US foreign affairs and the North American neighbourhood

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    Rex Tillerson may be a Secretary of State with little influence on US foreign policy.

Rex Tillerson may be a Secretary of State with little influence on US foreign policy.

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Donald Trump surprised many with his appointment of former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson – a man with no government or diplomatic experience – to be US Secretary of State. Vuk Vuksanovic writes that recent events show that the cards appear to be stacked against him, and that Tillerson is likely to have little influence on US foreign policy. 

The appointment […]

Why Trump’s Syria strike may have been a positive step

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At the end of last week, the Trump administration launched a cruise missile strike against a Syrian airbase, the first time the US has targeted the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Jasmine Gani writes that the strikes, in response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons, do not signal a new policy of regime change from Washington. That said, even […]

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    How the new digital world is changing how we conceive of soft power

How the new digital world is changing how we conceive of soft power

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“Soft power” – a concept now more than 30 years old – is the ability of countries to succeed in their relations with others without coercion or payment. Nikolay Anguelov writes that the definition of soft power and the way it is put into practice is being challenged and changed by the technological innovation of new media and new […]

How Donald Trump is helping to make China great again

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Throughout the 2016 election campaign, the now President Trump made it plain that China was one of the US’ main competitors on the world stage. But what if Trump’s policies of economic nationalism and retrenchment may be actually helping China? David W. Wise argues that while the Obama administration sought to counterbalance the rise of China, US withdrawal from […]

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    Book Review: On the Move: Changing Mechanisms of Mexico-US Migration by Filiz Garip

Book Review: On the Move: Changing Mechanisms of Mexico-US Migration by Filiz Garip

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Why do Mexicans migrate to the US? In On the Move: Changing Mechanisms of Mexico-US Migration, Filiz Garip seeks to challenge overarching assumptions regarding the ‘typical’ Mexican migrant by instead showing the diverse experiences and push-pull factors that shape the decision to migrate from Mexico to the US. Iván Farías Pelcastre welcomes Garip’s distinctive approach as enabling scholars to […]

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    Public “traces” of drone strikes are reshaping what it means to witness warfare

Public “traces” of drone strikes are reshaping what it means to witness warfare

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President Trump has largely abandoned his predecessor’s policies in most areas, though at least one has remained unchanged – the use of drones to attack suspected terrorist targets. Oliver Kearns takes a close look at how the media covers such drone strikes, writing that while little information is made public about them, the “traces” that do appear in the […]

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    The Cuban economy is less vulnerable to a reversal of US rapprochement than many realise

The Cuban economy is less vulnerable to a reversal of US rapprochement than many realise

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Though Cuba has gained economically from improved relations with the US, it is far from dependent on their continuation. If the Trump administration adopts a hard line, it will hurt emerging entrepreneurs more than the state, while also reinforcing Cuban efforts to find new partners elsewhere, writes Emily Morris.

The new Trump government is threatening to reverse the US-Cuba rapprochement […]

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    Book Review: Aspirational Power: Brazil on the Long Road to Global Influence by David R. Mares and Harold A. Trinkunas

Book Review: Aspirational Power: Brazil on the Long Road to Global Influence by David R. Mares and Harold A. Trinkunas

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In Aspirational Power: Brazil on the Long Road to Global Influence, David R. Mares and Harold A. Trinkunas examine Brazil as an exemplar of the use of soft power to obtain greater global influence. While identifying cases that challenge some of the book’s analysis, Mark S. Langevin finds this is an indispensable evaluation of Brazil’s changing position in the world […]

  • Permalink BAGHDAD -- Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of V Corps and Joint Task Force Seven, and Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, Coalition Provisional Authority administrator, talk to reporters at the Baghdad Forum, Dec. 14, 2003, about the capture of Saddam Hussein by coalition forces a day earlier in Tikrit, Iraq. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Steven Pearsall)Gallery

    Book Review: Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein by John Nixon

Book Review: Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein by John Nixon

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In Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, John Nixon tells the fascinating story of Saddam Hussein’s capture and interrogation. At the same time, writes Joe Devanny, Nixon excoriates the George W. Bush administration’s approach to intelligence and policy in the build-up to the Iraq war. This is a short, highly readable book, suffused with controlled anger at […]

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