Foreign Policy Research Grants | The Future of America’s Alliances

Foreign Policy Research Grants | The Future of America’s Alliances

The Charles Koch Foundation is pleased to launch this request for proposals for grants to support research and other activities on important foreign policy issues confronting the United States today. Given the changing nature of the world around us, the United States needs a foreign policy that prioritizes our national interests and productive engagement with other countries. We are proud to support research that challenges status quo thinking and inspires fresh perspectives in the foreign policy debate.

The American-led global alliance system faces increasing stress and criticism. In Europe, allies’ conventional forces have been inadequate as their leaders openly discuss alternatives to NATO. American partners in the Middle East pursue their own priorities, often in opposition to American objectives. Failed attempts to unify disparate spokes of the U.S. alliance system in Asia reveal flawed assumptions in U.S. strategic thinking. Given problems with burden-sharing and conflicting interests, U.S. policymakers should reevaluate the costs and benefits of the U.S.’s security commitments. As a result, we are actively soliciting proposals for projects which:

  • Evaluate areas where U.S. interests converge or diverge from long-established allies and consider the challenges of maintaining alliances in different regions of the world.
  • Study the ways in which the U.S. can better promote burden-sharing and partners’ deterrent capabilities.
  • Explore the long-term future of the NATO alliance, including structural changes to the balance of power, divergent interests and threat assessments, and internal political challenges that will affect its mission in the coming decades.
  • Investigate the unintended consequences of alliances including entrapment, moral hazard, and principal-agent problems.
  • Explore advantages of different security arrangements, including buck-passing and other forms of military and diplomatic ties.
  • Analyze the consequences of NATO enlargement, including impacts on Russian-U.S. relations, NATO conventional deterrence, and the international politics of Eastern Europe.
  • Assess problems with foreign arms sales, including effects on military effectiveness, credibility, and escalation control.
  • Evaluate when the United States should commit to and withdraw from alliances and examine historical cases of alliance dissolution. Evaluate methods and cases of expelling alliance members or ending an alliance relationship productively.
  • Explore options for “transatlantic transformation,” including alternatives to NATO.

We are open to other research proposals that fit these general themes.


Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university, college, think tank, or other 501(c)(3) organization. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.*
  • A CV or résumé.*
  • A brief, itemized budget.*
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.

*Items are required in application.


Funding

Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.


Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Foreign Policy Research

We are proud to support research that challenges status quo thinking and inspires fresh perspectives in the foreign policy debate.

Foreign Policy

We support new voices and sound scholarship that speak to America's enduring interests and policies that will make our country safer.

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As the underlying legal authorities for American activities in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere attract increasing scrutiny, policymakers must appreciate the need for appropriate oversight and accountability over the power to commence, fund, and finish hostilities.

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Ending Endless Wars in the Middle East

As political will mounts to leave foreign conflicts and bring American troops home, policymakers must grapple with exit strategies and the lessons learned from the last few decades of engagement.

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Our Giving Standards and Principles

Our giving standards and principles guide our long-standing commitment to academic independence and openness.

Faculty call the shots.

Behind each of our grants is a scholar with a vision. Their freedom to drive their research wherever it may take them is essential to the discovery that we hope results from our support.

Schools provide the academic environment.

We’re excited to support hundreds of schools ranging from small liberal arts colleges to state research universities to Ivy League schools. Each grant we make follows the school’s standard procedures when it comes to hiring, curriculum, peer review, and other policies.

Openness brings opportunities.

To help make potential grantees aware of opportunities, we share news of all our major gifts. This knowledge sharing improves collaboration, offering others the possibility to build on the work of the scholars we support.

Society benefits.

The scholars we support are tackling some of the toughest challenges of our time and preparing students for success in a dynamic future. The goal of our philanthropy is to improve society. As scholars’ discoveries guide the path forward on criminal justice reform, free expression, foreign policy, technology and innovation, economic opportunity, and other pressing challenges, society progresses.

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