It's no surprise that the powerful both set the rules and break the rules with impunity. The world system isn't presided over by Miss Manners. For small countries like Greece, there's not much room for maneuver between the regulations of the EU and the general parameters established by globalization. There isn't much room for democracy either, as Greek citizens discovered when they voted in Syriza and attempted to vote out austerity in the more recent referendum. Iran, a larger country that plays a strategic role in the Middle East, has considerably more room for maneuver than does Greece. But it too cannot unilaterally remake the rules of the game. It can only negotiate the best deal it can. In the end, it must open itself up to the kind of inspection regime that more powerful countries would never tolerate.
When we began our project, we knew the landmines in the DMZ would be nothing compared to the explosions of anger from those who oppose any contact with North Korea. No surprise that the knives have been attempting to slice away at the remarkable worldwide publicity our trip to both North and South Korea created.
Goldstein performs two critical tasks in his new book, Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging U.S.-China Rivalry (Georgetown University Press). First, he acknowledges the legitimacy of the PRC's desire for a greater international role. Second, he offers a strategy of cooperation for the two nations, which includes recognizing natural but much-reviled "spheres of influence."
On June 11, 2015, a UN report revealed that North Korea had provided marine engines and military patrol boat replacement parts to Angola, in violation of UN sanctions.
North Korea's announcement of a year of friendship with Putin's Russia has increased Russian diplomatic leverage over North Korea at a time when US-Russia relations are at their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War.
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
President Obama made history when he removed Cuba from the list of countries that are sponsors of terrorism, but not for the reason one might think. The list really has more to do with domestic politics and foreign policy objectives that have had little to do with terrorism.
Recent events suggest that something unusual is going on in that normally abnormal place. Proposing talks and suggesting rewards would be the best response to an uncertain situation. Someday Pyongyang will change. Engagement is the best way to prepare for that day.
America, having been responsible for approving the cruel Japanese occupation of Korea for forty years, and casually allowing the division of the country in 1945, should lead the way in working towards reconciliation no matter how daunting the task.
The Economist recently highlighted the contrast between post-revolt Asian societies and Middle Eastern and North African societies in the woes of a pro-longed, messy and bloody transition that is pockmarked by revolt and counter-revolt, sectarianism, the redrawing of post-colonial borders, and the rise of retrograde groups as revolutionary forces.
There's a decent chance the 2016 presidential election will be about national security. If that's the case, recent spin by Democratic pundits may undercut former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign before it has much of a chance to establish itself.
Reunification, for Koreans, has a mythic quality. Most Koreans dream of reunification, of a time in the future when the North and the South will join together to recreate the Korean whole that existed before division and Japanese colonialism. It's a lovely idea, but no one has a very good idea of how to achieve it.
Thirty peace activists from 15 countries arrived in Beijing on May 17th. I knew 11 of the women before arriving but most of the women knew maybe one or two others and a few knew no one.
Given the seemingly endless stories of tyranny and violence in the Middle East and skepticism in some corners over the possibility of democracy ever taking hold in Iraq, perhaps it's time for a reminder of what former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky had to say in 2004's The Case for Democracy -- and why.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is dangerous and incredibly challenging, but we aren't bound to make any progress toward peace if we can't overcome our decades-long fixation with one country and our reluctance to directly engage with another that truly represents the larger nuclear threat.
How many people reading this have heard of Turkmenistan? The isolated central Asian nation has geopolitical importance due to its proximity toward both Iran and Afghanistan, but beyond that is virtually unheard of.