The Intermestic Policy Initiative

Too often, Washington foreign policy discussions are divorced from the lived experiences of Americans.

The esoteric language of policymakers and think tank scholars typically begins with existing national security policy, recommending modest departures from it, and is often limited to ongoing debates within established policy circles without consideration of actual and potential outcomes for Americans.

The result is the sense – often articulated by constituents – that foreign policy does not affect their lives or has been captured by corrupt, distant elites.

As the public’s trust in DC-based policymakers and institutions dwindle, Washington must reckon with deteriorating support for principled internationalist foreign policy – the enlightened self-interest that has guided U.S. foreign policy with such success in the eight decades following the Second World War.

That’s why Foreign Policy for America Foundation (FPAF) launched the Intermestic Policy Initiative – to explore issues that crosscut the traditional boundaries of foreign and domestic policy, to better understand how these issues impact Americans’ lives, and to engage local stakeholders across the country in meaningful conversation about U.S. foreign policy.

The Report

We put together the Intermestic Policy Initiative Report, summarizing what we learned engaging local communities across America on five key intermestic issues – immigration, democracy and human rights, climate change, economic policy, global health – and outlining several considerations for DC policymakers based on those local perspectives.

“We believe that foreign policy should not be an abstract exercise but a collaborative endeavor that acknowledges the interdependencies between local communities, regions, and the broader global landscape.”

— Kristina Biyad Hear this quote in context Outreach Director, Foreign Policy for America