12/22/2014 02:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Book Excerpt: A World of Giving


This article appears in the most recent issue of The Carnegie Reporter

Today, many of America's most prominent foundations support institutions or programs abroad, but few have been active on the global stage for as long as Carnegie Corporation of New York. In A World of Giving, Patricia L. Rosenfield, formerly the director of the Corporation's Scholars Program and, earlier, chair of its Strengthening Human Resources in Developing Countries and International Development Program, provides a thorough and objective examination of the international activities of Carnegie Corporation. The book explains in detail the grantmaking process aimed at promoting understanding across cultures and research in many nations around the world.

Below is an excerpt that highlights the Corporation's early efforts at bridging the gap between policymakers and academics in the area of national security under the leadership of John W. Gardner, who, among his many accomplishments, helped launch the White House Fellows Program with President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Internal Transitions

When Charles Dollard resigned in November 1954, the easy thing for the board to do was to make John Gardner president, since he had already served as acting president during Dollard's most recent illness. Instead, the trustees spent a few weeks considering a nationwide search to identify an external candidate. Some trustees were concerned that since Gardner would be the second internal promotion (after Dollard), the Corporation was becoming "self-infatuated." According to Devereux Josephs, former president and current trustee, they were looking for someone "more glamorous." Everyone respected Gardner's intellect and competence, but he was not yet a figure of national prominence. Josephs opposed their view as "hero worship." When no competition emerged, he pushed for Gardner; he did not see how they could consider anyone else.

The other trustees soon agreed with Josephs and selected John Gardner to be the ninth president of Carnegie Corporation on January 20, 1955.

As a staff member, Gardner developed a reputation for displaying the strategic planning skills flagged earlier: he would select an idea that needed to be worked on, home in on it, and then develop innovative, gap-filling grants programs to address it. For example, although Gardner did not originate the area studies program, he made it a full-scale, nationwide effort. With the perspective on national security and the anticommunism of the congressional investigations pervading the public sphere, he was also increasingly exposed to policy challenges in the making of U.S. foreign policy.

A Multifaceted Approach to National Security Research and Policy

Much like the work in international education, the Corporation's programmatic activities related to national security spanned a broad spectrum, widening the scope of the previous era. The Corporation maintained its support for the field of national security studies through the work on civilian-military relations and the ramifications of the atomic bomb and atomic energy. Staff also recommended support for studies that explored newer themes, such as the economics of disarmament and understanding internal conflicts and their causes, along with continuing examination of approaches to sustaining peace, strengthening international law, and achieving world order. In 1962 Gardner noted that "as recently as 15 years ago the universities were giving almost no attention to national security policies, despite the great relevance of the subject to anyone concerned with the future of the nation or the world." By the time he became president, Carnegie Corporation, the

Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation had put in place programs on national security policy at the university level, and the results were well recognized, seemingly in contrast to the international affairs and area studies efforts.

It is only recently that the field of national security policies has attracted much attention from the academic world.

In the recommendation for continued support of Columbia University's Institute of War and Peace Studies, for example, Corporation staff members quoted the comment of New York Times columnist James Reston that "the most interesting new ideas regarding national security and military strategy seemed to be coming out of the universities these days rather than out of government." Staff also wrote that some of the credit could go to the efforts of the Corporation (and other foundations) to stimulate "serious attention to these new areas." The Corporation continued supporting William T. R. Fox's work at Columbia University and that of his colleagues at the Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Social Science Research Council Committee on National Security Policy Research, and of John Masland and his team at Dartmouth College. Bernard Cohen and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin conducted research and training programs "on the international factors that create security problems for the United States, the relationship of U.S. military policy to national security, and the formulation and execution of national security policy."

In its continuing concern about atomic weapons and the rapid changes to the patterns in relations among nations being wrought by scientific and technological developments, in 1955 the Corporation supported Columbia University in establishing the Council for Atomic Age Studies as a clearinghouse for research on the interrelationship of science and society, co-chaired by Philip Jessup, professor of international law, and I. I. Rabi, professor of physics. The Corporation and Columbia also hoped to stimulate research on the issues associated with the space age, such as "the political and legal problems of outer space."

And then came Sputnik. Reaction to the Soviet launch in October 1957 reinforced the national security, science, and technology thrust of the Corporation, while maintaining the policy dimensions. For example, the concern about atomic weapons led to grants that enabled Henry Kissinger, then at Harvard University, to hold his Defense Policy Seminars, starting in 1960, following support through the Council on Foreign Relations for his seminal 1958 book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy. That publication had already "added to his reputation as a leading expert on international relations and national defense policy."

