The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs – A Foreign Policy Think Tank of the Midwest
ISBN 978-3-86821-120-7, 197 S., 51 Abb., € 22,00 (CD-ROM, 2009)
(Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America, Bd. 14)
Eighty years ago, the American heartland was considered the bastion of U.S. isolationism. Today the Midwest has become the home of various foreign policy organizations and international forums eager to make their voice heard in the national debate on global issues. One of the most brilliant examples is the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Established in 1922, the Chicago Council belongs to the first generation of U.S. think tanks, which have considerably shaped U.S. foreign policy during the years of World War II and the post-war era. Since its beginning – during a time of fervent isolationism – the Chicago Council has been successful in bringing together global decisionmakers and leaders from the Midwest. Thus, it has made an important contribution to enhancing Chicago’s and the region’s image in the world. Moreover, the Council’s Global Chicago Center is exclusively dedicated to educate Chicagoeans about the city’s global assets and to provide information about international events happening in Chicago. However, the Council’s story does not end here. Being an old guard think tank, the Chicago Council has employed formal and informal methods to influence public opinion and important decisionmakers in the region and beyond. How do these methods look like and what are their specific aims? Is it true that think tanks are one of the most important (and sometimes hidden) players in the policymaking process? These questions along with many other issues will be discussed in this thesis.