Read twenty-six of the magazine’s greatest hits, from George F. Kennan and Henry A. Kissinger to Samuel P. Huntington and Francis Fukuyama. Articles published prior to 1975 may be accessed with a subscription to Foreign Affairs.

September 1922

A Requisite for the Success of Popular Diplomacy

Elihu Root

With great power comes great responsibility. For the United States to play a constructive role in the world, American citizens need to learn about foreign policy.

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June 1923

Nationalism and Internationalism

Alfred E. Zimmern

Nationalism involves a deep attachment to a particular community in a particular place. True internationalism involves not abandoning those communities but connecting them.

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April 1925

Worlds of Color

W. E. B. Du Bois

Every great European empire today walks with its dark colonial shadow. The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.

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July 1933

Hitler’s Reich

Hamilton Fish Armstrong

Three months after coming to power, the Nazis have wiped out the past—the Kaiser’s Germany as well as the Weimar Republic. Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship is uncontradicted and built to last.

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April 1940

The Problem Child of Europe

Dorothy Thompson

The social psychology of populist authoritarianism, told through the story of Nazi Germany. As relevant today as when it was written.

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July 1947

The Sources of Soviet Conduct

X (later identified as George F. Kennan)

Soviet expansion is driven by internal forces and will not stop. The United States should respond with a policy of long-term, patient, and vigilant containment until the regime changes.

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January 1959

The Delicate Balance of Terror

Albert Wohlstetter

Stable nuclear deterrence is not automatic—and given the increasing size and sophistication of the Soviet arsenal, Washington needs to do much more to maintain it.

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October 1962

The Underdeveloped and the Overdeveloped

Margaret Mead

Linking national identity with industrial development is a recipe for the mass loss of human dignity. Globally, the skills and resources exist to meet human needs. What gets in the way is politics.

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April 1967

To Intervene or Not to Intervene

Hans J. Morgenthau

American military interventions are driven by ideology rather than rational calculations of national interest or probabilities of success. A wiser country would attempt less and achieve more.

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October 1967

Asia After Viet Nam

Richard M. Nixon

Communist China cannot be left outside the family of nations forever. It should be pulled back into the world community—but as a great power, not the epicenter of world revolution.

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July 1975

The Strategy of Terrorism

David Fromkin

Terrorism is a strategy of the weak, using political violence to scare people into doing what the terrorists want. It cannot always be prevented, but it can always be defeated—by refusing to give in.

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October 1976

Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?

Amory B. Lovins

Ever-expanding consumption of fossil fuels causes economic, geopolitical, and environmental problems. The only way to solve them is by shifting to efficient, renewable, and sustainable energy sources.

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Winter 1978/79

The End of Pan-Arabism

Fouad Ajami

The myth of one Arab nation with an immortal mission is fading in the harsh light of postcolonial reality. Slowly and grimly, a normal state system is becoming a Middle Eastern fact of life.

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Fall 1984

Can the Soviet Union Reform?

Richard Pipes

The Soviet Union is in the throes of a serious systemic crisis. If Washington can check any attempt at external aggression, Moscow will have no choice but to turn inward toward peaceful reform.

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Fall 1992

The Cold War and Its Aftermath

Zbigniew Brzezinski

The West’s total victory in the Cold War was an epic achievement. Post-Soviet Russia can and should play the role of a great power—but only if it sheds its imperial aspirations.

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March/April 1994

Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession

Paul Krugman

Despite what many think, the world’s leading nations are not in economic competition with each other—and economic policies driven by obsession with competitiveness are costly and dangerous.

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May/June 1994

Reflections on Containment

Henry A. Kissinger

Containment was an extraordinary theory. Thoroughly American in its utopianism, after more than four decades of struggle, it ultimately achieved almost everything it sought.

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May/June 1996

The Myth of Post–Cold War Chaos

G. John Ikenberry

The Cold War and the Soviet Union were never central parts of the story of the postwar liberal international order. When they passed into history, the order was free to expand—and it did.

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November/December 1996

The West: Unique, Not Universal

Samuel P. Huntington

Western culture is not universal, nor will it become so. There are several civilizations on the planet; the West should strengthen its own, respect the others, and leave them alone.

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January/February 1997

Power Shift

Jessica T. Mathews

Power is diffusing from states to an increasing array of nongovernmental, transnational, and supranational institutions. Contemporary problems are nonterritorial, so the trends will continue.

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November/December 1997

The Rise of Illiberal Democracy

Fareed Zakaria

Democracy without constitutional liberalism is not just inadequate, but dangerous. It brings erosion of liberty, abuse of power, ethnic divisions, even war. Unfortunately, it is the story of our age.

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January/February 2002

Somebody Else’s Civil War

Michael Scott Doran

The 9/11 terrorist attacks were designed to trigger a military overreaction by the United States, one that would create domestic problems for Osama bin Laden’s real enemies—existing Arab regimes.

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July/August 2005

Preparing for the Next Pandemic

Michael T. Osterholm

A pandemic is coming—tonight, next year, or in ten years. We need to plan, urgently. If we start transforming vaccine production now, in ten years we would have a much less devastating outcome.

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January/February 2012

The Future of History

Francis Fukuyama

Globalized capitalism is eroding the social base on which liberal democracy rests. The left must offer an alternative that boosts the middle class, attacks inequality, and reforms the public sector.

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January/February 2018

America’s Original Sin

Annette Gordon-Reed

The most enduring legacy of slavery remains the maintenance of white supremacy throughout American life—a context necessary to understanding contemporary national problems.

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March/April 2019

This Is Your Brain on Nationalism

Robert Sapolsky

Us-versus-them thinking runs deep in human brains. Science paints a grim picture of our nature as social beings, with depressing political implications.

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