Porui These are the 6 questions,  Political science  Due in 4 days 6 questions 750 words each, 2 sources each QUESTION , all questions in APA format and

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 Due in 4 days

6 questions 750 words each, 2 sources each QUESTION , all questions in APA format and provide plagiarism report on all papers 

1. In 1885 foreign ministers of the European great powers had a conference in Berlin at which they agreed on a division of Africa into spheres of influence. Though Liberia and Ethiopia were acknowledged to be independent states and various kingdoms and chieftaincies away from the coasts also operated outside European control, no Africans were invited to the Conference. What institutional and ideational changes in world politics mean that a similar conference would not be possible today? 

2. World politics has changed in many ways since the late 18th century. Identify what you regard as the two most important changes and explain why those two are more important than the others. 

3. Mao Zedong’s approach to developing China combined central planning with very low connection to the global economy. His successors modified both, allowing establishment of local government-owned and private enterprises not subject to planning and opening China’s economy to more international trade and investment in the 1980s. Drawing on theories and analytical schemes learned in class, explain why the changes were made. 

4. In the 1960s, developing countries – especially the newly independent ones in Africa and Asia – formed the Group of 77 and used the UN General Assembly to advance their views about how world politics and the international economy should be organized. In recent years it has become to use the phrase “the Global South” to designate the same set of more than 120 countries. The phrase suggests two things: that all of those countries can be regarded as common characteristics and that those common characteristics lead them to have similar foreign policy goals. Thinking across the issue areas of security, economic affairs, human rights, and environmental concerns, assess the extent to which states of the Global South do or do not have common goals and explain why the convergences and divergences of goals exist. 

5. The leaders of the Meiji Restoration in late 19th century Japan often summarized their goals for Japan with the slogan “rich nation, strong army.” What does the slogan suggest about how a country should order its priorities in a decentralized international system? Indicate whether it is an equally relevant guide for a small state and explain why or why not.

6. Joseph Nye defines contextual intelligence as “the ability to understand an evolving environment and capitalize on trends” and argues that world politics in the rest of the 21st century will not be about determining which country is “number 1” but about great powers using their power in collaboration with other states and with nonstate actors rather as a tool for dominating those other states and nonstate actors. This is a very different view than the realist emphasis on unending competition among great powers for dominance. What features of contemporary world politics support Nye’s argument? Record: 1

After Credibility: American Foreign Policy in the Trump Era.

Yarhi-Milo, Keren (AUTHOR)

Foreign Affairs. Jan/Feb2018, Vol. 97 Issue 1, p68-77. 10p.

After Credibility

American Foreign Policy in the Trump Era

“Believe me.” U.S. President Donald Trump has used that phrase countless times, whether he is talking

about counterterrorism (“I know more about isis than the generals do. Believe me”), building a wall along the

U.S.-Mexican border (“Believe me, one way or the other, we’re going to get that wall”), or the Iran nuclear

deal (“Believe me. Oh, believe me…. It’s a bad deal”).

Trump wants to be taken at his word. But public opinion polls consistently indicate that between two-thirds

and three-quarters of Americans do not find him trustworthy. The global picture is no better. Most citizens of

traditional U.S. allies, such as Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, South Korea, and the

United Kingdom, say that they have no confidence in the U.S. president.

In other words, Trump suffers from a credibility gap. This is, perhaps, unsurprising. According to The New

York Times, Trump said something untrue every day for the first 40 days of his presidency. His actions

speak even louder. Trump has sown doubt about some of the United States’ oldest and most important

commitments, such as its support for NATO—an alliance Trump described as “obsolete” in January, before

declaring it “no longer obsolete” in April. He has flip-flopped on policy positions, publicly undermined the

efforts of members of his own administration, and backpedaled on diplomatic agreements, including the

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Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.

