“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.
The state of the global economy fundamentally impacts the world political order. The Belfer Center's economists study issues ranging from trade and globalization to oil prices and the economics of national security.
In Iran, officials blame the sanctions for the economic crisis, while in the United States, officials blame the Iranian government. There is no denying that Iran’s economy has serious problems that have nothing to do with sanctions, but there is no doubt that the current crisis is the result of the sanctions. The same economy was able to expand by 18 percent in the two years that sanctions were partially lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal. However, regime-change advocates in the United States who hope that sanctions will precipitate economic collapse will be disappointed. Economies do not collapse—they shrink. How far Iran’s economy will shrink and how Iran’s leaders and its people respond to the contraction are the real questions. Will the economy bottom out in 2019 or continue to slide for several more years?
We have the most solipsistic president in American history offering up the most solipsistic foreign policy ever at a time when the me-me-me generation are busy taking selfies and other pols the planet over are trying to play that self-centeredness to their advantage. Have we reached Peak Solipsism? And what does that mean for the international system. We discuss in honor of and in the context of this week’s meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York City with David Rothkopf in New York, Ambassador Nicholas Burns in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rosa Brooks in Washington, DC and Kori Schake in London, England.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro joined Harvard Kennedy School Professor Nicholas Burns in a discussion concerning the role Congress should play in foreign policy in the era of President Trump. Castro discussed his upbringing and the civic conscious he gained at a young age alongside his twin brother Julian Castro, which encouraged him to eventually pursue a career in public service. The conversation covered a wide range of foreign affairs topics including immigration, trade, and terrorism. Castro took questions from the audience and voiced his concerns about a variety of global developments and threats and his believe that Congress should take a more active role in these issues.
The phrase international order reminds me of the phrase Western civilization. As Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi wittily replied when asked about Western civilization, "It would be a good idea." The notion that international order exists or has ever existed seems highly questionable to me. The notion of a liberal international order is even more questionable because it is neither liberal, nor international, nor very orderly.
Analysis & Opinions
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Nick Burns writes that he has been impressed for several years now by Lagarde’s leadership qualities and her professional and effective management of the IMF. She is clearly a strategic thinker, is articulate and unafraid to take on difficult questions. She is also most definitely a listener who connects well with her audience.