THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS AND THE 'FOREIGN AFFAIRS' QUARTERLY AS A DISCUSSION, ADVISORY AND OPINION-MAKING FORUM IN AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY FROM WOODROW WILSON TO FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (Polish title - below)
(Title in Polish - 'Council of Foreign Relations oraz kwartalnik 'Foreign Affairs' jako forum dyskusyjne, doradcze i opiniotwórcze w amerykanskiej polityce zagranicznej od Woodrow Wilsona do Franklina D. Roosevelta) The Council on Foreign Relations and its periodical 'Foreign Affairs' - with their uninterrupted more than 80-years long history - comprise an astonishing phenomenon in American policy. Today frequently described as the 'heart of the American Establishment', an 'unofficial exlusive club' or a 'presidium guiding destiny of the nation', its roots go back to the World War I the conceptions launched by Woodrow Wilson. The founders of the Council included a group of experts and specialists from 'The Inquiry', which supplemented the American delegation at the Paris peace conference. It was precisely in France in 1919 that an informal British-French meeting held at the Majestic Hotel witnessed the establishment of the Institute of International Relations, with a seat in New York, and parallel in London. The initially modest statutory tasks were limited to an exchange of knowledge and views in the course of closed sessions held only by the members of the club. In time, the circle of the lecturers included American politicians and statesmen (lectures by American secretaries of state became a basic principle) as well as invited foreign guests, i. a. Prime Ministers and ministers of foreign affairs. The Council also set up several discussion groups for following and analyzing international current affairs. In September 1922 the Council started publishing the quarterly 'Foreign Affairs', which comprised a unique and universally accessible forum for an exchange of thoughts and views concerning American foreign policy and the international situation. The quarterly was open to all politicians, economists, and publicists, not only from home but also from abroad. The Council issued the Political Handbook and the annual 'Survey of American Foreign Relations', replaced by 'The United States in World Affairs', as well as brochures, books and propaganda material. It also expanded a library and reading rooms. Considerable organizational and programme changes were introduced in the 1930s, after with the assumption of power by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration. From the very beginning of his term in office, the new resident at the White House made skilful use of the intellectual and financial potential of the Council. Mutual cooperation became increasingly noticeable. Members of the Council began to serve as experts and advisers on numerous current issues, such as neutrality legislation, the role of raw materials in international relations, or economic self-sufficiency. This activity was expanded so as to include regional committees. Attendance at international conferences was on the rise. The same holds true for symposia held at home for students, researchers and businessmen.
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