Foreign Policy Winter 2020

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.

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Foreign Policy
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6 期号



Sheri Berman is a professor of political science at Barnard College, researching European history and politics, the development of democracy, and the history of the left. Her latest book is Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day. Rajan Menon is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer professor of international relations at the City College of New York/City University of New York. His most recent book is The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention. Lauren Teixeira is a journalist and essayist based in Chengdu, China, writing on Chinese popular culture. For foreign policy, she has previously written on censorship, K-pop, and education. Allison Schrager is an economist, journalist at Quartz, and co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners, a risk advisory firm. She is the author of An Economist Walks Into a Brothel:…

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puncturing the myth of putin’s genius

IN THE WEST, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES ALIKE seem to agree that Russia has reemerged as a great power with a global reach. And in Russia itself, well-known foreign-policy experts assert that the West had best get used to their country’s resurgence. But such appraisals, some of which tend toward alarmism, don’t hold up under the bright light of evidence. For one, Russia’s GDP is just a little larger than Spain’s—a country with a population less than a third of Russia’s. And Russia’s military budget is less than a 10th of the United States’, about a fifth of China’s, and smaller than Japan’s. Furthermore, Russia’s foreign-policy successes have been overblown. Consider Syria. According to the standard narrative, in 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin took advantage of then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s vacillation on Syria…

is liberal democracy always the answer?

AFTER A LONG DAY OF CAMPAIGNING FOR PRESIDENT in rural Guinea-Bissau in November 2019, Domingos Simões Pereira sat down for a late dinner. Various leaders of his African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, known by the Portuguese acronym PAIGC, joined him around the table. A couple of them fought during the country’s 11-year war of independence against Portugal—which was waged in rural, isolated areas throughout the West African country and ended in 1974. Pereira gestured to the Cacheu River, invisible in the darkness but just a few yards away. As a young boy during the war, Pereira watched artillery explode over the Cacheu; it seemed like fireworks to an 8-year-old, he recalled. Now he looked out at the same river as the potential next president of an independent…

not one of us

DECODER INTERPRETING THE ESSENTIAL WORDS THAT HELP EXPLAIN THE WORLD AS A BRITISH JOURNALIST LIVING ABROAD, I get asked many questions, from the role of the queen to the peculiarities of Parliament. But one theme comes up again and again: poshness. What does it really mean? What’s posh, and what isn’t? Outsiders think they know the term, but they don’t understand it viscerally. And they often miss that when the British deploy the term, it comes with an edge whetted on the stone of class. Understanding poshness matters, especially since it is in the air again: Like the damp in an old country house, it never truly goes away. And it’s back now with the current British prime minister, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, an alumni of Eton College, the University of Oxford,…

hao, boomer!

WHILE COLLEGE KIDS ARE OUT ON THE STREETS of Hong Kong demanding freedom and winning local council elections, many of their parents are at home counseling caution. Millennials want positive change, and they want it now. Their baby boomer parents also want a better future for their children, but they are worried about the economic impact of the protests and the risk of a possible military crackdown. This may turn out to be Hong Kong’s “OK, boomer” moment. Born in the United States, the “OK, boomer” meme has spread around the world, to the New Zealand Parliament, and back again. It is a dismissive jab by millennials—born 1981-1996—at their baby boomer parents—born 1946-1964. Its implication is that boomers have ruined the world and have no right to talk down (boomsplain?) to…