Nikolas Gvosdev

Nikolas Gvosdev is a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College, and serves as Senior Fellow, U.S. Global Engagement Program.

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Nikolas Gvosdev's Latest Posts

Revisiting Fractured Globalization in Year 2 of Covid

| May 28, 2021

Last year, at the start of the global pandemic, we asked if we were entering into a condition of “fractured globalization.” This would be characterized by a pulling back and consolidation of ties to more ‘defensible’ or “compact” linkages. We may speak less of a single “global community” and more in terms of a series […]

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Vaccine nationalism versus vaccine diplomacy

| May 11, 2021

An ongoing theme of discussion at the Doorstep podcast is the question of vaccine nationalism versus vaccine diplomacy … the balance between securing the health and well-being of one’s own population versus the imperative–whether from ethical motivations, self-interest, transactional considerations or some mix of all three–to share stockpiles of vaccines, waive patent protections or reduce […]

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Learning (Ethical) Lessons from the Greek Revolution

| March 26, 2021

Paul Glastris has a must-read article in the Washington Monthly about the lessons we can learn from the U.S. reaction to the Greek War of Independence (March 25, 2021 marks the bicentennial of the Greek declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire), for what it says about balancing different baskets of interests and values (self-determination, […]

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Grappling with Competing Ethical Demands: The New Biden Administration

| March 24, 2021

Politico reporter (and friend of the Doorstep Podcast) Nahal Toosi recently asked about how we ought to be comparing and contrasting the current Biden administration’s foreign policies with those of its predecessor. To the extent that we want to see the current presidency as the “anti-Trump” administration, this can obscure points of continuity as well […]

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Deconstructing the Narratives of the Interim National Security Guidance

| March 6, 2021

The Biden/Harris administration has released its interim national security strategic guidance, which is meant to supersede the Trump/Pence administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy in providing direction to the executive departments and agencies of the U.S. government. For the past three years, the program on U.S. global engagement has focused on the question of overarching narratives […]

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Measuring Morality in Foreign Policy: Joseph Nye’s Criteria

| February 12, 2021

Writing in the winter/spring 2019 issue of the American Oxonian, Joseph Nye wrestles with the question: how do we measure the morality of a President’s foreign policy? He notes, “Americans constantly make moral judgments about presidents and foreign policy, but we are seldom clear about the criteria by which we judge a moral foreign policy.” […]

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Revisiting the Ethical Calculus: Which Obligations Take Precedence?

| January 20, 2021

Five years ago, I posed a question which continues to have relevance today. This evening, President Joe Biden is signing executive orders returning the United States to the Paris climate accords and to take other steps to reverse actions taken by his predecessor which were based on an “America First” calculus. Yet, as the new […]

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Jon Finer and the Doorstep

| January 5, 2021

Jon Finer, who has been nominated to serve as the deputy national security advisor in the Biden/Harris administration, gave an interview with GlobalBrief in 2020. He was asked about the impact of domestic politics and trends on U.S. foreign policy formulation. Finer’s response is worth perusing: In some ways, the traditional divide between American foreign […]

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