Articles

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Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Sen. Angus King of Maine

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Newspaper Article - Harvard Gazette

Senator Angus King: ‘We know’ Russia Hacked Election

    Author:
  • Christina Pazzanese
| Nov. 28, 2017

Though President Trump says he is not convinced that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said Monday that he and his colleagues on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is probing the matter, have “no doubt whatsoever” of Moscow’s involvement.

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Newspaper Article - Santa Fe New Mexican

Nick Burns ‘Worried’ about Trump’s Impact

| Oct. 20, 2017

The presidency of Donald Trump is challenging nothing less than the foundation of American democracy, says R. Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. ambassador and undersecretary of state for President George W. Bush. “That generation between 1945 and the last couple years produced, despite all the problems we have, a stable world,” said Burns. “And I am now worried.”

Ethnofederalism: The Worst Form of Institutional Arrangement…?

Getty Images

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Ethnofederalism: The Worst Form of Institutional Arrangement…?

    Author:
  • Liam Anderson
| Summer 2014

Critics of ethnofederalism—a political system in which federal subunits reflect ethnic groups’ territorial distribution—argue that it facilitates secession and state collapse. An examination of post-1945 ethnofederal states, however, shows that ethnofederalism has succeeded more often than not.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual attend the Merida Initiative Plenary, which focuses on helping the Mexican government fight drug-trafficking cartels and other security threats, 23 March 2010.

DoD Photo

Magazine Article - Foreign Policy

Think Again: Mexican Drug Cartels

| November-December 2013

"The cartels, along with the violence and corruption they perpetrate, are threats to both Mexico and the United States. The problem is a complicated one and taps areas of profound policy disagreement. The way to make progress in combating the DTOs is to ignore issues like gun control and illegal immigration and follow the money. Stanching the cartels' profits will do more to end the bloodshed than any new fence or law."

Cairo, Egypt - June 30, 2013: Unidentified police man shouts slogans against the President Muhammad Morsi in a rally in el-Tahrir street

iStockphoto

Magazine Article - GlobalPost

Egypt's chaos: 3 questions with Ambassador Nicholas Burns

| August 14, 2013

Today's violence and chaos in Cairo is a stark reminder of the complexities of political revolution in one of the most important countries in the Middle East, to say nothing of the tricky international diplomacy that surrounds it. On August 14, GlobalPost interviewed Professor Nicholas Burns about events in Egypt.

Protesters shout slogans as they carry pictures of President Bashar Assad and national flags, during a demonstration to show their support for the Syrian President, in Beirut, Lebanon, June 11, 2011.

AP Photo

Journal Article - World Affairs

Fool Me Twice: How the United States Lost Lebanon—Again

| May/June 2011

"For the second time in three decades, a substantial American investment of time, money, and effort to strengthen the Lebanese government and support its fledgling democracy has come to very little. Hezbollah, Tehran, and Damascus now dominate the country’s intractable domestic politics. US diplomacy is left powerless, wondering how to make the best of an increasingly untenable situation in the Levant."

(R-L) Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov, General Secretary of the Communist Party Josef Stalin, & German Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, Aug 23, 1939.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Preventing Enemy Coalitions: How Wedge Strategies Shape Power Politics

| Spring 2011

States use wedge strategies to prevent hostile alliances from forming or to dis­perse those that have formed. These strategies can cause power alignments that are otherwise unlikely to occur, and thus have significant consequences for international politics. How do such strategies work and what conditions promote their success? The wedge strategies that are likely to have significant effects use selective accommodation—concessions, compensations, and other inducements—to detach and neutralize potential adversaries. These kinds of strategies play important roles in the statecraft of both defensive and offensive powers. Defenders use selective accommodation to balance against a primary threat by neutralizing lesser ones that might ally with it. Expansionists use se­lective accommodation to prevent or break up blocking coalitions, isolating opposing states by inducing potential balancers to buck-pass, bandwagon, or hide. Two cases—Great Britain’s defensive attempts to accommodate Italy in the late 1930s and Germany’s offensive efforts to accommodate the Soviet Union in 1939—help to demonstrate these arguments. By paying attention to these dynamics, international relations scholars can better understand how balancing works in specific cases, how it manifests more broadly in interna­tional politics, and why it sometimes fails in situations where it ought to work well.