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Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Foreign Policy April 2018

FOREIGN POLICY is the premier, award-winning magazine of global politics, economics, and ideas. Our mission is to explain how the world works -- in particular, how the process of global integration is reshaping nations, institutions, cultures, and, more fundamentally, our daily lives.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Foreign Policy
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6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
from the editor in chief

THIS MOMENT IN WORLD HISTORY—April 2018—may seem like an odd time for Foreign Policy to devote the better part of an issue to human rights. After all, the United States is currently governed by an administration that seems less interested in protecting those rights than any in recent memory. Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson often went out of his way to denigrate such freedoms, and his boss, President Donald Trump, has mused about bringing back torture and promised to “bomb the shit” out of the Islamic State while praising brutal strongmen such as China’s Xi Jinping and the Philippines’s Rodrigo Duterte. So why choose to focus on an issue that the United States, along with many other governments, has lost interest in or decisively turned against? There are two reasons. First,…

access_time1 min.
contributors

Vauhini Vara is a contributing writer for the New Yorker’s website, and her stories have been published in the Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and Bloomberg Businessweek, among other publications. She reported from Berlin as a 2017 Arthur F. Burns fellow. Azeem Ibrahim is an adjunct professor at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy in Washington. His latest book is Radical Origins: Why We Are Losing the Battle Against Islamic Extremism—and How to Turn the Tide. David Rieff is the author of 10 books, including, most recently, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. He covered conflicts in Africa, the Balkans, and Iraq. He has published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El…

access_time7 min.
the freedom america forgot

THE UNITED STATES has promoted human rights internationally for decades. But today, at a moment when support for authoritarian leaders who claim to speak for those left behind by globalization is spiking abroad and at home, the U.S. government must rethink those policies. The rise of populism threatens human rights—and the promotion of certain basic rights without a broader effort to combat the inequality that endangers them is shortsighted. For 40 years, America’s human rights policy has focused narrowly on political and civil liberties and has been coupled with a free market libertarian agenda for the world. By neglecting social and economic rights and the vast disparities both within and among nations, U.S. policy has exacerbated many of the evils it set out to eradicate. It needs an overhaul. IT WAS ONLY…

access_time5 min.
human rights in the age of trump

AROUND THE TIME OF President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year, there seemed to be no stopping politicians across the globe who claimed to speak for the people but built followings by demonizing minorities, attacking human rights principles, and fueling distrust of democratic institutions. Italy’s recent election shows that this threat remains. Yet a popular reaction, bolstered in some cases by political leaders with the courage to stand up for human rights, has begun to take some of the wind out of the populists’ sails. Even as this struggle has played out, however, many Western powers have become more inwardly oriented. With the United States led by a president who displays a disturbing fondness for rights-trampling strongmen, and the United Kingdom preoccupied by Brexit, two traditional defenders of human rights are often…

access_time5 min.
how to defeat drought

CAPE TOWN, a city of some 4 million people, is on the verge of running out of water. Terrifying as it may sound, water scarcity never happens by surprise. At the national, provincial, and municipal levels, South Africa’s leaders ignored Cape Town’s shrinking water supply until it became a crisis. The mistakes were made at every level. Cape Town had no comprehensive, long-term water plan to match water resources with the city’s soaring population. No official program encouraged planting water-efficient crops or the use of water-saving technologies. The city reused only 5 percent of its wastewater for industrial and irrigation purposes. Its water has long been free or heavily subsidized, with no market-based incentive to conserve. And most remarkably, although Cape Town sits on a long seacoast hugging the southern Atlantic Ocean,…

access_time3 min.
zones of noninfluence

WELL OVER A YEAR into U.S. President Donald Trump’s tenure, the State Department is in disarray. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson embarked on a zealous drive to reform the department as the White House proposed steep budget cuts. But what he called a much-needed push to trim and streamline a vast bureaucracy, many critics saw as a hollowing out of the U.S. diplomatic corps. Dozens of key positions, including 38 ambassadorships, remain unfilled—leaving the delicate art of diplomacy in too few hands with too many world crises at the boiling point. With so many empty posts, the State Department is relying on lower-level officials to pick up the slack, even in embassies of strategic importance. The State Department claims it has a cadre of talented career diplomats filling the gaps…

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