In the December 2013–January 2014 issue of Survival, Thomas Wright discusses Europe's lost decade, John A. Gans Jr considers the 'soft power' of Bruce Springsteen during the Cold War, and Samuel Charap and Mikhail Troitskiy analyse the integration dilemma facing Russia and the West. Also in the issue: Seyom Brown on Washington's new nuclear guidance; Robert Kahn and Charles Kupchan on resolving European economic weakness; and Mark Fitzpatrick on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

In the December 2013–January 2014 issue of Survival, Thomas Wright discusses Europe's lost decade, John A. Gans Jr considers the 'soft power' of Bruce Springsteen during the Cold War, and Samuel Charap and Mikhail Troitskiy analyse the integration dilemma facing Russia and the West. Also in the issue: Seyom Brown on Washington's new nuclear guidance; Robert Kahn and Charles Kupchan on resolving European economic weakness; and Mark Fitzpatrick on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

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  • Europe’s Lost Decade

    Europe’s role in world affairs over the next five years will be determined more by how it has handled the euro crisis and challenges to European integration than by its external environment or bureaucratic efforts to forge a common foreign and security policy. During the past five years, analysts have concluded that Europe faces three possible futures. The euro could collapse, Europe could take a great leap towards fiscal and...
  • Europe’s Make or Break Moment

    Despite the progress that European leaders have made in bringing financial stability to the eurozone, the European Union continues to face a severe economic and political crisis. This crisis has not only threatened the viability of the single currency, but also fostered political tensions that are weakening the foundations of the EU. These troubles emerged from financial mismanagement, unsustainable public debt and the lack of structural competitiveness in the southern...
  • Russia, the West and the Integration Dilemma

    On 28–29 November, the leaders of the six countries designated by the European Union as members of its Eastern Partnership (EaP) programme – Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – will meet with the European Council in Vilnius, Lithuania. This summit is widely portrayed as the dramatic climax of these countries’ recent history as independent states. They must finally choose, so the narrative goes, between East and West, Russia...
  • Germany and the Intervention in Libya

    When Germany joined the United Nations Security Council in January 2011, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle presented a motto that would guide his country through its two-year tenure: ‘responsibility, reliability and commitment’. Less than three months after Germany took its seat, the Security Council confronted a crisis in Libya, where the government of Muammar Gadhafi was violently suppressing protests. Westerwelle’s motto was put to the test. The decision to abstain from...
  • Europe’s Favourable Isolation

    The global power shift from the West to the East is contributing to an increasingly Asia-centric world and Europe’s isolation from great-power politics. Economic crises and internal difficulties in European countries limit the role that they can play in global affairs. Simultaneously, two costly wars and economic turmoil have prompted the United States to prioritise East Asia in its foreign and defence policy. The US will rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific...
  • Destroying Syria’s Chemical Weapons

    There is ample reason to be sceptical about the chemical weapons (CW) destruction plan in Syria. The timetable is highly compressed, the environment hostile and the partner untrustworthy. The fact that it took 1,400 deaths on 21 August, including those of over 400 children, to shock the United States and its partners into action after 14 previous attacks attributed to Syrian government forces is further reason for wondering whether external...
  • The Possible Revolution of Pope Francis

    Francis I has caused considerable excitement in his first months as pope. Relaxed comments on homosexuality, contraception and the general ranking of sexual morality versus obligations to the poor have stirred hopes – and fears – of a more liberal, if not radical, new papacy. Yet it may be Francis’s nomination of a new secretary of state for the Vatican – a role to be significantly rebranded as ‘papal secretary’ –...
  • Russia’s Migration Crisis

    It sometimes seems that Russia’s authorities, no longer able to export governments abroad, have imported a whole new stratum of subject peoples to labour on their building sites, wait their tables and sweep their streets. Moscow would collapse without its migrants: the platoons of Kyrgyz who sweep away the snow at night, the barracks of Uzbeks who empty onto the scaffolding every morning and the tens of thousands of Tajiks...
  • Noteworthy

    Shock and law ‘Tampering in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations.’ Speaking at the UN General Assembly on 24 September, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff criticises US surveillance. ‘If the Americans intercepted cellphones in Germany, they broke German law on German soil.’ Hans-Peter...
  • Beyond MAD: Obama’s Realistic – but Risky – Effort to Reduce the Role of Nuclear Weapons

    Conceding that his goal of a world without nuclear weapons is unlikely to be achieved in his lifetime, US President Barack Obama has promised to do all he can to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US national-security policy. But that promise has been greeted with scepticism by nuclear-disarmament advocates, for it is invariably accompanied by the caveat: ‘as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain...
  • The Middle Way: China and Global Economic Governance

    China’s geo-economic rise, in which its tremendous economic resources have evolved into increasing geopolitical influence, is the most important strategic trend of our time. How China chooses to engage with the outside world on economic issues, and how other major powers – most notably, but not limited to, the United States – react to it, will have profound implications for international order in general, and in particular for the latticework...
  • Did Bruce Springsteen Win the Cold War?

    Rocking the Wall: Bruce Springsteen: The Untold Story of a Concert in East Berlin That Changed the World Erik Kirschbaum. New York: Berlinica Publishing, 2013. $11.95. 144 pp.  On 19 July 1988, New Jersey-born musician Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band played a 32-song concert in East Berlin’s Weissensee district. The concert is a fond memory for the hundreds of thousands of East Germans who attended or watched its broadcast, and...
  • The Four Straw Men of the Apocalypse

    Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons Ward Wilson. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. $22.00. 188 pp. Nuclear deterrence is the ultimate abstract construct. Because there has never been a nuclear war per se, strategising about nuclear weapons is by nature a hypothetical exercise. Because it is logically impossible to prove a negative, demonstrating the effectiveness of nuclear weapons as war-prevention instruments is a difficult enterprise. Nuclear deterrence is also associated with absolutes...
  • Book Reviews

    Culture and Society Jeffrey Mazo Blocked on Weibo: What Gets Suppressed on China’s Version of Twitter (and Why) Jason Q. Ng. New York: The New Press, 2013. $15.95. 256 pp. That the Internet in China is heavily censored is no secret. This can take many forms, ranging from blocking access entirely to websites the authorities find offensive, to removing individual blog posts or comments, to filtering postings or searches based on keywords. Chinese website...
  • Brief Notices

    Culture and Society Al-Qaeda and Sacrifice: Martyrdom, War and Politics  Melissa Finn. London: Pluto Press, 2012. £66.00. 236 pp. Finn proposes an alternative view of suicide bombings, challenging the notion that perpetrators are motivated by a ‘nihilistic’ hatred of life. Arguing that it is more helpful to view suicide bombings in terms of sacrifice, she explores concepts and meanings of sacrifice in the Arabic language and in Islamist and jihadist writings. America the Philosophical Carlin...
  • The Economic Schism of the West

    I The Cold War, with its heavy-handed Soviet threat, kept the United States and most of Western Europe in a tight geopolitical and military alliance for 40 years. Even so, economic relations among Western capitalist countries, and especially monetary relations, were frequently tense and conflicted. The disputes among governments often mirrored academic disagreements among their economists. The linkage is hardly surprising. Leading economists have long been closely involved in shaping and...
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Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

December 2013–January 2014

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