March/April 2013

This issue of World Affairs continues to monitor the stirrings and maneuverings in Asia that have come to resemble a three-dimensional chess match with two wary adversaries—China and the United States, interdependent and intertwined at some levels and competitive and antagonistic at others—engaging in a slow-motion diplomatic contest that is likely to determine the global balance of power for generations to come.  As you know from reading our journal over the past few years, the main ingredients in this fateful encounter have been China’s breathtaking economic rise over the past quarter century and, in more recent years, the decidedly blunt and aggressive exercise of the political, economic, and military leverage that has accompanied that rise. ... Read More

Burma’s Taste of Freedom

Burma’s new leaders have introduced genuine but tentative reforms that have sparked a new optimism among the youth and a level of public discourse unthinkable only a year ago.

The Rise and Decline of Erdogan’s Grand Vision

Prime Minister Erdogan’s aspirations to restore Turkey’s national glory and to unify the Islamic world have been unhinged by rebellion in Syria and the region’s ferocious rivalries and inflexible dogma.

The Politics of Apology: Hollande and Algeria

France and Algeria have always had a close but tense relationship. Today the two find common cause fighting Islamists, yet the ghosts of their colonial past continue to haunt the present.

Cuba’s Health-Care Diplomacy

Cuba’s regime might look like a relic of the Cold War, but one of its longstanding programs—outsourcing health-care professionals to other countries—remains alive and well.

Asia’s Next Tigers?

Fifty years ago, Burma, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines seemed ready to boom economically. Yet takeoff never happened. Could they now be on the path of recovery and growth?

The Hazards of Optimism in Foreign Policy

Two years after the Arab Spring, it’s clear that an optimism bias blinded US opinion and foreign policy makers to the complex realities in the Middle East.

The Kremlin’s London Lobby

The London-based Conservative Friends of Russia flamed out as quickly as it flared up last year, but its crash exposed the Russian Embassy’s unseemly (and ongoing) effort to coddle Tory politicians.

The Origins of ‘Big Government’: FDR’s Welfare or Warfare?

Political historian James Sparrow’s persuasive new book argues that, contrary to traditional accounts, it was World War II, not the New Deal, that created today’s “big government.”