As Britain embarks on its journey towards the exit from the European Union, the Anglo-German relationship is bound to play a central role. No other country is likely to matter more for the outcome of the negotiations than Germany, one of the UK’s most reliable partners in recent years. So how should we now think of this relationship which has defined modern Europe?
A quiet but intense debate has been going on among the dwindling group of Russian experts in the United States and Europe, who are increasingly disturbed by the hyperbolic rhetoric about Russian leader Vladimir Putin during and since the American presidential campaign, in the media, and from public intellectuals. Putin has been described as Hitler, Stalin, without a soul, and even crazy.
Since the election, we Americans have engaged in a healthy debate about the Electoral College. My instincts in this debate are those of an institutional conservative: Writing our Constitution from scratch today, we would not have designed the Electoral College as it has evolved. However, institutions become embedded in societies. To further this debate, consider these three contentions often heard today about the Electoral College.
America has just experienced what some claim is the most unusual presidential election in our modern history. The Democrats picked the first woman to run as a major-party candidate, while the Republicans selected an alt-right populist who is the first modern candidate never to have held an elected office. With battles in 140-character bursts, the tenor of the campaign was unusual to say the least.
I am not usually a worried man but today – New Year’s Day 2017 – I am a worried man. Gripped by an existential fear, my mind is restless, alert, and tired. The problem? A sense of foreboding that the impact of the political events of 2016 will shortly come home to roost on a world that is already short on collective good will or trust. There is also a sense that games are being played by a new uber-elite of political non-politicians.
He is stupid and lazy. He has the attention span of a child. He caters to racism and he does not respect women. His patriotism is juvenile and belligerent. He claims to have the common touch, but he truly cares only for the rich. Is this the standard bill of indictment against Donald J. Trump, circa 2016—or against Ronald Reagan, circa 1980? Of course, these charges were made by liberal opponents of each.
As Heather Dichter pointed out in her 2014 H-Diplo essay, a conundrum of sport diplomacy, perhaps its signal paradox, is the extent to which nations have used sport as a proving ground on the world stage. But these “mega-events” that nations require to prove their superiority also necessitate international cooperation.
2016 was a rough year for globalization. And 2017 may get even rougher. By globalization, I mean the growing interconnectedness between economies through cross-border flows of goods and services, money, and people. The world has undergone two “eras of globalization” during the past century and a half. The first occurred during the 40 years or so before World War I.
Over the course of the last year, we have witnessed expressions of anger, fear, pitilessness and even hatred both predictably and unexpectedly. The British vote to leave the EU and US voters’ preference for a Trump presidency were prompted in part by feelings of anger towards leaders or ‘the system’ and fear about immigration and identity. The world has watched the war in Syria as thousands die and millions are misplaced with both horror and helplessness.
Although populism is making headlines across the globe, there is a lot of confusion about what this concept really means and how we can study this phenomenon. Part of the problem lies in the usage of the term as a battle cry. Both academics and pundits often employ the term populism to denote all the political actors and behaviors they dislike.
Congratulations on a hard-fought campaign, Mr. President-Elect. As a reward, you now get the onerous task of governing the United States, and establishing its foreign-policy priorities! The campaign was crazy, with speculation about your personal and business links to Russia and your coziness toward Russian President Vladimir Putin giving way to evidence of a coordinated Kremlin attack on American sovereignty.
A tense, volatile electoral season. Accusations of “voter fraud,” and real instances of thuggery on the campaign trail. Documented instances of real voter suppression due to newly instituted state policies attempting to restrict voting disproportionately by race. Real or implicit threats of violence against minority voters. Surging anti-immigrant and exclusionist sentiment, particularly against relative newcomers who practiced seemingly strange religions. Some might describe the recent electoral campaign that way, but I have in mind the election campaign of 1876.
The ultimate fate of the right to be forgotten remains to be seen. Although Europe has temporarily resolved this question in favor of the right by adopting its General Data Protection Regulation, many questions surrounding the issue still must be answered. It’s unclear whether other parts of the world will follow Europe’s lead. Internationally, writers are exploring some of these matters.
Was the vote for “Brexit” an expression of nationalism? It depends what we mean by nationalism and what kind of nationalism is involved. I define nationalism as the belief that national identity provides the focus of political loyalty and is best expressed and secured through independence, usually a sovereign nation-state. . Nationalism consists of ideas, politics (movements, parties), or sentiments (beliefs, attitudes).
War is the ultimate “or else” in international relations. Beliefs about what will happen if states fight to the finish shapes the agreements reached in its shadow, their ability to avoid war, as well as its duration and terms of settlement. Yet in many discussions of the link between military power and war, the agents in our theories rarely make decisions over just how powerful to be.
Following the announcement that this year’s W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Award winner was A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less, we are celebrating the achievement of Christopher Hood and Ruth Wilson, and taking the opportunity to revisit the work of our existing winners. Part 1 looked at the recent winners from the past 10 years; now we will look back to our winners from 1988 to 2004.