40 Fletcher F. World Aff. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/forwa40 and id is 1 raw text is: 



               of WORLD AFFAIRS


                     EDITOR'S NOTE

      At the beginning of 2015, international institutions, regimes, and
 relationships are transforming at an unprecedented pace. Some are moving
 toward greater cooperation, as marked by the United States' diplomatic
 engagement with Cuba and Iran, the climate agreements achieved at the
 Paris Conference, and the increasingly cohesive multi-national coalition
 against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
      Other aspects of the global architecture are crumbling, with actors
 challenging both international and regional institutions. 'The recent pros-
 pect of of Greek exit from the Eurozone, while no longer an imminent
 threat, drew attention to the limits of European unity-not only threat-
 ening economic and political integration, but also highlighting conflicts
 over culture, values, and identity. The principle of self-determination
 continues to reverberate worldwide, and in some cases promises to undo
 borders from the last century's wars, for better or worse. Escalating nation-
 alism in Taiwan may bring the island into direct conflict with a strength-
 ening China, while reunification campaigns on the Korean Peninsula
 seek to shift the status quo-and both events may force the United States
 to adopt a more decisive policy in Asia. The map of the Middle East is
 changing, both despite and due to the efforts of the counter-ISIL coalition,
 as new consolidations of power threaten the region's historic mosaic of
 identities, ethnicities, and beliefs. As actors diverge and borders fray, what
 elements of the international system will hold?
      The conversations in the first half of this issue both acknowledge and
 seek to narrow this widening gap between architecture and reality in the inter-
 national order. First, BAYAN SAMI ABDUL RAHMAN draws on Kurdish
 history and identity to shape her vision of Kurdistan's new stabilizing role
 in the Middle East, in conjunction with MINA AL-ORAIBI's case for the
 recovery and survival of the Iraqi state. Turning to fragile states elsewhere,
 SCOTT STRAUS discusses the relationship between civil society, national

VOL.40:I WINTER 2o16

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