Paul Kennedy, the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History and Director of International Security Studies at Yale, is the author and editor of fifteen books, including The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. His latest book is The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations. (November 2006)

The Worst of Times?

The time has not yet come—and especially not as we crawl through our present Baghdad, Lebanon, Darfur, and Pyongyang mires—for us to obtain a balanced assessment of how the human species performed during the course of the twentieth century. Economists will tell us that it was the best of all …

Mission Impossible?

Exactly one hundred years ago, in April 1904, the prestigious Geographical Journal of London published one of the most remarkable articles on international affairs that has appeared in modern times. Written by Halford J. Mackinder, the newly appointed director of the London School of Economics, it also had one of …

The Modern Machiavelli

In the magnificent Gothic church of Santa Croce, right in the heart of Florence, tourists gape at what is perhaps the most celebrated array of monuments in any building in the world. Galileo’s tomb rests across from that of Michelangelo, Giotto’s frescoes lie close to Brunelleschi’s crucifix, and the memorial …

Doomsterism

Map1 Map2 In February 1994 The Atlantic Monthly shocked its readers—as it loves to do from time to time—with a lurid front cover depicting a crumpled and burning globe, above which were the words: THE COMING ANARCHY: NATIONS BREAK UP UNDER THE TIDAL FLOW OF REFUGEES FROM ENVIRONMENTAL …

The American Prospect

Two broad forces for change, one driven by the global demographic explosion, the second by new technologies, are affecting societies throughout the world, with particularly severe consequences for the poorer countries of the developing world.[^1] Even successful states like Switzerland and Japan, which have usually been better able than many …

An Appeal

To our Governments and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations The world must take action to bring the war in former Yugoslavia to an end. Two and a half million people have been driven from their homes in a program of “ethnic cleansing.” Thousands of civilians have been massacred.

Preparing for the 21st Century: Winners and Losers

Everyone with an interest in international affairs must be aware that broad, global forces for change are bearing down upon humankind in both rich and poor societies alike. New technologies are challenging traditional assumptions about the way we make, trade, and even grow things. Automated workplaces in Japan intimate the …

Fin-de-Siècle America

Of all the difficulties facing the historian in his task of understanding and describing the past, none can be greater than that of emphatically recreating the popular “mood” attending any particular event or period. For example, in describing the Europe of 1914, it may be relatively easy for the historian …

Can the US Remain Number One?

The end of the century is coming, and serious citizens of the world’s number one power are beginning to get worried. Four decades earlier, it had occupied a virtually unchallengeable position in the international system. Its economy was far larger and more productive than any other, its financial reserves were …

Not So Grand Strategy

For the past fifteen months, a group of this country’s leading experts on military and international affairs has been attempting to produce what many critics believe was impossible for the Reagan administration to achieve: an “integrated” and “long-term” strategy that would prepare the US to meet the changing “security environment” …

The Reasons Why

It is over seventy years since Gavrilo Princip’s shots plunged Europe into the “Great War,” and only a dwindling number of people alive today can be old enough to have been called to the colors, or to have joined the mass demonstrations which took place in the capitals of Europe …