The United States does not derive its credibility from the words of the executive alone, but Trump’s behavior

carries consequences. As the president undermines the nation’s credibility at home and abroad, allies will

hesitate to trust American promises, and U.S. threats will lose some of their force. The risks of deadly

miscalculation will increase. And to demonstrate its resolve, the United States may need to take more costly

and extreme actions. Other sources of credibility, such as American military prowess and a general faith in

U.S. institutions, may mitigate some of the damage wreaked by Trump. But there is no substitute for a

president whose words still matter.


The Nobel laureate and nuclear strategist Thomas Schelling once wrote that “face is one of the few things

worth fighting over.”

For much of the twentieth century, policymakers believed that their own credibility was essential to making

threats believable and to reassuring allies and adversaries alike that they could trust U.S. commitments. In

the 1950s, for example, the United States entered the Korean War in part to demonstrate its resolve to

actively counter the

Soviet Union. A similar concern about reputation kept U.S. troops in Vietnam long after policymakers had

concluded that the United States was losing the war.

In the post –Cold War era, most American leaders have considered credibility essential to the task of

maintaining the U.S. alliance system and the postwar liberal order. Such thinking played a role in U.S.

interventions in Haiti, Kosovo, and Iraq. The rationale for these interventions varied, as did their outcomes,

but in each case, leaders backed their words with action.

In international politics, an actor’s credibility is tied to its reputation, a characteristic that political scientists

generally split into two varieties. What Robert Jervis calls “signaling reputation” refers to an actor’s record of

carrying out threats or fulfilling promises. “General reputation,” on the other hand, refers to a broader range

of attributes, such as whether an actor is cooperative or sincere. These two forms of reputation can affect

each other: for example, sustained damage to a state’s signaling reputation may erode its general

reputation for trustworthiness. However, a country’s general reputation can also be distinct. Before the

Korean War, for example, the United States had made no specific commitment to South Korea. Choosing to

intervene, therefore, did not affect the United States’ signaling reputation but may have contributed to a

general reputation for resolve.

Context can also affect credibility. For example, a president may not be perceived as trustworthy when he

makes assurances to allies but may still be considered credible when he threatens military action. Or he

may be seen as trustworthy on social or economic issues but not on foreign policy. Sometimes, a

president’s credibility at home can affect his credibility abroad. In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan

followed through on his threat to fire more than 11,000 air traffic controllers after they had violated federal

law by going on strike. A number of policymakers and observers—including George Shultz, who became

U.S. secretary of state the following year, and Tip O’Neill, then Speaker of the House—reported that this

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move had significant, if unintentional, consequences for U.S. foreign policy: the Soviets learned that

Reagan didn’t bluff.

Some scholars are skeptical that reputations matter. The political scientist Daryl Press argues that credibility

has nothing to do with a leader’s record of following through on threats. Instead, adversaries evaluate the

balance of military capabilities and the interests at stake. Press argues that during the Cuban missile crisis,

for example, members of the Kennedy administration viewed Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s threats as

highly credible, even though Khrushchev had repeatedly backed down on his ultimatum that Western forces

withdraw from West Berlin. In Press’ view, Khrushchev’s credibility stemmed not from his signaling

reputation but from Washington’s view of the nuclear balance of power and Soviet interests. Similarly, the

political scientist Jonathan Mercer argues that, historically, backing down from a threat has not led countries

to develop a reputation for weakness among adversaries, and standing firm has not led to a reputation for

resolve among allies.

The empirical evidence these scholars have gathered is important. But their view by no means represents

the scholarly consensus. According to the political scientists Frank Harvey and John Mitton, for example, a

reputation for following through on threats significantly increases a state’s coercive power. Focusing on U.S.

interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq, they show that adversaries studied what the United States had

said and how it had behaved in comparable situations to infer its resolve and to predict its likely actions. My

work with the political scientist Alex Weisiger has shown that countries that have backpedaled in past crises

are much more likely to be challenged again, whereas countries with good reputations for resolve are much

less likely to face military confrontations. Other studies have documented how states that break their

alliance commitments develop a reputation for being unreliable and are less likely to earn trust in the future.

