Keys to the Kingdom: Who Will Govern the UK?

My latest blog post for The National Interest looks ahead at next week’s UK general election.  Certainly the most exciting election of my lifetime, it also might raise some constitutional problems if no single party wins an overall majority – as is likely.

Read the piece here.

Voters in the United Kingdom, who go to the polls on May 7, could well wake the next morning to discover a constitutional quagmire unfolding. For although it is sometimes touted as a model of continuity and stability in the democratic world, the UK system of government is actually highly susceptible to confusion—especially owing to its many uncodified constitutional rules. And next month, once the country’s General Election results have been tallied, the political conditions might just align to cause some serious turmoil.

Greece: Debt, Defiance and Thucydides

I have a new blog post over at The National Interest, in which I look at the tough situation that Greece’s foreign policy-makers currently find themselves in:

Greece’s domestic turmoil is well documented, but Greek foreign policy over the past three months has been equally fraught with turbulence, frustration and failure.  For despite the coming to power of Syriza—a vigorous, outwardly uncompromising and almost revolutionary party of government—the Greek state has found it impossible to dislodge the formidable exogenous structures blamed for worsening the country’s economic woes.  The episode reveals much about the plight of small states on the world stage, especially during “hard times.”

Read the full piece here.

Congress Not Required: Here’s How to Make an Iran Deal Stick

Click here for my latest blog for The National Interest, which looks back to SALT II for some lessons on how much a deal with Iran can be expected to succeed without Congressional backing.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed the SALT II arms-limitation agreement with his Soviet counterpart Leonid Brezhnev. Owing to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan later that year, the treaty was never ratified by the U.S. senate. Even so, the provisions laid out in SALT II were respected by Carter and by his successor Ronald Reagan. The episode thus gives some insight into how and why any possible deal with Iran might be allowed to succeed, despite congressional antipathy towards its contents…