Geopolitics runs as a theme through several of the articles in the September issue of International Affairs. In the lead article, David Martin Jones and M. L. R. Smith argue that modern western diplomacy needs to revisit early political thinkers’ rationalist understanding of statecraft if security threats - such as that posed by ISIS – are be countered more effectively. Similary, Stefan Auer explains why a hard-nosed realist approach towards Russia is needed by the West particularly when it comes to the Ukraine crisis. In contrast, Jean-Yves Haine argues that we have reached a ‘new Gaullist moment’, where Europe will have to start thinking and acting strategically for itself.
The Middle East is another common thread running through the issue. Toby Greene sheds light on the internal Israeli policy debate over the two-state solution to the Israel–Palestine conflict. Robert Snyder’s article explains why the Arab monarchies survived the 2011 uprisings, while many republican leaders did not. James Strong revisits the 2013 Syria vote in the UK parliament to show how this has affected British foreign policy, while Scott Fitzsimmons systematically assesses private security companies’ adherence to just war principles during the Iraq War. In a review article, Jane Kinninmont looks at three recent books on the Arab Spring and discusses why the uprisings still matter.
Other articles in the September issue focus on topics such as the rise of Asia and the future of the transatlantic relationship; China–Latin America relations; conflict diamonds and the Kimberley Process; and the future of NATO enlargement. Tim Summers considers books from Polity’s ‘China Today’ series in the second review article.