An Iranian woman wearing a protective mask walks past a mural painted on the outer walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, on Dec. 30, 2020.

What a New Iran Nuclear Deal Really Requires

To get Washington’s Gulf partners on board, Biden needs an actual strategy for protecting them and ways to make them contribute to it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a military parade on Red Square in Moscow on June 24, 2020.

Russia Is in Agony, but Putin’s Dictatorship Is Going Down

Garry Kasparov on why this weekend’s protests may be the beginning of the end of autocracy in Russia.

In a photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense on May 11, 2018, a Taiwanese Air Force fighter jet flies near a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force bomber that reportedly flew over the Luzon Strait south of Taiwan during an exercise.

Beijing’s Welcome Gift to Biden: More Threats and Tensions

If China is seeking a reset of relations, it has a strange way of showing it.

Cars pass beneath an electronic billboard depicting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the phrase “Together we can” in Cairo on Jan. 15.

Sisi’s Last Stand

The Egyptian president enjoyed relative impunity during the Trump years. Now, an uptick in repression at home—and criticism from abroad—may end up spelling his downfall.

A souvenir shop displays Matryoshka dolls featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump in Moscow on Dec. 3, 2019.

You Can’t Blame Russia for Trump

America’s reality TV autocrat was a homegrown creation.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

The Capitol Coup Attempt Was the Far-Right’s Opening Shot

Jan. 6 was a classic example of propaganda by the deed—a revolutionary approach favored by everyone from 19th-century anarchists to Osama bin Laden.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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America and the World: How to Build Back Better

Looking back on 50 years of U.S. foreign policy and the lessons they hold for Washington today.

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A New Pivot to Asia

The fuzzy goodwill between Biden and America’s Asian allies will soon be tested by China’s growing power.

Foreign Policy Begins at Home

The best way for Biden to build better partnerships abroad is to get America’s own house in order—that starts with human rights.

Police detain a protester during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny in Moscow on Jan. 23.

Putin Has Learned From Belarus in Handling the Navalny Protests

The Russian regime has barely started to tap its vast toolkit for violence and intimidation.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (right), Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede (left), and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio talk during a debate prior to a confidence vote in Conte's government in the Senate at Palazzo Madama in Rome on Jan. 19.

Italy Dives Headfirst Into Political Crisis During Pandemic

Conte’s ruling coalition is out—but that may not be the end for the prime minister.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan and Nayef Falah al-Hajraf, the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, on Jan. 5.

The Qatar Blockade Is Over, but the Gulf Crisis Lives On

Efforts at regional reconciliation have done nothing to address the core differences that divide Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas meets with with Jordanian King Abdullah on March 31, 2013 in Ramallah, West Bank.

Don’t Pursue Saudi-Israeli Peace at Jordan’s Expense

The Hashemite Kingdom views custodianship of Jerusalem’s holy sites as a core national interest. Rumors that Riyadh is seeking to displace Amman would humiliate and weaken the Jordanian monarchy and endanger regional security.

André Ventura, the leader of Chega, delivers a speech in Lisbon on Jan. 24.

Was Portugal’s Election a Breakthrough for the Far-Right?

The incumbent president won in a landslide, but a populist right-wing candidate raised eyebrows in a country that has so far avoided extremes.

The president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra

Why Did the Central African Republic Declare a State of Emergency?

The country’s postelection violence threatens a humanitarian catastrophe.

Police control people in the restaurant Schronisko Smakow, on Jan. 18, 2021 at Bukowina Tatrzanska in the Tatra mountains, which was opened on Jan. 17 despite the lockdown.

Poland’s Businesses Are Rejecting Their Lockdown

The Polish government ordered the economy to shut down. Small-business owners organized a mutiny.

An Indian Army convoy carrying reinforcements and supplies drives toward Leh on a highway bordering China in Gagangir, India, on Sept. 2, 2020.

India Can’t Say It Wants U.S. Help Against China

The Sikkim clash and a declassified Indo-Pacific strategy raise tough questions for New Delhi.

