International Relations

419 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?

Russian caricaturists gleefully poked fun at U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

Library of Congress

Journal Article - Russian History

Images of Empire: Depictions of America in Late Imperial Russian Editorial Cartoons

| 2018

Although historians have paid much attention to American perceptions of Russia, few have looked at Russian views of the United States, particularly in the imperial period. This article surveys editorial cartoons in Novoe Vremia, one of the few Russian newspapers to publish illustrations as commentary on international affairs. Novoe Vremia published cartoons depicting the United States in the years between 1898 and 1912 in the late imperial period, that is, beginning with the War of 1898 and ending with the abrogation of the U.S.-Russia commercial treaty. 

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second from left, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi third from right, and Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, second from right, meet at the State Department in Washington, November 9, 2018.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The Next Great War

| Nov. 09, 2018

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of World War I fell silent — and nearly 20 million people lay dead. Could such a conflict happen today? After more than seven decades without a shooting war between great powers, many Americans find the thought of the United States and a major adversary like China killing millions of one another’s citizens virtually inconceivable.

But when we say something is “inconceivable,” we should remember this: the realm of what is possible is not bound by what our limited minds can conceive. Today, the intensifying rivalry between a rising China and a ruling United States could lead to a war that neither side wants and that both know would be even more catastrophic than World War I.

The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia, located in the city of Segovia, Spain.  (Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Bernard Gagnon / CC BY-SA 3.0

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Collapse of Civilizations

| September 2018

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.

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

Rahm Emanuael/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

A History of the Energy We Have Consumed

| June 18, 2018

Early in Richard Rhodes’s new book, “Energy: A Human History,” we hear of a prominent citizen using colorful language to lament the state of his polluted city and urge his government to shut down industry or move it elsewhere: “If there be a resemblance of hell upon earth, it is in this volcano [on] a foggy day.” Though this could easily apply to modern-day Beijing, the speaker here is John Evelyn, a wealthy horticulturalist and one of the founders of the scientific Royal Society of London — and he’s complaining about London in 1659.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Ray Dalio Applies Lessons From the Past to Today’s Financial World

| Summer 2018

The great Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith once wrote that “there can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present.”

Billionaire founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio has taken it upon himself to break that mold by championing the use of history in the financial world.