Ideology

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Snapshot,
Nick Danforth

Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and twentieth centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstance.

Snapshot,
Alexander J. Motyl

As the West searches for an adequate policy response to Putin’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, Western policymakers would do well to reread George F. Kennan’s famous “X” article, published in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. Compelling then, Kennan’s case for containing Russia makes just as much sense now.

Snapshot,
Suki Kim

In that relentless vacuum, nothing moved. No news came in or out. No phone calls, no emails, no letters, no ideas not prescribed by the regime. Thirty missionaries disguised as teachers and 270 male North Korean students and me, the sole writer disguised as a missionary disguised as a teacher. Locked in the prison disguised as a campus in an empty Pyongyang suburb, heavily guarded around the clock, all we had was one another.

Snapshot,
Joshua Yaffa

Vladimir Putin's decision to double down on his Ukraine policy in the face of Western sanctions will deepen Russia's isolation and hit the country's consumers. His bet is that he can weather the costs -- and preserve the loyalty of his supporters.

Snapshot,
Bassel F. Salloukh

The stunning recent military successes by ISIS have triggered a wave of gloomy prognoses about the demise of the Sykes-Picot regional order in the Levant. However, the stakes are higher than the disintegration of what have always been permeable borders and the collapse of a long bygone Anglo-French agreement. Indeed, this year could mark the birth of a new regional order.

Snapshot,
Anton Barbashin and Hannah Thoburn

Alexander Dugin’s Eurasianist ideology has influenced a whole generation of Russian conservatives and radicals and provided the intellectual basis for invading Ukraine. The philosophy has worked to Putin's advantage so far, but whether he can control it as he has so many others is a question that may determine his longevity in office.

Snapshot,
Dominique Arel

In Ukraine, language policy has become a matter of national security. Here's why it is such a divisive issue -- and what the new government can do to ease tensions.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2014
Bernard Avishai; Jalal Al-e Ahmad

In 1963, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, an Iranian writer popular with dissident Islamist clerics, traveled to Israel and wrote a surprisingly positive account of his trip. That a guru to the ayatollahs liked Israel now seems touching. But what he liked seems cautionary.

Snapshot,
David Edmonds

Winston Churchill made a fateful decision to protect one London neighborhood over another during World War II. What he didn't know is that he was also inserting himself into a profound philosophical controversy.

Snapshot,
Evan A. Feigenbaum and Damien Ma

In its recent round of reforms, China replaced the word "basic" with "decisive" to describe the role of markets in China's economy. Although this is a substantial breakthrough, it would be a mistake to think that it is conclusive: to make the market decisive, the state must also retreat.

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