Nineteenth-century intellectuals saw races as biological and political facts. Their twentieth-century successors rejected both propositions—but identities rooted in the reality or fantasy of shared ancestry remain central in politics, both within and between nations.
Authors: Fredrick C. Harris and Robert C. Lieberman
What accounts for the continuity of racial inequality in a postracist America? The fact that an earlier era’s racism was built into the structure of various economic, social, and political institutions, so that even their race-neutral operations today produce imbalanced outcomes.
Multicultural policies accept that societies are diverse, yet they implicitly assume that such diversity ends at the edges of minority communities. By forcing people into ethnic and cultural boxes, they help create the very divisions they were meant to manage.
Apartheid’s legacy of mistrust and prejudice has prevented South Africa from establishing a truly stable multiracial democracy. But increasing contact among the races and the emergence of a black middle class offer hope of reducing the role of race in national politics.
Across the globe, the lessons from affirmative action programs are clear: they can occasionally help in the economic sphere, produce mixed results in improving social cohesion, and are an unmitigated disaster when it comes to politics.
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger died in 1976, yet scholars are still plowing through his life’s work today -- some of it for the very first time. Indeed, few modern thinkers have been as productive: once published in their entirety, his complete works will comprise over 100 volumes.
President Obama and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma met on November 14, 2014, in Daw Suu's home. They answered questions about Burmese elections set to take place in 2015, press freedom, and expectations for democractic transition and rule of law and human rights in the country, particuarly concerning the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar.
On September 22-23, 2014, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples convened and made recommendations to the UN for implementation in protecting the human rights and land rights of indigenous peoples.
On August 20, 2014, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Jewell issued an order regarding the department's responsibilities toward Native American tribes, including "supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination; protecting tribal lands and resources; building partnerships; practicing responsiveness and timeliness; and seeking legal advice to ensure compliance with the trust responsibility." Secretarial Order 3335 is part of the Indian Trust Settlement, also known as the Cobell Settlement, which relates toa dispute about use of funds held in trust by the federal government for leasing Indian land for commercial uses.
On April 17, 2014, Russia's Channel One in Russia hosted a question-and-answer session with Russian President Vladimir Putin, called Direct Line with Vladimir Putin. Russians asked questions primarily about Russia annexing Crimea from Ukraine.
In the U.S. foreign policy and national security communities there is a severe underrepresentation of women, as well as minorities, non-Americans, younger analysts and scholars, and others, due in large part to the gatekeepers of institutions and media, argues Micah Zenko. He provides four factors to keep in mind when determining the causes of and identifying solutions to this problem.
"Heavy-handed policies are responsible for the upsurge in tensions, not jihadism or terrorism, and this is creating a vicious cycle. Without a fundamental change in policies toward Xinjiang and other minority areas such as Tibet and Inner Mongolia, Beijing's quest for "stability" is self-defeating."
President Barack Obama gave these remarks on August 28, 2013, at the Lincoln Memorial, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the first March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Following President Barack Obama's remarks on the Trayvon Martin case, Micah Zenko highlights the inconsistency in Obama's policies towards justice. Although the president has stated in reference to the case that it is wrong to profile individuals based on their "appearance, associations, or statistical propensity to violence," and the use of lethal force cannot be justified as self-defense unless there is reasonable grounds to fear imminent harm, those are the exact foundational principles of U.S. signature strikes.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »