Foreign Policy

The chancellor's response to the refugee crisis was going to be her downfall. Then Germany's welfare state kicked in.

Sep 21, 2017
James Traub
Europe

Donald Trump Jr.’s actions might rise to the level of criminal conspiracy against the republic, but it probably wouldn't even matter.

Jul 14, 2017
James Traub
United States

France's new president is betting that he can bring disaffected voters back into the liberal fold by combining openness with economic growth. What if he just makes them even angrier?

We live in a time of catastrophic political experiments. Americans are learning how far the institutions of civil society can protect democratic norms in the face of an autocratically minded president. The British are about to find out how much economic pain they can endure for the privilege of flipping the bird to Europe. Italians may soon hand the reins of power to a clown — literally.

Jun 28, 2017
James Traub
Europe

The Front National leader's grace and eloquence make her dangerous to liberalism. Donald Trump’s contemptuous cynicism makes him an existential threat

Feb 16, 2017
James Traub
Europe, United States

Last week, Frank-Walter Steinmeier made his last visit to Paris as Germany’s foreign minister (he is about to become president) in order to issue a plea to the French people: “Please do not surrender to the siren song of populism.” His meaning was plain: Do not elect Marine Le Pen, leader of the nativist National Front, in the presidential election this spring. If France falls, Germany, which votes in September, could be next.

Feb 03, 2017
James Traub
Europe, United States

Germany can either save Europe or refugees — not both. To stem the rise of the far-right, the chancellor will be forced to make gut-wrenching decisions.

Dec 12, 2016
James Traub
Europe, Middle East, Syria

The darkest fears (and silver lining) of a Trump presidency

Perhaps I shouldn’t be sitting down to write this at midnight. I am, I admit, in a bad state. I can’t help feeling that America has committed the most calamitous mistake of my lifetime. There will be a time to be reasonable and to think what one what must do to prevent Donald J. Trump from inflicting terrible damage to the United States and to the world. But this is a moment for the rending of garments.

Nov 10, 2016
James Traub
United States

Is it right to blame the president for the rise of the Islamic State? Well, it’s not wrong

Oct 10, 2016
James Traub
Middle East, United States

When I was in Poland this year, I asked everyone how a nation that exemplified the commitment to liberal democracy had elected a party, called Law and Justice, which openly appealed to nationalism, xenophobia, and religious traditionalism. Quite a few people responded with a question of their own: “What about Donald Trump?” Wasn’t the United States, that is, heading in the same direction? Yes, I came back, but since liberal principles are more deeply embedded in American voters and institutions, Trump won’t win.

Jul 08, 2016
James Traub
United States

I was born in 1954, and until now I would have said that the late 1960s was the greatest period of political convulsion I have lived through. Yet for all that the Vietnam War and the civil rights struggle changed American culture and reshaped political parties, in retrospect those wild storms look like the normal oscillations of a relatively stable political system. The present moment is different. Today’s citizen revolt — in the United States, Britain, and Europe — may upend politics as nothing else has in my lifetime.

Jun 28, 2016
James Traub

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