Political Science

Idi Amin and the Uses of Political Buffoonery

Mark Leopold— From the beginning of my research into the life of the notorious Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, I noticed the frequency with which contemporary commentators (especially but not only British ones) described him as a “buffoon.” So I was interested when, sometime around 2015, the same word became increasingly applied,

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Looking to the Past to Find Ourselves

Michael Hattem– For a few decades, American history has played a prominent role in the most current iteration of culture wars in the United States. We saw this most recently in some of the ways that President Trump motivated his base in the 2020 presidential election. These included holding “the

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Is Equality Self-Evident?

Robert A. Dahl— In words that were to become famous throughout the world, in 1776 the authors of the American Declaration of Independence an­nounced: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among

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The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Internationalism

G. John Ikenberry— Liberal internationalism was born in the nineteenth century, and by the century’s end it had begun to crystallize into a recognizable school of thought—a distinctive cluster of ideas and agendas for organizing international relations. The intellectual roots of this tradition trace back to the Enlightenment and the

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Djibouti: the Great Power Frontier

Geoffrey F. Gresh— During a recent trip to Djibouti, I was invited to a luncheon following a lecture I delivered on the western Indian Ocean at the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) local headquarters by a commander of Italy’s military base. Along with the Italians, my luncheon partners for this special

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The Future of International Order

Rebecca Lissner and Mira Rapp-Hooper— Foreign policy elites have reached a near-consensus that the liberal international order led by the United States since World War II is fraying, as its institutions, laws, and norms are growing less effective and its principles of free markets, democracy promotion, constraints on the use

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US Dominance is Over, but China Won’t Take its Place

Paola Subacchi— With President Trump at the helm, the United States has been a controversial and divisive leader whose actions have been detrimental for the international order. Indeed, Trump’s presidency has entailed more than the United States retreating from its role as the international leader as it has also become an active force

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Improving Disaster Readiness Worldwide

Courtney Durham— Considering the current impediments to disaster risk reduction and growing risk from climate change, a number of policies can help nations shift the balance from reactivity to proactivity. First, disaster managers should build contingency plans for a variety of disaster scenarios, drawing on the Sendai Framework for Disaster

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Mapping America’s Recovery

Andrew Imbrie— Imagine a country laid low by foreign wars, ravaged by plague, and weakened by political dysfunction, economic recession, and multiple bankruptcies. Instead of preparing for the future, its leaders engage in fierce disputes over the balance of trade, wage bitter debates over religion and immigration, and stoke tensions

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The White Evangelical Alliance with Donald Trump

Thomas S. Kidd— From Eisenhower to Romney, white evangelical voters had supported Republican candidates who seemed to model personal dignity and respect for religion, even if they did not have evangelical bona fides. At times Republican evangelicals have been credulous about Republican candidates, especially Richard Nixon. But 2016 found white

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