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Networks of Empire

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


Giles Scott-Smith

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.


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Abbreviations 15


15 Abbreviations AAUFA Association Amicale Universitaire France-Amérique ACYPL American Council of Young Political Leaders ADA Americans for Democratic Action AAI African American Institute ACE American Council on Education ACEN Assembly for Captive European Nations ACLS American Council of Learned Societies AEU Amalgamated Engineering Union (UK) AFCENT Allied Forces Central Command AFL American Federation of Labor AFME American Friends of the Middle East APSA American Political Science Association ARP Anti-Revolutionaire Partij (Dutch protestant party) AVRO Algemene Vereniging Radio Omroep (Dutch broadcaster) The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State BVC Bijzondere Voorlichtings Commissie (Special Information Committee) BVD Binnenlandse Veiligheids Dienst (Dutch domestic security service) CAO Cultural Affairs Officer CAP Common Agricultural Policy CCF Congress for Cultural Freedom CFTC Confédération Française des Travailleurs Chrétiens CGT Confédération Générale du Travail CHU Christelijk-Historische Unie (Dutch protestant party) CIA Central Intelligence Agency CIAA Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs CIO Congress of Industrial Organizations CLS Council on Leaders and Specialists CNRN Committee on Non-Represented Nations (Council of Europe) Networks of Empire 16 CNV Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (Dutch protestant trade union) COA Committee on Occupied Areas COSERV National Council for Community Services to International Visitors CPB Centraal Plan Bureau CPI Committee for Public Information CPN Communistische Partij van Nederland (Dutch Communist party) DCM Deputy Chief of Mission DCR Division of Cultural Relations DIE Directie Integratie Europa, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs D 66 Democrats 66 (Dutch reformist party) EAAS European Association of American...

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