US Foreign Policy Working Group Conference 2021 - Shifts in US foreign policy

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Joe Biden

There's just a few weeks to go until the 2021 US Foreign Policy Working Group annual conference and we're delighted to release the conference handbook detailing everything you need to know. This includes the full two-day conference programme! You can download the handbook towards the bottom of this page.

This year's conference has been designed exclusively for postgraduate students and early-career colleagues and the theme is Shifts in US foreign policy.

This year is the 80th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter. This document, signed by President Franklin D Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, signified a new vision for American foreign policy and the wider world after the Second World War. This milestone committed the United States and the United Kingdom to tackling what they considered to be the most pressing threats on the international stage, making the defence of democracy, the strengthening of international institutions, the recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity, supporting collective security, and reinforcing a rules-based economy the linchpin of American grand strategy. Yet in recent times, the presidency of Donald J. Trump has shown us how a rejection of the liberal international order can have crucial impacts on international affairs. As we take stock of where US foreign policy has been and where it might be headed, this conference aims to place milestones and changes in American foreign policy in a wider historical and scholarly context.

The conference programme includes:

Keynote address

Dr Susan Colbourn will deliver a talk titled: 'Crisis is Forever: How the Euromissiles almost broke NATO and why it matters'.

Plenary roundtable

‘The Past, Present and Future of American Grand Strategy’ sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation.

‘American grand strategy’ is a term that has been increasingly used in both scholarly and public discourses over the last decade. However, its meaning and how we should consider it as both an intellectual concept and foreign policy framework is often vague and ill-defined. For this roundtable, four distinguished scholars of US foreign policy will discuss American grand strategy in all its forms and what it means in the 21st century and beyond.


  • Dr Andrew Payne, University of Oxford


  • Dr Adriane Lentz- Smith, Duke University
  • Professor Monica Duffy Toft, Tufts University
  • Dr Jacqueline Hazelton, US Naval War College
  • Dr Nicholas Kitchen, University of Surrey

Panel event

‘Publishing as an Early Career Researcher: Op-eds, Journal Articles and Book Chapters’


  • Dr Matthew Hill, Liverpool John Moores University


  • Dr Cornelia Baciu, University of Copenhagen
  • Grant Golub, LSE
  • Dr Alexandra Homolar, University of Warwick
  • Dr Gustav Meibauer, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Professor Jason Ralph (University of Leeds and European Journal of International Security)

One of the conference organisers, Ellis Mallett who is a PhD candidate at the University of Surrey and also a member of the BISA PGN committee said:

"We are very much looking forward to dynamic conversations about the research currently being conducted by PGR/ECRs and welcome a constructive exchange of ideas on the historical, political, and scholarly underpinnings of American foreign policy. Register now to be part of a conference that features scholars at varying career stages and from institutions across the world."

You can register for the conference via the event page. We look forward to seeing you.

Image: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.