A good reputation, this body of work demonstrates, remains crucial for successful diplomacy.


Unfortunately, the reputation of the U.S. presidency has eroded in recent years. Trump deserves much of

the blame—but not all of it. The United States’ signaling reputation began to decline in the summer of 2013,

after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad breached U.S. President Barack Obama’s “redline” on chemical

weapons. In August 2012, Obama had stated that the mobilization or use of these weapons would “change

[his] calculus” on Syria, a remark that many interpreted as a threat of military action. In August 2013, Assad

launched a series of sarin gas attacks against rebel strongholds, killing 1,400 Syrians. Yet instead of

responding with military strikes, Obama agreed to a Russian-brokered deal in which Assad pledged to

dismantle his arsenal of chemical weapons.

In an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama defended his decision by saying that “dropping

bombs on someone to prove that you’re willing to drop bombs on someone is just about the worst reason to

use force.” But this was a straw man. Few analysts were suggesting that Obama should pursue a bad policy

solely on reputational grounds; however, there are political and strategic costs when the president makes a

promise and then fails to act. If Obama had not intended to follow through on his threat, he should not have

issued it in the first place. And ultimately, the diplomatic solution did not work: Assad has continued to use

chemical weapons.

Regardless of whether they supported or opposed Obama’s decision not to intervene more forcefully in

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Syria, Republicans and many Democrats believed that the redline episode had damaged the country’s

credibility. Hawks argued that to restore the United States’ reputation for resolve, Washington should be

more willing to use military force. But this was a misleading, and potentially dangerous, assessment of what

needed fixing in U.S. foreign policy after Obama’s departure. Credibility requires consistency, not

belligerency. The next president could have repaired the damage by demonstrating the integrity of American

assurances and threats.

Instead, Trump has complicated the situation by showcasing both toughness, which may have some

strategic advantages, and impulsivity, which undermines his credibility. By bombing Syria, reengaging in

Afghanistan, and applying more pressure on North Korea, Trump may have gained a general reputation for

resolve and conveyed that he is more comfortable using military force than his predecessor. Yet the

president’s track record of flip-flopping on key campaign pledges, his bizarre and inaccurate outbursts on

Twitter, his exaggerated threats, and his off-the-cuff assurances have all led observers to seriously doubt

his words.

The list of Trump’s inconsistencies is long. After winning the 2016 race but before taking office, Trump

spoke by phone with Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan. This represented a major breach of protocol; in

order to avoid angering China, no U.S. president or president-elect had spoken to the leader of Taiwan

since 1979, when the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the island. After the call, Trump

declared that he was considering abandoning the “one China” policy, the foundation of the U.S.-Chinese

relationship for the past four decades. But in February 2017, he reconsidered and decided to uphold the

policy after all. During the campaign, Trump threatened to launch a trade war with China and pledged to

label Beijing a currency manipulator. He also implied that the United States should abandon its commitment

to nuclear nonproliferation, suggesting that Japan and South Korea should develop their own nuclear

weapons. He has subsequently backtracked on all these positions.

The ongoing crisis with North Korea is the latest manifestation of the same pattern. At the beginning of his

presidency, Trump described the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “smart cookie” and said that he

would be “honored to meet him.” He has subsequently taken to referring to Kim as “Little Rocket Man,” and

in September, he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea.

In other instances, Trump may have upheld his own signaling reputation at the country’s expense. For

example, Trump followed through on a campaign promise when he decided not to certify the Iran nuclear

deal in October. Because he demonstrated consistency, this decision may have bolstered his personal

signaling reputation. But by reneging on a formal U.S. commitment without presenting evidence that Iran

was not abiding by the treaty, Trump also imperiled the general reputation of the United States. Such a

move could undermine Washington’s diplomatic clout in future negotiations. If other countries believe that

American political commitments cannot survive a transition of power, they will be less likely to make

significant or painful concessions. Trump’s earlier decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement

presented a similar problem. Of course, any American president who wishes to change the status quo must

wrestle with the dilemma of how to keep his own promises without jeopardizing the credibility of his country.