The Corporation identified one of the underaddressed issues related to national security and atomic weapons, namely, the economics of national security policies and, in particular, disarmament as a theme deserving special attention. As Gardner noted, "It is only recently that the field of national security policies has attracted much attention from the academic world. And so far, those academic people who have done research in the field have usually been either historians or political scientists. Although the subject matter of economics is tightly bound up with our defense effort and the planning of our future strategy, economists have been conspicuous by their absence from this field of investigation." Once again, the Corporation sought to encourage new work through the Social Science Research Council; this particular submission to the board explained why the Corporation and other foundations in the development of new fields of research, such as national security policies, continued to turn to the Social Science Research Council. With the recognition that scholarship on foreign policy issues had to be "healthy" and "up to date," the staff praised the Council: "Of the efforts that the Corporation has made in this direction, perhaps the most widely effective and influential has been the work of the Committee on National Security Policy Research of the SSRC [Social Science Research Council]." Staff emphasized that through its conferences and individual research grants, "the Committee has probably done more than any other single group to bring able social scientists face to face with the realities of national security policies today." In 1958 the committee received a grant to explore the economic issues in this area.

Gardner and his colleagues noted that despite the extensive attention given to arms control and disarmament, since World War II "few systematic studies have been made of an extremely important aspect of the problem: what the economic consequences of disarmament, if it were achieved, would be." Toward that end, the Corporation supported soon-to-be-renowned economists Emile Benoit and Kenneth Boulding to conduct a joint study on the economic consequences of disarmament, bringing together researchers from academic institutions, the private sector, and government. Boulding, whose area of interest was the economics of peace, headed the recently established Center for Research on Conflict Resolution at the University of Michigan; Benoit was an associate professor of international business at Columbia University. Their joint research focused on issues of stabilization, reconversion, growth, equity, and international economic development. Boulding (who would become one of the most distinguished and unorthodox of American economists) and Benoit published the first book in the field in 1963, and Benoit then published a more popular, less technical edition. Not only was this work the earliest in the field, but it was also the first research effort in Boulding's new center. The Corporation was impressed by the results and made a major research grant to support Boulding and his "excellent research team." Staff members were impressed by the plans for a "promising long-range program." They also underlined the basic premises of the group "that a stable peace can never be a happy vacuum. The only hope is to develop the kinds of mechanisms and instrumentalities which will diminish tension as it arises, and resolve conflicts in an early stage."

Closely related to the economic analyses--in what has now become a more traditional field of study in national security policy and conflict resolution but then was new--was the field of game theory, which the Corporation jumped into by funding two grants at Princeton University. One grant went to Princeton's Center of International Studies for research on internal warfare, and the other supported the research on game theory and economic behavior of Oskar Morgenstern, co-founder with John von Neumann of the field of game theory.

By the end of the 1950s, the increase in the number of internal conflicts related to the Cold War and other internal violence, whether "rebellion, revolution, mob violence, guerilla warfare, and all types of civil uprising," had not yet become a topic of scholarly attention, although as Corporation staff noted, the military had been expressing the need for greater understanding in this area. The Corporation supported a small cluster of grants related to the political dimensions of internal conflicts (Princeton's Center of International Studies), the anthropological aspects (Northwestern University), and international legal approaches (American Society of International Law).

Grants to Northwestern University supported Donald Campbell, a professor of psychology there, and Robert LeVine, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, in co-directing a project to bring together as many as twenty psychologists and anthropologists from a variety of universities to "examine the attitudes that approximately 100 different primitive societies, shielded from the complexity of civilization, hold toward their neighbors and themselves." With their findings, the project team aimed to understand the factors that caused intergroup tensions, determine how they might be mitigated, and contribute an anthropological perspective to developing the emerging field of conflict resolution.

Recognizing that international law did not address the concerns generated by internal conflicts, the Corporation asked the American Society of International Law (ASIL) to clarify "what contemporary role, if any, international law could play in regulating international strife." In studies presciently relevant for the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, the Society was supported to organize a panel of legal experts and to commission "a series of studies of actual civil wars (for example, the American civil war and the Congolese) each of which will analyze how laws of war were applied; how much and in what way outside powers intervened; whether and how international organizations were involved; and what role law played in terminating the war and establishing a viable domestic order."

Despite the extensive focus on national security policies, economics and disarmament, international law, and internal conflicts, it is striking that only a couple of grants focused on peace. Two grants each of $75,000 a year over three years supported scholars coming to study and write about peace and international affairs under the auspices of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Another approach to achieving peace caught the imagination of acting president Alan Pifer and his colleagues. In 1967 the World Law Fund received a grant from the Corporation to further discussions on how to promote world order and eliminate war. The Corporation was interested in the four volumes of research that had been published by the World Law Fund, including a book by Richard Falk at Princeton University and Saul Mendlovitz at Rutgers University, The Strategy of World Order. Corporation support enabled them to write two more volumes, one on regionalism and the world order and the other on the individual and the world order.

Complementing this work was a research and writing grant to Richard Gardner, a professor at Columbia University and former deputy assistant secretary of state for international organizations; Gardner was one of the scholars concerned about delineating pathways to redefining the world order.

Read the article in The Carnegie Reporter

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