From the Print Issue: Winter 2020-21

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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.

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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.

Top Stories

The American Far-Right Is Dangerous but Disorganized

Despite murderous ambitions and abundant guns, the Capitol assault was a failure.

Trump Mounts Last-Minute Attempt to Starve Funding for Foreign Aid, Global Vaccine Efforts

But it’s unlikely lawmakers will cut billions of dollars of already appropriated funding.

As Merkel Prepares to Step Down, the Future of German Conservatism Is Open

The three men standing to take over as chair of the CDU will take the party in strikingly different directions.

The National Stadium, the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Tokyo Wants the Olympics to Happen Even if the Public Doesn’t

The Japanese government is locked into what critics call a misguided project.

Activist Stella Nyanzi is arrested by police officers at a protest for more government food distribution amid the coronavirus lockdown in Kampala, Uganda, on May 18, 2020.

Uganda’s Chief Provocateur

Through radical protest, Stella Nyanzi has become a thorn in long-serving President Yoweri Museveni’s side. Now, she could be headed to parliament.

A Swiss soldier stands at attention in front of a Swiss flag in Bern, Switzerland, on Sept. 8, 2010.

The End of Swiss Neutrality

Taking a seat on the U.N. Security Council would clash with some fundamental tenets of Swiss foreign policy.

Police officers detain a woman wearing a T-shirt reading "Freedom to Safronov" in Moscow

Russia’s Security Agencies Are Both Terrifying and Incompetent

The ineptitude of the FSB sends a message about how powerful it is.

The U.S. Capitol, behind security fencing, on Jan. 10, 2021 in Washington.

A Chastened America Will Be Better at Preaching Abroad

There’s never been a better time for the United States to promote democracy around the world.

Police erect barricades in anticipation of a protest outside Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco on Jan. 11.

Jan. 6 Changed Tech Forever

Silencing @realDonaldTrump was the easy part. Now the hard work begins.

Members of the National Guard rest in the Capitol Visitor’s Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Jan 13.

Democracy at Home and Democracy Promotion Abroad Aren’t the Same

Hypocrisy has long been a component of U.S. foreign policy. The Capitol riot doesn’t change that.

William Burns, the then-undersecretary of state for political affairs, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on March 17, 2011.

Under Burns, the CIA Gets a New Focus

Biden’s pick for the agency’s director shows that diplomacy is back.

United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power speaks during a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting on the situation in Syria, at the United Nations September 25, 2016 in New York. 
(Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden Names Former U.N. Envoy to Head USAID, Beefs Up Asia Staff

Samantha Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., will seek to revive a troubled agency, while Obama-era veterans Kurt Campbell and Ely Ratner get top Asia jobs.

The headquarters of Danske Bank, under investigation for money laundering, in Copenhagen on Sept. 25, 2018.

Biden Can’t Fight Corruption Without Help From Europe

To stop drug traffickers, criminals, and kleptocrats from laundering their loot, the United States and EU must join forces.

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The Biden Transition

All the new hires and plans in one place. Click to read FP’s coverage on a fraught transfer of power.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo Is Trying to Bluff His Way to a Legacy

Even insurrection didn’t interrupt a tour de force of Twitter bragging.

Employees of Indian education technology startup BYJU's work on app content in Bangalore, India, on Jan. 10, 2019.

Bengaluru Is the New Shenzhen as Apps Displace Devices

In the global internet economy, India’s tech industry has a leg up on China’s.

A man in a Donald Trump mask joins a Mariachi Band and an immigration rights activists rally in front of the White House on June 5, 2018 in Washington.

Never Give Strongmen a Second Chance

Latin American history offers a clear lesson to the United States: Ban Donald Trump from running for election ever again.

Voices

Donald Trump shouts at members of the media as he returns to the White House on October 3, 2019 in Washington.

How to Know You’ve Lost Your Grip on Reason

Five warning signs that your political views no longer fulfill the most basic of democratic criteria.

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington.

The Trump Mob Combined the Worst of Left And Right

The president’s supporters are full of sound and fury, signifying far less than they claim.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani pose before they participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords where the countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recognize Israel, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Sept. 15, 2020.

Israel and the Emirates Are the Middle East’s New Best Friends

The Abraham Accords didn’t just seal a wary detente. It cemented Israel’s first regional partnership.

The first Saudi citizen preparing to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine in the capital Riyadh on Dec. 16, 2000, as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry.

America’s Vaccine Diplomacy Is AWOL in the Middle East

China and Russia are spreading their vaccines—and forging new ties—to some of Washington’s closest allies.

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

Thousands of women hold green scarves—a symbol of their fight—as they demand the decriminalization of abortion during a protest at Argentina’s National Congress in Buenos Aires on Feb. 19. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Dr. Joseph Varon comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26.  Go Nakamura/Getty Images

The Global 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.