John Feffer

John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. His most recent book is the dystopian novel Frostlands. Previously, he was a writing fellow at Provisions Library in Washington, DC and a PanTech fellow in Korean Studies at Stanford University. He is a former associate editor of World Policy Journal. Feffer has worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He has studied in England and Russia, lived in Poland and Japan, and traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia.

The Politics of American Protest: A North Korean Twist

July 16, 2021

Gwen Berry recently protested the playing of the US national anthem by turning away from the flag and holding up a shirt that read “activist athlete.” The protest took place at the Olympic trials in Oregon where Berry had placed third in the hammer throw competition. Her action immediately drew...

So Far, Biden’s Foreign Policy Is Proving Too Conventional

July 02, 2021

On the domestic front, Joe Biden is flirting with transformational policies around energy, environment, and infrastructure. It’s not a revolution, but it’s considerably less timid than what Barack Obama offered in that pre-Trump, pre-pandemic era. When it comes to foreign policy, however, the Biden administration has been nowhere near as...

Iran’s Hardliners Are Back

June 25, 2021

To some critics, US elections are managed affairs. According to this cynical view, the “powers that be” narrow the field of candidates, the two parties don’t represent the real range of public opinion in the country, and periodic elections are just shadow plays staged by powerbrokers behind the scenes. In...

How the G7 Intends to Build the World Back Better

June 18, 2021

The US Senate recently demonstrated that the only adhesive capable of uniting the two parties is a good, old-fashioned enemy. Although the Democrats and Republicans continue to bicker over the Biden administration’s infrastructure legislation, they achieved rare accord in passing a major technology bill that directs investment into key sectors of the...

The Next Surge of Trumpism

June 09, 2021

I went to a birthday party recently. The celebrants greeted each other with hugs on the patio. After an outdoor barbeque dinner, we stood shoulder to shoulder around the island in the kitchen, eating cake from small paper plates. We sang “Happy Birthday.” Ordinarily, an event like that wouldn’t be...

Democracy Is Down but Not Out

June 04, 2021

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian dictator, snatches a dissident from midair. Military strongman Assimi Goita launches another coup in Mali. Benjamin Netanyahu escalates a military conflict to save his own political skin in Israel. In the United States, the Republican Party launches a full-court press to suppress the vote. Authoritarianism, like...

Radical Republicans Are Not Conservatives

May 27, 2021

The House Freedom Caucus is routinely described as conservative, by its members, by the mainstream media and by Wikipedia. The caucus, which draws together 45 Republican Party members of the House of Representatives, is the furthest to the right of any major political formation in the United States. The most extreme and flamboyant...

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Nine Political Lives

May 21, 2021

When Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister for the second time in March 2009, it was not long after Israel had conducted three weeks of sustained air attacks on the enclave of Gaza. More than 1,100 Palestinians died in that campaign. About a dozen Israelis also perished, four from friendly fire,...

Why the US Will Not Achieve Herd Immunity

May 14, 2021

The problem with the COVID-19 pandemic is that we don’t know if we’re coming or going. It’s as if we’re swimming far from shore, overwhelmed by one wave after another, and we’re unsure if we’re heading toward land or away from it. China was the early face of COVID-19, but...

Immigration Is the Solution for the Falling US Birth Rate

May 07, 2021

Germany faces a major crisis. The German birth rate is considerably below what’s needed to replace the population. German seniors, meanwhile, are living longer and drawing more on state resources for their pensions and health care. There are basically two ways out of this demographic crisis. First of all, Germany...

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