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 New Policy of Demoting Democracy

Oct 16, 2020

In November 2000, the battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore for the US presidency was deadlocked over the status of a few thousand votes in Florida. Gore had won the popular vote, but the margin of victory in the Electoral College depended on Florida. In that state, Bush...

A New Direction for Nukes and North Korea

Oct 09, 2020

North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons has changed the nuclear balance in Northeast Asia. But it hasn’t altered the way politicians and diplomats approach the question of arms control and disarmament in the region. The debate among influencers continues to revolve around two versions of “more of the same.” Containment...

All the President’s Surplus White Men

Oct 02, 2020

The problem of America today is the problem of white men. Who lies at the intersection of guns, right-wing fanaticism, pandemic and climate change denialism? Who ensures that racism continues to course through the lifeblood of the country? Who stands in the way of gender equality? Who supports foreign wars...

America's Reputation May Bounce Back After Trump, But Will the Country?

Sep 25, 2020

Donald Trump used to care what the world outside America thought of him. Before he ran for president, he was focused on turning his business into a global brand. The name “Trump” was supposed to connote all the luxury and success of the elite lifestyle. Trump hotels, Trump golf courses,...

Taking American Carnage to the Next Level

Sep 18, 2020

It is a recent tradition among occupants of the White House, as they head out of office, to play a few practical jokes on their successors. The Clinton administration jesters, for instance, removed all the Ws from White House keyboards before handing over the keys to George W. Bush’s transition...

Donald Trump’s War With the Troops

Sep 11, 2020

My father enlisted in the Army to fight in World War II. He was 19 or 20 years old, and he wanted to defeat the Nazis. He was one of a million other young Americans to sign up that year. But my father was also a fun-loving guy who played...

The Next President Needs to Learn From Past Mistakes

Sep 04, 2020

Thirteen years ago, in summer 2007, I wrote a memo for the future president of the United States. The one who would take office in 2020. At the time, I had no idea who would win the 2008 presidential election, much less an election in the distant future. In summer...

Could COVID-19 Bring Down Autocrats?

Aug 28, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 initially looked like a gift to autocrats around the world. What better pretext for a state of emergency than a pandemic? It was a golden opportunity to close borders, suppress civil society and issue decrees left and right (mostly right). Donald Trump in the United States,...

Is Trump Preparing a Pre-Election Surprise?

Aug 14, 2020

In 2016, Alan Lichtman departed from conventional wisdom to predict a Donald Trump victory in that year’s presidential election. The political scientist was following something he called the “13 keys to the White House.” Using this relatively straightforward metric, Lichtman had correctly predicted the outcome of presidential elections stretching back...

Is Europe More United Than the US?

Aug 04, 2020

During the Trump era, America increasingly seems like a motley collection of states brought together for reasons of territorial contiguity and little else. The conservative South is ravaged by a pandemic. The liberal Northeast waits patiently for elections in November to oust a tyrant. A rebellious Pacific Northwest faces off...

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