Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

International Affairs

America's 'Intellectual' Diplomacy

David Milne, January 2010

This article explores the varied reasons why the US government has proved so amenable to input from academia, think-tanks and freelance intellectuals.

It first discusses the varying ways in which the 'intellectual' has been defined, and proposes criteria that allow us to identify the foreign policy intellectual. Second, the article examines the historical circumstances that have allowed intellectuals-broadly conceived-to influence US diplomacy from 1890 to the present. Third, the article compares the US experience of welcoming intellectuals into policy-making with that of the United Kingdom and France.

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