What is Home & Away?
Home & Away is a Friday morning newsletter that analyzes U.S. democracy, international developments and foreign policy choices facing the United States, and at times the connections between the two.
Why this newsletter?
I realize that I am known mostly for foreign policy. It remains central to my DNA. And this is an important time to understand what is happening in the world, as challenges facing the United States are multiplying. In this newsletter, I will continue to write on U.S. foreign policy and international developments, covering issues ranging from Russia’s war in Ukraine and China to Iran and climate change, as I have done for the past 40-50 years.
At the same time, I am increasingly focused on domestic matters of citizenship and democracy. While the United States faces no shortage of dangerous threats from abroad, the greatest peril to the country comes from none other than ourselves. It is what keeps me up at night. This motivated my most recent book, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, where I argued that in order for American democracy to survive, the very idea of citizenship must be revised and expanded. Obligations need to be placed on the same footing as rights if we are to heal our divisions and safeguard the country’s future. I intend to use this newsletter to continue to share my thinking on the state of U.S. democracy and citizenship.
But domestic matters do not occur in a vacuum: the deep divisions that threaten America’s competitiveness, its ability to design and implement a consistent foreign policy, and, even worse, its political cohesion, will undoubtedly affect developments abroad. Further erosion of American democracy will be used by anti-democratic governments across the world to justify their authoritarian practices. A weaker and less predictable United States will also lead to the erosion of its alliances, a recipe for greater instability. Additionally, a United States that is both distracted and divided at home would lack the bandwidth and the consensus to exert leadership on global challenges such as climate change and infectious diseases. This is a problem for Americans but also for the rest of the world as it will continue to be affected in significant ways by developments in the United States but has little or no ability to influence them.
In short, I will offer insight into what is happening at home and away and the interplay between the two, hence the name of the newsletter.
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