Features

Snapshots

Snapshot,
Matthew Goodman and Ely Ratner

Nearly two centuries after it lost its traditional place at the center of Asian affairs, Beijing has begun giving shape and substance to its renewed leadership on the regional stage.

Snapshot,
Ralph H. Espach

The Peña Nieto government seems to be facing its worst crisis yet, one likely to persist as police clash with a small minority of protestors who attack property, set fires, and throw Molotov cocktails. The breadth of the public outrage, however, is uncertain, and the movement has no clearly defined, practical demands.

Snapshot,
Jed Ober

Afghanistan's new unity government is not a step forward in the country's political development. Without deeper reforms, the temporary measure will only worsen the country's democratic malaise.  

Letters From

Letter From,
Alina Polyakova

A militant nationalist and a crook walk into a bar. It might sound like the beginning of a clichéd joke, but in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, the characters are all too real, and the “bar” is Electoral District 217 in the country’s capital, Kiev.

Letter From,
Theresa Bond

A series of paradoxes, problems, and outright persecution, has turned life in Crimea -- a formerly popular vacation spot by the sea -- into a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Letter From,
Balazs Jarabik

Residents of Ukraine are frustrated and anxious. Facing increasing economic hardship, they have little hope that things will get better. Indeed, things couldn’t get much worse.

Postscripts

Postscript,
Richard Katz

Abe’s economic revival is hardly going as planned. A consumption tax hike that he introduced in April triggered a recession over the following six months, prompting him to announce the delay of a second planned hike and to vow to dissolve the Japanese parliament.

Postscript,
Marvin Ammori

Last week, Obama finally stepped up to the plate, releasing a video and a detailed plan calling on the FCC to adopt the “the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.” It was the most accurate, well-informed, and important statement ever issued by a public official on the topic of Internet freedom.

Postscript,
Lauren Carasik

Obama's executive order will provide much needed humanitarian relief to some law-abiding undocumented immigrants. But it will do nothing for the unaccompanied minors and families whose desperate flight to the United States last summer may have finally pushed the White House to act.

Reading Lists

Reading List,
Joel D. Barkan

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Kenya.

Reading List,
Charles King

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on the Caucasus.

Reading List,
Cynthia McClintock

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Peruvian politics.

Comments

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard K. Betts

After a decade-plus of war, the lessons for the United States are clear: fight fewer, more traditional wars and fight them more decisively. Above all, avoid getting entangled in the politics of chaotic countries.

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Peter Tomsen

More than 13 years after 9/11, the Afghan war is far from over, even if Washington insists that the U.S. role in it will soon come to an end. Three recent books help explain why, and what Washington needs to do next to protect the gains that have been made.

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Daniel Byman and Jeremy Shapiro

ISIS' army has attracted a stream of Western volunteers, but there is no reason to panic about their return home. Some may come back as terrorists, but the danger has been exaggerated, and the United States and the EU know how to handle such problems.

Essays

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, critics say postcommunist reforms have failed. But the evidence says otherwise. Transition states in Europe and Eurasia have become normal countries -- no worse, and sometimes better, than other states at comparable levels of development.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Elizabeth C. Economy

Xi Jinping’s reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard N. Haass

With U.S. hegemony waning and no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the current international system will likely give way to a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy. The post–Cold War order is unraveling, and it will be missed.

Responses

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
Michael McFaul; Stephen Sestanovich; John J. Mearsheimer

Responding to Mearsheimer's controversial essay blaming the West for the Ukraine crisis, McFaul and Sestanovich put the blame back on Putin and his ideological extremism, denying that NATO expansion provoked him. Mearsheimer replies.

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
John Delury and Chung-in Moon; Sue Mi Terry

Contrary to what Terry claims, write Delury and Moon, the collapse of North Korea is a frightening prospect, and the sudden reunification of the Korean Peninsula would be disastrous. Terry replies.

Response,
Agio Pereira

Over the years, more than a few armchair critics have prognosticated the demise of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor. But the nation builders themselves can't indulge notions of failure.