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.

rss feed

Nikolas Gvosdev's Latest Posts

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.






Read More

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.






Read More

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.






Read More

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.






Read More

The Ethics of Trump’s Foreign Policy vs. Obama’s Long Game

| April 28, 2016

Much of the reaction to Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech, beyond the campaign-related questions of whether this address makes him look more presidential or electable, has focused on whether he offered coherent policy proposals. What I would like to do is briefly address the question of the ethics behind the foreign policy vision in those remarks.






Read More

Communitarian Approach? New China-U.S. Agreements

Communitarian Approach? New China-U.S. Agreements

| April 1, 2016

Do the agreements reached at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping represent an evolution towards the communitarian vision of how international relations ought to be conducted?






Read More