, Volume 92, Number 1

Commissioning Editor, International Affairs

Happy New Year from International Affairs!

Our January issue starts off by looking at nuclear strategies in south Asia, with T. V. Paul and Mahesh Shankar focusing on India and Pakistan’s nuclear postures and their implications for stability and security in the region. In other key articles, Tuomas Forsberg offers an analysis of how German foreign policy towards Russia has changed during the Merkel era, while Madeline Carr assesses the tensions and challenges of public–private partnerships in national cyber security strategies. 

A cluster of articles look at various aspects of US foreign policy. Asaf Siniver and Scott Lucas argue that the Obama administration’s deliberate labelling of the extremist Sunni group as ISIL, rather than e.g. ISIS—which rhetorically detaches it from Syria—is an evasion of the necessary response, reflecting a lack of coherence in strategy and operations. Andreas Krieg’s article examines Obama’s foreign policy towards the Middle East, arguing that by externalizing the burden of warfare, i.e. relying on both human and technological surrogates, the US may have jeopardized its standing as the traditional guarantor of security in the region. Another noteworthy article relating to the Middle East, by José Ciro Martínez and Brent Eng, looks at the unintended consequences of emergency food aid, particularly in the context of the Syrian civil war. The rise of Islamic finance, a topic which thus far hasn’t received much attention in IR journals, is discussed in an article by Davinia Hoggarth. Explaining that it signifies more than a projection of religious affiliation, the author highlights the importance of Islamic finance in central Asia, both as a source of capital and as a form of post-colonial market-building. In addition to those mentioned above, the January issue contains articles on missile defence and US alliances; the EU and the 2015 NPT review conference; and Russian hybrid warfare and extended deterrence in eastern Europe. The full issue, including the book reviews section, is now available on the Chatham House and Wiley websites.

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