Our Top Weekend Reads

Britain is becoming like America, the Egyptian government is facing pressure on social media, and sending international students home could undermine U.S. soft power.

A view of the campus of Harvard Business School.
A view of the campus of Harvard Business School.
A view of the campus of Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 8. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

President Donald Trump wants international students to return home if their classes go online in the fall, a move that could undermine U.S. soft power abroad.

Meanwhile, after a series of major policy and electoral victories, Britain’s Conservatives are beginning to resemble American Republicans.

And the Trump presidency displays many of the hallmarks of fascism, including his attempt to use the term to label the opposition.

President Donald Trump wants international students to return home if their classes go online in the fall, a move that could undermine U.S. soft power abroad.

Meanwhile, after a series of major policy and electoral victories, Britain’s Conservatives are beginning to resemble American Republicans.

And the Trump presidency displays many of the hallmarks of fascism, including his attempt to use the term to label the opposition.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


Students at Harvard University
Students at Harvard University

Students at Harvard University in Cambridge on July 8.Anik Rahman/NurPhoto

1. ICE Restrictions on International Students a ‘Self-Inflicted Wound’

A recent announcement by U.S. immigration officials that international students might be forced to leave the country in the fall could undermine one of the United States’ most powerful pillars of economic and soft power, Foreign Policy’s Amy Mackinnon and Augusta Saraiva write.


A man wearing a facemask walks past a billboard featuring Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
A man wearing a facemask walks past a billboard featuring Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

A man wearing a face mask walks past a billboard featuring Britain’s chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove (from left); No. 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

2. Britain Is Becoming America in All the Worst Ways

Between the weaponization of culture wars and rousing the masses against elites, the British Conservative Party is beginning to resemble the U.S. Republican Party, Andrew Brown writes.


An Egyptian anti-government demonstrator sleeps on the pavement under spray paint that reads "Al-Jazeera" and "Facebook" at Cairo's Tahrir square on February 7, 2011.
An Egyptian anti-government demonstrator sleeps on the pavement under spray paint that reads "Al-Jazeera" and "Facebook" at Cairo's Tahrir square on February 7, 2011.

An Egyptian anti-government demonstrator sleeps on the pavement under spray paint that reads “Al Jazeera” and “Facebook” at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Feb. 7, 2011.KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images

3. Egypt’s Social Media Discovered Its Coronavirus Crisis

The Egyptian government would prefer to remain in denial about a recent surge in coronavirus cases, but ordinary Egyptians on social media have forced it to own up to the growing crisis, Ola Salem writes.


U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives for an Independence Day event at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota on July 3, 2020.
U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives for an Independence Day event at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota on July 3, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives for an Independence Day event at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, on July 3.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

4. Trump’s Mount Rushmore Speech Is the Closest He’s Come to Fascism

In a recent speech at Mount Rushmore, Trump tried to position fascism as an ideology of the left, but historians of fascism know that it has always resided firmly on the extreme right, Federico Finchelstein writes.


Workers install a solar panel system on the roof of a home in Palmetto Bay, Florida, on Jan. 23, 2018.
Workers install a solar panel system on the roof of a home in Palmetto Bay, Florida, on Jan. 23, 2018.

Workers install a solar panel system on the roof of a home in Palmetto Bay, Florida, on Jan. 23, 2018.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

5. The Post-Pandemic Economy Could Be Green and Clean—but Not With These Plans

The collapse in economic activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic has prompted calls to make the recovery greener and less carbon-intensive, but current plans for green stimulus programs fail to account for long-term sustainability, Foreign Policy’s Jason Bordoff writes.

Dan Haverty is a former editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @dan_haverty

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