Long known for its studies of American public opinion on foreign policy, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has expanded its contributions to national and international discussions on issues such as agricultural development and food security, migration, and energy and climate change. Through studies, task force reports, and special initiatives, the Council contributes fresh insights and authentic perspectives from Chicago and the Midwest to the formation of opinion and policy in the United States and abroad.
A comprehensive list of the Council's publications over the past decade is viewable here.
Smart Defense and the Future of NATO
On March 28-30, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in partnership with eight institutions from NATO member countries, hosted a conference on
“Smart Defense and the Future of NATO: Can the Alliance Meet the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century?” The conference, which took place less than two months before the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, brought together diplomats, policy practitioners, experts, and journalists from ten NATO countries as well as Australia, Pakistan, and Russia. This report and the accompanying ten papers, which were prepared by leading transatlantic thinkers as a means of framing the conference discussions, serve as a guide to the key questions to be addressed at the 2012 NATO summit.
2012 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development
The U.S. government has made major strides toward putting agricultural development back at the top of its foreign assistance agenda, reversing a three-decade long downward trend in U.S. global food security activities, says a new report issued by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This is the second in a series of annual reports tracking changes to the U.S. government’s global agricultural development policy. The non-partisan assessment, issued by the Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative (GADI), examines how these changes have contributed to U.S. leadership in improving global food security. The Initiative is cochaired by Catherine Bertini, former executive director, UN World Food Program, and Dan Glickman, former secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Global Views 2010: Constrained Internationalism: Adapting to New Realities
The American people want to play an active part in world affairs, but their internationalism is increasingly constrained by economic troubles at home and diminished influence overseas, according to The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ 2010 survey of public opinion on U.S. foreign policy. The 2010 survey polled more than 2,500 Americans on over one hundred questions related to U.S. foreign policy, including terrorism, nuclear proliferation, China’s rise, the Afghanistan War, and attitudes toward other countries. According to Global Views 2010, Americans are reassessing their foreign policy priorities, scaling back their ambitions, and becoming more selective in how they want to engage with the world.
The Transatlantic Alliance in a Multipolar World
In spring 2010, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs launched a project to examine the transatlantic alliance in the strategic landscape of the 21st century and to develop a series of recommendations ensuring the continued relevance of the U.S.-European relationship. The project addresses questions about the future role of NATO and how an alliance shaped by the Cold War can best adapt to the challenge of engaging the Muslim world as well as the emerging geopolitical strengths of China and India. The final report argues that the transatlantic alliance has the potential to become more relevant to the United States as the geopolitical center of gravity moves toward Asia. The Chicago Council also enlisted four experts to draft a series of papers, each touching on a particular aspect of the alliance: counterinsurgency, protecting the global commons, nuclear policy, and engaging the Muslim world.
2010 Global Cities Index
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs partnered for the second year with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and Foreign Policy magazine to release a comprehensive ranking of how 65 cities from about 40 countries are powering integration, interaction, and influence on a global scale. While most other city rankings limit their focus to business or quality of life measures, the Global Cities Index incorporates business activity, human capital, information exchange, as well as two additional dimensions of what makes cities global: cultural experience and political engagement. The result is a holistic look at what differentiates cities in generating, attracting, and retaining global capital, people, and ideas. The index revealed that five of the top 10 cities–Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and Seoul— are in the Asia Pacific while three—New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles—are American cities.
2011 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development
Significant U.S. achievements since 2008 lay a solid foundation to accomplish global food security objectives, according to the conclusions of a report assessing U.S. government progress to alleviate global hunger through agricultural development. The report states that continued, long-term American support for agricultural development is an opportunity for the United States to provide international leadership in the reduction of global poverty. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the project, which was chaired by Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.
Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies
Adolescent girls living in rural areas of the developing world have untapped potential to drive economic development and help meet the world’s future food supply needs. “Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies” identifies opportunities to empower rural girls to spur economic and social change in their families and communities. Catherine Bertini, 2003 World Food Prize Laureate, serves as the publication’s lead author and chair of the project that produced the report, which calls on national governments and bilateral donors to provide services and opportunities that both improve girls’ lives and equip them to be successful economic contributors.
