • Who will be the key actors in the new administration, and what do we know about their inclinations and commitments in shaping US foreign policy?

  • How will the US adjust to the growing importance of China, Russia, India, Brazil and the EU as major global players?

  • What will the transatlantic relationship look like in the coming decade?What are the new guiding principles for US foreign policy towards the Middle East in general and to Iran in particular?

  • What strategies will the new administration in Washington adopt to advance democratic values, freedom, civil society and the rule of law internationally?

  • Will a new modus operandi emerge in relation to the transnational challenges of climate change, pandemics, and terrorism?

  • What are the prospects for more effective cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral institutions-particularly between states in different regions of the world and at different stages of economic development?

Participants will grapple with these and other issues, with a view to drawing up a series of foreign policy recommendations to be shared with the new foreign policy team in Washington and with their foreign counterparts.