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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Research: USA & Transatlantic Relations


> FPC Briefing: How Investment Treaties have a chilling effect on Human Rights

By Sam Fowles.

In a new FPC Briefing Sam Fowles (Researcher in Law at Queen Mary University of London) argues that human rights are the ultimate arbiter of the relationship between the state and the individual, yet a new generation of trade and investment agreements are increasingly subjecting human rights to the interests of international investors.

Fowles writes that this 'Second Generation' of agreements has transformed provisions intended to protect investors from state overreach, into guarantees of preferential treatment. This allows investors to exert an unprecedented level of influence on governments. This has often been brought to bear in relation to human rights, with international investors able to compel governments to abandon or roll back measures indented to protect and promote rights. Fowles believes that with Brexit approaching, the UK must shortly embrace Second Generation treaties. Negotiators must, therefore, take account of the risks such instruments pose to fundamental human rights.

Download FPC Briefing: How Investment Treaties have a chilling effect (520 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing – The Coming Storm: US-China Relations Under Trump

By Dr Chris Ogden .

FPC Senior Associate Dr Chris Ogden sets out some of the political and strategic challenges facing US-China relations ahead of the coming Trump Presidency.

According to Dr Ogden both during and after the 2016 US presidential elections, China featured significantly in the campaign of eventual victor Donald Trump. In the President-elect's eyes Beijing is Washington's most dangerous strategic competitor that threatens the US's ability to control and lead the world. Following on from his victory, Trump has continued to directly condemn China, and has in many ways accelerated his attacks on Beijing. In doing so, the new American leader appears to be at best questioning, and at worst shattering, several of the key understandings that were thought to have underpinned US-China relations, which serves to suggest that the world's two largest economies are entering a stormy period.

Download FPC Briefing –The Coming Storm: US-China Relations and Trump (390 kilobyte PDF)

> US Elections 2016: Russia's Preferred Choice

By Samuel Rogers.

The victor of the US Presidential Elections in November 2016 will be either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump. Both candidates have views that are inconsistent with each other regarding Russia and on the institutions that influence policy towards Russia. From a Russian perspective, there are advantages and disadvantages in relation to each potential outcome. It is therefore timely to consider to what extent each candidate may benefit Russia in terms of policy objectives. This article addresses the pros and cons for each candidate in this regard.

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> Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?

[Cover of Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

February 2013 Hard copy: £4.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact? (2.02 megabyte PDF)

The Foreign Policy Centre's new publication, Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?, examines both how Europe is seen on the world stage and the effectiveness of the new External Action Service in delivering on its key objectives: building an effective new diplomatic service, strengthening EU influence in the neighbourhood and developing relations with strategic partners. It explores the institutional and organisational challenges surrounding the creation of the EEAS and considers what tensions remain with other EU institutions and national governments, with particular reference to the UK's difficult relationship with Europe.

Europe in the World is edited by Adam Hug (Foreign Policy Centre). It contains contributions on a range of topics and different perspectives from: Dr. Jozef Batora (Comenius University), Thiago de Aragão (Foreign Policy Centre), William Gumede (Foreign Policy Centre), Jacqueline Hale (Open Society Foundations), Richard Howitt MEP, Stefan Lehne (Carnegie Europe), Dr. Simon Lightfoot and Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi (University of Leeds), Prof. Anand Menon (Kings College London), Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG, QC, MP, Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP, Prof. John Peterson (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Neil Winn (University of Leeds). Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander MP (Shadow Foreign Secretary) provides the foreword.

The findings of the Europe in the World publication have been extensively referenced in the UK Government's Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Foreign Policy paper.

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> Trans-Atlantic Cooperation on Middle East Reform: A European Misjudgement?

Richard Youngs

December 2004

Download the report (190 kilobyte PDF)

Despite a common interest in promoting democracy in the Middle East, the US and EU have so far failed to create a coherent partnership in the region. In this pamphlet, Dr. Richard Youngs maps out a strategy for improving transatlantic cooperation on this vital issue.

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> The Political Fortunes of War: Iraq and the Domestic Standing of President George W. Bush

[Cover of The Political Fortunes of War: Iraq and the Domestic Standing of President George W. Bush]

Richard C. Eichenberg, Richard J. Stoll

July 2004

Download the report (370 kilobyte PDF)

The Political Fortunes of War provides a preliminary quantative assessment of just how much the Iraq war may be costing President Bush his bid for re-election. It sets out a correlation between a President's approval ratings and his chances of winning re-election, based on data from every President since Roosevelt.

