Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs is an American magazine of international relations and U.S. foreign policy published by the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs.[1] Founded in 1922, the print magazine is currently published every two months, while the website publishes articles daily and anthologies every other month.

Foreign Affairs is considered one of the United States' most influential foreign policy magazines. Over its long history, the magazine has published a number of seminal articles including George Kennan's "X Article", published in 1947, and Samuel P. Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations," published in 1993.[2][3]

Important academics, public officials, and policy leaders regularly appear in the magazine's pages. Recent Foreign Affairs authors include Robert O. Keohane, Hillary Clinton, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Ashton Carter, Colin L. Powell, Francis Fukuyama, David Petraeus, Zbigniew Brzezinski, John J. Mearsheimer, Stanley McChrystal, Christopher R. Hill and Joseph Nye.[4]

Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Logo
Foreign Affairs Nov Dec 2016
Cover of the November/December 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs
EditorGideon Rose
CategoriesPolitical science, foreign affairs, and economics
PublisherCouncil on Foreign Relations
Year founded1922
CountryUnited States


The Council on Foreign Relations, founded in the summer of 1921, primarily counted diplomats, financiers, scholars, and lawyers among its members. Its founding charter declared its purpose should be to "afford a continuous conference on international questions affecting the United States, by bringing together experts on statecraft, finance, industry, education, and science."[5][6] In its first year, the Council engaged primarily in discourse via meetings and small discussion groups, however, eventually it decided to seek a wider audience and it began publishing Foreign Affairs in September 1922 on a quarterly basis.[5][7]

The Council named Professor Archibald Cary Coolidge of Harvard University as the journal's first editor. As Coolidge was unwilling to move from Boston to New York, Hamilton Fish Armstrong, a Princeton alumnus and a European correspondent of the New York Evening Post, was appointed managing editor and worked New York, handling the day-to-day mechanics of publishing the journal. Armstrong chose the distinctive light blue color for the cover of the magazine, while his sisters, Margaret and Helen, designed the logo and lettering respectively.[8]

Foreign Affairs is a successor publication of the Journal of International Relations (which ran from 1910 to 1922), which in turn was a successor to the Journal of Race Development (which ran from 1911 to 1919).[9]


The lead article in the first issue of Foreign Affairs was written by former Secretary of State under Theodore Roosevelt's Administration, Elihu Root. The article argued that the United States had become a world power, and that as such the general population needed to be better informed about international matters. John Foster Dulles, then a financial expert attached to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, who would later become Secretary of State under Dwight D. Eisenhower, also contributed an article to the inaugural issue of Foreign Affairs on Allied debt following World War I.[8]

In 1925, Foreign Affairs published a series of articles, entitled "Worlds of Color",[10] by prominent African American intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois. DuBois, a personal friend of Armstrong, wrote mainly about race issues and imperialism. Although in the early days of publication the journal did not have many female authors, in the late 1930s American journalist for Time (magazine) magazine Dorothy Thompson would contribute articles.[8]


George F. Kennan published his doctrine of containment in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs.

The journal rose to its greatest prominence after World War II when foreign relations became central to United States politics, and the United States became a powerful actor on the global scene. Several extremely important articles were published in Foreign Affairs, including the reworking of George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram", which first publicized the doctrine of containment that would form the basis of American Cold War policy.

Louis Halle, a member of the U.S. Policy Planning Staff, also wrote an influential article in Foreign Affairs in 1950. His article, "On a Certain Impatience with Latin America", created the anticommunist intellectual framework that justified U.S. policy towards Latin America in the Cold War era. Halle's article described that the encouragement of democracy in postwar Latin America had ended. He demonstrated disgust over Latin America's inability to assume autonomy and to become democratic. His rationalization towards Latin America was later used to justify U.S. efforts to overthrow the left-leaning Guatemalan government.[11]

Eleven U.S. Secretaries of State have written essays in Foreign Affairs.


