Bruce Stokes

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A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest calling for the European Union to impose further sanctions against Russia in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 21. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in her London Mansion House speech on April 27, proposed that the G-7 “act as an economic NATO, collectively defending our prosperity. If the economy of a partner is being targeted by an aggressive regime, we should act to support them. All for one and one for all”.

Truss’s goal of modeling an economic security pact after NATO is a good one. It just needs fleshing out. Is it enough to involve the G-7? What would constitute an attack? What would be the response?

NATO’s strength and credibility, enshrined in Article 5 of its founding treaty, is its commitment that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all”.…  Seguir leyendo »

People holding a large Ukrainian flag gather for a 'Stand with Ukraine' rally in Times Square on 24 February 2022 in New York City

‘This is the Balkans on steroids,’ commented James Clapper, the former US Director of National Intelligence, and a retired Air Force lieutenant general, on 5 March on CNN. ‘The images of wanton barbarity will have an impact.’

That impact is already evident in recent US public opinion polling in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Americans have become more supportive of Ukraine and more willing to help Kyiv.

But pre-war surveys found profound American unwillingness to get involved in Ukraine’s defence, raising doubts about the sustainability of both US military support of the beleaguered nation and current and any future economic sanctions on Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police horse in Times Square, New York City on the day it was announced fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in most circumstances. Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

President Joe Biden’s plans to ship 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the developing world, coupled with US support for waiving vaccine intellectual property protections, are much-needed humanitarian initiatives. They will save lives and, in the short run, boost US soft power which suffered greatly during the Donald Trump era.

But such headline-grabbing efforts are no substitute for a more comprehensive, ongoing commitment to help the world recover from the pandemic and the ensuing economic collapse. And that means America becoming what Biden has called the world’s ‘arsenal of vaccines’ while still continuing to fuel the global economic recovery through more spending and US imports.…  Seguir leyendo »

A poll station official holding "I Voted" stickers in South Carolina. Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images.

Whoever occupies the White House after the election, it is evident the emphasis will be on ‘America First’, and that only characteristics and approaches will differ. If Donald Trump is re-elected, his electoral base will support a continuation of isolationist, protectionist policies. If Joe Biden becomes president, he will enjoy some limited popular backing for international re-engagement, but his voters still clearly want him to prioritize domestic issues.

Implications for the foreign policy of the next US administration are evident. America may have a long history of isolationism, but that should not be confused with ignorance of the growing interconnectedness of today’s world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump and Angela Merkel at the commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the 11 November 1918 armistice, ending the First World War. Photo: Getty Images.

Former US vice-president Joe Biden asserted at the 2019 Munich Security Conference that ‘this too shall pass’, referring to the Trump administration’s challenges to the transatlantic alliance structure and US commitment to multilateralism. Unfortunately, any assumption that America’s commitment to global engagement will revert to the status quo ante in 2021 if President Donald Trump is not re-elected belies the growing polarization in US public opinion about America’s role in the world.

This partisan divide in Americans’ sentiment pre-dated Trump’s election and is likely to continue whatever the outcome of the next US presidential election. Americans have long held ambivalent feelings about their relationship with the rest of the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

A deepening anxiety about the future of democracy around the world has spread over the past few years. Emboldened autocrats and rising populists have shaken assumptions about the future trajectory of liberal democracy, both in nations where it has yet to flourish and countries where it seemed strongly entrenched. Scholars have documented a global “democratic recession,” and some now warn that even long-established “consolidated” democracies could lose their commitment to freedom and slip toward more authoritarian politics.

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country.…  Seguir leyendo »

Post-Brexit, Europeans More Favorable Toward EU

But many back empowering national governments on migration and trade, and they want their own vote on EU membership

Overview: Post-Brexit, Europeans More Favorable Toward EU

Recent years have seen turbulent shifts in public attitudes toward the European Union. Down just a year ago, before the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, public sentiment about the European project has rebounded. Even British voters, who narrowly elected to withdraw from the EU, have markedly improved their views of the Brussels-based institution.

But while few citizens on the European continent are eager to see their own country depart the EU, many want the chance to have their voice heard through their own referendum on EU membership.…  Seguir leyendo »

What It Takes to Truly Be One of Us

The tide of people moving across the world, be they immigrants or refugees, has sparked concern in Australia, Europe and the United States. In particular, the ethnic, linguistic and cultural background of migrants has triggered intense debates over the benefits and the costs of growing diversity and the risk of open borders to national identity. Unease over the cultural, economic and security ramifications of immigration helped to fuel the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, encourage the idea of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and broaden support for right-wing populist parties in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Debates over what it means to be a "true" American, Australian, German or other nationality have often highlighted the importance of a person being born in a particular country.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Trump rally in Baton Rouge on 9 December. Photo by Getty Images.

The presidential candidacy of Donald Trump catalysed long-simmering frustrations among large segments of the American public. This dissatisfaction contributed to his election as the next US chief executive.  Better understanding this public discontent—where it corresponds with candidate Trump’s stated policy positions and where it contradicts them--provides insights into future popular support for potential Trump administration policies, especially those that relate to the rest of the world.

Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ touched a raw nerve for many Americans. Roughly eight-in-ten Trump supporters believe that life for people like them is worse today than it was 50 years ago, according to a Pew Research Center survey. …  Seguir leyendo »