CUP Web site

RSS Feed

New Books

Author Interviews

Author Events

Keep track of new CUP book releases:

For media inquiries, please contact our
publicity department

CUP Authors Blogs and Sites

American Society of Magazine Editors

Roy Harris / Pulitzer's Gold

Natalie Berkowitz / Winealicious

Leonard Cassuto

Mike Chasar / Poetry and Popular Culture

Erica Chenoweth / "Rational Insurgent"

Juan Cole

Jenny Davidson / "Light Reading"

Faisal Devji

William Duggan

James Fleming / Atmosphere: Air, Weather, and Climate History Blog

David Harvey

Paul Harvey / "Religion in American History"

Bruce Hoffman

Alexander Huang

David K. Hurst / The New Ecology of Leadership

Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh

Geoffrey Kabat / "Hyping Health Risks"

Grzegorz W. Kolodko / "Truth, Errors, and Lies"

Jerelle Kraus

Julia Kristeva

Michael LaSala / Gay and Lesbian Well-Being (Psychology Today)

David Leibow / The College Shrink

Marc Lynch / "Abu Aardvark"

S. J. Marshall

Michael Mauboussin

Noelle McAfee

The Measure of America

Philip Napoli / Audience Evolution

Paul Offit

Frederick Douglass Opie / Food as a Lens

Jeffrey Perry

Mari Ruti / The Juicy Bits

Marian Ronan

Michael Sledge

Jacqueline Stevens / States without Nations

Ted Striphas / The Late Age of Print

Charles Strozier / 9/11 after Ten Years

Hervé This

Alan Wallace

James Igoe Walsh / Back Channels

Xiaoming Wang

Santiago Zabala

Press Blogs


University of Akron

University of Alberta

American Management Association

Baylor University

Beacon Broadside

University of California

Cambridge University Press

University of Chicago

Cork University

Duke University

University of Florida

Fordham University Press

Georgetown University

University of Georgia

Harvard University

Harvard Educational Publishing Group

University of Hawaii

Hyperbole Books

University of Illinois

Island Press

Indiana University

Johns Hopkins University

University of Kentucky

Louisiana State University

McGill-Queens University Press

Mercer University

University of Michigan

University of Minnesota

Minnesota Historical Society

University of Mississippi

University of Missouri


University of Nebraska

University Press of New England

University of North Carolina

University Press of North Georgia

NYU / From the Square

University of Oklahoma

Oregon State University

University of Ottawa

Oxford University

Penn State University

University of Pennsylvania

Princeton University

Stanford University

University of Sydney

University of Syracuse

Temple University

University of Texas

Texas A&M University

University of Toronto

University of Virginia

Wilfrid Laurier University

Yale University

March 28th, 2012 at 9:51 am

Inderjeet Parmar on Foundations and the American Century, Part 2

Foundations of the American Century, Inderjeet Parmar

In the second part of his essay, Inderjeet Parmar, author of Foundations of the American Century: The Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power, examines the role of U.S. foundations in the post-Cold War era. (To read part 1):

Since the end of the Cold War, however, U.S. foundations have continued to affect U.S. foreign policy and the development and direction of globalization. Foundation networks were central, for example, in elevating and refining what has become the central rationale of U.S. national-security strategy since the collapse of the Soviet threat—democratic peace theory (that democracies do not fight one another), as embodied in the Bush doctrine as well as in the policies of the Obama administration.

There’s been a great expansion in the number of U.S. foundations, the variety of grant-making activities, and total philanthropic assets. Since 1987 the number of foundations in the United States has grown from 28,000 to about 50,000, and these new foundations hold some of the enormous recent growth in American wealth. Their assets have expanded from $115 billion in 1987 to over $300 billion today. Their international giving also topped $3 billion in 2002. Record increases in international philanthropic giving have been recorded since the mid-1990s, prompted by a strong world economy and the rise of new fortunes, especially Bill Gates’s Microsoft Corporation and his accompanying foundation.

Indeed, the Gates Foundation, like the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations that it takes as its role models, has been accused of high-handed interventions in Africa in the name of treating disease. Bypassing local healthcare systems and governments, and frequently distributing drugs not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Gates stands accused of an overweening imperial attitude—summed up by the term “philanthro-capitalism”—which is about as ugly as it sounds.

In Foundations of the American Century, I argue that the foundations’ global posture started before the water’s edge—at home, especially in America’s elite universities where area studies and international relations programs were pioneered—to spread “knowledge” about areas of strategic or economic value to the United States and as a first step in their incorporation into America’s expanding spheres of influence. American power is multilayered, complex and sophisticated; it is also highly adaptive, smart, and restless. And, like Switzerland, is in dire need of deconstruction.

Post a comment