Since the end of the Cold War, and especially after the 9/11 attacks, the journal's readership has grown significantly. Foreign Affairs' current total readership is 351,000 for the print magazine and it has 955,000 unique visitors per month for the website.[12]

In the Summer 1993 issue, Foreign Affairs published Samuel P. Huntington's influential "Clash of Civilizations?" article.[13] In the article, Huntington argued that "the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural."[14]

In the November/December 2003 issue of Foreign Affairs, Kenneth Maxwell wrote a review of Peter Kornbluh's book The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability, which gave rise to a controversy about Henry Kissinger's relationship to the regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and to Operation Condor. Maxwell claims that key Council on Foreign Relations members, acting at Kissinger's behest, put pressure on Foreign Affairs editor James Hoge to give the last word in a subsequent exchange about the review to William D. Rogers, a close associate of Kissinger, rather than to Maxwell; this went against established Foreign Affairs policy.[15]

The article "Who is Khamenei" by Akbar Ganji, which was published in the magazine's September/October 2013 issue, emphasized the view that the Supreme Leader is the primary decision maker in Iran.

Then-opposition leader and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko caused a stir by publishing an article entitled "Containing Russia" in the May–June 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs accusing Russia under Vladimir Putin of expansionism and urging the rest of Europe to stand against him. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov wrote an article in response, but he withdrew it, citing "censorship" from the Foreign Affairs editorial board. Tymoshenko's party went on to win the 2007 elections and she became Prime Minister once again.

In 2009, Foreign Affairs launched its new website,, which offers both print content and online-only features.

Book reviews

Since its inception, Foreign Affairs has included a long book review section, typically reviewing 50 or more books per issue. The magazine's first editor, Archibald Cary Coolidge, asked his Harvard colleague, William L. Langer, a historian and World War I veteran, to run the section. Langer initially had full control over the magazine's book reviews and did all the reviews by himself. A month before the reviews were due, the Foreign Affairs office in New York would ship approximately one hundred books to Langer for review and within two weeks he would return his completed reviews for the next issue.

Beginning with the first issue in 1922, Harry Elmer Barnes authored a reoccurring section titled “Some Recent Books on International Relations”. By 1924, the Foreign Affairs website lists Barnes as Bibliographical Editor.[16]

In the late 1930s, the review section was broken down into several categories. Currently, the Foreign Affairs reviews are broken down into long review essays, which are placed at the front of the books section, and the "Recent Books" section, where shorter reviewers are featured. The "Recent Books" section is further broken down into the following subject categories.

The majority of the book reviews featured in the "Recent Books" section are reviewed by the same person; however, other reviewers contribute to the "Recent Books" section on occasion.


Foreign Affairs is considered an important forum for debate among academics and policy makers. In 1996, the Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott, noted: "Virtually everyone I know in the foreign policy-national security area of the Government is attentive to [Foreign Affairs]."[17]

According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2014 impact factor of 2.009, ranking it 6th out of 85 journals in the category "International Relations".[18]



  1. ^ "Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  2. ^ Kennan, George F. (July 1947). "The Sources of Soviet Conduct". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  3. ^ Huntington, Samuel P. (Summer 1993). "The Clash of Civilizations?". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "Authors". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "CFR History". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996, pg 9.
  7. ^ Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996, pg 12.
  8. ^ a b c Bundy, William (1994). "History". Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  9. ^ Mark Mazower, 2013, "Governing the world: The history of an idea", Penguin Books, London, page 165.
  10. ^ DuBois, W. E. B. (April 1925). "Worlds of Color". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  11. ^ Schoultz, Lars (1998). Beneath the United States: A History of U.S. Policy toward Latin America. London: Harvard University Press. pp. 341–342. ISBN 0-674-92275-1.
  12. ^ "Circulation". Foreign Affairs. 2016-09-30. Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  13. ^ Huntington, Samuel P. (1993-06-01). "The Clash of Civilizations?". Foreign Affairs.
  14. ^ Huntington, Samuel P. (1993-06-01). "The Clash of Civilizations?". Foreign Affairs.
  15. ^ Duke, Lynne (February 27, 2005). "A Plot Thickens". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  16. ^ Barnes, Harry Elmer (June 1924). "The World Struggle for Oil". Foreign Affairs. Capsule Reviews. Council on Foreign Relations. 2 (4) – via Foreign Affairs. Reviewed By Harry Elmer Barnes Bibliographical Editor
  17. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (1998-01-12). "Foreign Affairs Magazine Becoming Harder to Predict". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  18. ^ "Journals Ranked by Impact: International Relations". 2014 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2015.
  19. ^ Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996, pg 73.
  20. ^ "Staff". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved September 27, 2016.

