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United States

Donald J. Trump’s presidency has marked a profound departure from U.S. leadership in areas such as trade, diplomacy, and immigration. This timeline recounts fifty-five signature moments.

 

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Elections and Voting

President-Elect Joe Biden will face a suite of challenges on the global stage, from nuclear tensions with North Korea to coordinating a response to the ongoing pandemic. 
Transition 2021
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Transition 2021

Delivering an inaugural address is a tough task, let alone amid a pandemic and after an attack on the U.S. Capitol. Here is what past presidents have said at critical times.

 

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Transition 2021

State and Local Governments

State and Local Governments

The coronavirus pandemic is placing enormous budget pressure on state and local governments, threatening deep and potentially lasting cuts to education, infrastructure, and other important investments.  

Economics

Panelists discuss the current state and local budgetary crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, policy options available to state and local officials, and implications of these crises for the U.S. economy.

Transition 2021

Thomas J. Bollyky, director of the global health program and senior fellow for global health, economics, and development at CFR, and Jennifer Nuzzo, CFR senior fellow for global health, sit down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the incoming Biden administration’s likely approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democracy

Transition 2021

In the wake of the assault on the U.S. Capitol, corporate leaders have taken a strong stand for democratic institutions. How does this fit into trends of corporate activism, and what comes next?

 

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Populism

United States

The Trump presidency has demonstrated the appeal of populist authoritarianism to many Americans. The way the country responds to the attack on the U.S. Capitol will indicate how long this movement lasts.

 

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Conflict Prevention

Conflict Prevention

In CFR’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey, U.S. foreign policy experts assess the likelihood and impact of thirty potential conflicts that could emerge or escalate in the coming year.

North Korea

North Korea has embarked on an accelerated buildup of weapons of mass destruction and the modernization of its already large conventional force.

North Korea

A return to provocations as North Korea’s primary mechanism for drawing international attention would signal weakness, not the intended message of strength.

Events

Economics

Panelists discuss the economic outlook for 2021, including post-pandemic global recovery expectations and the potential economic priorities of an incoming Joe Biden administration.   

Public Health Threats and Pandemics

World Bank President David Malpass discusses global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics brings the world's foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address members on current topics in international economics and U.S. monetary policy. This meeting series is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies.

Public Health Threats and Pandemics

The coronavirus pandemic has not been an advertisement for the healthy effects of democracy. There have been some notable success stories among democracies, but it is also true that nine out of the ten nations with the highest cumulative COVID-19 cases are democracies. One possibility is that the mechanisms that ordinarily produce better health in democracies—accountability through free and fair elections and freedom of expression—may not function to produce the same result in a pandemic. In this Council on Foreign Relations roundtable, Drs. John Gerring and Ilona Kickbusch discuss this possibility and their work from a new BMJ series on democracy and health.

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Food and Water Security Rising Hunger: Facing a Food-Insecure World

Global food insecurity has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic, threatening to worsen humanitarian crises and spur further mass migration.

China China’s Approach to Global Governance

Learn about China's evolving approach to global governance and how it has shifted strategy under President Xi Jinping related to trade, the belt and road initiative, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Public Health Threats and Pandemics The Coronavirus Pandemic, With Tom Bollyky

Thomas J. Bollyky, director of CFR’s Global Health program and senior fellow for global health, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the World Health Organization’s newly declared pandemic, COVID-19.

United States How Police Compare in Different Democracies

Killings by U.S. officers in 2020 have sparked widespread calls for police reform and an end to systemic racism. Here’s how U.S. policing compares with other countries’ approaches.

Global Women’s Power Index

Find out where women around the world wield political power—and why it matters.

Featured Publications

Nigeria

Former Ambassador John Campbell illustrates the history and importance of Nigeria, a country too often overlooked by the West.

China

CFR Senior Fellow Yanzhong Huang discusses how China’s environmental crisis is undermining public health and becoming an Achilles heel in its reemergence as a global power.

U.S. Foreign Policy

The definitive account of how regime change in the Middle East has proven so tempting to American policymakers for decades—and why it always seems to go wrong.