History and Theory of International Relations

Foreign Affairs Article

Bolívar's Botched Bequest

Author: Ilan Stavans

The Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolívar has a remarkably elastic legacy. Ever since his death in 1830, Latin American politicians across the political spectrum have claimed to be his rightful heir. What Bolívar left behind, it turns out, was less a coherent set of ideas than an abstract vision of Latin American unity -- a vision that remains impossible today.

See more in Venezuela; History and Theory of International Relations

Foreign Affairs Article

The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50

Author: Graham Allison

Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.

See more in Cuba; History and Theory of International Relations; Proliferation

Foreign Affairs Article

Hegemony and After

Author: Robert O. Keohane

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

Foreign Affairs Article

The First Global Man

Author: Jeremy Adelman

A pair of books by Charles Mann describe life in the Americas before and after Columbus linked the hemispheres and kicked off the first era of globalization. It turns out that the New World was far more technologically advanced than subsequent generations have realized, with plenty to teach the Old -- especially about how to simultaneously exploit and preserve key natural resources.

See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; History and Theory of International Relations

Foreign Affairs Article

Making Modernity Work

Author: Gideon Rose

Today's troubles are real, but not ideological: they relate more to policies than to principles. The postwar order of mutually supporting liberal democracies with mixed economies solved the central challenge of modernity, reconciling democracy and capitalism. The task now is getting the system back into shape.

See more in North America; Global; Politics and Strategy; History and Theory of International Relations