But it is unclear that Trump has any concern for the larger reputational consequences of his decisions.


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Some in Trump’s circle claim that there is a brilliant strategy underpinning his erratic behavior and that the

president understands the ramifications of his unsteady public posture. According to this view, Trump’s

seemingly irrational statements are part of a calculated strategy to make adversaries think that he is crazy.

In September, for example, Trump told his trade representative to intimidate South Korean negotiators. “You

tell them if they don’t give the concessions now, this crazy guy will pull out of the deal,” Trump said,

according to Axios, referring to the U.S.–South Korean free-trade agreement. When it comes to North

Korea, the logic is simple: if Trump can convince Kim that he is irrational, and therefore willing to accept the

steep costs of a military confrontation, then he might scare the North Korean leader into capitulation.

Trump would not be the first U.S. president to attempt this strategy, which scholars call “the madman

theory,” or “the rationality of irrationality.” During the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon reportedly asked

his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, to tell the Russians and the North Vietnamese that he was

unpredictable and might even use nuclear weapons in Vietnam. But they saw through Nixon’s bluff, and the

gambit failed. The first rule of playing the madman game is to never publicly state that you are playing the

madman game. Trump has done just that. Pursuing this approach will only make him appear

unsophisticated and immature.

Another explanation that Trump’s defenders have offered is that the president purposefully creates

ambiguity in order to keep adversaries off balance. During the campaign, Trump said that he would not

“broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.” It’s certainly true that when carefully crafted and

consistently implemented, ambiguous statements can offer strategic benefits, such as allowing leaders to

speak to multiple audiences, who may have opposing interests, without alienating any of them. But Trump’s

statements are not strategically ambiguous; in fact, they are generally quite clear. The problem is that they

are inconsistent. The impulsive tone and the fact that some of his statements are communicated via Twitter

in the middle of the night further reduce their credibility.

When asked to account for Trump’s behavior, some of his supporters have even suggested that the

president’s words should not be taken literally. The Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told CNN’S Chris

Cuomo that the president should be judged based on “what’s in his heart” rather than “what’s come out of

his mouth.” U.S. allies, faced with the daunting task of discerning what lies in Trump’s heart, are unlikely to

find this advice reassuring.


It is possible that the American public and the rest of the world have already gotten used to Trump’s

unpredictable statements and contradictory tweets. In some cases, his reputation for not living up to his

word may even be reassuring: the world knows that he is unlikely to follow through on some of his more

disturbing pronouncements, such as his threat to “totally destroy” North Korea.

But this is small comfort. What happens when his word really needs to count? How can the United States

deter adversaries and reassure allies in the next crisis when the president cannot be trusted to credibly

communicate U.S. intentions?

Optimists argue that Trump will eventually learn the importance of keeping his word. In this view, Trump’s

inconsistency results from his lack of experience, especially when it comes to foreign policy. On occasion,

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Trump himself has admitted this. Trump criticized China for failing to restrain North Korea but then reversed

himself after speaking about it with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “After listening for 10 minutes, I realized

it’s not so easy,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal. Similarly, the president changed his stated positions on

the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, and U.S. policy in Syria after he was

elected, presumably because he had learned more about those issues.

It is not unusual for a president’s views on foreign policy to evolve in office. But what is disturbing about

Trump’s process of learning is that his new views remain as fluid as his old ones, and they do not appear to

emerge from thoughtful reevaluation and reflection. Instead, they appear to be determined by his mood, or

by the views of the last person he has spoken to or watched on cable news networks.

