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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Affairs’

Why Does Germany Have Boring Politics?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Mai 2017

I guess the author must live on another planet. He has not heard of the outcome in NRW last Sunday! (hfk)

Date: 18-05-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Good Institutions Thwart Radicalism

Proponents of liberal democracy breathed a sigh of relief on May 7, when political newcomer Emmanuel Macron roundly defeated right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election. But this election, although critical for the future of the European Union, was far from being this year’s only electoral barometer in Europe: British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a snap general election on June 8, France selects a new legislature on June 11 and 18, and Germany elects a new parliament—which could result in a new chancellor—on September 24.

For two reasons, Germany’s upcoming federal elections should provide more drama than usual. The first is the recent rise of the country’s first federally viable right-wing party since World War II—the anti-Muslim, nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The second is the Social Democrat (SPD) Martin Schulz, who represents the first legitimate challenge to Angela Merkel’s chancellorship in over a decade. In other respects, though, the German elections promise to be the least exciting electoral contest in Europe this year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why It Was About Much More Than Just Defeating Populism

Posted by hkarner - 9. Mai 2017

Date: 08-05-2017

Source: www.foreignaffairs.com

Subject: Macron’s Win in Context

By Jonathan Fenby

Emmanuel Macron, the political maverick and former French economy minister, defeated Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front with around 65 percent of the vote on Sunday. In doing so, he became the youngest ever president of France and the first with no previous experience as an elected official. His victory, as astounding as it was for an outsider candidate with only a fledgling political party, En Marche! (or Onward!), cannot merely be explained by the French population’s frustrations with globalization and terrorism. The reason lies deeper in France’s past than that; in fact, the story begins with the string of failed presidencies that the country has had to endure since the passing of the early epoch of the Fifth Republic, founded by Charles de Gaulle in 1958. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Liberal Order Is Rigged: Fix It Now or Watch It Wither

Posted by hkarner - 24. April 2017

Date: 23-04-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Prior to 2016, debates about the global order mostly revolved around its structure and the question of whether the United States should actively lead it or should retrench, pulling back from its alliances and other commitments. But during the past year or two, it became clear that those debates had missed a key point: today’s crucial foreign policy challenges arise less from problems between countries than from domestic politics within them. That is one lesson of the sudden and surprising return of populism to Western countries, a trend that found its most powerful expression last year in the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, or Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

It can be hard to pin down the meaning of “populism,” but its crucial identifying mark is the belief that each country has an authentic “people” who are held back by the collusion of foreign forces and self-serving elites at home. A populist leader claims to represent the people and seeks to weaken or destroy institutions such as legislatures, judiciaries, and the press and to cast off external restraints in defense of national sovereignty. Populism comes in a range of ideological flavors. Left-wing populists want to “soak the rich” in the name of equality; right-wing populists want to remove constraints on wealth in the name of growth. Populism is therefore defined not by a particular view of economic distribution but by a faith in strong leaders and a dislike of limits on sovereignty and of powerful institutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How to Maintain America’s Edge

Posted by hkarner - 23. April 2017

Date: 22-04-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Increase Funding for Basic Science

In February 2016, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, joined with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to share some remarkable news: two black holes 1.3 billion light-years away had collided, and the resulting gravitational waves had been “heard” by the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). This was the first time such waves—ripples in the space-time continuum caused by the violent acceleration of massive objects—had ever been directly observed. Albert Einstein had predicted such waves a century ago, but it was long doubted that instrumentation sensitive enough to confirm their existence could ever be created. It took more than four decades of work by a vast team of scientists to make the impossible possible. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Defending Digital Globalization

Posted by hkarner - 22. April 2017

ate: 21-04-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Let the Data Flow

Over the last 25 years, the Internet has become a conduit for trillions of dollars in commerce, transforming industries, national economies, and the nature of globalization itself. Today, as global trade in goods and services has plateaued and global financial flows have declined dramatically, cross-border data flows are exploding in volume. Data flows in and out of the United States alone are estimated at 80 terabytes per minute—eight times the size of the entire print content of the Library of Congress. Since 2005, they have increased by a factor of 80, from just 5 terabits per second to an estimated 400 per second.