Authors Professor Richard C Eichenberg and Richard J Stoll argue that President Bush's ratings have declined by just over one per cent for every 100 deaths of American service personnel. Using this estimate, the war may have cost the President over 10 per cent in his job approval ratings. They argue that without the war effect, Bush would be comfortably heading towards re-election. However, a continuation of the status quo – in which there is a daily death toll of several soldiers – is placing his continued tenure of the White House in increasing doubt.

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> The crisis in Syria and public opinion: views from the UK, US and France

Date: Tuesday 11 March 2014

Time: 6.30-8.00pm (please note amended start time)

Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Room(off Westminster Hall), Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA


  • Ian Lucas MP, Shadow Middle East Minister
  • Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Former Middle East Minister
  • Prof. Thomas Scotto, Professor of Government, University of Essex
  • Dr. Jason Reifler, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Joe Twyman, Director of Political and Social Research, YouGov

Chair: Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor, The Times

Foreign Policy Centre is delighted to host upcoming panel, with the kind support of the University of Essex, which will examine some of the key findings of new research being conducted by the Universities of Essex, Exeter, and Texas-Dallas, with assistance of YouGov and a grant from the ESRC. The event will look to enhance public understanding of the nature and consequences of the reaction of citizens in three mature democracies (UK, US, and France) to the dynamic and volatile military and humanitarian situation in Syria. It will examine the size and effectiveness of aid contributions to the region against the backdrop of rising aid scepticism linked to the downturn.

The event will examine the findings of research surveys that explore the views of the UK,US and French publics as to:

  • whether people are capable of forming coherent and durable foreign policy judgments;
  • how people weigh costs and benefits of alternative courses of action that leaders propose to respond to the Syrian crisis;
  • what extent are public reactions to the Syrian crisis affected by attitudes about the political elite(s) proposing various responses;
  • what are citizens' beliefs about the morality of war and the necessity of humanitarian relief in their reactions to the Syrian crisis;
  • levels of public engagement with their country's responses to the crisis;
  • how core values and personality characteristics shape attitudes toward the Syrian crisis;
  • national and socio-demographic variation in responses to the crisis.

Download The crisis in Syria and public opinion (220 kilobyte PDF)

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> What the UK and US think: Shared values or differing interests in public attitudes to foreign policy?

University of Essex logo

DATE: Thursday 6 September 2012

TIME: 6.00-7.30pm

VENUE: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Room (off Westminster Hall), Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA


  • Rt Hon John Spellar MP, Shadow Foreign Office Minister
  • Dr Rob Johns, Senior Lecturer, Department of Government, University of Essex
  • Dr Thomas Scotto, Senior Lecturer, Department of Government, University of Essex
  • Joe Twyman, Director, Political and Social Research, YouGov

Chair: Carola Hoyos,Defence Correspondent,Financial Times

At this Foreign Policy Centre and University of Essex event, some of the key findings of a recent large-scale ESRC-funded cross-country study into public attitudes towards foreign policy will be presented and analysed. The attitudes of the British public on specific foreign affairs issues will be compared to the attitudes of Americans on issues including military intervention, the NATO mission in Afghanistan and nuclear weapons, amongst many others.

The implications of these results will also be discussed with a broad panel of speakers including politicians, journalists, pollsters and academics including what they show about how public opinion impacts on foreign policymaking in different countries and what implications that might have for coordinated foreign policymaking by the 'West', both now and in the future, especially given current constraints on public spending. Public opinion and foreign policy academics from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey will also offer insights on how the publics of these and other European nations stand on issues related to foreign policy.

A video podcast showing the event is available here

Download event invite - What the UK and US think about foreign policy (70 kilobyte PDF)

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> The Madagascar Development Forum


HE Mr Ivohasina Razafimahefa, Minister of Economy, Government of Madagascar

Stephen Twigg, Foreign Policy Centre (Chair)


Tuesday 13 November 2007, 2.30pm to 4pm


Committee Room 12, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

About the event:

The Foreign Policy Centre is delighted to host the Madagascar Development Forum. The Malagasy Minister of the Economy, Mr Ivohasina Razafimahefa will make a keynote speech at the forum.

The Madagascar Development Forum is being held to raise the profile of Madagascar in the UK as an attractive business hub and to forge co-operation between governments and businesses in the UK and East Africa, and to examine the particular challenges for development in small states. Copies of the Madagascar Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy for encouraging growth and reducing poverty will be available.

This event will be a great opportunity to hear from one of Madagascar's most senior politicians, and to meet like minded business leaders, NGOs, journalists and other policy makers.

Please RSVP with the subject "Madagascar Forum" to events[at] by 9 November

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