Other possible sources of comfort are Trump’s advisers, whom many observers have taken to referring to

as “the grownups” in the administration. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of Defense James

Mattis, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Rex

Tillerson have all sought to add coherence and stability to U.S. policy by clarifying the president’s

statements—or by seeming to ignore them altogether. These people are now the face of American public

diplomacy: observers turn to them to understand U.S. policy. This would be reassuring if the president were

playing along. But Trump has undermined his advisers’ efforts to salvage Washington’s reputation by

publicly undercutting them. Just one day after Tillerson confirmed that the United States was speaking

directly with the North Koreans, Trump tweeted that his secretary of state was “wasting his time.” “Save

your energy Rex,” he wrote. Such statements—even if they are intended to push

Kim to make concessions—are likely to sow confusion in Pyongyang. Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea has

undermined the United States’ signaling reputation and could potentially lead to a disastrous and avoidable


If there is any ground for cautious optimism, it is that the president’s reputation is not the only factor

adversaries and allies consider in order to discern U.S. intent. As skeptics of the importance of reputation

might point out, U.S. military power, widespread knowledge of the United States’ vital interests, and a long

record of taking military action to defend the status quo in various parts of the world continue to allow the

United States to dissuade adversaries from crossing well-established redlines. The credibility of a country

does not depend solely on the credibility of its president. Foreign observers may not trust Trump, but they

may still retain some degree of confidence in American political institutions and public opinion as constraints

on the president’s actions.

At the same time, however, the president’s compromised signaling reputation increases the likelihood that

adversaries will misperceive American redlines and misjudge U.S. reactions, especially in contentious

regions such as eastern Europe and the Middle East. World leaders may also feel that it is now acceptable

to dismiss or ignore the president of the United States when it is convenient for them to do so; they could be

forgiven for coming to this conclusion when they read that Tillerson referred to Trump as a “moron.”

(Tillerson’s spokesperson has denied this—but Tillerson himself has not.)

A damaged reputation may also make it harder for the United States to achieve its objectives through

coercive diplomacy—the threats and promises that have traditionally worked because they were understood

to put U.S. credibility at stake. Under Trump, the United States may have to resort to more risky tactics to

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demonstrate resolve, such as military brinkmanship or even military force. Such tactics carry serious risks of

unnecessary escalation.

With the president’s signaling reputation diminished, the United States will also have to work harder to

convince its allies that it will stand by its commitments. Washington’s partners are likely to demand more

concrete demonstrations that U.S. security guarantees remain intact. Reduced trust in American protection

may lead U.S. allies to become more self-reliant (as Trump wants them to be), but it could also embolden

U.S. adversaries to more aggressively test boundaries.

It would not be surprising, for example, if Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to probe the extent of

U.S. support for Ukraine.


The long-term ramifications of Trump’s credibility crisis remain unclear. The United States cannot control the

conclusions that others draw from the president’s behavior. But international observers will look at how the

U.S. political system responds to Trump’s statements, and when and how it counteracts them. Even if

American foreign policy during the Trump administration remains consistent and coherent in action, if not in

rhetoric, the United States has already paid a signifi-cant price for Trump’s behavior: the president is no

longer considered the ultimate voice on foreign policy. Foreign leaders are turning elsewhere to gauge

American intentions. With the U.S. domestic system so polarized and its governing party so fragmented,

communicating intent has become more difficult than ever. The more bipartisan and univocal U.S. signaling

is, the less likely it is that Trump’s damage to American credibility will outlast his tenure.

For now, however, with Trump’s reputation compromised, the price tag on U.S. deterrence, coercion, and

reassurance has risen, along with the probability of miscalculation and inadvertent escalation. Trump may

think that a predictable and credible foreign policy is a sign of weakness. He is wrong. For a small

revisionist power such as North Korea, appearing unpredictable may allow a leader to temporarily punch

above his weight. But whether Trump likes it or not, the United States is a global superpower for whom

predictability and credibility are assets, not liabilities.∂


The contents of Foreign Affairs are protected by copyright. © 2004 Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., all

rights reserved. To request permission to reproduce additional copies of the article(s) you will retrieve,

please contact the Permissions and Licensing office of Foreign Affairs.

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