Bruce Cumings

the region (of which China disapproved), and helped tighten the security relationship between the Republic of South Korea (ROK) and Japan. Frustrations in Washington over North Korea intensified towards the end of Obama’s second administration as bipartisan support for a more assertive or aggressive policy grew. Obama therefore set the stage for a more aggressive American stance for his successor to the White House, yet no one anticipated the intensity of the rhetoric which President Donald Trump would employ as he threatened ‘fire and fury’ and total annihilation

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Washington’s painful search for a credible China policy
Börje Ljunggren

of Donald Trump as president of the United States in late 2016 brought something of a sea change to US foreign policy. Yet it remains true that Washington needs to develop a viable policy based on today’s – and tomorrow’s – realities. No such policy is in sight. From a Western perspective, it can, naturally, be tempting to dream of travelling back in time to an era when China was catching up rather than constituting an economic, military, political and even systems challenge. There have been critical moments. Notably, China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 provided

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Robert Sutter

Introduction As both candidate and throughout his first two years as president to early 2019, Donald Trump employed unilateral actions and flamboyant posturing in upending the strong commitment to positive diplomacy and political engagement of regional governments and organisations of the previous administrations of Barack Obama. Two years into his presidential term, Trump remained avowedly unpredictable as he junked related policy transparency, carefully measured responses, and avoidance of dramatic action, linkage or spill-over among competing interests

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Autopilot, neglect or worse?
Nick Bisley

Introduction Donald Trump’s 2016 election threatened a revolution in US Asia policy. Since the early years of the Cold War, the United States has been a constant presence in the region’s security setting. 1 American military power has been the pre-eminent force in the region, organised through a series of bilateral alliances and quasi-alliance guarantees. This presence was part of the larger US Cold War grand strategy in which Washington sought to ensure a favourable strategic balance in Western Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. 2 Although the Obama

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Atul Bhardwaj

Introduction The return of the United States to the Indo-Pacific is one of the most significant elements of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy. He ordered a bold alteration of course, in the midst of an economic storm, to save the crumbling maritime empire against continental China’s advancing influence. As will be shown, this occurred as part of Obama’s efforts to rejuvenate the United States’ Asia Pacific presence, a strategy his successor Donald Trump built on throughout the relabelled Indo-Pacific. Even so, the United States has long

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain
Porter Nenon

To consider how James Baldwin resisted racialized notions of sexuality in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I employ a number of black feminist critics—including Saidiya Hartman, Patricia Williams, Hortense Spillers, and Patricia Hill Collins—to analyze three under-studied minor characters: Deborah, Esther, and Richard. Those three characters are best understood as figures of heterosexual nonconformity who articulate sophisticated and important critiques of rape and marriage in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Baldwin thus wrote subversive theories of race and sexuality into the margins of the novel, making its style inextricable from its politics. Baldwin’s use of marginal voices was a deft and intentional artistic choice that was emancipatory for his characters and that remains enduringly relevant to American sexual politics. In this particularly polarizing transition from the Obama era to the Donald J. Trump presidency, I revisit Baldwin’s ability to subtly translate political ideas across fault lines like race, nationality, and sex.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Race and the Tragedy of American Democracy
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

In this essay, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. addresses the historical and contemporary failures of American democracy. Using the metaphor of “the magician’s serpent,” Glaude brings Walt Whitman’s views on democracy into the full light of America’s failure to resolve the problem of race. Glaude places Whitman’s Democratic Vistas (1871) in conversation with James Baldwin’s No Name in the Street (1972) in order to construct a different sort of reading practice that can both engage with Whitman’s views on democracy and reckon with what George Hutchinson calls Whitman’s “white imperialist self and ideology” as an indication of the limits of a certain radical democratic imagining.

James Baldwin Review
José Luís Fiori

new ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ at the end of 2017, as the first year of President Donald Trump’s mandate was coming to an end ( The White House, 2017 ). It is a broad declaration, which defines the principal interests of the US and the actions that will be undertaken to protect national security against every kind of threat, from all over the world. It would be a mistake to treat this as just one more periodic document produced for bureaucratic purposes. The strategy was developed by the State Department, together

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

elected president; he publicly pays homage to former military dictators and torturers, and his talk of gunning down opponents has provided licence for the spread of political violence. The election of Donald Trump in the US, in November 2016, was a watershed for electoral politics, giving global significance to rightward shifts elsewhere. With Trump in the White House, the US itself has become the greatest threat to the liberal order it once authored, not because of his own idiosyncratic way of doing politics but because of the strategic realignment

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
Juliano Fiori

US of course still faced certain political challenges, but the concepts guiding international relations at this time, authored by the US, were dominant. We would hear about ‘reaching out’ and, later, Obama’s formulation ‘leading from behind’, but always leading. Returning to the main change we see today… of course, there are forces that have been working for a long time… Trump arrives and says: ‘No, I don’t want a global order. I prefer global disorder.’ I am referring here only to what is manifest; I have not yet been able to analyse this change

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs