Networks of Empire

The US State Department’s Foreign Leader Program in the Netherlands, France, and Britain 1950–70

by Giles Scott-Smith (Author)
Monographs 514 Pages


Exchange programmes have been a part of US foreign relations since the nineteenth century, but it was only during and after World War II that they were applied by the US government on a large scale to influence foreign publics in support of strategic objectives.
This book looks at the background, organisation, and goals of the Department of State’s most prestigious activity in this field, the Foreign Leader Program. The Program (still running as the International Visitor Leadership Program) enabled US Embassies to select and invite talented, influential ‘opinion leaders’ to visit the United States, meet their professional counterparts, and gain a broad understanding of American attitudes and opinions from around the country.
By tracking the operation of the Program in three key transatlantic allies of the United States a full picture is given of who was selected and why, and how the target groups changed over time in line with a developing US-European relationship. The book therefore takes a unique in-depth look at the importance of exchanges for the extension of US ‘informal empire’ and the maintenance of the transatlantic alliance during the Cold War.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Publication date
2011 (April)
USA Großbritannien Niederlande Geschichte 1950-1970 Informal Empire Transatlantic Relations Exchange Programm Cold War Außenpolitik Public Diplomacy Frankreich
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 514 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Giles Scott-Smith (Author)

The Author: Giles Scott-Smith is senior researcher with the Roosevelt Study Center and lecturer in International Relations at the Roosevelt Academy, both in Middelburg, the Netherlands. He has published widely on the nature of transatlantic relations during the Cold War, with special emphasis on the importance of ideology, the strategies of US public diplomacy, and the role of intellectual networks and non-governmental groups.


Title: Networks of Empire