Articles

17 Items

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.

US and Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during opening ceremony of the 'Fiarles Guardian - 2015', Ukrainian-US Peacekeeping and Security command and staff training, in western Ukraine, in Lviv region, Monday, April 20, 2015.

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

Russia and America: Stumbling to War

| May-June 2015

In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.

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.

(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.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

In this Sept. 21, 2007 file picture the Euro sign is photographed in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Europe's Troubles: Power Politics and the State of the European Project

| Spring 2011

The 1990s were years of great optimism in Europe. As the Europeans were putting the finishing touches on their economic community, observers pre­dicted that political and military integration would soon follow. Optimism has turned to pessimism since the turn of the century, however. Most analysts believe that the economic community is in crisis, and hardly anyone predicts the creation of a political or military counterpart to it. Why has the European project run into trouble and what does the future hold? The answers to these questions are largely to be found in the distribution of power. It was the over­whelming power of the Soviet Union that drove the Western Europeans to consider a variety of integration initiatives and to build and maintain the European Community (EC) during the Cold War. In 1991 the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived them of a compelling geostrategic reason to pursue further integration or even to preserve their economic community. As a result, the Europeans have made no real effort to establish a political or military com­munity over the past two decades, and the EC has slowly started to fray. As long as there are no significant changes in the balance of power going forward, worse times lie ahead.

Blocks of the 'Berlin Wall' being torn off by cranes. The wall was torn down by rejoicing Berliners when the border separating East and West Germany was officially opened on Nov. 9, 1989, thus symbolising the end of the 'cold war.'

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Newsweek

The Year the World Really Changed

| November 16, 2009

"...1989 was less of a watershed year than 1979. The reverberations of the fall of the Berlin Wall turned out to be much smaller than we had expected at the time. In essence, what happened was that we belatedly saw through the gigantic fraud of Soviet superpower. But the real trends of our time—the rise of China, the radicalization of Islam, and the rise and fall of market fundamentalism—had already been launched a decade earlier."