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Theory

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. 

The full moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City on May 18, 2019.
The full moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City on May 18, 2019.

Liberalism Isn’t Dead—but It’s Very Sick

In two new books, Yascha Mounk and Francis Fukuyama try to cure the patient.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands in front of Russian and U.S. flags at a G-20 summit in 2019 amid rising nationalism in both countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stands in front of Russian and U.S. flags at a G-20 summit in 2019 amid rising nationalism in both countries.

Elites Are Getting Nationalism All Wrong

Russia, the United States, and the European Union are each suffering from resulting disasters.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta shake hands after signing an agreement at the Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 14.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta shake hands after signing an agreement at the Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 14.

Britain Seeks to Send Refugees to Rwanda

Boris Johnson’s government is partnering with an authoritarian regime in a legally questionable effort to make Britain’s asylum-seeker problem disappear.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addresses the public in Belgrade, on Apr. 3.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addresses the public in Belgrade, on Apr. 3.

Aleksandar Vucic’s Pyrrhic Victory

The Serbian president’s anti-Western propaganda is coming back to haunt him.

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.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets and an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft on board the USS Ronald Reagan  aircraft carrier as it sails in South China Sea on its way to Singapore on Oct. 16, 2019.
U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets and an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier as it sails in South China Sea on its way to Singapore on Oct. 16, 2019.

Does the New U.S. National Defense Strategy Make Any Sense?

The Pentagon is scrambling to deter China while adjusting to war in Europe—but does its new approach amount to more than just rhetoric?

A protester stands in front of a burning barricade holding his hand up with an inscription calling for President Macron to resign on May 1, 2021 in Paris, France.
A protester stands in front of a burning barricade holding his hand up with an inscription calling for President Macron to resign on May 1, 2021 in Paris, France.

Inequality Doesn’t Breed Populism. Social Immobility Does.

The left keeps losing because it has failed to promote equal opportunity rather than equal outcomes.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gives a speech marking Hungary's Revolution and Independence Day on March 15, 2022 in front of the parliament building of Budapest.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban gives a speech marking Hungary's Revolution and Independence Day on March 15, 2022 in front of the parliament building of Budapest.

The Secrets to Viktor Orban’s Success

Hungary’s prime minister will likely win a fourth consecutive election with an original political formula.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviews the guard of honour upon his arrival during a welcome ceremony ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President, in Kiev, on October 9, 2017.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviews the guard of honour upon his arrival during a welcome ceremony ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President, in Kiev, on October 9, 2017.

Ukraine’s War Is Erdogan’s Opportunity

Turkey’s president is seizing on Europe’s crisis to establish his own country’s independent power.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.

The Realist Case for a Ukraine Peace Deal

Conflict resolution isn’t just for woolly-headed idealists.

A pro-Ukraine demonstrator wearing a face mask holds a placard reading “Hands off Ukraine” during a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on Feb. 22.
A pro-Ukraine demonstrator wearing a face mask holds a placard reading “Hands off Ukraine” during a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on Feb. 22.

Ukraine, Russia, and the Bear Hug of Authoritarianism

Of all the democracies that emerged in the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has suffered the most from Russian interference.

People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.
People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Can’t Torture Its Way to Stability

Until the Tokayev regime shows remorse for its brutal crackdown, the country’s reforms won’t bring progress.

Journalists visit the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase in Shenzhen, China, on March 6, 2019.
Journalists visit the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase in Shenzhen, China, on March 6, 2019.

Digital Human Rights Need a Single Home in U.S. Government

If everybody is responsible for countering digital authoritarianism, no one is responsible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Intellectual Catastrophe of Vladimir Putin

The meaning of Russia’s war in Ukraine is its own national weakness.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov poses with an ancient Akhal-Teke breed three years old studhorse, Begkhan, that won an Inernational Annual Horse Beauty contest in Ashgabat on April 23, 2016.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov poses with an ancient Akhal-Teke breed three years old studhorse, Begkhan, that won an Inernational Annual Horse Beauty contest in Ashgabat on April 23, 2016.

Turkmenistan Is All About the Berdimuhamedovs

Central Asia is about to receive its first dynastic family.

Newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky examines books on the IX International Book Festival "Book Arsenal" in Kiev on May 23, 2019.
Newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky examines books on the IX International Book Festival "Book Arsenal" in Kiev on May 23, 2019.

An International Relations Theory Guide to the War in Ukraine

A consideration of which theories have been vindicated—and which have fallen flat.

Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of Bahrain, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, arriving at the pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain This handout image released by the US Naval Forces Central Command on Jan. 31, 2022.
Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of Bahrain, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, arriving at the pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain This handout image released by the US Naval Forces Central Command on Jan. 31, 2022.

Bahrain’s Paranoia About Iran Is Self-Defeating

A new regional alliance is undermining Bahrain’s stability at home.

Serb residents hold a poster portraiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a ceremony marking a historic battle  at  Gazimestan, near Pristina on June 28, 2009. The ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where the Serbian army was defeated by the Ottoman Empire.
Serb residents hold a poster portraiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a ceremony marking a historic battle at Gazimestan, near Pristina on June 28, 2009. The ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where the Serbian army was defeated by the Ottoman Empire.

Why Putin Keeps Talking About Kosovo

For the Kremlin, NATO’s 1999 war against Serbia is the West’s original sin—and a humiliating affront that Russia must avenge.

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