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As Biden Stalls, Is the “Restorationist” Narrative Losing Ground?

| February 2020
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Accepting all the caveats about the Iowa Democratic party caucuses (the state is unrepresentative of the Democratic Party or the country as a whole, the process is skewed toward committed activists who are prepared to devote several hours to be present, and the reality that the number of delegates selected is quite small), the results […]

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Hybrid Narratives and Competing with China

| January 2020
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The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has released its Congressionally-requested report on what the American approach ought to be in order to cope and compete with a rising China.  In reading Rising to the China Challenge: Renewing American Competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific, what struck me was how the report’s recommendations are grounded in a number of the new and emerging narratives about the role and scope of U.S. engagement in the world–a clear effort to broaden the potential base of support for its recommendations beyond the traditional “bipartisan consensus” about the need for the United States to exercise “leadership” in the world.

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The Democratic Debate and Competing Narratives

| January 2020
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As the Democratic field of presidential candidates narrows, the contenders for the nomination are beginning to devote more attention to the question of foreign policy. What has been interesting to see is how Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been making statements that would suggest that they are in favor of a reassessment of America’s global role and which tools of statecraft the United States ought to wield. Like candidate Barack Obama in 2007, Warren and Sanders have sounded what the Carnegie Council report on narratives identifies as the “regeneration” narrative: reconsidering U.S. intervention abroad to focus on internal reconstruction, as well as elements of the democratic community narrative–prioritizing ties with like-minded democracies.

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Foreign Policy Narratives in Palm Beach

| January 2020
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I was honored to be invited to speak to a gathering of the Palm Beach chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States. The conversation about the scope and direction of U.S. foreign engagement parallels previous discussions in other parts of the country. There is a good deal of concern about the way forward given the uncertainties of the international system, and a search for a way to frame U.S. policy for dealing with the problems of the mid-21st century, rather than looking backwards.

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A Parting of Values: America First versus Transactionalism

| January 2020
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Some of the commentary I have received from the post on Soleimani and the Democratic Primary Electorate has focused on how the discussion about the next steps that ought to be taken by the United States have or have not addressed the questions of American values. In other words, to what extent should an American […]

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Soleimani and the Democratic Primary Electorate

| January 2020
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In the aftermath of the U.S. drone strike on the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Qassem Soleimani, Sarah Jones, over at New York Magazine, ponders whether  we will see more focus on foreign policy questions in the Democratic presidential primary.

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Loisach Group and the Democratic Community Narrative

| December 2019
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I am at the Berlin meetings of the Losaich Group, a U.S.-German strategic dialogue, which has convened this week to discuss the trans-Atlantic relationship within the frame of “great power competition,” particularly the rise of China.

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Vox Populi, Eurasia Group Foundation and Narratives

| December 2019
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The Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) has released its report on public attitudes towards U.S. foreign policy.

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