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As the United States became the dominant power in the world, the foreign policy elite confronted a profound policy dilemma: could American hegemony be reconciled with American democracy? How could one build a democratic foreign policy? How could one create the interested, informed public needed to sustain it?
In the middle of the twentieth century, foreign policy elites led a national movement to create democratic, foreign policy publics in communities across America, building what we now know as World Affairs Councils. This seminar will take Cleveland as its case study, explaining the rise and fall of the movement for "citizen education in world affairs" through the city where had seemed to have most success, in the 1930s and 1940s, and yet went through the steepest decline even before the Vietnam War. Americans, in other words, tried to build a democratic foreign policy, but they failed. This seminar demonstrates how and why.
Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.