Law & Institutions

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Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
John J. Mearsheimer

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

The United Arab Emirates has recently said and done all the right things to prove that it wants a stronger partnership with NATO. It is clear what NATO might want from the deal: help combating terrorism, funding military operations, and protecting regional sea-lanes, energy supply routes, and cybernetworks. It is less clear, however, what the UAE hopes to gain.

Snapshot,
Surupa Gupta and Sumit Ganguly

India's farmers hold enormous sway over New Delhi's policymaking. Narendra Modi may have come to power as a free-market reformer, but the fear of being portrayed as anti-farmer has led him to block a trademark WTO deal that India had previously approved. 

Snapshot,
Steven Simon

Air strikes in Iraq might be necessary for the narrow purposes stipulated by Obama. But they will have a wide range of unintended consequences -- some relatively manageable, others less so.

Snapshot,
Vladislav Inozemtsev and Anton Barbashin

Neither the West nor Russia will benefit from further hostilities, but the Russian government appears unable to comprehend that fact. It thus falls to the West to make Russia an offer it can't refuse.

Snapshot,
Christopher Sabatini

Latin America’s new regional groups claim to share lofty goals, from resolving conflicts to coordinating political and economic policies. But there is little reason to believe that they are capable of achieving them.

Snapshot,
Ivan Perkins

Political scientists have long argued that professional militaries provide the strongest bulwark against political upheavals and violent power struggles. But a closer look at the historical record leads to a different conclusion: stability is a product not of military virtues but the rule of law.

Snapshot,
Stuart Gottlieb and Eric Lorber

Greater interdependence reduces the likelihood of conflict between nations or groups of nations by increasing the cost of conflict for all of them. However, as the EU-Russian case shows, the logic can also work in reverse. It is incredibly difficult to punish economic partners for international aggression.

Snapshot,
Andrew Erickson and Austin Strange

Ongoing international disputes over territory in the South China Sea have led many to invoke an old adage: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.” Beijing is using all these approaches simultaneously, but with an ambitious twist -- as it tells other claimants to pound sand, China is pouring it -- literally expanding the territory under its control.

Postscript,
R. Daniel Kelemen

Last Friday, EU leaders voted to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission. Juncker’s nomination constituted a major victory for the European Parliament and a humiliating defeat for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

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