U.S.-Canada Energy Trade: A Critical Strategic Relationship
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted a small bi-national workshop to explore (1) the basics of the U.S.-Canada energy relationship; (2) the role that expanded production of petroleum from the Albertan oil sands will play in the U.S. supply picture; (3) the rapidly evolving hydro electricity supply picture, and what this portends for the U.S.-Canada relationship; and (4) ideas for developing a useful strategy to move the bilateral relationship forward. The conference report integrates key conclusions and identifies future areas where the Council can make a meaningful contribution to the U.S.-Canada energy policy context.
Capturing Chicago’s Global Opportunity
After Mayor Richard M. Daley’s announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2011, Chicago’s business and civic leaders concerned with Chicago’s future status as a global city drafted “Capturing Chicago’s Global Opportunity” for the next administration. This memorandum argues that today’s most successful cities are global cities, and that the next mayor and his or her administration will be judged in part on the success or failure in keeping Chicago in the top tier of global cities. The memo was endorsed by an independent group of twenty-nine civic, academic, and business leaders convened by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Moving Forward: The Immigration Debate and Chicago’s Experience
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ second Emerging Leaders report is a volume of seven essays by its 2009 Class of Emerging Leaders. The report identifies the leading dimensions that make the immigration debate so challenging to resolve and provides a framework for understanding this critical policy issue. The report found that, while economic arguments are often cited in the case for or against immigration, data sets and methodologies used are often designed to serve the interest of a vested party, making it difficult to assess immigration’s net impact in the United States—which can span generations—at a macro level. The report also highlights the growing tension between local, state, and federal decision makers over who is responsible for immigration policy and enforcement.
Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy
The success of American diplomacy in the next decade will be measured in no small part by its ability to connect with the hundreds of millions of people throughout the world whose identity is defined by religion. President Obama’s historic speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009, with its promise to engage with Muslim communities, was an important step in the right direction. The Chicago Council convened a task force of thirty-two experts and stakeholders—former government officials, religious leaders, heads of international organizations, and scholars—to bring a diverse perspective to the debate over how to successfully engage religion on an international level. This report takes the next step in developing a strategy to engage religious communities of all faiths in addressing foreign policy challenges.
A Master Plan for Higher Education in the Midwest: A Roadmap to the Future of the Nation’s Heartland
One of the most urgent issues facing the United States and the Midwest is developing the human capital needed to compete and thrive in the global economy. The Midwest is home to a vast array of higher education institutions, but their structures and methods were designed for a very different time and economy. In the report, James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus of the University of Michigan, argues that the American Midwest—a region that once powered the industrial economy, created the middle class, and defended democracy—is floundering in a 21st century global economy driven by knowledge and innovation. The report recommends streamlining curricula from K-12 through post-secondary education, exploring alternative higher education funding mechanisms, redefining the role of community colleges, and promoting a culture of lifelong learning.
Harnessing the Power of Biomass Residuals: Opportunities and Challenges for Midwestern Renewable Ene
This report is the fourth installment of The Chicago Council’s Global Midwest Initiative’s Heartland Papers series, which utilizes original research to examine key issues and provide policy recommendations supportive of the Midwest’s role in a global economy. “Harnessing the Power of Biomass Residuals” concludes that agricultural and forestry biomass residuals in the region could offer new opportunities for economic development, energy production, and environmental conservation. The report examines these opportunities and the key challenges limiting the current capacity of alternative biomass energy technologies.
Global Views 2008: Anxious American Seek a New Direction in U.S. Foreign Policy
For its 2008 public opinion study, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs conducted more than 1,500 interviews with a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults between July 3 and July 15, 2008. The survey asked more than fifty questions designed to gauge American attitudes on a number of foreign and domestic policy issues in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential elections. The results were initially released in four short topical reports. A short follow-up survey was conducted in September 2008 to determine the effect of the unfolding economic crisis on attitudes towards globalization.