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Category: Foreign Policy

Make the Left Great Again

The West is currently in the midst of an antiestablishment revolt of historic proportions. The Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the election of Donald Trump in the United States, the rejection of Matteo Renzi’s neoliberal constitutional reform in Italy, the European Union’s unprecedented crisis of legitimation—although these interrelated phenomena differ in ideology and goals,…

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Germany’s Trade Surplus: Causes and Effects

On January 25, 2015, in a free election, the Greek people exercised their right to decide the destiny of their country. A majority of the Greeks voted against austerity. SYRIZA, an outspoken left-wing party, came to power. Since that day, many European governments, led by Germany, have stubbornly refused to allow the Greek government to…

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Our Policy Agenda

Since the launch of American Affairs three months ago, a favorite topic of commentators has been the inversion of the usual order of policy journals and political movements: this time, a “populist” political movement achieved power before its theoretical contours or specific agenda had been thoroughly defined. Moreover, this journal, although in many ways provoked by the 2016 campaign, arose independently of the new administration. The extent of any affinity between the two remains to be seen. We are as cognizant of these challenges as even our most impatient critics, and we are in fact grateful that there are so many of the latter…

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Uncivil Religion

Walter McDougall is America’s greatest living historian. His The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age (1985) earned him the Pulitzer Prize. His Promised Land, Crusader State (1997) summarized American foreign policy from the founding to our own time while explaining twentieth-century statesmen’s radical departures from their predecessors. In Freedom Just around the Corner: A New American History, 1585–1828 (2004) and…

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Reclaiming American Realism

Donald Trump entered the White House, in part, on a wave of voter dissatisfaction with the foreign policy the United States has pursued for the past quarter century. More than any other recent candidate, Trump succeeded by linking domestic problems, such as unemployment and crime, to issues of foreign policy, such as border control, international…

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Ukraine: A New Plan

The global system appears to be entering an era much like the early Cold War period, but in a geopolitical situation in which Russia appears to be even more unstable than the former Soviet empire. The Russian Federation now fears the defection of its major allies and has been attempting to stave off its potential…

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Seeing Russia Clearly

As Americans cast their eyes beyond their shores, there is much that bids for their gaze: a dynamic China, steadily expanding its military reach in the South China Sea and beyond; U.S. forces in the Middle East, trying to try to deal a decisive blow to ISIS; a frayed Europe, struggling to keep its union…

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Populist Demagogy and the Fanaticism of the Center

Why has the use of the term “populism” been imposed when we already had at our disposal the term “demagogy,” which seems to designate the same thing? Or are we to think that the new term refers to a new phenomenon, and that the new populism is something different from the old demagogy? To broach the issue, and as a provisional hypothesis, I offer the following…

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Reforming Elites the Confucian Way

Meritocracy has become a theme of great interest in contemporary politics, both in Western and Eastern societies. But attitudes toward meritocracy in the two regions differ sharply. In the West, the concept of an elite constituted by its most intellectually gifted and energetic members came into its own in the later nineteenth century with the adoption by the British government of civil service…

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The New Class War

The Cold War has been followed by the class war. A transatlantic class war has broken out simultaneously in many countries between elites based in the corporate, financial, and professional sectors and working-class populists. Already this transnational class conflict has produced Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency. Other shocks are…

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