Foreign Policy Research Institute

From Academic Kids

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) is a American think tank based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is "devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests."

The Institute conducts research on geopolitics, international relations, and international security in the various regions of the world as well as on ethnic conflict, U.S. national securiry, terrorism, and on think tanks themselves. It publishes a quarterly journal, Orbis, as well as a series of monographs and books. It publishes bulletins distributed electronically about 50 times a year.


FPRI was founded by Ambassador Robert Strausz-Hupé. A native of Vienna, Strausz-Hupé immigrated to the United States in 1923 t work as an investment banker. Alarmed by the 1938 Anschluss, he began to lecture on the dangers posed by Nazi Germany, which in turn led to a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania in 1940, where he also earned his masters and doctoral degrees.

Dissatisfied with the containment strategy of John Foster Dulles and the Eisenhower Administration's foreign policy in general, he founded FPRI in 1955 with support from the University of Pennsylvania and the Smith Richardson Foundation. In 1957 publication commenced of the Institute's quarterly, Orbis. Among FPRI's notable early scholars were Hans Kohn, William Kintner, Henry Kissinger, James Schlesinger, and Lawrence Krause.

For most of its history, FPRI was deeply immersed in the intellectual prosecution of the Cold War. It urged the Western world to unite under the leadership of the U.S. to combat the Soviet Union and international communism. In doing so, however, it drew increasing criticism—notably, by name from Senator William Fulbright—and became increasingly marginalized from academia; it became independent of Penn in 1970. Ironically, it would also be the start of Strausz-Hupé's twenty-year career as a diplomat, when Richard Nixon appointed him Ambassador to Ceylon.

At a peak of influence during the Reagan Administration, the end of the Cold War has caused FPRI to refocus its attention on other projects. Notably, it has identified a special focus on education in international affairs, sponsoring various programs in Philadelphia area schools as well as conferences and seminars for high school and junior college teachers and lectures for the general public.

The US-led War on Terrorism is also a central topic of FPRI research. In March 2003, it received a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to study sources of potential terrorist threats to the state, and how to manage the risks.

Notable figures

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