Research Projects

Below you will find a chronological list of research projects in the Studies Program. You can search by issue or region by selecting the appropriate category. In addition to this sorting control, you can search for specific subjects within the alphabetical, regional, and issue categories by choosing from the selections in the drop-down menu below.

Each project page contains the name of the project director, a description of the project, a list of meetings it has held, and any related publications, transcripts, or videos.

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Critical Issues in the Middle East Roundtable Series

Director: Robert M. Danin, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies
October 18, 2010—Present

From the Atlantic to the Gulf of Oman, the Middle East is witnessing unprecedented change and transformation. At this pivotal time of popular uprisings, revolutions, and ongoing efforts toward Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, this roundtable series seeks to generate a deeper, richer understanding of the vast array of issues currently shaping the region. To this end, the series brings together policymakers, opinion leaders, and government officials with the most intimate knowledge of the Middle East to enrich the dialogue both on developments in the region and U.S. policy.

Center for Preventive Action United Nations Roundtable Series

Director: Micah Zenko, Douglas Dillon Fellow
April 2009—Present

The UN Roundtable meeting series seeks to organize high-level discussions with senior UN officials, including officials from member states and regional organizations, on timely issues related to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and international security. A core group of selected invitees from member state governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental communities will participate in these discussions. The goal of these not-for-attribution meetings is to raise awareness of the role of the UN in addressing critical issues of peace and security. The UN Roundtable meeting series is cosponsored by the Center for Preventive Action and the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance, and made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation.

Center for Preventive Action Contingency Roundtable Series

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
March 2009—Present

This monthly meeting series seeks to organize focused discussions on plausible short to medium term contingencies that could seriously threaten U.S. interests. Contingency meeting topics will range from specific states or regions of concern to more thematic issues and will draw on the expertise of government and nongovernment experts. The goal of the meeting series is not only to raise awareness of U.S. government officials and the expert community to potential crises but also to generate practical policy options to lessen the likelihood of the contingency and to reduce the negative consequences should it occur. A summary memo of the resulting recommendations will be distributed to participants and important policymakers.

This series is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.


Center for Preventive Action "Flashpoints" Roundtable Series

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
November 2007—Present

The meeting series focuses attention on situations that are increasingly discernible as "flashpoints" for violent conflict. At each on the record meeting, experts from government, private sector, and nongovernmental communities present different perspectives on and address discrete elements of the problem. The goal of the "Flashpoints" series is to raise public awareness of potentially explosive places and to offer practical recommendations for preventive action in the discussed state or region.

This series is made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

CGS Director's Roundtable Series

Director: Sebastian Mallaby, Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics
January 2007—Present

This roundtable series brings together policymakers, scholars, and journalists to explore current policy challenges that have both economic and national security dimensions.

CGS Roundtable Series

Director: Douglas Holtz-Eakin
December 1, 2004—Present

This meeting series is designed to bring Council members together in a small seminar environment to discuss new and innovative thinking at the intersection of economics and foreign policy.

CGS Seminar Series in International Finance

Staff: Peter B. Kenen, Adjunct Senior Fellow for International Economics
December 1, 2004—Present

This roundtable series examines the prospects for regional monetary integration and other developments likely to affect the organization and functioning of the international monetary system.

Conflict Assessment Forum

Director: Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
April 1, 2003—Present

The Conflict Assessment Forum is an analytic tool for evaluating pre-conflict or conflict conditions and highlighting countries or regions to be targeted by CPA’s preventive action commissions.

Center for Geoeconomic Studies

Fellows: Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, Robert Kahn, Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics, Thomas J. Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development, Sebastian Mallaby, Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics, A. Michael Spence, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peter R. Orszag, Adjunct Senior Fellow, James P. Dougherty, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Foreign Policy, Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics, and Matthew J. Slaughter, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Globalization
Staff: Joann McGrath
Directors: Paul A. Volcker, Former Chairman of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (1979-87), Bernard L. Schwartz, Chairman and CEO, BLS Investments, LLC, Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman & CEO, C.V. Starr & Co., Inc., Martin S. Feldstein, President Emeritus, National Bureau of Economic Research, Joseph S. Nye Jr., Distinguished Service Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Roger C. Altman, Chairman, Evercore Partners, Inc., Richard H. Clarida, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Columbia University, Richard N. Cooper, Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics, Harvard University, Daniel W. Drezner, Professor of International Politics, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Nicholas N. Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Jessica P. Einhorn, Dean, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Kristin J. Forbes, Associate Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jeffrey A. Frankel, James Harpel Chair for Capital Formation & Growth, Harvard University, Stephen C. Freidheim, CIO and Managing Partner, Cyrus Capital Partners, Aaron Louis Friedberg, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, James D. Grant, Owner and Editor, Grant's Interest Rate Observer, David D. Hale, Chairman, Hale Advisors, Amy Myers Jaffe, Wallace S. Wilson fellow in Energy Studies, The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University, Jim Kolbe, Senior Advisor, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Robert E. Litan, Vice President, Research and Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Michael Mandelbaum, Christian Herter Professor, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, Donald B. Marron, Chairman, Lightyear Capital, Kathleen R. McNamara, Associate Professor of Government & International Affairs, Georgetown University, E. Stanley O'Neal, John G. Ruggie, Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Faryar Shirzad, Managing Director, Office of Government Affairs, The Goldman Sachs Group, Joan E. Spero, Visiting Fellow, Foundation Center, Fareed Zakaria, Host, CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Steven A. Denning, Chairman, General Atlantic LLC, Marc Lasry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avenue Capital Group, Daniel Zwirn, Chairman, Lightyear Capital, Charles O. Prince III, Chairman, Sconset Group, and Jeffrey A. Rosen, Deputy Chairman, Lazard
Fellows: Blake Clayton, Adjunct Fellow for Energy, Jennifer M. Harris, Senior Fellow, Heidi Crebo-Rediker, Senior Fellow, Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Miles Kahler, Senior Fellow for Global Governance, Mervyn King, Distinguished Fellow, Willem H. Buiter, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Edward Alden, Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow, and Varun Sivaram, Fellow
January 1, 2000—Present

