Category: foreign policy

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Foreign Affairs ran an “expert poll” on the question of whether “NATO enlargement was a mistake.” Someone decided, for reasons that I expect will remain opaque, that I count as an “expert” on the subject. I’m certainly the only participant without a professional headshot. My answer builds upon Cheryl Rofer’s excellent post on counterfactuals and NATO expansion.  Like Cheryl, I’m frustrated […]
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I recently released a “special” episode of Whiskey and IR Theory. Patrick Thaddeus Jackson and I reflect on the curious case of John Mearsheimer and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We discuss the ethics of public-facing scholarship; we also cover some of the specifics of Mearsheimer’s article and talk on the 2014 Ukraine crisis. […]
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On Wednesday, I participated in a Quincy Institute virtual roundtable on “The Summit for Democracy” It was a bit odd. I’m pretty sure that I was supposed to play “liberal internationalist with progressive characteristics” and defend the summit, but my assessment runs more along the lines of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. instead, I previewed some lines of argument […]
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Illiberal “Soft Power”

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In foreign policy
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On October 22, 2021
It wasn’t that long ago – maybe five or six years – that I last heard someone claim that Russia would never posses real soft power. After all, who could look at Russia’s everyday corruption, its kleptocratic government, its extremely unequal distribution of wealth, and its “resource curse” economy and conclude “I want some of […]
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