Even now, gazing back through the jaundiced lens of subsequent experience, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign speech in Berlin still seems an extraordinary occasion. Tens of thousands of mostly young Germans gathered in the center of the city to listen to the American presidential candidate, in an atmosphere The Guardian described as “a pop festival, a summer gathering of peace, love—and loathing of George Bush.”
See more in Europe; International Organizations and Alliances
Climate talks have largely failed to curb rising temperatures, but bottom-up initiatives featuring subnational actors hold great promise if coordinated effectively. Varun Sivaram and David Livingston argue that California and Germany can “lead from between” to bridge international and subnational climate action.
See more in United States; Germany; Environmental Policy
Until recently, most Europeans believed that their post–Cold War security order held universal appeal and could be a model for the rest of the world. This conviction was hardly surprising, since Europe has often played a central role in global affairs. For much of the last three centuries, European order was world order—a product of the interests, ambitions, and rivalries of the continent’s empires.
See more in Europe; Wars and Warfare
Nearly a century after it first emerged in Egypt, political Islam is redefining the Muslim world. Also called Islamism, this potent ideology holds that the billion-strong global Muslim community would be free and great if only it were pious—that is, if Muslims lived under state-enforced Islamic law, or sharia, as they have done for most of Islamic history.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Europe; Religion
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.
See more in Europe; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity; Immigration
In his discussion of German foreign policy’s supposed drift eastward, Hans Kundnani (“Leaving the West Behind,” January/February 2015) suggests that Germany has resisted imposing sanctions on Russia over its undeclared war with Ukraine—a sign, in his view, that Germany might once again desert the West in a flirtation with Russia.
See more in Germany; Ukraine; Sanctions
A native of Jarfalla, Sweden, Niklas Zennstrom studied business, engineering physics, and computer science at Uppsala University and the University of Michigan. In the mid-1990s, while heading up the Danish division of the Swedish telecommunications firm Tele2, he hired Janus Friis to run customer support, and soon the two of them decided to collaborate as entrepreneurs.
See more in Europe; Innovation
In 1982, The Economist marked the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union, by featuring a tombstone dedicated to the organization on its cover.
See more in Europe; International Organizations and Alliances
Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was a strategic shock for Germany. Suddenly, Russian aggression threatened the European security order that Germany had taken for granted since the end of the Cold War.
See more in Germany; Politics and Strategy
One hundred years ago this April, the Ottoman Empire began a brutal campaign of deporting and destroying its ethnic Armenian community, whom it accused of supporting Russia, a World War I enemy. More than a million Armenians died.
See more in Armenia; Genocide
Edmund Burke, the eighteenth-century British politician and writer, is today best known for Reflections on the Revolution in France, published in 1790.
See more in Europe; History and Theory of International Relations
Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh (“Bombs Away,” July/August 2014) have revived an old argument: U.S. tactical nuclear weapons are militarily useless, and so there is no reason for Washington to keep them in Europe.
See more in Europe; Defense and Security
Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall came down, a sense of missed opportunity hangs over the countries that once lay to its east.
See more in Europe; Development
Just a few years ago, Greece came perilously close to defaulting on its debts and exiting the eurozone. Today, thanks to the largest sovereign bailout in history, the country’s economy is showing new signs of life.
See more in Greece; Economics
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.
See more in Europe; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity
John Mearsheimer (“Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” September/ October 2014) is one of the most consistent and persuasive theorists in the realist school of international relations, but his explanation of the crisis in Ukraine demonstrates the limits of realpolitik.
See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy
Benn Steil's essay in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs looks at the international consequences of U.S. monetary policy action. He argues that developing-nation governments are coming to see the need for engineering current-account surpluses and large dollar-reserve stockpiles as a means of insulating themselves against Fed-induced capital-flow whiplash. As this amounts to "currency manipulation" in the eyes of U.S. policymakers, trade tensions are apt to grow.
See more in Ukraine; United States; Monetary Policy; International Finance
When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, Europeans had a long tradition of armed resistance to authority from which they could draw.
See more in Germany; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights
While the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would stimulate growth and revitalize the Western democracies, the agreement could potentially have significant geopolitical downsides, argues Charles Kupchan.
See more in United States; Europe; Trade
Russia's occupation and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in February and March have plunged Europe into one of its gravest crises since the end of the Cold War.
See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment