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1 Mar 2009

Letter from the Editor: Spring 2009

I n Ian McEwan’s Saturday , the complacent protagonist wonders at the Western metropolis around him—“millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining themselv ...

5 Jan 2015

State of Mind: A Future Russia

Change will come to today’s nationalistic and conspiratorial Russia, but when, how, and what it will mean are yet unknown in a country whose leaders frequently boast of their nuclear arsenal.

The Surrealism of Realism: Misreading the War in Ukraine

When Ukraine started grabbing headlines a year ago, more than a few scholars began writing as if they were experts on the country. Trouble is, they were merely self-serving realists.
30 Dec 2012

What’s Next for Georgia? The End of the Rose Revolution

President Saakashvili’s very undemocratic policies and practices in Georgia may have not been acknowledged in the US, but his party’s recent electoral trouncing suggests his citizens well understood.
3 Jan 2012

Afghanistan Now: ‘The People Do Not Want to Go Back’

Terry Glavin's new book shows a side of Afghanistan many Westerners have never seen—and makes a strong case for continuing to help the troubled country.
9 Apr 2014

Georgia in the Shadow of Putin

After watching the blowback from a failed EU pact engulf Ukraine, Georgia's leadership appears to be quietly moving toward an accession agreement with the support of Brussels.
31 Oct 2014

A Sad State of Affairs: The Kerry Record

The secretary of state’s one-sided, wrong-headed, and ill-fated attempt to negotiate an Israel-Hamas deal this summer should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his track record.
5 Jan 2015

Great Power Conflict: Will It Return?

The centennial of the Great War is a fitting time to remember that wars between great powers are not so easily consigned to the past, especially given the makeup of the world today.
12 Sep 2014

Putin Attacks the West's Soft Underbelly

According to Tocqueville, democratic countries have trouble fathoming how un-democratic countries truly operate. Vladimir Putin has crafted his Ukraine policy to capitalize on this weakness.
11 Dec 2014

The Land of Magical Thinking: Inside Putin’s Russia

With the precision of a reporter and the wry wit of a modern novelist, Peter Pomerantsev in his new book lays bare the corruption and insanity (and more) that pervade Russia today.
30 Aug 2013

Pope Francis: Resurrecting Catholicism’s Image?

Pope Francis’s early moves indicate that the first non-European heir to St. Peter’s throne intends to reorient the Church’s style, substance, and priorities. Catholicism’s image may well benefit.
1 Mar 2009

Turkish Delight: A Sour Delicacy

Turkey poses particular problems for the foreigner attempting to make sense of it. Istanbul, especially, appears to be quite Western, and in many ways it is. This seduces the observer into thinking it is more intelligible than it is.

Life On Venus: Europe’s Last Man

Is it true that Western Europeans, after half a century of peace and prosperity, suffer from the kind of moral malaise that Nietzsche warned about, and that Fukuyama and Kagan diagnosed?
2 Sep 2014

Bosnia's Divides, Still Unbridged

Two decades after the Bosnian War, ethnic divisions still dominate politics in a region where Vladimir Putin is subverting the West on a lesser-known front.
31 Oct 2014

The Stubborn South: Why Seoul Needs to Mend Ties with Japan

While Tokyo bulks up against Chinese aggression, South Korea insists on prolonging historical grievances with the Japanese. It’s time for Seoul to put strategic interests first.
17 Jun 2014

Editor’s Introduction

is the panacea Washington, with a naïveté that springs eternal, believes it is. ...

1 May 2011

Lost in the Levant: Lebanon Reappraised

In The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, Beirut Daily Star editor Michael Young offers a timely and beautifully written accounting of Lebanon's struggle for stability amid political and religious diversity and extremism.
1 Sep 2011

Ten Years Later

“Most Americans seem reluctant to rule out the possibility that, throughout the decade now closing, people faced with difficult choices and unprecedented problems largely did what was appropriate and necessary at the time they had to decide and act.”
31 Oct 2014

The Jew of Nations: The Global Demonization of Israel

A new book explores the many reasons why perceptions of Israel have shifted so dramatically over the years, turning the Jewish state from an underdog into a global villain.
26 Apr 2012

Germany and the Euro Crisis: Is the Powerhouse Really So Pure?

The euro myth tells of the Continent’s profligate south and thrifty north, but many EU problems track back to Germany’s aggressive drive for economic dominance.
27 Aug 2014

Strange Bedfellows: Putin and Europe’s Far Right

If Europe’s far-right, pro-Russia parties gain in upcoming national elections, the EU may divide further and find it very difficult to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere.
26 Apr 2012

The Next Greece? A Sketch of Spain

Spain’s austerity efforts and fiscal reforms have produced hopeful but inconclusive results. With Europe’s highest rate of unemployment, Spain remains saddled by a staggering deficit, spiking crime, an unsettled population, and increasingly tense regional divides.
8 Nov 2011

After the Fall: What’s Next for Assad and Syria?

As the brutal Syrian president clings to his aging regime, a number of possibilities lie in store for the country.
28 Feb 2013

What North Africa Wants to Hear from John Kerry

Western countries can help North Africa's long term democratic and economic prospects by trusting that region's citizens will hold their elected leaders accountable in future elections, and not play favorites in the near term.
31 Oct 2014

Abbott Agonistes: Year One for Australia’s Prime Minister

No one expected Tony Abbott to be a Reagan-style fiscal hawk, but conservatives hoped he would at least clean up the mess left by previous governments. One year in, he has yet to make good.
2 Jul 2014

Iraq: Who’s to Blame?

