Essays

In search of Lebensraum

Hitler’s conviction that a new Eurasian order should be constructed with Germany at its zenith had its ideological roots in the early science of geopolitics.

China rethinking its role

With China positioning itself as a leader on the world stage, its government is drawing on memories of the role the country played in shaping the post-War order. This raises tough questions about China’s self-image.

The world that Vasco da Gama built

Portugal’s commercial dominance of large swathes of the world lasted little more than a century but the images, transmissions, and trades that it engendered left a significant and long-lasting influence.

Late Beauties of the British Empire

From the Archive – first published in Empire and the Future World Order (2005) after the Engelsberg Seminar. The late beauties of empire represented all that was best in the British imperial idea – its romance, its glamour and its sense of humour.

The case for applied history

Forget the seduction of grand theories and presentist moral judgments. To learn the lessons of the past, the great foreign policy analysts of our age must rediscover the art of historical discernment.

Machiavelli and the benefits of civil strife

Niccolo Machiavelli, Renaissance statesman and political theorist, saw factional politics as essential to the prosperity of the Roman Empire and his native Florence. Are today’s partisan divisions as beneficial?

A government of laws

The constitutional order is changing as citizens become alienated and demand more say. Americans must take care that their habits of law – the ethos that makes the US exceptional – are not swept away.

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