Nikolas Gvosdev

Nikolas Gvosdev is a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College, a senior editor at The National Interest, and a blogger at Ethics & International Affairs. The views expressed are his own.

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Nikolas Gvosdev's Latest Posts

The Stateless and the New UN Secretary-General

The Stateless and the New UN Secretary-General

| August 22, 2016

When it comes to the crisis of the stateless—those who have fled their homes, been ejected from their states by war, conflict, natural disasters or economic collapse, or who can no longer remain as citizens of their states by virtue of their race, religion, ethnicity or class—the old, established ways of doing things are coming under strain.

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Insecurity and the U.S. Election

| August 19, 2016

Is a sense of insecurity the principal driver of the 2016 election in the United States? I wonder whether what we are witnessing reflects a sense “that familiar landmarks denoting American power and prestige are being washed away and the institutions which in previous years safeguarded American strength at home and abroad have been hollowed out or corrupted from within.”






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Managed Pluralism

| August 2, 2016

One of the subtexts of recent and forthcoming elections in Europe and in North America is the extent to which liberal democracies can permit high degrees of diversity—on ethnic, religious, political, linguistic, cultural, “lifestyle” or other grounds—yet retain sufficient cohesion for societal stability and for political institutions based on self-determination to work.






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The Ethics of Alliances

| July 27, 2016

For the first time since the immediate post-World War II elections, the subject of America’s alliances is again emerging as a topic for debate. What sort of commitments the United States should make, how long they are binding, and under what conditions the United States can and should exit those obligations–whether of a security or […]

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Decisions, Perspectives, and Ethics

| July 12, 2016

Over the summer, as we refresh the curriculum at the Naval War College, it has given me an opportunity to ponder the ethical implications of the different perspectives that we use to teach national security decision-making.






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Brexit and the revenge of the demos

| June 24, 2016

By a narrow majority, British voters have decided their country should leave the European Union (the so-called Brexit). One of the continent’s largest economies, military power (including a nuclear capability), a global financial center, and a holder of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council is now preparing to negotiate its exit from the European project.






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Pacta Sunt Servanda, Treaties, and the U.S. Election

| June 10, 2016

How would each presidential candidate approach what is one of the bedrock ethical principles of how the United States conducts foreign policy: pacta sunt servanda, or the absolute ethical requirement that treaties, agreements and commitments must be upheld.






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Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump

| May 20, 2016

Listening to Marketplace’s discussion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, two things jumped out at me: the first is the assessment that, after all the heavy lifting creating this massive free-trade arrangement will require, the net benefits are quite modest.






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