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01/26/2022 - 01/26/2022 | Hamburg

Has America Come Back? President Biden’s Foreign Policy towards the Global South

With the election of President Joe Biden, the world hoped for the United States’ return to diplomacy, multilateralism, and to a values-based foreign policy. In this GIGA Forum, experts examine US foreign policy in the first year of the Biden administration vis-à-vis Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

On 20 January 2022, US President Joe Biden will have been in office for a year. From the start, his presidency generated much hope worldwide that the US government will resume international cooperation, especially with countries of the Global South. After President Donald Trump’s personalised foreign policy and open cuddling up to authoritarian leaders, the Biden presidency promised a return to diplomacy, multilateralism, and to a more values-based foreign policy.

These hopes are epitomised in President Biden’s much-noted slogan that “America is back” and his pledge to assume “moral leadership.” And indeed, in Biden’s first year in office, the US has returned to the Paris Climate Accords, has hosted a multinational Summit for Democracy, and has facilitated negotiations over regional crises. At the same time, the US continues to make unilateral decisions with tremendous relevance for regional partners, for instance in its withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, in its involvement in Syria, or in its migration policy towards Latin America. Similarly, proposals to lift patents for COVID-19 vaccines, among others for African countries, have not materialised.

This GIGA Event will review US foreign policy in the first year of the Biden administration vis-à-vis Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Is America truly turning back to the Global South? Does President Biden’s foreign policy in these regions differ substantially from his predecessor’s? What new potential for collaboration does it provide, also regarding Europe? What role do values and “moral leadership” play?

Elizabeth Shackelford, JD is a Senior Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Rafael Castro Alegría is a Doctoral Researcher at the GIGA.

Dastan Jasim is a Doctoral Researcher at the GIGA.

Dr. Christian von Soest is Lead Research Fellow and Head of Research Programme “Peace and Security” at the GIGA.

Dr. David Kuehn is a Senior Research Fellow and academic coordinator of the GIGA Forum series at the GIGA.

Information on participating / attending:
We would like to ask you to register for this event. The registration is free of charge.


01/26/2022 16:30 - 01/26/2022 18:00

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German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) - Online Event

Target group:

all interested persons

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Seminar / workshop / discussion




Verena Schweiger


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