International Relations

Candidate portraits by uli knörzer for Foreign Policy

For the 2020 Democrats, It’s America First, Too

The slate of Democratic candidates includes two Rhodes scholars, two ex-soldiers, and a former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But don’t count on them to resurrect a Pax Americana.

A woman walks next to posters commemorating the 60th anniversary of France's famous comic characters Asterix and Obelix in Paris on Oct. 9.

Can Comics Save International Relations?

Academics need to get better at reaching non-experts. Narrative media offer one possibility.

A convoy of U.S. armored vehicles in northeastern Syria on Nov. 3. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Realists Are Wrong About Syria

Neither Trump nor the international relations experts who cheered his choice to withdraw U.S. troops have wrestled adequately with the costs of departure.

Frames of Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are display in a photo shop in Beijing on April 17, 2017.

Democracy Is Fighting for Its Life

Around the world, political freedom isn’t just slipping away—it’s getting dragged down by fervent enemies.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with China's President Xi Jinping on November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China.

Asia Has Three Possible Futures

The competition between the United States and China will decide the continent’s fate—and one of them has a head start.

The Transamazonica Road (BR-230) near Medicilandia in Para State, Brazil, on March 13.

Who Will Save the Amazon (and How)?

It's only a matter of time until major powers try to stop climate change by any means necessary.

A man on a rooftop looks at approaching flames on May 3, 2013, near Camarillo, California.

Be Afraid of the World, Be Very Afraid

Five global problems that are getting worse—and may never get better.

A fortune-telling fairground attraction bearing the likeness of Donald Trump stands at Washington Square Park in New York on Oct. 14, 2016. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States Will Be Shocked by Its Future

The only thing that’s clear about the changing world order is that Americans can shape their role in it—and that they’re likely to mess it up.

A security guard walks past a welcoming banner at Pristina International Airport prior to the arrival of the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Kosovo on May 21, 2009. (Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images)

America Is Wide Open for Foreign Influence

If you’re an outsider with a political agenda, there’s no better country to target than the United States.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

5 Very Important Things About the World Nobody Knows

The future will be determined by a handful of big questions that don’t yet have answers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tours the German submarine, U33, on Aug. 31, 2006 in Warnemuende, Germany. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Why Some Countries Are Pathologically Shy

Six reasons some powerful states punch below their weight for lengthy periods.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People on Nov. 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Thomas Peter/Getty Images)

Everything You Know About Global Order Is Wrong

If Western elites understood how the postwar liberal system was created, they’d think twice about asking for its renewal.

A skydiver with the American flag in tow in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sept. 23, 2018. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

America Has a Commitment Problem

Eight reasons that Washington has repeatedly made the mistake of making promises around the world it can’t keep.

An American flag is attached to the boardwalk damaged by Superstorm Sandy, on Nov. 24, 2012 in Ortley Beach, New Jersey.  (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rising Tides Will Sink Global Order

Global warming will produce national extinctions and international insurgencies—and change everything you think you know about foreign policy.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during a state funeral for former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Brandon/Getty Images)

The Death of Global Order Was Caused by Clinton, Bush, and Obama

America’s post-Cold War presidents could have taken a road that didn’t end at Donald Trump.

Clouds above the Shanghai skyline on July 31, 2014. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

A Preview of Your Chinese Future

China’s vision of world order is a more radical departure—and more realistic alternative—than the West understands.

Demonstrators hold flags and chant slogans during a protest in front of the Istanbul courthouse in support of Turkish-German journalist Adil Demirci during his trial on Nov. 20. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

The West Has Abandoned Liberals Like Me

As the United States and Europe debate the demise of global order, people in forgotten corners of the world are still risking their lives for freedom.

A man dressed as Pinocchio holds a sign during a protest march against the US president and the Belgian Prime Minister in the city center of Brussels on May 24, 2017. (BRUNO FAHY/AFP/Getty Images)

Does It Matter That Trump Is a Liar?

World leaders have never really trusted each other—but the president's behavior undermines American foreign policy anyway.

Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, U.S. President Harry Truman, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the conference to negotiate the future of Europe after World War II in Potsdam, Germany on July 23, 1945. (AFP/Getty Images)

Why I Didn’t Sign Up to Defend the International Order

The world needs new institutions for a new era—and nostalgia for a past that never existed won't help.