- Making Foreign Policy Relevant Again, with Asha Castleberry & Ali Wyne
Has a gap opened up between the U.S. national security community and the general public over foreign policy? If so, why? How can we close it? Moderated by Nikolas Gvosdev, this panel with foreign policy experts Asha Castleberry and Ali Wyne is part of a larger effort by Carnegie Council's U.S. Global Engagement Program to examine drivers in U.S. politics pushing the United States to disengage from international affairs.
- Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, with Francis Fukuyama
The rise of global populism is the greatest threat to global democracy, and it's mainly driven not by economics, but by people's demand for public recognition of their identities, says political scientist Francis Fukuyama. "We want other people to affirm our worth, and that has to be a political act." How is this playing out in the U.S., Europe, and Asia? What practical steps can we take to counteract it?
- The History of Fake News, with Andie Tucher
Historian Andie Tucher takes us through 400 years of fake news in America, starting with a fake story published in 1690. But today, she says, given the the speed, anonymity, and reach of the Internet it's a lot easier to get away with faking news in dangerous ways--and harder to push back, especially given the president's attitude that the press is the enemy of the people.
- The Populist Appeal of American Decline
"Is it possible that, in many circles, the decline of American hegemony is something voters are implicitly cheering?" asks Daniel Graeber of Grand Valley State University. If so, why? And how did America's descent contribute to the rise of an experienced, populist leader like Donald Trump? Constructivist theory--the notion in international relations theory that global affairs are influenced by social constructions--provides some answers.
- Post-Truth, with Lee C. McIntyre
"Post-truth doesn't mean that no one cares about truth, it doesn't mean that there isn't any such thing as truth, it just means that there's a critical mass of people who no longer think that they have to form their beliefs based on what's true," says philosopher Lee McIntyre. This is not new; it probably goes back to Galileo and science denial. But today post-truth is more virulent than ever, from Trump to Brexit. What can we do about it?
- Carnegie Council Announces "Information Warfare" Podcast Interview Series
With the growing power of surveillance technology and digital media, political influence operations have become an attractive tool of statecraft for great powers. These weapons of influence are being deployed in a battle for global public opinion about fate of the liberal order. The "Information Warfare" podcast series explores how these campaigns work, what their goals are, and how democracies can respond.
- Japan-China Battles for Hearts & Minds, with Giulio Pugliese
Japan and China, while in a "tactical détente," are engaged in an information battle for foreign hearts and minds over the South China Sea and also Japan's past, says Pugliese of King's College, London. The "China dream" is the doppelganger of the "China nightmare"--the brutal Japanese invasion of China. "To a certain extent, Xi Jinping will need to cater to the China nightmare for foreign and internal consumption as he pushes for the China dream."
- Carnegie Council Presents Materials in French and English from Year-Long Research Project, "Russian Soft Power in France"
This year-long project explored Russian influence in French political parties and civil society institutions today. The research includes historical background on relations between France and Russia, which is essential to an understanding of the current situation. This valuable case study on France sheds light on Russia's soft power strategies to bolster allied political parties in established European democracies.
- The Assault on Ethics
"A year and a half into the Trump presidency, its most consequential feature thus far is its assault on ethics," writes Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal. Red lines are crossed daily, with seemingly no consequence, as the president praises dictators, dehumanizes his foes, and pursues the most divisive type of politics. Will the American people "self-correct" and "demand better"?
- China's "Opinion Deterrence" with Isaac Stone Fish
"I think it's important to contrast what China is doing with what Russia is doing," says Asia Society's Isaac Stone Fish. "Russia influence operations and Russia influence is much more about sowing chaos, it's about destabilization, it's about making America weaker. China is much more about making China stronger. The United States is a vector and a way for China to become stronger." Elon Musk, Alibaba, and China's internal power structures are also discussed in this wide-ranging talk.
