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.

2014 (continued)

Roundtable on the Middle East and Islam

Staff: Rachel Bronson, Former Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies
October 1, 2001—Present

The U.S. ability to build productive relationships with Islamic states and people will have a direct and important role in stanching the terrorist threat. This roundtable will continue to focus on the following objectives: to determine how the war is affecting American relations with the Middle East and Islamic world; and provide recommendations to policy makers on how to manage unavoidable differences with key regional partners. Questions addressed throughout the year will be:
• Is the Israeli-Palestinian crisis distracting from the war on terrorism?
• What must Washington ask from key regional partners such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan in the war on terrorism and what should it offer in return?
• Can the United States effectively deter the export of Islamic radicalism, how and at what cost?

Study Group on Contending Visions of International Order

Staff: Charles A. Kupchan
July 1, 2001—Present

This project helps to foster the study of and debate about an American grand strategy for the twenty-first century. The group examines contending visions of order and seeks to promote a more fertile discussion of desirable outcomes and how policymakers can achieve them.

The first book generated by this study group was The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century, by Charles A. Kupchan, the project director. The study group played a key role in providing feedback on the book during the drafting of the manuscript. The book addresses how the United States can manage peacefully the transition to a world of multiple centers of power.

The current phase of the study group focuses on understanding the sources of stable peace -- how groupings of countries can form lasting partnerships and eliminate geopolitical competition. A book on this topic, along with several articles, will be the main published product. The book will examine a number of historical case studies of rapprochement, security communities and unions, exploring how zones of peace form and when and why they sometimes unravel. The book will draw policy conclusions relevant to preserving current zones of peace -- such as the Atlantic community -- as well as building new ones -- such as in East Asia.

The Contending Paradigms Study Group is made possible through the generosity of John McCloy.

Study Group on the Americanization of Finance

Staff: Roger M. Kubarych
May 9, 2001—Present

Tremendous controversy swirls around the issue of whether emerging economies would be better off or worse off by embracing the kind of financial market structures that have been developed in the U.S. and other advanced industrial countries during the past two decades or so. This evolution, which we call the “Americanization of Finance” essentially involves the transformation of a financial system centered around traditional commercial banks to a more free-wheeling system organized around open capital markets.

Roundtable on National Security: Military Strategy & Options

Director: Marine Lieut. Gen. (ret.) Bernard E. Trainor
March 29, 2001—Present

This project seeks to bring together civilian and military experts for frank and in-depth discussions of issues in the areas of current national security and military affairs. The goal is to identify and define key viewpoints and differences for a select community of policy planners and analysts and is geared to serve Council members belonging to the Washington political/military community. As such, it tries to bridge the gap between civilian and military expertise to arrive at a sophisticated examination of current military/national security issues.

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, and Miles Kahler, Senior Fellow for Global Governance
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

World Economic Update Series

Staff: Sebastian Mallaby, Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics
January 1, 2000—Present

A spirited exchange among chief economists and leading financial analysts, the WEU highlights the quarter's most important signals and emerging trends. Discussions cover changes in the global marketplace with special emphasis on current economic events and their implications for U.S. policy.

Energy Security Group

Chair: William F. Martin
Staff: Judith Kipper
January 1, 1998—Present

The Energy Security Group meets regularly to discuss policy options for the United States, Japan, and the international community on a broad range of energy security issues including nuclear proliferation and energy, global warming, energy supply and demand, and the science and technology which has a direct impact on energy security. The Energy Security Group has been funded by the Japan Atomic and Industrial Forum (JAIF) since 1995. The Forum has established an Energy Security Group in Japan as well.

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.

Global Kids Roundtable

January 1, 1997—Present

Global Kids and CFR hold frequent roundtables on international affairs.

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.

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, Overstock.com, 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