National Newswatch

Joe Biden’s Non-Dilemma Dilemma

Mar 15 2023 — Lisa Van Dusen — Fifty-five years ago this month, on March 31st, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not be running for re-election. “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president,” Johnson famously said in a televised speech from the Oval Office. It was the […]

The Roots of Democracy’s Raucous Decade

Feb 19 2023 — Lisa Van Dusen — Any exploration of the evolution of democracy over the decade since Policy magazine began publishing begins with two points of context. First, the real story of democracy’s recent evolution goes back not a decade but a quarter century. Second, that story has to begin in America, as the world’s democratic superpower. When we look at […]

Norms and the Notwithstanding Clause: In 2023, all Human Rights Erosions are Global

Jan 25 2023 — Lisa Van Dusen — At a time when human rights are under attack across the globe — when the executions of Iranian protesters, the revocation of reproductive rights for American women, Russia’s daily brutality against Ukrainians, the accumulating atrocities of Myanmar’s military and a whole range of Orwellian violations of privacy and human integrity make up just the first […]

Please, Harry, Please…Join the GOP

Jan 9 2023 — Lisa Van Dusen — Is that tenth circle of hell whose belated appendage to Dante’s Inferno was required by the emergence of so many unprecedented variations on the themes of the first nine since the advent of 21st-century technological innovation the one where you wake up one day cursed to produce a steady clickbait feed of amplified banalities, or […]

Russia’s ‘Diplomacy 404’ and the War of Attrition

Dec 29 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — If you Google “Russia Ukraine war diplomacy” the search results read like the weekly entries in the diary of a 16-year-old girl who can’t make up her mind about whether she should go to prom with the quarterback: Diplomacy will fail, diplomacy is the only way, diplomacy is tantamount to appeasement, diplomacy is premature, diplomacy […]

As China’s Citizens Take to the Streets, Canada Takes a Side

Nov 27 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — At this writing, in the streets, on university campuses, in public squares, at the world’s largest iPhone factory — people across China are courageously protesting Beijing’s latest human rights violations. “In multiple videos seen by CNN, people could be heard shouting demands for China’s leader Xi Jinping and the Communist Party to ‘step down,’” the […]

The Midterms are Over: Welcome to 2024!

Nov 17 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — Two events have happened in the past 10 days that mark the unofficial launch of the 2024 presidential election cycle as might have, in previous eras, the early formation of Super PACs or a dewy new facelift on an undeclared contender. The first was the November 8th midterm election result of a slim Democratic majority […]

Iran’s Social Revolution: A Policy Q&A with Homa Hoodfar

Nov 4 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — Lisa Van Dusen: Prof. Hoodfar, as you know, Friday the 4th of November is the anniversary of the 1979 siege of the US Embassy in Tehran by Iranian students during the Islamic Revolution. It is also the anniversary of the 2009 protests in Iran, marking the anniversary with protests asserting that America was not the […]

Vladimir Putin’s October Syurpriz

Oct 11 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — The term October Surprise was coined in the pre-election fall of 1980 by Ronald Reagan campaign director and Wild Bill Donovan–OSS-era protegé William Casey. To pre-emptively frame any pre-election breakthrough in the Iran hostage crisis at the time as purely tactical, Casey told the media that Reagan feared the incumbent Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, would […]

‘Our World is in Peril’: The 77th UNGA, or Truth vs. Gridlock in a Paralyzed World

Sep 20 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — In the days when I worked on a Washington wire desk editing White House and international news, the view above my desktop was of a collage of photo cutlines and headlines of then-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan expressing shock, dismay, alarm, distress, anxiety, bewilderment, astonishment and other near-daily lamentations over the state of the […]

How the World Trade Organization Became a Proxy Battleground

Aug 27 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — The existing global trade regime was born in 1947 with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and solidified in 1995 with the launch of its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). As it happened, two later events that straddled the birth of the millennium — the Seattle WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 and […]

Boris Johnson, Cautionary Tale for Faustian Bargainers

Jul 7 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — For those of us who’ve lived with Boris Johnson not as a political actor impacting our daily quality of life but as one providing a perpetual stream of spit-take fodder and armchair editing fuel, Thursday’s developments were bittersweet. “In the last few days, I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to […]

SCOTUS v. America and the Lure of the Counterfactual

Jun 25 2022 — Lisa Van Dusen — Within the dystopian melodrama of the Supreme Court of the United States v. America, in the specific case of Friday’s previously telegraphed ruling on abortion rights, there has a been a secondary narrative emerging. The hashtag for that knock-on narrative is #Elections Matter, meaning that, if American voters had elected Hillary Clinton in 2016, this […]