External links

Department of Foreign Affairs (Philippines)

The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA; Filipino: Kagawaran ng Ugnayang Panlabas) is the executive department of the Philippine government tasked to contribute to the enhancement of national security and the protection of the territorial integrity and national sovereignty, to participate in the national endeavor of sustaining development and enhancing the Philippines' competitive edge, to protect the rights and promote the welfare of Filipinos overseas and to mobilize them as partners in national development, to project a positive image of the Philippines, and to increase international understanding of Philippine culture for mutually-beneficial relations with other countries.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (also called DFAT, ˈdiː.fæˑt, DEE-fat) is the department of the Government of Australia responsible for foreign policy, foreign relations, foreign aid, consular services, and trade and investment.

The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, presently Frances Adamson, who reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, presently Senator Marise Payne. Subordinate ministers include the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, presently Senator Simon Birmingham; the Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific, presently Senator Ann Ruston; and the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, presently Mark Coulton MP, who support the administration of the department.

Foreign minister

A foreign minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly for foreign affairs) is generally a cabinet minister in charge of a state's foreign policy and relations.

Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada (GAC; French: Affaires mondiales Canada, or AMC) (legal name: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) is the department in the Government of Canada that manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations, to encourage the country's international trade, and to lead Canada's international development and humanitarian assistance. It is also responsible for maintaining Canadian government offices abroad with diplomatic and consular status on behalf of all government departments.

The department has undergone numerous name changes and re-organizations in recent years. Within the past decade it has been known as Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is the chief co-ordinator and representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) within the European Union (EU). The position is currently held by Federica Mogherini.

The post was created under the Treaty of Amsterdam as the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy; it then was occupied by Javier Solana for ten years until it was aggrandised following the Lisbon Treaty providing a seat on the European Commission and chair of the council of EU foreign ministers. Following the Lisbon Treaty the post is assisted by the European External Action Service (EEAS) that was set up in December 2010.

International recognition of Kosovo

Since its declaration of independence from Serbia, enacted on 17 February 2008, international recognition of Kosovo has been mixed, and the international community continues to be divided on the issue.

As of 27 July 2019, the Republic of Kosovo has received 115 diplomatic recognitions as an independent state, of which 11 have been later withdrawn theirs. As of 27 July 2019, 101 out of 193 (52%) United Nations (UN) member states, 23 out of 28 (82%) European Union (EU) member states, 25 out of 29 (86%) NATO member states, and 34 out of 57 (60%) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states have recognized Kosovo. The government of Serbia does not recognize it as a sovereign state. In 2013, it began to normalize relations with the government of Kosovo in accordance with the Brussels Agreement, but the process stalled in November 2018 after Kosovo imposed a 100 percent tax on importing Serbian goods.

Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (French: Ministre des Affaires étrangères) is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's international relations and heads the Department of Global Affairs, though the Minister of International Trade leads on international trade issues. In addition to the Department, the Minister is also the lead in overseeing the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development and the International Development Research Centre.

From 1909 to 1993, the office was called Secretary of State for External Affairs. The first two Secretaries of State for External Affairs, from 1909 until 1912, (Charles Murphy under Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William James Roche under Sir Robert Borden) concurrently served as Secretary of State for Canada. The two portfolios were permanently separated in 1912, and the External Affairs portfolio was then held by the Prime Minister of Canada until 1946.

Minister of Foreign Affairs (Russia)

This is a list of foreign ministers of Tsardom of Russia, Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Soviet Union, and Russian Federation.

Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (French: Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères) is the ministry in the government of France that handles France's foreign relations. Since 1855, its headquarters has been located on the Quai d'Orsay, 37 (close to the National Assembly of France). "Quai d'Orsay" is often used as a metonym for the ministry.

Its cabinet minister, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs (French: Ministre de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères) is responsible for the foreign relations of France. The current minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was appointed in May 2017.

In 1547, secretaries to the King became specialized, writing correspondence to foreign governments, and negotiating peace treaties. The four French secretaries of state where foreign relations were divided by region, in 1589, became centralized with one becoming first secretary responsible for international relations.

The Ancien Régime position of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs became Foreign Minister around 1723, and was renamed "Minister of Foreign Affairs" in 1791 after the French Revolution. All ministerial positions were abolished in 1794 by the National Convention and re-established with the Directory.

For a brief period in the 1980s, the office was retitled Minister for External Relations. As of 17 May 2017, the ministry is designated the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In many countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for the state's diplomacy, bilateral, and multilateral relations affairs as well as for providing support for a country's citizens who are abroad. The entity is usually headed by a foreign minister (the title may vary, such as secretary of state who has the same functions).