International data flows take many forms. Individuals generate them through e-mails, Skype calls, e-commerce transactions, social media posts, and Internet searches, as well as through the consumption of digital goods from around the world. By 2020, consumers are expected to spend $1 trillion on cross-border e-commerce. But these flows are more than just consumer transactions and social media posts. They are an integral part of the way companies now operate. According to research we conducted at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), cross-border data flows already make a larger contribution to global GDP than the goods trade. We term this rapid increase in both the size and the value of cross-border data flows “digital globalization.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The “New” Trump’s Lopsided Foreign Policy

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2017

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Why Protests Keep Putin Up at Night: The Fears of a Strongman

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2017

Date: 20-04-2017
Source: www.foreignaffairs.com By Stephen Crowley

By all appearances, Russian President Vladimir Putin is at the height of his power. He currently enjoys domestic approval ratings of over 80 percent. He has sidelined, if not repressed, any serious political opposition. And by all accounts, he has full control over the Russian state apparatus, not least the so-called power ministries, such as the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of the Interior.

Despite his solid grip on power, Putin appeared alarmed when, at the end of March, Russian citizens in dozens of cities suddenly appeared in the streets to peacefully protest official corruption. The government responded by having as many as 1,000 of the protestors, including the leader of the opposition, Alexey Navalny, arrested. Why such concern by a political leader who appears to be so fully in control? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Democracy Is Not Dying

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2017

Date: 12-04-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs

Seeing Through the Doom and Gloom

In the West, it is difficult to escape the pessimism that pervades current discussions of global affairs. From Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the never-ending crises of the European Union, to the Syrian catastrophe and the rise of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), the world appears to be tearing at the seams.

Meanwhile, democracy itself appears to be unraveling—helped along by resurgent authoritarianism, weakened liberal democratic values, rising populism, and contagious illiberalism.

Democracy has unquestionably lost its global momentum. According to Freedom House, there are only a handful more electoral democracies in the world today than there were at the start of this century. Dozens of newer democracies in the developing world are struggling to put down roots, and many older democracies—including, of course, the United States—are troubled. The theory that democratic transitions naturally move in a positive direction and that established democracies don’t tumble backward no longer holds water. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Future of Austria’s Far Right

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2017

I am „proud“ that Austria has finally made it into the cover story of Foreign Affairs! But: partially wrong, very little news.(hfk)  

Date: 04-04-2017
Source: Foreigm Affairs

Its Freedom Party Threatens the European Project
By Anton Shekhovstov and Andreas Umland

The defeats of right-wing populists in the Austrian presidential election in late 2016 and Dutch parliamentary elections in early 2017 have been reassuring for supporters of the European project. Over the past 15 years, Euroskepticism and anti-immigrant sentiment have attracted considerable support across Europe. Yet their electoral performance has so far been less than impressive. In turn, such parties no longer seem to constitute an existential threat to the European Union. (In Foreign Affairs, Pierpaolo Barbieri recently wrote about a “reverse domino effect” after the relative defeat of Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in the Netherlands.)

Moreover, upcoming French presidential and German parliamentary elections bode well for the EU. To be sure, the stakes in France are enormous: a victory by National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of elections could mean nothing less than the end of European integration and the EU as we know them. Yet it seems unlikely that Le Pen would win the face-off. Lately, it has become conceivable that she won’t win even a relative majority in the first round of the elections; the outspokenly pro-EU Emmanuel Macron has quickly become the race’s front-runner and likely victor in both rounds of the election. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Reverse Domino Effect

Posted by hkarner - 20. März 2017

At last a sober realistic view – instead of all the  panicking! (hfk)

Date: 19-03-2017
Source: www.foreignaffairs.com

No One Is Following Britain Out of the EU
By Pierpaolo Barbieri

Following France’s 1954 humiliation at the hands of the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower divined the phrase “domino effect” to suggest that the victory of communist guerrillas would lead to a cascade of parallel events elsewhere: “You have a row of dominos set up,” Eisenhower said. “You knock over the first one. … What will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.” Ike’s idea caught on; the “domino” concept was applied to everything from the Cuban Revolution to the Prague Spring.

Most recently, the prospect of a domino effect was a staple of discussions of the British referendum on EU membership. In this case, a first-mover (the United Kingdom) would trigger the implosion of the EU by daring to exit first. It would be swiftly followed by others eager to free themselves from the shackles of transnational regulators and their world-leading single market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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