What Iraq needs now is leadership that will recognize the essential importance of accountability and properly represent the many grievances of its bitterly divided factions.
17 Jun 2014

Inside Vladimir Putin’s Mind: Looking Back in Anger

Even if President Putin can show the Russian people inconsistencies in Western foreign policy, it hardly justifies his bizarre desire to remake their country as a new Byzantium.
16 Apr 2014

The Uncertainty of Freedom, and the Freedom of Uncertainty

Questions about law and freedom have haunted societies for centuries, and as past thinkers have concluded, self-limitation seems to be essential to living in a world that prizes both.
27 Aug 2014

Editor’s Introduction

the date for that second vote well past next spring’s election, ...

31 Oct 2012

Libya’s Year One: Life After Qaddafi

Libyans are striving to rebuild their country, but Qaddafi left “a destroyed people” in his wake, in the words of one activist, and it will take time for them to heal themselves.
8 Dec 2011

The Autumn of the US-Russia Reset

A series of Russian transgressions on the international scene this fall all but close the book on Washington's "reset" with Moscow.
28 Feb 2012

It’s Not Just Al-Qaeda: Stability in the Most Dangerous Region

In a region defined by historic and violent divides, hostile intent, and nukes, the US and NATO have no viable alternative but to stay the course. 
27 Aug 2014

Jihad in the Balkans: The Next Generation

Militant Islamists have long had a presence in the Balkans, and many have now traveled to fight in Syria. What happens when they return, battle-hardened, with their European passports?
7 Feb 2014

Russia's Nationalists, the Other Threat in Sochi

While most focus on the Sochi terror threat coming from the North Caucasus region, Russia's extreme nationalists may be just as likely a source.
29 Apr 2013

Pollution in China: The Business of Bad Air

China’s pollution crisis made headlines earlier this year, but some have found a silver lining to the smog. Bad air has become good business, creating demand for products big and small.
3 Jan 2012

Man On A Mission: Bill Browder vs. the Kremlin

After the Kremlin tortured and murdered one of his lawyers for investigating government corruption, Bill Browder began a global campaign to bring justice to Sergei Magnitsky's killers.
1 Jun 2009

The Picture Awaits: The Birth of Modern Counterinsurgency

Ann Marlowe chronicles the origins of counterinsurgency theory.
27 Aug 2014

Yes, Russia Matters: Putin’s Guerrilla Strategy

Russia today is not as strong as the Soviet Union once was, but Vladimir Putin has used energy and financial leverage, along with propaganda, to snatch power from the jaws of weakness.
17 Jun 2014

Putin’s Zugzwang: The Russia-Ukraine Standoff

Vladimir Putin has gotten himself into such a tight spot in Ukraine that the West and its allies must prepare for any possible outcome. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Kyiv will be emboldened as well.
16 Apr 2014

The Once and Future Threat: Al-Qaeda Is Hardly Dead

The Obama administration has made much of the demise of al-Qaeda in recent years, but Osama bin Laden’s network is remarkably resilient—and remains a deadly threat.
1 Jul 2011

Continental Divide: Immigration and the New European Right

Right-wing politics in Europe aren't as reactionary as they've been made out to be.

27 Jun 2012

Entitled to Fail: Inside Italy’s Downward Spiral

As the haze of Silvio Berlusconi’s long tenure begins to clear, it’s obvious that Italy will pay dearly for years of undervaluing private companies’ role in the national economy.
21 Feb 2012

A Note from the Publisher

W orld Affairs was first published in London in 1837. Over the course of a century and a half, the journal, which would later be sponsored by the American Peace Society, was a ready foe of oppression and despotism. It sounded prophetic warnings about the ...

18 Apr 2014

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

What’s next for US foreign policy? Recalibration or retreat? Adjustment or withdrawal? All tough tasks, even in good times; harder still if the world thinks we’re not even up for the fight.

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

America’s image has suffered, but it still represents opportunity to many overseas. No other country is as attractive to migrants, and the US should work to maintain that reputation.
31 Aug 2011

Toward a Smarter Power: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric

The Obama administration is right to increase the civilian role in foreign 
policy, but its “smart power” efforts should be smarter than they are.

26 Feb 2014

Letter from Cuba: To Embargo or Not

Is the US embargo against Cuba a Cold War relic or an effective tool? A recent visit suggests that the Castro regime’s tyrannical imbecility still justifies continued sanctions.
18 Apr 2014

Editor’s Introduction

the staying power of al-Qaeda in the wake of the “Arab Spring,” the departure ...

Brazil’s Troubles: World Cup Runneth Over

When Brazil landed this summer’s World Cup seven years ago, its fortunes were on the up and its leaders intended to showcase their country’s growing importance. Things have not gone as planned.
1 Nov 2010

Shadow Wars: Debating Cyber 'Disarmament'

No less a figure than President Obama has now acknowledged the existence of Web-based warfare. So shouldn't there be cyber war treaties? NPR's Tom Gjelten explores the often nebulous world of cyber 'disarmament.'

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