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Great Power Politics

A man in a hard hat watches a conveyor belt loaded with bright blue chunks of raw cobalt.
A man in a hard hat watches a conveyor belt loaded with bright blue chunks of raw cobalt.

How to Avoid a New Cold War Over Critical Minerals

To prevent a return to the zero-sum logic of Cold War resource politics, critical mineral supply chains must be widened at every step.

U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping
U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping

On a U.S.-China Détente, Don’t Believe the Hype

Smiles and handshakes won’t erase Taiwan tensions.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to speak on rebuilding U.S. manufacturing.
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to speak on rebuilding U.S. manufacturing.

Could Venture Capital Be the New Frontier in Great-Power Competition?

In the era of great-power competition, America’s Frontier Fund aims to harness venture capital to advance U.S. strategic interests.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with foreign journalists in Beijing on Oct. 23.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with foreign journalists in Beijing on Oct. 23.

What Xi’s Third Term Means for Africa

Feeling secure with its influence on the continent, Beijing will take a more strategic approach in the years to come.

U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House in Washington on July 12.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House in Washington on July 12.

Hegemony in the Americas Has Been Turned on Its Head

Once-dominant Washington is now beholden to the whims of its smaller neighbors.

Chinese soldiers participate in a drill.
Chinese soldiers participate in a drill.

International Relations Theory Suggests Great-Power War Is Coming

According to IR textbooks, the United States, Russia, and China are on a collision course.

An illustration of China on the precipice of decline as a great power.
An illustration of China on the precipice of decline as a great power.

Is China Declining?

Experts debate the country’s trajectory.

Blinken smiles and waves atop an external staircase in front of an open airplane door showing the Secretary of State's official seal.
Blinken smiles and waves atop an external staircase in front of an open airplane door showing the Secretary of State's official seal.

A Little Great-Power Competition Is Healthy for Africa

U.S.-China competition could benefit Africa by forcing each side to offer what it thinks it is best at.

A photo taken on October 21, 2020 shows a tourist walking past a mural painted on a wall on Taiwan's Kinmen islands, which lie just two miles from mainland China's coast.
A photo taken on October 21, 2020 shows a tourist walking past a mural painted on a wall on Taiwan's Kinmen islands, which lie just two miles from mainland China's coast.

What Does the Pelosi Taiwan Uproar Mean for U.S. China Policy?

The controversy over Nancy Pelosi’s proposed trip highlights the contradictions of U.S. policy toward the island.

A group of older Chinese adults sits on a bench outside chatting.
A group of older Chinese adults sits on a bench outside chatting.

A Shrinking China Can’t Overtake America

But if U.S. democracy continues to decay, what’s the point of being on top?

Putin, Raisi, and Erdogan clasp each others' hands in a line facing toward the camera.
Putin, Raisi, and Erdogan clasp each others' hands in a line facing toward the camera.

Russia Still Has Willing Partners in the Middle East

Despite Moscow’s military shortcomings and Western efforts to make it an international pariah, Vladimir Putin remains a capable player in the region.

Xi and Salman walk side by side, both waving.
Xi and Salman walk side by side, both waving.

China Won’t Replace the U.S. in the Middle East

Beijing remains uninterested in choosing sides in the region’s ongoing power games.

Modi stands alone in front of carpeted steps looking thoughtfully toward flags of India and Japan.
Modi stands alone in front of carpeted steps looking thoughtfully toward flags of India and Japan.

Cold War 2.0 Is Ushering In Nonalignment 2.0

Countries in the developing world don’t want to choose sides—and don’t feel they have to.

From left to right, front to back row: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio, and Liberian President George Weah attend a group photo session during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2018.
From left to right, front to back row: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio, and Liberian President George Weah attend a group photo session during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2018.

What the U.S. Still Doesn’t Get About Countering China

Self-interest, not altruism, is driving Beijing to invest in the global south.

A US-made CH-47 helicopter flies an 18-meter by 12-meter national flag at a military base in Taoyuan on September 28, 2021.
A US-made CH-47 helicopter flies an 18-meter by 12-meter national flag at a military base in Taoyuan on September 28, 2021.

The Real Stakes of Taiwan

It’s not about democracy. It’s about power.

Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.
Soldiers of the P18 Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Army camouflage an armoured vehicle during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17.

What Are Sweden and Finland Thinking?

European leaders have reassessed Russia’s intentions and are balancing against the threat that Putin poses to the territorial status quo. 

china-decline-deena-so-oteh-illustration-hp
china-decline-deena-so-oteh-illustration-hp

The Dangers of China’s Decline

As China’s economic miracle fades, its leaders may become more inclined to take risks.

A man walks next to the debris of a destroyed Russian tank near the village of Zalissya, northeast of Kyiv, on April 12.
A man walks next to the debris of a destroyed Russian tank near the village of Zalissya, northeast of Kyiv, on April 12.

The Ukraine War Doesn’t Change Everything

Russia’s war marks the definitive end of America’s unipolar moment and returns the world to a state best explained by realism.

Smoke rises from a military airport near Kharkiv, Ukraine, as the Russian invasion begins — Europe's 9/11.
Smoke rises from a military airport near Kharkiv, Ukraine, as the Russian invasion begins — Europe's 9/11.

Putin’s War Is Europe’s 9/11

The continent has finally woken up to the necessity of hard power.

Olaf Scholz looks on during a press conference after a meeting between German State Premiers on November 18, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Olaf Scholz looks on during a press conference after a meeting between German State Premiers on November 18, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.

The Gold Medal for Foreign Policy Goes to Germany

Berlin’s approach to the world is far better than its reputation.

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