Foundations of America’s Empire

14th September 2017, Sheffield Hallam University

PUBLIC LECTURE: FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICA’S EMPIRE: HOW ELITE NETWORKS DOMINATE AMERICAN POWER AT HOME AND ABROAD

Click here to register for this free public lecture.

In this lecture, Professor Inderjeet Parmar argues that corporate foundations – like Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller, among others – have played a significant but neglected or misunderstood role in the rise and development of American power. He argues that despite their cuddly public image and claims of benign support for democracy, human rights, development and freedom, such institutions are locked into the strategic heartlands of American elite power at home and its imperial global projects. Combining an historical analysis with the rise and politics of the Trump phenomenon, this lecture suggests that elite power-knowledge networks centred on influential American foundations, but which extend to think tanks, both main political parties, major universities, the federal executive, mass media and international organisations, built the political-intellectual infrastructure for American globalism, and defeated or incorporated and domesticated challengers from Left and Right at home and from the global south and emerging powers abroad. With the rise of the Trump phenomenon, the major institutions and networks of US-led world order feared for the future yet, up to now, the indications are that those key elite power-knowledge networks will constrain the ‘radical’ America First agenda of the populist Trump and further perpetuate American global power.

Bio: Professor Inderjeet Parmar (City University London) is the author and editor of several books on American politics and foreign policy, including Foundations of the American Century: The Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power (Columbia University Press, 2012).