The IEN – IBEI programme on American politics and international security aims to promote the city of Barcelona as a relevant meeting place for American studies, attracting the best international experts and academics as a place for reflection and debate, with special attention to the implications of US foreign policy in the European and Mediterranean framework

It is a program created in 2020 jointly by the Institut d’Estudis Nord-americans (IEN) and the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and modelled on the pattern of the best European programmes of American studies in this area.

The programme aims to promote the capacity for reflection and research from Barcelona on US foreign policy and international security, deepening the knowledge of strategic, geo-political and socio-economic aspects that have a relevant link on this topic.

The main objectives of the programme are to participate in public, academic, and expert debates on US foreign policy and its global implications; and establish relationships and networks with American researchers and research centers in the program’s areas of interest. The program will pay special attention to the implications of US foreign policy in the European and Mediterranean framework, as well as to transatlantic relations.

As part of its rollout, the programme will promote a number of activities, both in the field of research with the aim of attracting international visibility and achieving academic prestige, as well as in the fields of training and dissemination. Highlights include the annual organization of an international conference on the role of the United States in global politics, with a special focus on the situation in the Mediterranean and Africa; and the promotion of academic seminars, outreach and reflection activities on foreign policy, more broadly, on American politics and society, open to all.

The program opened on October 28, 2020 with an open online workshop that looked at the 2020 U.S. presidential election, its implications for the future of U.S. foreign policy, and the international challenges and opportunities that are likely to arise depending on the winning candidate. To see the program and the video of the event click here.

Dr. Jeffrey Michaels is the academic coordinator of the program. Michaels was selected from more than 50 applicants in a high-level international public call announced in February 2020. Professor Michaels joined Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) in September of 2020.

Earlier experience included working as a Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London, as well as serving as an official with NATO and the US Defense Department. He also holds Visiting Fellowships with the Department of War Studies at King’s and the Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, Oxford.

His research into foreign policy decision-making and the study of war incorporates different approaches from political science and history. He is particularly interested in US foreign policy from the Cold War to the present, the use of analogies and metaphors in decision-making, as well as exploring the connection between policymakers’ conceptions of war and their decisions to initiate or refrain from war.