Tag international politics

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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The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Owen Bennett-Jones— At around 1 a.m. on 27 December 2007 Benazir Bhutto was told someone would try to kill her that day. The warning came from no lesser a source than the director general of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Despite the late hour, Lieutenant General Nadeem

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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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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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How Europe’s and China’s Cold War Exits Shape Today

Kristina Spohr — It is striking that hardly anybody in East or West in the late 1980s foresaw or imagined the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, let alone the demise of the USSR itself. Instead, the public discourse of the time, especially in America, was dominated by predictions of an impending

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How Ethnic Conflict Happens

Pascal Boyer— Nations are often based on ethnicity, but ethnicity itself is a mystery, or it should be. Ethnicity is the notion that a certain group of people share common interests and should unite toward the realization of common goals, by virtue of shared traditions, often language, and in most

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Spreading Democracy Will Not Produce Peace

John J. Mearsheimer— Many in the West, especially among foreign policy elites, consider liberal hegemony a wise policy that states should axiomatically adopt. Spreading liberal democracy around the world is said to make eminently good sense from both a moral and a strategic perspective. For starters, it is thought to

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The End of Europe?

James Kirchick— As you read this, Europe is undergoing convulsions greater than anything it has experienced in decades. Just five years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the European Union, one of the most ambitious political projects in history, is crumbling. Threatening its very existence is the convergence of several

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Rabin’s Peace Policy

Itamar Rabinovich— On July 26, 1994, Prime Minister Rabin and King Hussein spoke to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, and on July 30 they signed an agreement in Washington ending the state of war between Jordan and Israel. It was an interim step leading the way to a

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