What we do

AJI pursues its mission through three complementary sets of efforts that emphasize its core goals of supporting historically informed research produced by emerging voices at the intersection of academia and the public square, providing rising scholars with the professional tools to ensure their success, as well as engaging policymakers and analysts in conversation on contemporary issues of strategy and statecraft.

Supporting a New Generation of Aspiring Scholar-Practitioners

The centerpiece of AJI’s work is its financial support of its fellows as they begin their scholarly careers. AJI’s two-year post-doctoral fellowships and four-year pre-doctoral fellowships offered across its four academic partner institutions are among the most generous and comprehensive offered in the humanities and social sciences in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

By investing in people, AJI aims to advance historically minded work on the broad subjects of statecraft and diplomacy by providing its affiliates with the time to produce thoughtful, deeply researched books, monographs, journal articles, dissertations, and essays. The diverse perspectives and interests of AJI’s fellows can shape wider conversations about history, policy, and international politics, advancing the state of the field and informing solutions to pressing global problems.

“AJI is an exciting opportunity for us to develop a rising generation of talented doctoral students and early-career scholars through a collaborative and supportive international cohort that will strengthen our collective ability to address pressing international problems.”

Dr. Maeve Ryan and Professor John Bew, Co-Directors of the Centre for Grand Strategy

Training Rising Researchers to Engage the Wider Public

AJI’s network is also uniquely positioned to train and bolster its fellows as they work to engage the wider public. Through conferences, seminars, teaching workshops, writing retreats, and conversations with current and former senior policymakers, academics, and editors, aims to forge a vibrant intellectual community capable of “bridging the gap” between scholarship and practice.

By providing a supportive environment to develop skills, refine arguments, and engage with those outside the university who deal with the problems of statecraft every day, AJI offers its affiliates with the opportunity to become confident publicly engaged intellectuals who never lose sight of the practical importance of their work.

“We are thrilled to be part of a community who share our passion and commitment to conducting historically-informed thinking and policymaking and to reviving the study of statecraft and diplomacy.”

Dr. Frank Gavin, Director The Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

Convening Leading Global Voices in Policy Dialogue

In addition to these educational endeavors, AJI serves as a focal point for dialogue between its senior affiliates and their networks on contemporary policy debates and developments on the international stage.

Drawing on the intellectual capital of its partner institutions and the unique assets of Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit, AJI supports public events organized by its academic partners and private roundtables between policymakers, senior scholars, and analysts of foreign policy. AJI’s global network and presence on both sides of the Atlantic ensures that these gatherings offer opportunities to freely exchange ideas, debate solutions, and arrive at a deeper understanding of international politics.

AJI’s study groups are central to this effort. The Europa Programme  convenes a select group of scholars and policymakers to discuss Europe’s role in major developments in global affairs. This includes the war in Ukraine, the rise of China, and relations between major European, Asian, and North American powers. The World Order Programme provides a similar forum to discuss a range of historical and contemporary geopolitical issues with the aim of fostering improved policy planning.

AJI also runs the Engelsberg Applied History Programme. Launched in 2018, as a partnership between the Centre for Grand Strategy at King’s College London and the Centre for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit, it is today an integral part of AJI’s efforts in the field of Applied History and historically informed statecraft. It has developed a shared programme of seminars, public lectures, and conferences to support a research agenda focused on historically informed policy.