Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

Europe Braces for the Next Ukraine

If Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election in November, all sorts of hell will break loose. Mexico will face a huge border crisis. China will be hit with a new wave of tariffs. Ukraine will begin preparing itself for abandonment. And Milorad Dodik will tear apart Bosnia. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Milorad Dodik.… Continue reading Europe Braces for the Next Ukraine


The End of Europe?

It would be funny if it weren’t so potentially tragic — and consequential. No, I’m not thinking about Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign but a related development: the latest decisions from the European Union (EU) about Ukraine. As 2023 ended, European nations failed to agree on a $54-billion package of assistance for Ukraine at a… Continue reading The End of Europe?


The Return of the Far Right

Panic does not produce prudent politics. Panic produces provocative populists. And it reduces pundits to Seussian spluttering. How can voters choose such…panic-peddling panderers?! The defeats of Donald Trump in the U.S. elections in 2020 and Jair Bolsonaro in the Brazilian elections in 2022 were supposed to prove that the wave of right-wing politicians had crested… Continue reading The Return of the Far Right

Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

Ukraine and the World Order

As the Cold War began to wane, multipolarism became a rallying cry for everyone sick and tired of superpower politics, nuclear standoffs, and the banal bipolarism of Soviet misinformation and American propaganda. This “rise of the rest” was prefigured in the Non-Aligned Movement that began in 1961, the New International Economic Order that the United… Continue reading Ukraine and the World Order

Environment, Europe

Greening Transatlantic Relations

From a foreign policy perspective, transatlantic relations appear to have reached new heights. The United States and European Union both support Ukraine’s efforts to expel Russian troops from its territory. On the military front, NATO is enjoying boom times thanks to the reemergence of a ‘common enemy’ and the addition of new members like Finland.… Continue reading Greening Transatlantic Relations

Europe, Latin America

Fascism: Hello, Goodbye

The telegenic star of Europe’s far right, Giorgia Meloni, released a video last August that was designed to dispel all the fears that Europeans were voicing about the potential “return of fascism” to Italy. Meloni’s short speech was a triumph of misdirection. Meloni’s party, the Brothers of Italy, had previously not been much of a… Continue reading Fascism: Hello, Goodbye

Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

The Universality of Ukraine

The Russian war in Ukraine has dominated headlines in the United States and Europe. It has been presented as a generation-defining event and as a pivot in geopolitics that will cleave world history into a before and an after just like September 11. Much of the world, however, is not transfixed by developments in central… Continue reading The Universality of Ukraine


When the Left Is Right…Far Right

In the twentieth century, the left defined itself as anti-fascist. It was against Franco in Spain, Hitler in Germany, and Mussolini in Italy. During the Cold War, progressive opposed far-right dictators like Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. It mobilized against neo-Nazis in Germany, right-wing militias in the United States, and… Continue reading When the Left Is Right…Far Right

Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

Why Ukraine Matters

War has been pretty much a constant in human affairs. If you’ve managed to avoid direct contact with war for your entire life, you are extraordinarily lucky in world-historical terms. The Cold War that kept the peace across most of the Global North was accompanied by nearly non-stop proxy wars between Moscow and Washington throughout… Continue reading Why Ukraine Matters

Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe

No Pasaran: Ukraine 2022

The last surviving member of the International Brigades that fought the fascists in Spain in the 1930s died last year at the age of 101. Josep Almudéver Mateu, born in France, remembered going into battle without any ammunition for his gun. Five kilometers into his march to the front, he was finally able to cadge… Continue reading No Pasaran: Ukraine 2022

Europe, Human Rights, Russia and Eastern Europe

Helsinki 2.0

The European security order has broken down. You might think that’s an overstatement. NATO is alive and well. The Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe is still functioning at a high level. Of course, there’s the possibility of a major war breaking out between Russia and Ukraine. But would Russian President Vladimir Putin… Continue reading Helsinki 2.0


European Green Deal: Step Forward, Backward or Sideways?

On paper, European countries are taking climate change very seriously. Finland has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2035, Austria by 2040, and both Germany and Sweden by 2045. A number of European countries—Denmark, France, Hungary—have even put their commitments into law. These commitments are all the more serious because European countries have some of… Continue reading European Green Deal: Step Forward, Backward or Sideways?


Will the EU Survive the Coronavirus?

The most insidious tactic of COVID-19 is to get a person’s body to attack itself. In the worst cases, the body’s autoimmune system essentially goes haywire as it tries to fight off infection. This “cytokine storm” can lead to serious inflammation in the lungs and ultimately to major organ failure. COVID-19 seems to have had a similar… Continue reading Will the EU Survive the Coronavirus?

Europe, Islamophobia

The Far Right’s War on Culture

The far right is on a roll. Just a few years ago, liberals and conservatives would have considered its recent political victories a nightmare scenario. Right-wing extremists have won elections in the United States, Brazil, Hungary, India, and Poland. They pushed through the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. In the most recent European Parliament… Continue reading The Far Right’s War on Culture


Burning Down the House

Doesn’t idiocy ever take a vacation? As August wound down, the populist troika of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and Jair Bolsonaro proved once again that the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil would be better off with no leaders rather than the dubious characters that currently pretend to govern these countries. In all three… Continue reading Burning Down the House


Global Game of Thrones

I was surprised to learn that Dagmar Havlova had become a monarchist. In 1990, when I first met the sister-in-law of Czech playwright and later president Vaclav Havel, she was a spokesperson for Civic Forum, the movement that would guide Czechoslovakia from communism to democracy. Virtually everyone in the country at the time was excited… Continue reading Global Game of Thrones


Europe Should Bolt NATO

Donald Trump hasn’t shown a lot of love lately toward America’s European allies. On his recent trip to Europe, he dismissed Germany as Moscow’s minion and called the European Union a “foe.” He’s also treated NATO as an alliance to be bullied into submission rather than as the premier method of coordinating security policy with… Continue reading Europe Should Bolt NATO


Trump’s Assault on Europe

Donald Trump didn’t fly to Europe to meet with NATO, European leaders, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He got there by stepping through the looking glass. Once on the other side, Trump made a series of extraordinary statements that have effectively turned U.S. foreign policy upside down. He accused Germany of being “totally controlled by… Continue reading Trump’s Assault on Europe


Eastern Europe Marches Right

After 1989, Eastern Europe became the poster child for liberal democracy. One after another, the countries in the region replaced their Communist systems with new market economies, alongside democratic structures. After many years of difficult “transition”—high unemployment, industrial collapse, rural dislocation—the countries in the region all began to stabilize as they approached the close of… Continue reading Eastern Europe Marches Right