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Iran)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Persian: وزارت امور خارجه‎ Vezārat-e Omūr-e Khārejeh) is an Iranian government ministry headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is a member of cabinet. The current Minister of Foreign Affairs is Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was approved by the Parliament on 15 August 2013 after being nominated by the President.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel)

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Hebrew: מִשְׂרַד הַחוּץ, translit. Misrad HaHutz; Arabic: وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية‎) is one of the most important ministries in the Israeli government. The ministry's role is to implement Israel's foreign policy, and promote economic, cultural, and scientific relations with other countries.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located in the government complex in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. Yisrael Katz currently holds the Foreign Ministry post.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (外務省, Gaimu-shō) is a cabinet-level ministry of the Japanese government responsible for the country's foreign relations.

The ministry was established by the second term of the third article of the National Government Organization Act, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Establishment Act. According to the law, its chief is a member of the cabinet, and "its mission is to aim at improvement of the profits of Japan and Japanese nationals, while contributing to maintenance of peaceful and safe international society, and, through an active and eager measure, both to implement good international environment and to keep and develop harmonic foreign relationships".

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malaysia)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malay: Kementerian Luar Negeri), abbreviated KLN, is a ministry of the Government of Malaysia that is responsible for foreign affairs, Malaysian diaspora, foreigners in Malaysia, diplomacy, foreign relations, counter terrorism, bilateral affairs, multilateral affairs, ASEAN, international protocol, consular services, maritime affairs, chemical weapons. The current ministry is based in Putrajaya. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia is also widely known as Wisma Putra, which is also the name of its building in Putrajaya.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Dutch: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken; BZ) is the Dutch Ministry responsible for Foreign relations, Foreign policy, International development, International trade, Diaspora and matters dealing with the European Union, NATO and the Benelux Union. The Ministry was created in 1798 as the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Batavian Republic. In 1876, it became the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dutch: Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken) is the head of the Ministry and a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands. The current Minister is Stef Blok. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (Dutch: Minister voor Buitenlandse Handel en Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) is a Minister without portfolio within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The current Minister is Sigrid Kaag.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MFA Russia; Russian: Министерство иностранных дел Российской Федерации, МИД РФ) is the central government institution charged with leading the foreign policy and foreign relations of Russia. It is a continuation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, which was under the supervision of the Soviet Ministry of External Relations. Sergei Lavrov is the current foreign minister.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (MOFA or MFA; Chinese: 中华人民共和国外交部; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Wàijiāobù) is the first-ranked executive department under the State Council of the Government of the People's Republic of China, responsible for foreign relations between the People's Republic of China and other countries in the world. The ministry is led by the Foreign Minister, currently State Councilor Wang Yi. The agency has its headquarters in Chaoyang District, Beijing.The agency is responsible for formulating foreign policies, decisions, foreign affairs documents, and statements in regard to the PRC. It also negotiates and signs bilateral and multilateral foreign treaties and agreements. The agency also dispatches foreign affairs representatives to other countries.

It represents P. R. China's interest in United Nations conferences, inter-governmental meetings, and the activities of international organizations. MFA advises the central government in formulating diplomatic strategies, guidelines, and policies.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, normally referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior, high-ranking official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Foreign Secretary is a member of the Cabinet, and the post is considered one of the Great Offices of State. It is considered a position similar to that of Foreign Minister in other countries. The Foreign Secretary reports directly to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Foreign Secretary's remit includes: relations with foreign countries, matters pertaining to the Commonwealth of Nations and the Overseas Territories in addition to the promotion of British interests abroad. The Foreign Secretary also has ministerial oversight for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Foreign Secretary works out of the Foreign Office in Whitehall, and the post's official residences are 1 Carlton Gardens in London and Chevening in Kent. Margaret Beckett, appointed in 2006 by Tony Blair, is the only woman to have held the post.

The current Foreign Secretary since 24 July 2019 is Dominic Raab.

United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs

The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States House of Representatives, also known as the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives, which has jurisdiction over bills and investigations related to the foreign affairs of the United States.

Eliot Engel of New York is the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has served since January 2019.

From 1975 to 1978 and from 1995 to 2007, it was renamed the Committee on International Relations. In January 2007 (and January 1979), it changed back to its original name. Its jurisdiction is and was the same under both names.


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