Founded in 2000, the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations works to promote a better understanding among policymakers, academic specialists, and the interested public of how economic and political forces interact to influence world affairs. Globalization is fast erasing the boundaries that have traditionally separated economics from foreign policy and national security issues. The growing integration of national economies is increasingly constraining the policy options that government leaders can consider, while government decisions are shaping the pace and course of global economic interactions. It is essential that policymakers and the public have access to rigorous analysis from an independent, nonpartisan source so that they can better comprehend our interconnected world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments. The center pursues its aims through:

  • Research carried out by Council fellows and adjunct fellows of outstanding merit and expertise in economics and foreign policy, disseminated through books, articles, and other mass media;
  • Meetings in New York, Washington, DC, and other select American cities where the world's most important economic policymakers and scholars address critical issues in a discussion or debate format, all involving direct interaction with Council members;
  • Sponsorship of roundtables and publications whose aims are to inform and help to set the public foreign-policy agenda in areas in which an economic component is integral;
  • Training of the next generation of policymakers, who will require fluency in the workings of markets as well as the mechanics of international relations.

ADVISORY BOARD Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chair Mr. Richard N. Haass, Ex- Officio Ms. Lisa Anderson The Rt. Hon. Lord Browne of Madingley The Honorable Martin S. Feldstein Dr. Stanley Fischer General John R. Galvin, USA (Ret.) The Honorable Carla A. Hills The Honorable Winston Lord Mr. Donald B. Marron Mr. William J. McDonough The Honorable Peter G. Peterson Mr. David Rockefeller The Honorable Robert E. Rubin Mr. Richard E. Salomon The Honorable Brent Scowcroft Dr. Laura D'Andrea Tyson The Honorable Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León

Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy Study Group

Director: Alton Frye, Presidential Senior Fellow Emeritus
Chairs: Thomas E. Donilon, and Kenneth M. Duberstein, Chairman and CEO, The Duberstein Group, Inc.
September 1, 1997—Present

While many able and dedicated public servants work in the legislative branch, their hectic schedules often deprive them of the chance to engage in reflective, nonpartisan discussion about essential policy issues outside their professional duties. An informed Congress is essential to an effective American foreign policy, and an informed congressional staff is essential to an effective Congress. The Council’s congressional staff roundtables provide a forum for discussion of essential issues under the Council tradition of nonattribution.

This Council project engages key congressional staff in a neutral setting outside the political arena to discuss international issues of concern to them. To date the program has enlisted some one hundred staff members of both parties and both houses in three roundtable discussion groups, focused respectively on Asian politics and security, national security, and international trade and economics. These groups are chaired by R. James Woolsey (Asian politics and security), Stephen J. Hadley (national security), and Thomas E. Donilon and Robert B. Zoellick (international trade and economics).

For topics and speakers, the project draws upon the Council’s ongoing studies in the general topic areas, as well as on proposals of legislative staffers participating in the program. A Congressional Staff Advisory Committee of senior staff members helps to guide the program and ensure the quality of its participants and programs. Four Council members with long experience as leaders in the House and Senate—Howard H. Baker Jr., Thomas S. Foley, George J. Mitchell, and Vin Weber—serve as conveners for the project.

C. Peter McColough Roundtable Series on International Economics

Director: Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics
October 1, 1996—Present

This monthly speaker series brings the world's foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address a high-level audience from the business and financial community on current topics in international economics, such as outsourcing, monetary policy, and competition policy.

This meeting series is sponsored by the Corporate Program and the Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.

Center for Preventive Action

Staff: Micah Zenko, Douglas Dillon Fellow, Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, and Emma Welch
Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
Advisory Board: Peter Ackerman, Managing Director, Rockport Capital, Inc., Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations, Patrick M. Byrne,, Aaron L. Friedberg, Princeton University, Richard K. Betts, Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Sherri W. Goodman, CNA, Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow, David A. Hamburg, Cornell University Medical College, Matthew L. Hodes, Ascent Strategies LLC, General George A. Joulwan, USA (Ret.), One Team, Inc., Marc E. Leland, Marc E. Leland & Associates, Inc., Robert S. Litwak, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Carol Melton, Time Warner Inc., Barnett R. Rubin, New York University, Nancy E. Soderberg, University of North Florida, General John W. Vessey, USA (Ret.), Steven D. Winch, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC, and James D. Zirin, Sidley Austin, LLP
January 1, 1994—Present