Washington, DC, hasn’t looked like this since rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The Capitol grounds remain closed behind barbed wire fences and concrete barricades, and more than 7,000 armed National Guards are on guard. With the tighter security, it’s easy to see why the country’s reputation overseas has been tarnished – but that impression may be wrong.
Meanwhile, amid the chaos of the last few weeks, the U.S. Department of Commerce made an overlooked announcement to the Trump administration that has the potential to derail China’s aviation industry. The Biden administration has to decide whether they want to work as usual again.
And the Dutch should be aware that undemocratic undercurrents in their society are not so different from those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, albeit at an earlier stage, writes Caroline de Gruyter.
Here are Foreign policy‘s top weekend reads.
1. Washington is under siege. American democracy is not.
The U.S. Capitol has been barricaded since the January 6 siege. National Guard officials reportedly plan to keep vigil until the fall. But US democracy, apart from its bad looks, works the way it should, say Kelly Kimball and Katie Livingstone.
2. Lessons from Nigeria for Peacebuilding in the United States
With such a strong polarization, it may be difficult for politicians and activists to overcome divisions. But the experience of the Nigerian city of Jos, which has seen waves of religious violence, shows a way forward, writes Jacob Choji Pwakim.
3. China’s Potemkin aviation cannot survive without Washington’s help
China’s aviation industry only works when foreign companies sell it the equipment it needs to operate their aircraft. And if US President Joe Biden follows in the footsteps of his predecessor, the industry could be in crisis, writes Richard Aboulafia.
4. Italians target the bureaucratic bourgeoisie
Class resentment in Italy is growing, but not directed against the rich. In the midst of the economic crisis, many Italians turn in frustration against public employees whose jobs are protected by contracts that exclude layoffs and vacations, writes Anna Momigliano.
5. Mark Rutte’s legacy of failure – and winning
In the Netherlands, the government has collapsed as many citizens realize that real reform has become almost impossible. Despite his failure, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has learned to deal with the frustration, writes Caroline de Gruyter.