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.

2016 (continued)

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.

Winston Lord Roundtable on Asia, the Rule of Law, and U.S. Foreign Policy

Director: Jerome A. Cohen, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Asia Studies
November 1, 1996—Present

This ongoing roundtable series examines the many meanings of the "rule of law" and the role of law and legal culture in the economic growth, institution building, and protection of human rights in Asian countries. Participants discuss the relevance of the rule of law to U.S. foreign policy and what measures the public and private sectors in this country might adopt to foster desired developments. Sessions of this series focus on the extent to which China adheres to a broad range of international agreements. The roundtable seeks an overview of the situation, building on what is known about PRC treaty behavior in political, military, diplomatic, commercial and cultural areas. The roundtable also invites government, NGO, and academic experts to analyze the record in each field. The goal is to formulate not only more reliable generalizations about PRC treaty conduct but also better recommendations useful to U.S. negotiators as well as to the Congress, the media and the public.

South Africa: An Emerging Power in a Changing World

Director: Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
March 1, 2016

This workshop was cosponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) International Institutional and Global Governance (IIGG) program and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), and was made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation.

Workshop Report from Cape Town



Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship 2014

June 15, 2014

CFR hosted sessions for the Diversity and Diplomacy fellows during the Washington, DC component of the program in 2014. Sessions at CFR covered a variety of themes, including:

• Youth politicization in North African states
• Perspectives on NATO and the Ukraine
• Turkey, the United States and European Union
• Op-ed writing

While in Washington, DC, the Diplomacy and Diversity fellows also met with many other speakers and organizations.  They spent two weeks in Paris and Brussels following the sessions in Washington, DC.

For more information on Humanity in Action, please visit their website.

Humanity in Action Workshop 2014

May 27, 2014

CFR hosted the Europe's Challenges and Opportunities workshop for American participants in the Humanity in Action 2014 summer program in Europe. Students participated in sessions covering a variety of themes including:

• European security and politics
• Economic challenges in Europe
• The peoples of Europe
• The European orbit
• Careers in foreign policy

Europe's Challenges and Opportunities Agenda (PDF)

For more information on Humanity in Action, please visit their website.



Roundtable Series on the Rise of Islamist Political Movements and U.S. Foreign Policy

Director: Ed Husain, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
July 1, 2012—June 30, 2015

The debate within Muslim-majority societies over the role of Islam in government is long-standing, but more important today than ever before. Recent developments in the Middle East and beyond have many asking how Islamist movements will shape the future of the societies in which they exist, and how the United States should respond to the complex challenges they pose in such areas as economic policy, women's and minority rights, and relations with Israel. This roundtable series, made possible through the generous support of the Smith Richardson Foundation, explores these questions and more.

Universal Health Coverage Roundtable Series

Director: Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health

Every year nearly ten million children and millions of adults die and countless more suffer from preventable causes because they do not have access to the health care they need.This roundtable series addresses the need for and examines the means to achieve universal health coverage.

This roundtable series is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation.