“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.
Liberal democracy and capitalism have been the two commanding political and economic ideas of Western history since the 19th century. Now, however, the fate of these once-galvanizing global principles is increasingly uncertain.
In her new book, Not for the Faint of Heart, Ambassador Sherman takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators―often the only woman in the room. She discusses the core values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.
For years outside observers of Venezuela have followed the disastrous developments in the country under the leadership of Chavez and his successor Maduro with growing concern: the steep decline of the economy, growing violence and repression of human rights, the catastrophic living conditions of people without food or health care and the flight of 3 million Venezuelans into neighboring countries. The geopolitical implications of a growing influence of and indebtedness to China and Russia in addition to Cuba’s role in upholding the repressive regime created additional worries to Western governments. But reluctance to violate the principle of non-interference – always a particularly sensitive issue in Latin America – allowed the Venezuelan situation to deteriorate uninhibited over a long period.
President Donald Trump, convinced that he alone can break stalemates with adversarial counterparts on trade and security, will put his theory to the test in Argentina this week. Global markets and foreign capitals are eyeing him anxiously.
Stephen Walt analyzes why "the single most indefensible and brain-dead aspect of U.S. foreign policy today remains the fruitless but never-ending effort to defeat the Taliban and achieve some sort of meaningful victory in Afghanistan."
AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File
Analysis & Opinions
- The South China Morning Post
The results of upcoming elections in Malaysia and Indonesiawill provide a scorecard for the inroads made by political Islam in Southeast Asia’s two key Muslim-majority countries. In Malaysia, which will hold a general election this year, the standard-bearer of political Islam is the Parti Islam SeMalaysia. In Indonesia, which will have its presidential election next year, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) represents Islam in the political mainstream. But also powerful is the Front Pembela Islam, a vigilante group which registers its presence mostly through demonstrations and intimidation.
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Farah Pandith, senior fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, about the evolution of presidential rhetoric on acts of terrorism and the groups that perpetrate them.
"Much has been made of the example set by Sri Lanka's ruthless strategy as an alternative to 'hearts and minds' counterinsurgency efforts. Governments battling stubborn militant movements continue to seek advice from Colombo on employing the 'Rajapaksa model.' But the successful elimination of the LTTE in 2009 wasn't the only unexpected feat Sri Lanka accomplished. It also managed to preempt international action long enough to conclude its brutal campaign, despite state-perpetrated civilian casualties on a massive scale. Syria, where more than 200,000 civilians have died since 2011, is poised to test the limits of this precedent."
Ambassadors Daniel Feldman, Marc Grossman, and Rick Olson, former Special Representatives to Afghanistan and Pakistan, spoke about the status of the conflict and made recommendations for current and future administrations.
Benn Craig/Belfer Center
Analysis & Opinions
- Future of Diplomacy Project, Belfer Center
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, discusses the drivers behind the displacement of over 65 million people and the changes that must be made to existing political and humanitarian systems in order to address the crisis on a global scale.