U.S. in the World - Talking Global Issues with Americans: A Practical Guide
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About the Guide


U.S. in the World supports the work of advocates of pragmatic, principled, effective, and collaborative U.S. engagement in the world. It draws on the latest communications research and the insights of experts to outline convincing facts and arguments, and offer effective ways to put them across to non-expert American audiences.

The Guide flows from a straightforward core vision: an informed, empowered citizenry is needed to encourage policymakers to support the sustained investment, involvement and leadership needed from the United States to tackle 21st-century challenges effectively. Advocates and experts alike need reliable, cutting-edge advice on how to communicate those ideas to citizens. Read the "Introduction: Why A Guide?" by Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Stephen Heintz and Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson.


The guide is for issue advocates, foreign policy experts, community activists, professional communicators, elected officials, educators and anyone who wants to talk with other Americans directly or through the media about U.S. foreign policy. It is designed to help those who already know the issues well and could benefit from expert experience on how to engage a large segment of the public.

The Guide provides practical support for single-issue causes and a shared vision for the U.S. role in the world. Broken down into general themes and a number of specific foreign policy issues, the guide features compact summaries of core arguments, messaging recommendations and sample answers to frequently asked questions. Review the Table of Contents.


The guide, co-published by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The Aspen Institute, is the product of a two year collaborative process involving input from hundreds of experts and advocates on US foreign policy, public opinion and communications. The messaging recommendations draw on a large, varied body of research by communications and public opinion experts who use a range of techniques—polling, focus groups, cognitive analysis, media content analysis, and more—to understand what and how Americans think about foreign policy issues.

Recommendations are meant to help users make issues more understandable to a diverse cross-section of Americans who pay attention to news, get involved in their communities, and vote—but who do not track foreign policy issues closely and do not hold ideologically rigid views. Read about the Contributors and Methodology.


The founding task force members of the U.S. in the World network invite you to be part of a growing community of individuals and organizations dedicated to encouraging more U.S. citizens to learn about global challenges, arming them with questions that will enable them to evaluate America's choices and inspiring them to play a role in solutions. This site also aims to help you connect with others who share similar interests and goals.

Click here to watch a 4-minute introductory video to the guide: Windows Media |  Real |  Quicktime

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