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  • Author: Robert Legvold
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Reversing the collapse of U.S.-Russian relations is one of the great tests facing the Obama administration. Among the major powers, Russia is the hard case. And the stakes involved in getting U.S.-Russian relations right are high -- much higher than the leadership of either country has acknowledged or perhaps even realized so far. If the Obama administration can guide the relationship onto a more productive path, as it is trying to do, it will not only open the way for progress on the day's critical issues -- from nuclear security and energy security to climate change and peaceful change in the post-Soviet area -- but also be taking on a truly historic task. One of the blessings of the post-Cold War era has been the absence of strategic rivalry among great powers, a core dynamic of the previous 300 years in the history of international relations. Should it return, some combination of tensions between the United States, Russia, and China would likely be at its core. Ensuring that this does not happen constitutes the less noticed but more fateful foreign policy challenge facing this U.S. president and the next.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Soviet Union
  • Author: Max Boot
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- To defeat piracy in centuries past, governments pursued a more active defense at sea and a political solution on land. The current piracy epidemic off the coast of East Africa requires many of the same tactics.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine, East Africa
  • Author: Bertil Lintner
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Over the past three years, Thailand has lived through a military coup, six prime ministers, and widespread civil unrest. The ongoing crisis grabbed headlines last year when protesters occupied two international airports, and it culminated this April in violent clashes in Bangkok. Observers have wondered how what was once such a promising democracy could devolve so quickly.
  • Political Geography: Thailand
  • Author: Ethan B. Kapstein
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In one of the great ironies of history, Africa may well emerge from the current global recession as the only region in the world that remains committed to global capitalism. While the tired industrialized nations of the West are nationalizing their banks and engaging in various forms of protectionism, Africa remains open for business -- promoting trade, foreign direct investment, and domestic entrepreneurship. Analysts in the industrialized countries are concerned that foreign aid flows to Africa might drop because of the recession, but Africans themselves are much more worried about rising barriers to their exports and diminishing private investment from abroad, which could impede the continuation of the impressive economic progress the continent has made over the past decade. It is still a well-kept secret that the African continent has been in the midst of a profound economic transformation. Since 2004, economic growth has boomed at an average level of six percent annually, on par with Latin America. This rate will undoubtedly decline as a result of the global financial crisis, but the International Monetary Fund still projects growth of around 1.5 percent for this year and four percent for 2010 throughout Africa -- a relatively healthy figure by today's depressing standards. International trade now accounts for nearly 60 percent of Africa's GDP (far above the level for Latin America), and foreign direct investment in Africa has more than doubled since 1998, to over $15 billion per year. Overall, private-sector investment constitutes more than 20 percent of GDP. Furthermore, since 1990, the number of countries with stock markets in sub-Saharan Africa has tripled and the capitalization of those exchanges has risen from virtually nothing to $245 billion (that is, outside of South Africa, which has long had an active stock exchange). These "frontier" markets have, until recently, given investors huge returns compared to those found in other emerging economies.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Steven Simon
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Two new books offer insightful analyses of how to succeed in Afghanistan. But the sheer difficulty of the task points to the need for an alternative strategy -- one that defends U.S. interests without trying to rebuild a shattered country.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Walter Russell Mead
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: George Herring's well-written and lively book may turn out to be one of the last attempts by a leading scholar to compress a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the United States' foreign relations into a single volume.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edward Luce
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nandan Nilekani has produced one of the best and most thought-provoking books on India in years.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, India
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Daniel Deudney, Ronald Inglehart, zar Gat, Christian Welzel
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Two recent articles in these pages -- "The Myth of the Autocratic Revival [1]" (January/February 2009) and "How Development Leads to Democracy [2]" (March/April 2009) -- have taken issue with my July/August 2007 essay, "The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers [3]." In the first, Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry dispute my argument that the authoritarian capitalist great powers Germany and Japan were defeated in both world wars largely because of contingent factors rather than structural inefficiencies. As I have argued, these countries were too small in comparison to the United States. With respect to the challenge posed by China and Russia, Deudney and Ikenberry insist that developed nondemocratic capitalist societies will not be viable in the long run.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Germany
319. Get Smart
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- Leslie Gelb's skepticism of "smart power" is misguided; it is only by combining the strategies of both hard and soft power that the United States can achieve its ends.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas Culora, Andrew Erickson
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Robert Kaplan ("Center Stage for the Twenty-first Century," March/April 2009) correctly underscores the Indian Ocean's strategic importance. But in envisioning "dynamic great-power rivalry" between Beijing and New Delhi there, he is too pessimistic about the United States' ability to maintain influence, too optimistic about China's ability to exert influence rapidly, and too dismissive of India's inherent regional advantages.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, New Delhi