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Council on Foreign Relations Educators Bulletin
Resources for the Academic Community

April 2012

Encourage Your Students to Enter the 2012 Foreign Affairs Essay Contest

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Foreign Affairs publishes articles by today's leaders and thinkers that tackle the most pressing issues in international relations. In order to give tomorrow's leaders the opportunity to demonstrate innovative thinking on the issues that shape their world, Foreign Affairs is launching the third annual Essay Contest, sponsored by APSIA. A panel from the Foreign Affairs editorial staff will select one undergraduate's essay to be published on the Foreign Affairs website. The winner will also receive a prize of $500, while five honorable mentions will receive a free year-long subscription to Foreign Affairs.

For information on the essay topic, guidelines, and submission, go to


New CFR Report Calls for Education Reform

This Independent Task Force report, chaired by Joel I. Klein and Condoleezza Rice, asserts that improving the nation's underperforming K-12 public schools is essential for strengthening the country's security and increasing its economic competitiveness. Assign students this report and ask them to write an essay that supports or opposes the policy recommendations. Download the Report »

Criminal Violence: Jeopardizing Central America's Democracies

In this new Council Special Report, Michael Shifter, president of Inter-American Dialogue, assesses the causes and consequences of the violence Central American countries face. Include this report in your syllabus and encourage students to think critically about the steps the United States should take to respond to this current crisis and prevent it from worsening. Read the Report »

In the Classroom: Robert Bromber

Robert Bromber, academic director of African American studies, political science, and history at University of Maryland University College, uses a wide range of CFR materials for his class on state terrorism. According to Professor Bromber, "CFR's multimedia resources make the study of political science come alive. The timely analysis of the CFR Academic Modules, interactives such as 'Crisis Guide: the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,' and the videos available on the YouTube CFR channel breathe real world happenings into the UMUC online and traditional classrooms."

U.S.-Latin America Relations

Why the Summit of the Americas Matters

Disseminate this brief by CFR's Shannon K. O'Neil in your class, and discuss with students the challenges going into the Summit of the Americas and the meeting's outcomes. Access the Expert Brief »

Learning from the Bay of Pigs Invasion

CFR's James M. Lindsay explores historical events and examines their meaning in the context of foreign relations today. Show this clip in class and have students prepare a presentation on how the lessons of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion could inform present day decision-making processes on military strike options. Watch the Video »

Maintaining Stability in Asia

Preventing Conflict in the South China Sea

Supplement your syllabus with this report by Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Have students prepare an essay on the greatest risks of conflict in the South China Sea, and the best way for the United States to prevent an escalation. Download the Report »

Real Reform in Myanmar?

In this Expert Brief, CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick argues that while recent elections in Myanmar represent an important step, they do not signify complete reform. Have students read this document and come to class prepared to present their views on the challenges the country must overcome to achieve sustainable change. Access the Expert Brief »

Missile Threats from North Korea

Use this blog post from CFR's Scott A. Snyder to organize a class debate on the pros and cons of taking preemptive action to limit North Korea's missile proliferation. Join the Conversation »


The links below allow you special access to these subscribers-only articles.

"Scoring Obama's Foreign Policy"

Share with students this essay by Martin S. Indyk, Kenneth G. Lieberthal, and Michael E. O'Hanlon and ask them to agree or disagree with the authors' assessment of President Obama's foreign policy approach and achievements to date.

"Botching the Bomb"

In this essay, Jacques E. C. Hymans argues that Iran's nuclear progress may be hindered by Iran's political leaders themselves. Have students write an op-ed summarizing his ideas and arguing for or against military intervention to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.



About CFR

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

About CFR's Academic Outreach Initiative

CFR is committed to serving as a resource for the academic community and encouraging students from all disciplines to consider how international issues shape their own lives and the lives of others across the globe. As part of these efforts, the CFR Academic Outreach Initiative provides a forum for educators and students to interact with CFR experts and join the debate on foreign policy. CFR offers a vast array of research and multimedia tools, developed by leading scholars and practitioners, for teaching and learning about international relations and the role of the United States in the world. For more information, please contact


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