Foreign Affairs’newest anthology looks back on the most remarkable events of 2017, from the new U.S. administration and combating fake news, to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and China’s party elections. The anthology gathers highlights from Foreign Affairs in print and online throughout the past year in order to help readers prepare for the future.

The Best of 2017 includes:

  • Advice for Young Muslims” by United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Russia Omar Saif Ghobash: “I am not saying that Muslims such as you and I should accept blame for what terrorists do. I am saying that we can take responsibility by demanding a different understanding of Islam. We can make clear, to Muslims and non-Muslims, that another reading of Islam is possible and necessary.”
  • How America Lost Faith in Expertise” by U.S. Naval War College Professor Tom Nichols: “Laypeople cannot do without experts, and they must accept this reality without rancor. . . . Experts, likewise, must accept that they get a hearing, not a veto, and that their advice will not always be taken. . . . Unless some sort of trust and mutual respect can be restored, public discourse will be polluted by unearned respect for unfounded opinions. And in such an environment, anything and every­thing becomes possible, including the end of democracy and republican government itself.”
  • Asia's Other Revisionist Power” by Dartmouth College Professor Jennifer Lind: “For years, foreign policy analysts in the United States, Japan, and Europe took heart from at least one reassuring factor in U.S.-Chinese relations: China, unlike the Soviet Union, does not have a revolutionary ideology. Beijing has not tried to export an ideology around the world. Washington has. In attempting to transform anarchy into liberal order, the United States has pursued an idealistic, visionary, and in many ways laudable goal. Yet its audacity terrifies those on the outside. The United States and its partners need not necessarily defer to that fear—but they must understand it.”
  • Intelligence and the Presidency” by Kissinger Associates Chief Executive Officer and former Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Jami Miscik: “The relationship [between the White House and intelligence community] needs to be recalibrated, with policymakers gaining a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the work of intelligence professionals—a mission in which ‘alternative facts’ have no place.”
  • Where to Go From Here” by Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass: “The international project should be a renovation, not a teardown. New challenges may have arisen, but the old challenges have not gone away, so the old solutions to them are still necessary even if they are no longer sufficient. The strategic focus for U.S. foreign policy should be preservation and adaptation, not disruption.”
  • The Korean Missile Crisis” by Stanford University Professor Scott D. Sagan: “It is time for the U.S. government to admit that it has failed to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the United States. North Korea no longer poses a nonproliferation problem; it poses a nuclear deterrence problem. The gravest danger now is that North Korea, South Korea, and the United States will stumble into a catastrophic war that none of them wants.”
  • How to Counter Fake News” by former Governor of Maryland Martin J. O'Malley and Amida Technology Solutions CEO Peter L. Levin: “As long as media and readers are unable to quickly and reliably expose fake news, it will undermine the public’s ability to govern itself. And the inability to unmask state-sponsored Internet propaganda could well pose a very real threat to national security.”
  • Good Foreign Policy Is Invisible” by American University Dean James Goldgeier andGeorge Washington University Professor Elizabeth N. Saunders: “The problem is that successful foreign policy is largely invisible. It often means paying up front for benefits that are hard to see until you lose them, or that will only be obvious when you really need them. Sometimes, successful foreign policy even means keeping real victories quiet. Invisible foreign policy doesn’t appeal to a president who cares about showmanship and flashy successes.”
  • The Coming Islamic Culture War” by Valens Global CEO Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Research Manager Nathaniel Barr: “It is not entirely clear how the Internet-enabled rise of marginalized communities—such as the LGBT or religion-critical ones—will reshape Muslim-majority societies. In the short term, the rise of these social movements may provide a boon to jihadist groups, who often cast themselves as the only force capable of protecting the faith against Western and secular values. But over the long term, these marginalized groups may fundamentally challenge religious conservatives’ grip on power.”
  • Who Is Narendra Modi?” by New York University Professor Kanchan Chandra: “Modi has always been both a reformer and a Hindu nationalist, and this two-dimensional package is the essence of his appeal. . . . One can argue about the content of Modi’s reform policies. . . . But what is certain is that Modi is committed to reform, and that this commitment is an essential part of his political identity.”
  • Is Putin Losing Control of Russia's Conservative Nationalists?” by Carnegie Moscow Senior Associate Alexander Baunov: “Supporters of a free Russia have long dreamed of a day when the Orthodox Church is separate from the state and when elected officials are unafraid to oppose Kremlin ministers. The latter is certainly happening, but among those who are taking advantage of this new freedom first are zealots who speak in a language of aggressive and intimidating conservatism.” 
  • China's Return to Strongman Rule” by Claremont McKenna Professor Minxin Pei: “Now that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] has returned to strongman rule, its future will depend almost entirely on the quality of Xi’s decisions. There will be few constraints on how he makes them. The last time the party had a leader with such unchecked power, the consequences were calamitous.”


The full anthology contains selections from twenty articles. If you are interested in receiving guest links or in interviewing editors or authors, please contact Zachary Hastings Hooper, 202.531.2512 or [email protected].


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