May/June 2011

May/June 2011
90, 3

Comments

Comment
Lisa Anderson

Why have the upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya followed such different paths? Because of the countries' vastly different cultures and histories, writes the president of the American University in Cairo. Washington must come to grips with these variations if it hopes to shape the outcomes constructively.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Comment
Jack A. Goldstone

Revolutions rarely succeed, writes one of the world's leading experts on the subject -- except for revolutions against corrupt and personalist "sultanistic" regimes. This helps explain why Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Mubarak fell -- and also why some other governments in the region will prove more resilient.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Comment
Michael Scott Doran

Not since the Suez crisis and the Nasser-fueled uprisings of the 1950s has the Middle East seen so much unrest. Understanding those earlier events can help the United States navigate the crisis today -- for just like Nasser, Iran and Syria will try to manipulate various local grievances into a unified anti-Western campaign.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Comment
Dina Shehata

Mubarak's ouster was the natural outgrowth of his regime's corruption and economic exclusion, the alienation of Egypt's youth, and divisions among the country's elites. How those elites and the young protesters realign themselves now will determine whether post-Mubarak Egypt emerges as a true democracy.

This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

 

Comment
Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Blyth

The upheavals in the Middle East have much in common with the recent global financial crisis: both were plausible worst-case scenarios whose probability was dramatically underestimated. When policymakers try to suppress economic or political volatility, they only increase the risk of blowups.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Comment
Shadi Hamid

The recent turmoil in the Middle East may lead to the Arab world's first sustained experiment in Islamist government. But the West need not fear. For all their anti-American rhetoric, today's mainstream Islamist groups tend to be pragmatic -- and ready to compromise if necessary on ideology and foreign policy.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Comment
Daniel Byman

Although last winter's peaceful popular uprisings damaged the jihadist brand, they also gave terrorist groups greater operational freedom. To prevent those groups from seizing the opportunities now open to them, Washington should keep the pressure on al Qaeda and work closely with any newly installed regimes.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Essays

Essay
G. John Ikenberry

As the United States' relative power declines, will the open and rule-based liberal international order Washington has championed since the 1940s start to erode? Probably not. That order is alive and well. China and other emerging powers will not seek to undermine the system; instead, they will try to gain more leadership within it.

Essay
Aqil Shah

Pakistan is unlikely to collapse anytime soon, but the imbalance of power between its civilian and military branches needs to be addressed if it is to become an effective modern state. Washington must stop coddling Pakistan's military and instead work patiently to support the country's civilian authorities.

Essay
Russell Crandall

Latin American countries are increasingly looking for solutions among themselves, seeking friends and opportunities outside of Washington's orbit. Long the region's master, the United States must adapt to the new realities of this post-hegemonic era -- or see its hemispheric influence diminish even further.

Essay
Henry Farrell and John Quiggin

European politicians are worried about managing fiscal stabilization, but strict spending limits could destroy what little is left of the EU’s political legitimacy.

Essay
Susan C. Schwab

It is time to face reality: the current round of multilateral trade talks is doomed. Rather than try to revive it, argues a former U.S. trade representative, world leaders should salvage a few smaller agreements and study what went wrong in order to do better the next time around.

Essay
David Kaye

A decade on, the ICC is still trying to find its footing, thanks partly from the chief prosecutor’s poor management and excessive ambition. The election to replace him is a chance to reboot.

Essay
Stephen Flynn

As the recent fiasco with body scanners at airports demonstrated, the United States' homeland security strategy is off track. It has failed to harness two vital assets: civil society and the private sector. Washington should promote a sensible preparedness among individuals, communities, and corporations.



This article appears in the Foreign Affairs eBook, "The U.S. vs. al Qaeda: A History of the War on Terror." Now available for purchase.

May/June 2011

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Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Kanan Makiya

Igor Golomstock's encyclopedic tome on the art produced in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and communist China makes a good case that totalitarian art is a distinct cultural phenomenon. But a new postscript on art under Saddam Hussein is less compelling, writes a former Iraqi dissident.

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