Protesters clash with riot police during a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

With Russia Protesting Navalny’s Arrest, Calls Mount to Target Putin’s Inner Circle

The Russian president’s ill-gotten wealth has proved a flash point for mounting nationwide protests, with another planned for next weekend.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits a vaccination facility in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth on Jan. 13.

Israel’s Arabs May Help Netanyahu Avoid Trump’s Miserable Fate

Netanyahu is courting Arab voters in a bid to win the election, curry favor with Biden, save the Abraham Accords, and stay out of prison.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on Feb. 6, 2015.

French Ambassador: EU Working Toward ‘Common Action’ With Biden on Iran, COVID-19

But Philippe Etienne says France won’t surrender its dream of “strategic autonomy.”

Voices

Revelers celebrate news of Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president in Washington on Nov. 7, 2020.

Biden’s Bold Gamble on Immigration Is About America’s Future

Failed immigration reform gave rise to Trumpism. Success could finally cool the debate.

The military honor guard arrives during the 59th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington.

America Needs Protection. So Does the Regime.

The U.S. military secured Joe Biden’s inauguration. But the new administration also needs to treat the armed forces as a potential threat.

President-elect Joe Biden listens as Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken speaks at an event to introduce key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on November 24, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. 

A Face Lift Can’t Fix the State Department

The Biden administration plans a quick reform of American diplomacy—but fixing the rot requires going much bigger.

A statue of a woman by Lebanese artist Hayat Nazer, made out of leftover glass, rubble, and a broken clock marking the time (6:08 PM) of the mega explosion at the port of Beirut is placed opposite to the site of the blast in the Lebanese capital's harbour, to mark the one year anniversary of the beginning of the anti-government protest movement across the country, on October 20, 2020.

Syria’s Hidden Hand in Lebanon’s Port Explosion

Signs are adding up that the explosives in Beirut may have been intended for Damascus.

A FOCUS ON RACE AND FOREIGN POLICY

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Why Is Mainstream International Relations Blind to Racism?

Ignoring the central role of race and colonialism in world affairs precludes an accurate understanding of the modern state system.

Black Lives Matter Protest London

When Did Racism Become Solely a Domestic Issue?

International relations theorists once explored racism. What has the field lost by giving that up?

Then-Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi (R) speaks with presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa (L) and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo (C) in Tripoli on April 10, 2011 during a meeting with a high-ranking African Union delegation trying to negotiate a truce between Qaddafi's forces and rebels seeking to oust him.

By Ignoring African Leaders, the West Paved the Way for Chaos in Libya

A race-based colonial mindset that views the continent as Europe’s playground and dismisses the concerns of Africans continues to fuel death and destruction.

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Why Race Matters in International Relations

Western dominance and white privilege permeate the field. It’s time to change that.

Special insights on the post-pandemic world

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The World After the Coronavirus

Twelve leading thinkers on geopolitics after the pandemic.

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The Future of Travel

Seven predictions for how tourism will change.

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Will Schools and Universities Ever Return to Normal?

Nine experts on the future of education after the pandemic.

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The Future of the State

Ten leading global thinkers on government after the pandemic.

visual stories

A protester carries an upside-down U.S. flag, a sign of distress, next to a burning building in Minneapolis on May 28. Protests broke out all across the nation—and in many other countries, including New Zealand, France, and Spain—over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody three days earlier. Julio Cortez/The Associated Press

Rising Up in Protest: A Year in Photos

Fists raised and voices lifted, people around the world took to the streets in 2020—to stand up against police brutality, demand democracy, and confront other injustices. A look at some of the photos that captured the year’s most defining movements.

A teacher wearing a biosecurity suit as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 works with a girl at a home in Cali, Colombia, on Aug. 4 as part of a local kindergarten’s “teacher at home” program implemented to help children keep in touch with teachers and reduce the emotional impact of isolation. LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images

The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Year in Photos

The coronavirus pandemic—the defining event of 2020—left no corner of the world untouched as it closed down countries, upset economies, and took the lives of nearly 2 million people. A look at some of the powerful images from this historic year.