Is Saudi Arabia an ally or an adversary? Saudi Arabia remains an autocratic monarchy, where the rights of women and the press are severely restricted. Saudi money is a principal source of funding for the Wahhabi sect, which promotes a militant form of Islam throughout the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen participants in the attacks of September 11 came from Saudi Arabia. And yet, for more than 50 years, the United States has treated Saudi Arabia as an ally. Why? What role have Saudi oil and Saudi oil money played in shaping our relationship? Is it time to recognize that Saudi Arabia may threaten American national interests? If so, what should U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia be?
For decades, Western Europe has been known for its social democracies—large welfare states governed by a coalition of the political left and center. In recent years however, this center-left coalition seems to have broken down. Conservative parties have come to power in a number of European countries, including Spain, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. Why has Europe moved to the right? Have a few specific issues, such as immigration and crime, driven European voters to the right? Are voters merely expressing a temporary frustration with the center-left coalition, or is the new conservative Europe here to stay?
Throughout the latter half of the Twentieth Century, the United States and Western Europe seemed the staunchest of allies, united in NATO in defense against the common threat of the Soviet Union. With the end of the cold war and the loss of that common enemy, however, signs of emerging tensions have appeared in the friendship between America and Europe. How serious are the spats between Europe and the United States over issues such as the International Criminal Court, the conflict in the Middle East, and the U.S. conduct of the war on terrorism? With the formation of the European Union, Europe has become an economic rival to the United States. Will it become a political and military rival as well?
The spread of democracy around the world was one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, democracy was limited to a handful of Western nations, while today perhaps 120 nations have some form of democratic government. Yet among Muslim countries, democracy is rare, and among Arab states, essentially nonexistent. Why? Is the Islamic faith compatible with the essential features of a democratic society—separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and women's rights, to name a few—or not? Just what is the future of democracy in the Arab world?
Democracy and freedom currently hang by a thread in Hong Kong. How much longer will China tolerate dissent before violently crushing the protests? What is America's role and responsibility in the fight to save liberty in Hong Kong?
In a 2002 Gallup poll conducted in ten Muslim nations, only 22 percent of the people questioned viewed the United States favorably. Why does the United States foster such hatred in the Islamic world in particular? Is it our foreign policy—our support of Israel and of repressive Arab regimes in the Middle East? Or is it our culture? Does globalization spread American values that are simply antithetical, thus disruptive, to the traditional Islamic view of society? Just what should we do to win this struggle for the hearts and minds of those who despise us around the world?
In June 2003, a European constitutional convention presented the fruits of 18 months of work: a draft constitution for the European Union that runs to more than 200 pages. Why does the European Union even need a constitution? Will the constitution limit the powers of the EU over the member countries, or does it mean the creation of a European superstate? Should the constitution be ratified, or is it just a colossal mistake?
What are the root causes of terrorism and how should we respond to them? If the discontent and hatred that breed terrorism spring from economic, political, and cultural grievances, should we address those grievances? Or does acknowledgment of these types of causes of terrorism lend a dangerous legitimacy to terrorists themselves?
Is democracy possible in the Arab Middle East? Peter Berkowitz travels to Kuwait to find out.
The causes, the players, and the likely consequences of the Arab eruptions. A conversation with Hoover fellows Peter Berkowitz, Victor Davis Hanson, and Peter Robinson.
Peter Robinson, former Reagan speechwriter, who wrote the Tear Down That Wall Speech on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. . . .
Fifteen years later, how have the September 11 attacks shaped the West's response to the threat of terrorism.
Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, discusses his essay “The Straussian Moment,” describing how the ancients believed in the power of the intellect and the weakness of the will, but how today we believe the opposite. We want machines to do the thinking, because we don’t trust rationality. Also, Thiel gives his overview on the current American political scene and discusses whether he will endorse President Trump in 2020.
Peter Robinson interviews Fresno State Classicist Bruce Thornton about his new book Decline and Fall: Europe's Slow Suicide.
In his new book, Decline and Fall: Europe’s Slow Motion Suicide, Bruce Thornton asserts that Europe has turned its back on the Western tradition to which it owes its greatness. It has abandoned pride in the nation, discarded traditional Christianity, and, in so doing, is without unifying values, ideals, and beliefs. But if Europe is still democratic, and if it still embraces the free market, why should anyone care that Judaeo-Christian religious beliefs are slipping away. The answer lies in the coinciding rise of radical Islam. (35:45) Video transcript
A glimpse at globe-trotting diplomats and conflicting interests. . . .
What happens when South Korean students take a close look at American democracy. By Peter Berkowitz.
An Arab state wrestles with its own clash of civilizations. By Peter Berkowitz.
France may have a case for banning the burqa. By Peter Berkowitz.
Uncommon Knowledge and the Hoover Institution Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The Hoover Institution Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Hoover fellow Peter Berkowitz on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the late Soviet dissident and honorary Hoover fellow to whom “one word of truth outweighed the whole world.”