Politics and Strategy

News Release

Stephen Kotkin's "Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941" Wins 2018 CFR Arthur Ross Book Award

Professor Stephen Kotkin has won the seventeenth annual Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Arthur Ross Book Award for Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 (Random House), the second volume of a definitive biography of Joseph Stalin. The book covers major events in the Soviet Union from collectivization and the Great Terror to the conflict with Germany under Adolf Hitler. Kotkin, the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, will receive $15,000.

See more in Global; Society and Culture; Politics and Strategy


2017 United Kingdom General Election

Speaker: Charles A. Kupchan
Speaker: Sebastian Mallaby
Presider: Anya Schmemann

Against the backdrop of Brexit and terrorism, the United Kingdom’s general election is scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Panelists will discuss the possible outcomes and their implications for the U.K., Europe, and trans-Atlantic relations.

See more in United Kingdom; Elections


U.S. Policy in the Middle East: Fifty Years After the Six Day War

Speaker: Martin S. Indyk
Speaker: Kenneth W. Stein
Speaker: Shibley Telhami
Introductory Remarks: Richard N. Haass
Presider: Lisa Anderson

Experts discuss the legacy of the 1967 Six Day War, its influence on U.S. policy in the Middle East for the last fifty years, and the prospects of negotiating a lasting Arab-Israeli peace deal.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; History and Theory of International Relations


Media Call: President Trump's Middle East Agenda

Speaker: Elliott Abrams
Speaker: Steven A. Cook
Speaker: Robert Danin
Presider: Anya Schmemann

After meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House next week, President Donald J. Trump will embark on his first international trip on May 19, with stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel. Panelists on this on-the-record teleconference discussed the significance of the president's visit and his objectives in the region, particularly as they pertain to the fight against the self-declared Islamic State and forging a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Turkey; Peacekeeping


France's Election Proves It—America Is Now an Example of What Not to Do

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Americans have a long and ignoble tradition of telling jokes about the French. Old chestnuts such as “I'm selling a French rifle: Never shot, dropped only once” became popular again in 2003 when the French — wisely as it turns out — refused to join their U.S. allies in the invasion of Iraq. The House of Representatives cafeteria even renamed French fries, “freedom fries.” Turns out the joke’s on us.

See more in France; United States; Elections


Russiagate: Trump Is Trying to Put Out a Fire With More Smoke

Author: Max Boot

There’s a lot we know—and even more we don’t know—regarding the Kremlin interference in the U.S. election last year. The most important thing we know is that there was interference. This is the consensus, “high confidence” assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, which further concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. That in and of itself is scandalous enough. What we don’t know—and need to find out—is whether the Trump campaign actively colluded with this Russian operation and, more broadly, what links if any exist between the U.S. president and the dictator in the Kremlin.

See more in Russian Federation; Elections; Cybersecurity


Human Rights and Diplomacy

David Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy at the McCain Institute and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, joins CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon in examining President Donald J. Trump's human rights policy.

See more in Global; Human Rights; Diplomacy and Statecraft