2021 Quincy Award Recognizes Move to Democratize U.S. Foreign Policy

When the Quincy Institute was launched in 2019, we committed ourselves to the goal of democratizing U.S. foreign policy. In other words, we believe the United States’ role in the world should be determined by a robust debate that represents the views of the broader public, and not the narrow interests of elites. 

It is America’s elite-driven foreign policy of recent decades that has helped to create our current predicament: an over-militarized approach to the world that drives conflict, wreaks the devastation of war abroad, and fails to deliver benefits for the American people. 

On an institutional level, this stems from the concentration of power over war and peace in the executive branch. Thus, the Quincy Institute has pushed Congress to reclaim its constitutional war powers and to make well-informed, constructive foreign policy decisions.

This past year, we recognized a group of legislators for doing just that.

On December 9, 2021, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft presented its second annual Quincy Award for Responsible Statecraft to Senators Christopher Murphy, Mike Lee and Bernie Sanders, and Representatives Jim McGovern and Peter Meijer. The bipartisan group was chosen in recognition of their championing of legislation that would implement a vital rebalancing of war powers between Congress and the executive, requiring affirmative congressional approval for any future military interventions, emergency declarations, and major arms sales. 

The award, like our organization, is named for John Quincy Adams, the nation’s sixth president and one of its most accomplished diplomats. We established this award in 2020 to honor the individuals or organization whose work has done the most in the preceding year to move U.S. policy away from endless war and toward vigorous and effective diplomacy. Our first award, in December 2020, went to Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her lone vote against an open-ended authorization for war against terrorism, and for her tireless efforts since to repeal that authorization. 

Read the award citation here.