Whither the West: A New Beginning

The Center is now in its fourth year, a truly remarkable achievement many of us never imagined would come to pass. We’ve had growing pains, and we’ve published some great authors, some of whom have gone on to other endeavors. But as much as we’ve changed, the world has changed more.

When we began, we had three great questions before us: Could the West integrate the former Soviet Republics successfully; could the challenge of Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijan be overcome without a resort to war; and would the example of its former satellites draw Russia West in a way that 1990s crony capitalism failed to do? In the last year, much has changed: Ukraine is riven by war, Russia snarls at a fractured West, and Azerbaijan increasingly sees itself nearly alone in the world.

As we prepare for a re-launch, we will be hosting symposia on several questions, with our scholars — past and present — and some notable personalities weighing in. The first of these confronts what may be the single, largest common element in the changed world we see today: A West that is no longer unified, that stumbles from crisis to crisis, and can no longer speak with a single voice, even in the face of Russian aggression. How much of what we see of Western disunity arises from within, and how much is caused by the very crises with which NATO and the EU were designed to deal?

Tune back in next week — it promises to be exciting, and merely the first of these to come.

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