Joseph S. Nye, Project Syndicate

Joseph S. Nye

Project Syndicate

Cambridge, MA, United States

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Past articles by Joseph:

Peak China? by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. considers the country’s long-term prospects of competing with America following its latest stumbles. → Read More

The Evolution of America’s China Strategy

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. considers the legacy of the “engagement” policy, and what should come next. → Read More

Is Nuclear War Inevitable?

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. considers the best way to assess the risks associated with deterrence and disarmament. → Read More

Soft Power After Ukraine

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. shows that persuasion and attraction still matter even in a contest of military might. → Read More

Why China Won’t Mediate an End to the Ukraine War

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. doubts that President Xi Jinping has the courage and imagination to broker peace. → Read More

Realism About Foreign-Policy Realism by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. points out that trade-offs between national interests and values are not as straightforward as they once were. → Read More

America's New Great-Power Strategy

During the Cold War, US grand strategy focused on containing the power of the Soviet Union. China’s rise now requires America and its allies to develop a strategy that seeks not total victory over an existential threat, but rather managed competition that allows for both cooperation and rivalry within a rules-based system. → Read More

The Logic of US-China Competition by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

The success of US President Joe Biden’s China policy will depend on whether the two powers can cooperate in producing global public goods, while competing in other areas. The US-China relationship is a “cooperative rivalry,” in which the terms of competition will require equal attention to both sides of the oxymoron. That will not be easy. → Read More

Biden and Human Rights by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

The goals that US presidents have sought over the years do not reflect a pursuit of justice at the international level similar to what they aspired to at home. At the same time, liberal societies have duties to uphold values beyond their borders, and doing so is a part of their national interest. → Read More

Biden’s Asian Triangle by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

The Japan-US alliance remains popular in both countries, which need each other more than ever. Together, they can balance China’s power and cooperate with China in areas like climate change, biodiversity, and pandemics, as well as on working toward a rules-based international economic order. → Read More

Brent Scowcroft Remembered by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

At a time when US President Donald Trump has run through four national security advisers in four years, and seems unable to distinguish national interest from his personal interest, Brent Scowcroft's legacy is more relevant than ever. He remains the model for a modern public servant. → Read More

The Other Global Power Shift by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

The world is increasingly obsessed with the ongoing power struggle between the US and China. But the technology-driven shift of power away from states to transnational actors and global forces brings a new and unfamiliar complexity to global affairs. → Read More

American Exceptionalism in the Age of Trump by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

As the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China are condemned to a relationship that must combine competition and cooperation. For the US, exceptionalism now includes working with the Chinese to help produce global public goods, while also defending values such as human rights. → Read More

What Is a Moral Foreign Policy? by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

A foreign policy should be judged not only by specific actions, but also by how a pattern of actions shapes the environment of world politics. Leadership in supplying global public goods, for example, is consistent with “America First,” but it rests on a broader historical and institutional understanding than Donald Trump has shown. → Read More

Trump’s Transactional Myopia by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Foreign partners' willingness to help the United States is affected not just by America's hard military and economic power, but also by its soft power of attraction, based on an open culture, liberal democratic values, and policies that are perceived as legitimate. US foreign policy can succeed only if Americans relearn this. → Read More

Why Morals Matter in Foreign Policy by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

It is tautological or at best trivial to say that all states try to act in their national interest. The important question is how leaders choose to define and pursue that national interest under different circumstances. → Read More

Trump’s Effect on US Foreign Policy by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Donald Trump's long-term impact on US foreign policy is uncertain. But the debate about it has revived a longstanding question: Are major historical outcomes the product of human choices or are they largely the result of overwhelming structural factors produced by economic and political forces beyond our control? → Read More

Speaking Truth to Power by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

Many partisans accused President George W. Bush of lying and pressuring the intelligence community to produce intelligence to justify a war that Bush had already chosen. But the situation was complicated, and to understand the problems of speaking truth to power, we must clear away the myths. → Read More

Power and Interdependence in the Trump Era by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

President Donald Trump's manipulation of America's privileged international system will strengthen other countries' incentives to extricate themselves from US networks of interdependence in the long run. In the meantime, there will be costly damage to the international institutions that limit conflict and create global public goods. → Read More

Deterrence in Cyberspace by Joseph S. Nye

Understanding deterrence in cyberspace is often difficult, because our minds remain captured by an image of deterrence shaped by the Cold War: a threat of massive retaliation to a nuclear attack by nuclear means. A better analogy is crime: governments can only imperfectly prevent it. → Read More