The Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut aims to establish and maintain a world-class locus of activity and exchange of ideas for an interdisciplinary community of researchers, teachers, students and others in the Middle East interested in building further understanding of American institutions and practices (political, social, economic, cultural) and the complex contextual realities in which these institutions and practices have developed and currently exist. CASAR's mission has three specific components:
- the TEACHING component aims to provide students with basic knowledge about American institutions and practices in an interdisciplinary way;
- the RESEARCH component aims to promote interdisciplinary research and academic exchange on a range of topics, with particular attention to exploring the Arab-American Encounter through historical and contemporary perspectives, using both descriptive and comparative analytical frameworks;
- the OUTREACH component aims to facilitate an open exchange of ideas and to enhance understanding among local, regional, and international communities (both academic and non-academic) with respect to American institutions and practices in context, as well as all aspects of the Arab-American encounter.