Articles

Academic articles by CFR fellows and experts.

State Capitalism and the Threat to Democracy

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
Asia Sentinel

Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has written State Capitalism: How the Return of Statism is Transforming the World, a timely look at the phenomenon and its dangers to democracy and the economic order. Asia Sentinel is privileged to print this excerpt from the book, which is to be published by Oxford University Press in April.

See more in Thailand; Democratization

Nigeria’s Reform of Its State Oil Company Will Be Cosmetic Without Cutting Corrupt Ties

Author: Matthew T. Page
Quartz

or decades, Nigeria’s state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been the leading symbol of official corruption and a seemingly boundless source of political patronage. Faced with plummeting global oil prices and dwindling state coffers, president Muhammadu Buhari cannot afford to allow the NNPC, under a veneer of reform, to operate much as it did before. 

See more in Nigeria; Oil

Is Washington’s Myanmar Policy the Model for U.S.-Cuba Normalization?

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
World Politics Review

Over the past year, the Obama administration has rapidly repaired diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba. Last month, in the latest of many agreements, Washington and Havana signed a deal restoring commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years, just as the White House approved construction of the first U.S. factory in Cuba since the 1960 embargo.

See more in Cuba; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Gallup Votes for Bibi

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

Critics of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last year attacking the Iran nuclear deal were certain it would harm Israel’s support in the United States. But a new Gallup poll shows that Israel’s popularity among Democrats has risen over the last year, as Elliott Abrams explains in the Weekly Standard.

See more in United States; Polls and Opinion Analysis

Selling America Short

Authors: Max Boot and Benn Steil
Weekly Standard

Max Boot and Benn Steil  argue that a Trump presidency would undermine the liberal international order which the United States painstakingly constructed and cultivated after the Second World War. This would, they believe, gravely damage America’s security and standing in the world.

See more in United States; Elections

Stop Writing Pakistan Blank Checks

Author: Daniel S. Markey
ForeignPolicy.com

Daniel Markey discusses the ineffectiveness of current assistance to Pakistan, where billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars spent on development assistance have propped up the most repressive elements in Pakistani society, and proposes changes in how assistance is given and what can reasonably be gained.

See more in Pakistan; United States; Foreign Aid

The Dark Heart of ASEAN

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
Project Syndicate
Next week, at a summit in California, US President Barack Obama will meet with the leaders of the ten countries of Asia’s most important regional grouping: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The event, the first-ever US-ASEAN summit on American soil, is being touted as a sign of America’s growing interest in Southeast Asia. The question is whether the US, by inviting all members of ASEAN, has allowed its interests to overwhelm its principles.

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; International Organizations and Alliances; Diplomacy and Statecraft

What’s Behind China’s Apparent Abductions of Its Critics Abroad?

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
World Politics Review

Joshua Kurlantzick looks at the international and domestic factors within China that appear to be behind the rising pace of abductions and deportations, a significant signal that China’s economic, diplomatic, and military might is simply becoming too much for many Southeast Asian nations to resist.

See more in China; Censorship and Freedom of Speech; Regional Security