- Asia's "Opinion Wars" with Historian Alexis Dudden
As part of our new Information Warfare podcast series, University of Connecticut historian Alexis Dudden looks at the propaganda efforts coming out of Northeast Asia, with a focus on China's Confucius Institutes at American universities. Is China trying to spread its communist ideology through these centers or just teach its language to college students? Are the U.S. and Japan "guilty" of similar efforts?
- India in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, with Mira Kamdar
What are the challenges that will have the most impact on India's future? Award-winning author Mira Kamdar puts climate change and environmental degradion at the top of the list, including rising sea levels and scarcity of resources. Next is the problem of poverty and unemployment--India has to generate nearly a million new jobs a month for young people joining the workforce. Kamdar also discusses the rise of Hindu nationalism and much more.
- Russian Soft Power in France, with Marlene Laruelle & Jean-Yves Camus
It's important to understand that Russia and France have had a centuries-long relationship which is mostly positive, say French scholars Marlene Laruelle and Jean-Yves Camus. Today there are layers of close economic and cultural ties, as well as common geopolitical interests, and the French extreme right and Russia share many of the same conservative values. Thus the remarkable strength of Russian influence in France is not surprising.
- LGBT Rights & International Affairs in Mexico, with Genaro Lozano
Professor Genaro Lozano of Ibero-American University in Mexico City is also a TV presenter, columnist, and LGBT activist. He discusses the long history and current "fragmented scenario" of LGBT rights in Mexico and other Latin American countries and also explores U.S.-Mexico relations, especially since Trump's election. Meanwhile Mexico is not standing still. It has free trade agreements with the EU and others, and China may be next.
- Brazilian Identity, Western Culture, & Institutions, with Eduardo Wolf
Eduardo Wolf is a professor of ancient philosophy and ethics, and a newspaper editor in São Paulo, Brazil. He discusses the similarities and differences between studies in Latin America and Europe/North America, and the struggle to find the essence of Brazilian identity--a struggle common to former colonies, he argues. He also explores the "communitarian reaction" against globalization and its focus on individual identity.
- "Samuel Huntington ignored Latin America as part of the West," says Homero Aridjis
For Homero Aridjis, a distinguished Mexican poet, author, activist, and diplomat, "the West" means countries that follow Greco-Latin culture--not Anglo-Saxon culture, he says pointedly. So why is Latin America ignored? Centuries ago, the Spaniards brought architecture, philosophy, religion, art, and literature to Latin America. In many ways these nations are keeping Western culture alive, he argues, as Europeans lose their Western identity.
- The Living Legacy of WWI: Counterterrorism Strategies in the War's Aftermath, with Mary Barton
"It is important to look at terrorism from a historical perspective, to understand where the term came from and to not see it as being tied to any one group for any specific cause," says Mary Barton, a contract historian with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office, "because left-wing groups have used terrorist tactics; right-wing groups have used terrorist tactics; different religious extremists have used terrorist tactics,"
- Democracy Promotion in the Age of Trump
In this panel Adrian Basora makes a strong case for democracy as not only promoting American values but also serving U.S. interests, while Maia Otarashvili gives a frightening overview of the rise of "illiberal values" (Viktor Orbán's phrase) in the Eurasia region. Basora and Otarashvili are co-editors of "Does Democracy Matter? The United States and Global Democracy Support" and Nikolas Gvosdev is one of the contributors.
- The Living Legacy of WWI: The Legacy of American Press Censorship in World War I, with Charles Sorrie
The popular memory of WWI today was basically engineered through propaganda and censorship during the war itself, says Charles Sorrie. Those involved in any war need convincing reasons why they are fighting. "There needs to be almost some sort of slogan. The one that was developed at that time, that America was fighting mostly for democracy or for freedom, is one that is still used today in popular history and in popular culture."
- Understanding the "Duterte Phenomenon" in the Philippines, with John Gershman
Unlike Trump, Duterte came to the presidency with a history in public service and he knew how to run a government, says John Gershman. "I would relate him in some ways more to the anti-democratic populist movements of Eastern Europe: authoritarian, a very heavy morality dimension to his vision of nationalism, with a focus on things like drugs, and with a healthy dose of misogyny in his rhetoric."