Soft Power

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a public meeting at Jerenga Pathar in Assam, India, on Jan. 23.

Modi Spent India’s Soft Power—and Got Little in Return

The prime minister has decided that international criticism is a price worth paying for pursuing his domestic agenda, but he shouldn’t be so sure.

China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump review the Chinese honor guards during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.

How Trump’s Assault on International Organizations Benefits Beijing

The United States was already fighting with China for influence at global organizations, but the pandemic made everything worse.

Members of BTS attend the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards at Nagoya Dome in Nagoya, Japan, on Dec. 4, 2019.

China Backs Off From Fight With K-Pop Fans

South Korea’s soft power should be a model for Beijing.

Paramilitary police march near the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, China.

COVID-19 Might Not Change the World

Pandemics are not always transformative events. While some worrying preexisting trends could accelerate, it’s incorrect to assume that the coronavirus will end globalization, kill liberal democracy, or enhance China’s soft power.

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit look at an artic map of the world with the museum official Kasia Majewski at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, Nov. 7, 2016.

All Great-Power Politics Is Local

When it comes to building international power, there’s growing reason to think that foreign policy barely matters.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres meets Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2018.

China’s Soft-Power Grab

Beijing is ramping up support for U.N. and a host of other international organizations, racking up more influence even as Washington is in headlong retreat.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Igor Sechin during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 1, 2019. Among the powerful businessmen and officials with whom Putin surrounds himself is Sechin, a former KGB agent in East Africa who worked as Putin’s secretary in the 1990s and is now the head of state-owned oil giant Rosneft. ALEXEI DRUZHININ/AFP via Getty Images

How Putin and the KGB Took Control of Russia—and Duped the West

An important new book details the carefully calculated rise of a modern-day tsar.

Two members of the National Guard walk past at the World War II Memorial as protests against police brutality and racism take place

It’s Not Just Trump. The World Worries America Is Broken.

Protests against police brutality and systemic racism highlight what is seen as the United States’ accelerated decline.

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No, the Coronavirus Will Not Change the Global Order

We should be skeptical toward claims that the pandemic changes everything. China won’t benefit, and the United States will remain preeminent.

posh-britain-decoder-sign-article

British Elites Know Who Isn’t Quite Their Type

The term “posh” appeals to foreigners, but the British know there are teeth underneath the smile.

Women wave a Lebanese national flag and Lebanese Shiite movement flags in front of portraits of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Iran’s Proxies Are More Powerful Than Ever

The Trump administration’s maximum pressure strategy is working—just not in the way that matters most.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Aug. 25.

Asia’s Coming Era of Unpredictability

Why the crisis in Hong Kong and a deterioration in relations between South Korea and Japan are just the beginning of a broader period of flux in Asia.

From left, U.S. Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pause between answering questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 15.

America’s Road to Reputational Ruin

The decline in U.S. soft power didn’t start with Trump, but he accelerated it this week with his racist tweets.

A man hangs a poster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as people attend symbolic funeral cerenomy on June 18,2019 at Fatih mosque in Istanbul.

Egypt Doesn’t Matter Anymore

The death of Mohamed Morsi is the latest milestone along the country’s slide into terminal irrelevance.

A Hezbollah supporter displays a picture of Iran's late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini as he marks Ashura in a southern suburb of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Oct. 1, 2017.

The Hidden Sources of Iranian Strength

Iran’s ties with its proxies are far deeper than the Trump administration understands.

Sarah Elizabeth Robles of the United States competes during a weightlifting competition at the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

America Isn’t as Powerful as It Thinks It Is

The era of unilateralism is over—and Washington is the last to realize it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump share a laugh during a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 18, 2018 in Washington.

By Punishing Iran, Trump Is Weakening America

Washington’s extraordinary unilateralism is cracking the foundation of its global financial power.

Donald Trump eats pizza at his office in Trump Tower on April 1, 2005 in New York City. (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

The Middle East Doesn’t Admire America Anymore

What a late-night meal in Italy taught me about U.S. power in the Arab world.

Chinese President Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and U.S. President Donald Trump pose with other Asian leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam on Nov. 11, 2017.
(Jorge Silva/AFP/Getty Images)

Putin and Xi Outrank Trump in Global Confidence Poll

Merkel and Macron come out far ahead in a new Pew Research survey.