walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
Francis Fukuyama
Democracy, Development & the Rule of Law
Reviews
Waltzing with (Leo) Strauss

A new book arguing for the ubiquity of esoteric writing in pre-modern times redeems Leo Strauss from his many detractors.

Democracy More or Less
The Limits of Transparency

The idea that more transparency in government is always an unalloyed good is a dangerous populist illusion.

Immigration Unilateralism
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A Bad Call

President Obama is frustrated by gridlock and partisanship, and is seeking to use executive authority to rescue something of a legacy from his second term. His unilateralism will in no way make things better, however—quite the opposite.

Housekeeping
Welcome to the New Site

As the new site launches, a few words from the business side of the magazine.

Political Development
Tim Bower
Good Government, Bad Government

Fortuitous historical sequencing in political development is one of the keys to good government.

The State
Political Order and Political Decay

Volume two of the project I started writing in 2011, titled Political Order in Changing Societies, hits bookstores later this month. It is an attempt to map out how modern states have evolved out of patrimonial ones, and tries to show how simplistic understandings of how development works can lead to disastrous policy.

The Ties That Used to Bind
The Decay of American Political Institutions

We have a problem, but we can’t see it clearly because our focus too often discounts history.

Why We Need a New Pendleton Act

The botched rollout of healthcare.gov shows why the US desperately needs reform of its public sector.  President Obama has shown great faith in the ability of government to provide services, but absolutely no awareness of how poorly it performs, or how desperately it needs a total restructuring. Getting the healthcare insurance web site up and […]

Bad Mandates and Dirty Water

I could spend the next ten posts or so describing how poorly crafted legislative mandates have led to bad administrative outcomes, but I’ll provide just one here that is quite typical of many developing-world public agencies. The city of Hyderabad, India, has been one of the fastest growing over the past two decades, and one […]

Bad Mandates

The US Army’s incorporation of mission orders into its combined arms doctrine described in an earlier post was an example of a government agency that was delegated an appropriate degree of bureaucratic autonomy, a delegation that extended down to the lowest levels of the organization.  This kind of delegation is extremely rare in government operations, […]

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Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Pipeline Politics

The Senate is preparing a vote to override President Obama’s Keystone veto on Thursday.

The Francis Era

Pope Francis had a mandate to bring order to the Curia and peace to warring Church factions. Neither seems to be going very well just now.

the tyranny of the plurality

A Kremlin-allied party consisting mostly of ethnic Russians is the most cohesive in Estonia, and it very nearly won the recent election there.

U.S. Policy in the Middle East

Iran isn’t just doing well in the nuclear negotiations—thanks in part to U.S. policy, the situation on the ground in the Middle East is going Tehran’s way, too.

Equal Pay

A new ruling by a British court may put an end to lavish divorce payments to non-working ex-wives. America, too, needs divorce settlements that better match the times.

A New Order

A meeting between the Saudi king and Egypt’s president over the weekend shows further consolidation of a Sunni front in the Middle East.

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