Articles

Academic articles by CFR fellows and experts.

Britain’s Awful Vote May Be a Tipping Point

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

The British vote to leave the European Union may come to be seen as a tipping point in global politics, perhaps more consequential than anything since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It may mark the moment when Europe comes face to face with its own constitutional dysfunction, when the idea of the “West” finally ceases to be plausible and when the United States is confirmed in its sense that its interests lie more in Asia than in its traditional Atlantic sphere of influence.

See more in United Kingdom; Treaties and Agreements

America Must Play the Geoeconomics Game

Author: Robert D. Blackwill
National Interest Online

Ambassador Robert Blackwill discusses the rise of geoeconomics in modern statecraft. Blackwill argues that the United States, historically a geoeconomic powerhouse, is no longer adept at pursuing its national interests through the use of geoeconomic instruments, and suggests a path to restore geoeconomics to its rightful role in American grand strategy.

See more in United States; Economics; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Brexit in Context

Author: A. Michael Spence
Project Syndicate

I do not believe that foreigners contribute usefully by issuing strong opinions about how a country’s citizens, or those of a larger unit like the European Union, should decide when faced with an important political choice. Our insights, based on international experience, may sometimes be helpful; but there should never be any confusion about the asymmetry of roles.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances

Some Parts of the Brazilian Government Actually Aren’t Corrupt. Here’s What They Have in Common.

Authors: Katherine Bersch, Sérgio Praça, and Matthew M. Taylor
Washington Post

The massive “Lava Jato” (car wash) corruption scandal cut a wide swath across the Brazilian political landscape, contributing to public outcry against President Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s Senate voted to suspend Rousseff in May, pending her impeachment trial on alleged budgetary improprieties.

See more in Brazil; Corruption and Bribery; Politics and Strategy

Do Americans Want a New ‘Grand Strategy’ or Less Overseas Engagement?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Few things make professors happier than thinking that the public has finally begun to agree with them. No surprise, then, that John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard open their article in Foreign Affairs—in which they propose a new “grand strategy” for the United States—by observing that “[f]or the first time in recent memory, a large number of Americans” are saying they want the same thing.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy

E.U. Referendum Exposes Britain’s Political Decay

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

An isolationist bent to British politics, what Sebastian Mallaby refers to as “little Englandism,” is not new to the British political tradition. While this perspective has long been counter-balanced by a Gladstonian internationalism, debates around Brexit have been conspicuously devoid of such idealism, speaking in a language that appeals only to pocketbooks rather than to common decency.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances; Politics and Strategy

A Peace Plan for Syria II

Authors: Philip H. Gordon, James Dobbins, and Jeffrey Martini
RAND Corporation

Philip Gordon, along with James Dobbins and Jeffrey Martini of RAND, discusses how Syria could decentralize power in order to reduce violence and save lives while the parties work toward a more comprehensive long-term transition. 

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment

China-Korea Relations: New Sanctions, Old Dilemmas

Authors: Scott A. Snyder and See-won Byun
Comparative Connections

North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February drew global opposition in the form of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2270 and condemnation by regional leaders. Pyongyang promptly dismissed such calls with a series of short- and mid-range missile launches in March and April. 

See more in China; North Korea; Sanctions; Regional Security