Debates about the possibility of containing a nuclear Iran often hinge on judgments of whether the regime there is rational. But as a wealth of recently released Iraqi documents about Saddam Hussein's tumultuous reign in Iraq show, even an arguably rational leader can be unreasonable -- and very hard to deter.
See more in Global Governance; Iraq
Yet another bout of worry about long-term U.S. decline has generated yet another countersurge of defensive optimism. What new books by Robert Kagan and Robert Lieber miss, however, is the critical role played by multilateral institutions in the perpetuation of the United States' global leadership.
See more in United States; International Organizations and Alliances; History and Theory of International Relations
Iraq is hardly the failed state that Ned Parker portrayed in these pages, argues Antony Blinken, the U.S. vice president's national security adviser. Norman Ricklefs sees Iraq's politics becoming more moderate and less sectarian. Parker replies that despite these improvements, Baghdad still violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.
See more in Iraq; Politics and Strategy; Rule of Law
The link between crime and the state is neither as new nor as scary as Moisés Naím depicted it, argues Peter Andreas; after all, criminals have been corrupting governments for centuries.
See more in Global; Transnational Crime
Mafia states enjoy the unhealthy advantages of their hybrid status: they're as nimble as gangs and as well protected as governments, and thus more dangerous than either.
See more in Transnational Crime; Global
Selections from the Foreign Affairs archives tracing the ideological battles of the past century and the evolution of the modern order.
See more in Global Governance; North America
Intelligent observers of Europe in the 1930s thought its future belonged to communism or fascism and would have ridiculed the notion that decades later the entire continent would be democratic.
See more in Global Governance; Europe
John Lewis Gaddis' magisterial authorized biography of George Kennan tells the story of a brilliant diplomat who helped define postwar U.S. foreign policy. Yet the public triumph was matched with private frustration, and the prickly Kennan never won the influence he craved.
See more in Global Governance; United States
In his new book, the acclaimed psychologist Steven Pinker argues that despite the horrors of the twentieth century, global violence is actually on the decline over the long term.
See more in North America; Global Governance
President Viktor Yanukovych has led Ukraine, no stranger to crisis, into yet another round of turmoil.
See more in Rule of Law; Ukraine
The Palestinian plan to ask the UN for statehood in September has provoked intense anxiety in Jerusalem and Washington.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Palestine
Robert Danin argues that by adopting a publicly confrontational approach, the Palestinians risk undermining the goodwill and security that Fayyad's nation-building program has so painstakingly created.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Palestine; Israel
Is reducing the world's nuclear arsenals to zero possible, or even desirable?
See more in Global; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Treaties and Agreements
It is time to face reality: the current round of multilateral trade talks is doomed.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Trade
A decade on, the ICC is still trying to find its footing, thanks partly from the chief prosecutor's poor management and excessive ambition.
See more in Global; Courts and Tribunals
Depending on how locals and outsiders react to events in Sudan, the secession referendum scheduled for January could trigger either the country's partition or a new explosion of violence.
See more in Sudan; South Sudan; Sovereignty
A major strategic challenge for the United States in the coming decades will be integrating emerging powers into international institutions.
See more in United States; Global Governance
Governments across the Middle East and South Asia are increasingly losing power to substate actors that are inserting themselves at a mezzanine level of rule between the government and the people.
See more in United States; International Law
As China's economic might expands, Beijing not only wants a greater stake in international organizations but also to remake the rules of the game.
See more in China; Global Governance
The world's leading international institutions may be outmoded, but Brazil, China, India, and South Africa are not ready to join the helm.
See more in International Organizations and Alliances