The Marshall Plan has provided essential support for the process of democratic and economic reconstruction in Austria after World War II. Austria has received more financial and other economic support per capita than most other beneficiaries. Funds are continuing to flow into the Austrian economy via the European Recovery Fund.
The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation is primarily an expression of gratitude to the U.S. for the European Recovery Program, which was initiated by U.S. Foreign Minister George C. Marshall in his speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. The Foundation fully supports one of the original intentions of the Marshall Plan, which is to support and intensify exchanges of academics on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, the purpose of the Foundation goes well beyond that. Since the U.S. still leads the world in many fields, including science, research and economics it is important for Austria to closely follow new developments in these areas. The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan endowment established under Austrian law and its activities extend across Austria and the U.S. Contributions to the Foundation originate from several sources and all such contributions are tax deductable under the Austrian Tax Code.
The purpose and mission is to promote, support and further the transatlantic academic partnership, to strengthen research cooperation between Austria and the U.S. and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in the fields of economics and the social sciences. Research projects are carried out in Austria and the U.S. within the framework of guest professorships, conferences, lectures and symposia, as well as research fellowships and awards for scholarly publications. The Foundation supports individuals and institutions working on transatlantic issues and convenes experts to discuss the most pressing transatlantic themes.
The New Orleans Program
In 2000 the 'Marshall Plan Chair for Austrian Studies' was endowed at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana (UNO). This is a revolving chair and every year an Austrian scholar in the social sciences is appointed to fill the chair and teach at UNO for two semesters. Several MP-Chairs at UNO were dedicated to 'regional economic development'.
The rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina is used as a laboratory to study the rebuilding of an entire region after the worst natural disaster in American history. Currently, the chair is held by Dr. Mariam Irene Tazi- Preve, a political scientist focusing on gender and feminist political theory, motherhood and fatherhood, family and population policies, and women and Islam.
The University of California Program
The Foundation also cooperates with the University of California, providing shortterm research grants for faculty in the social sciences and humanities, whose work focuses on political economy. Student grants are awarded throughout UC-campuses and Austrian universities with special preference given to collaborative research projects jointly submitted by researchers from both countries.
UC Berkeley is the lead institution for co-coordinating the program in California. Its Institute for European Studies has been host to numerous visiting fellows and also administers faculty collaborations through this program. The program was established in 2003 by the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation and the University of California, Berkeley, with support from the University of Vienna, to support scholarly collaboration and exchanges of social scientists between California and Austria. The Fund is established to encourage and support original research of the highest quality and new collaborations.
In addition, the Institute for European Studies offers shortterm predissertation and Dissertation Research Grants for University of California graduate students in the social sciences whose work focuses on political economy and has practical importance for economic, political and social issues relevant to Austria and California and more broadly to Europe and the United States.
Marshall Plan Scholarship Program
The Foundation has also created a bilateral student exchange program, throughout the U.S. as a result of the successful partnership with the American universities. As an expression of the appreciation of the Foundation's activities, the Unites States and Austria have reached an agreement to continue supporting this program over a period of ten years for up to 1,000 participants. The focus is on students at Universities of Applied Sciences and Technical Universities, engaged in research in the area of science, technology and engineering. All recipients deliver a research paper in their respective fields.
New Initiative on Central Europe
To support research and related activities focused on Central Europe, a new program was initiated in 2009 between the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University. The activities of an Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor and two Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellows are carried out at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, based at SAIS in Washington, D.C.
Core funding for this program is provided by the Foundation and efforts are made with SAIS to secure further funding for the future. Daniel Hamilton, SAIS professor and founding director of the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, was appointed the first Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor to head the initiative. "We at SAIS are delighted that the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation has decided to underwrite Dr. Hamilton's pioneering leadership in the arena of transatlantic relations," said SAIS Dean Jessica P. Einhorn. "Austria has long had a special relationship with our school, especially through our Bologna Center in Italy. We have enjoyed a standing tradition of collaboration that will enter a new phase with the generous support of a prestigious foundation, whose very name reflects the deep connections between the people of Austria and the United States."
"This grant honors the tremendous legacy of the Marshall Plan and the deep ties that have evolved between the United States, Austria and the people of Central Europe" said Eugen Stark, Director of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, upon announcing the award. "We are also proud to deepen our association with Johns Hopkins University SAIS, which has a distinguished tradition of scholarship and made many contributions to greater transatlantic understanding."
The Marshall Plan Fellows are closely integrated into the research, training, and outreach activities of the Center for Transatlantic Relations (CTR) at SAIS, and participate in CTR events and meetings. Each Fellow is expected to complete a research paper during the period of residence Each year, the Center for Transatlantic Relations and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation identify several themes of particular interest. For 2011-12, the issues include the evolving nature of political parties in Central Europe, the roles and relationships of big and small member states in the European Union, the role of foreign direct investment in Central Europe, as well as Serbia's European future.
Publications and Conferences
The Foundation's network of partners provides a wide scope of topics from all areas of the social sciences. Many of these issues are investigated further through publications and conferences, ranging from the Euro and the recent international financial crisis to migration & development, as well as to the role of universities in society today. Recent publications include the volume Images of the Marshall Plan, which investigates the sophisticated multimedia approach in Marshall Plan public relations and propaganda, and its consistent message of the benefits of productivity and economic reconstruction told in different national contexts by local filmmakers, photographers and poster designers.
Migration and Development - Comparing Mexico-U.S. and Turkey-Europe, is a special edition of migration letters explaining the evolution of Mexico-U.S. and Turkish-EU migration and integration, while investigating the challenges and opportunities facing Mexico and Turkey. What is more, recipients of Marshall Plan scholarships continue to contribute research papers in the areas of science, technology, and engineering; these papers are accessible through the Foundation's web site at www.marshallplan.at
For more information and scholarship opportunities, please visit www.marshallplan.at