5 Items

West German Chancellor Willy Brandt kneels in front of a memorial at the site of the former Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland (7 December 1970).

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

On Political Forgiveness: Some Preliminary Reflections

| June 2016

This policy brief examines political forgiveness, when countries or groups are able to reconcile or set aside historic enmities.

Ambassador Wendy Sherman makes the case that insights from frameworks of personal forgiveness can help nations seize the moment when their interests align and, accordingly, move to achieve political forgiveness. First, the process of forgiveness requires a sense of justice—victims must feel that perpetrators have been held accountable and will no longer be able to hurt them. It must also be a deep, extended undertaking: when perpetrators offer only superficial acknowledgments of the victims’ pain and attempt to move on quickly, victims perceive those efforts as perfunctory, even disingenuous.

Additionally, countries must reestablish genuine, ongoing contact to overcome narratives of “the other” that inhibit forgiveness. They should not assume, however, that political forgiveness will proceed as a linear, three-part process in which the perpetrator issues an apology, the victim accepts the apology, and the two subsequently cultivate their ties on the basis of aligned national interests.

The world is getting better. Why don’t we believe it?

commons.wikimedia.org

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The world is getting better. Why don’t we believe it?

| January 26, 2016

It would seem entirely reasonable to conclude that the world has taken several turns for the worse since President George H.W. Bush delivered his famous “new world order” address. The United Nations estimates that more than 250,000 people have perished in Syria’s civil war, and another million or so have been injured. With vast swathes of the Middle East collapsing, the Islamic State continues to wreak havoc, increasingly inspiring and coordinating attacks outside the region.

Analysis & Opinions - The American Interest

What is America’s role in the World?

| Thursday October 30, 2014

Rarely,” the New York Times observed this July, “has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once.” Some of these crises, like the ascent of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), are bloody and fast-moving. Others, like the civil war in Syria, are grisly, protracted, and slow-moving. Others are grinding along sufficiently slowly that they feel less like crises than enduring foreign-policy challenges: consider the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program, which Graham Allison likens to “a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion,” and China’s quiet but purposeful campaign to settle its maritime disputes, which will likely play out over several decades.

Magazine Article - The Australian

Be Wary of Rising China, Says Lee Kuan Yew

| February 19, 2013

Read an excerpt in The Australian from a new book on the founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, by Belfer Center Director Graham Allison and Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, with Belfer Center Associate Ali Wyne. The book is titled: Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World.

Lee Kuan Yew visits the United States, 2002

Wikimedia Foundation

Analysis & Opinions - Forbes

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew Talks America's Strengths And Weaknesses

| February 13, 2013

Both in the United States and abroad, many influential observers argue that the U.S. is in systemic decline. Not so, says Lee Kuan Yew, the sage of Singapore. Lee is not only a student of the rise and fall of nations.  He is also the founder of modern Singapore. As prime minister from 1959 to 1990, he led its rise from a poor, small, corrupt port to a first-world city-state in just one generation.