A country's foreign policy is often defined less by its elected leader than its behind-the-scenes operators and elder statesmen. Here are four figures setting the global agenda for the world's emerging powers, just as Henry Kissinger set America's for over 50 years.
- By Joshua E. KeatingJoshua E. Keating is an associate editor at Foreign Policy.
LEE KUAN YEW
Position: Former prime minister, current “minister mentor” (a cabinet-level position created specifically for him)
Legacy: After shepherding Singapore to unprecedented economic growth over his 31 years as prime minister, Lee has become an apostle for the Asian model of growth, a mix of economic liberalization and rigid political control.
Lee always said that Singapore’s foreign policy was dictated by its small size — it cannot survive without international and regional cooperation. But the influence of his ideas can be seen in the “peaceful rise” and not so peaceful governance of the world’s most populous country: China.
Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images
Position: Foreign minister
Legacy: A controversial former academic who once compared wealthy countries’ negotiating tactics to those of Joseph Goebbels, Amorim has deftly managed the nigh-impossible balancing act between the United States and Brazil’s leftist neighbors in Venezuela and Cuba while also building Brazil’s alliances with other emerging powers.
Speaking of the alliance with Russia, India, and China, Amorim said, “You have a new configuration of power appearing in the world.… We can’t be conditioned by the views coming from the United States and the EU. We have to look from our own perspective.”
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Country: Saudi Arabia
Position: Former ambassador to Britain and the United States, ex-director of the Saudi foreign-intelligence service
Legacy: As chief of the Saudi kingdom’s external intelligence service, the youngest son of the late King Faisal helped fund and organize the Afghan resistance to the occupying Soviet forces. Working as ambassador to Britain and then the United States in the years following 9/11, Turki emerged as part diplomat, part pundit. He resigned in 2006 but remains an influential advisor in Riyadh and a fixture in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Position: Foreign minister
Legacy: A keen student of history, the brash and outspoken Davutoglu believes in restoring Turkey’s Ottoman glories so that Turkey once again carries weight in the Middle East. Under his guidance, Turkey has strengthened its ties with Arab governments and sought to play the role of mediator in Arab-Israeli conflicts.
At the same time, Davutoglu supports Turkey’s eventual membership in the European Union: “Turkey can be European in Europe and Eastern in the East because we are both,” he says.
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.| Passport |
Isaac Stone Fish is associate editor at Foreign Policy. Previously a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, he wrote stories on such subjects as the Dalai Lama’s effect on international trade, China’s love affair with rogue states, and crystal meth in North Korea. His articles have also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Economist, and the Los Angeles Times.| Passport |