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Robert Skidelsky

The False Promise of Democratic Peace

Clinging to the assumption that only dictatorships start military conflicts, proponents of democratization believed that the global success of their project would usher in a world without war. But this theory lacks a sound foundation and has produced one disaster after another when put into practice. LONDON – Through persuasion, exhortation, legal processes, economic pressure, and sometimes military force, American foreign policy asserts the United States’ view about how the world...

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Queen’s Speech on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

My Lords, I find myself in profound disagreement with the Government’s war strategy in Ukraine and, in fact, with almost everything that has been said about Ukraine in this debate. I will try to explain why. British policy aims for a Russian military defeat, which it will help to bring about by economic sanctions and supplying Ukraine with the necessary means of war. Liz Truss said on 27 April: “We will keep going further and faster to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine”....

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Economic Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control?

Economic Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control? By Robert Skidelsky  Centre For Global Studies, April 2022 Copyright: Centre for Global Studies.  The Centre for Global Studies is a London-based think-tank that aims to improve public understanding of economics and global policy. The Centre is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. It is independent of any political party or group and is financed by voluntary donations and the sale of publications. Contact:...

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Times letters: The tough act of following Cressida Dick

UKRAINE DIPLOMACY Sir, In discussing the possible “Finlandisation” of Ukraine, your leading article (“Kyiv’s Cause”, Feb 11) correctly states that it would unacceptable for great powers to enforce such a policy on Ukraine. In his brilliant book The Ambassadors, Sir Robert Cooper explains that Finland’s neutrality was not “enforced” by great powers but was decided by Finland itself, against the wishes of the Soviet Union, which wanted a military alliance. It was the ability of the two...

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Exchange of the week: Did the West create the monster?

To the Financial Times Martin Wolf is right to say that Vladimir Putin has ignited an indefensible war against Ukraine. That it is worse than a crime is highlighted by your report on Kharkiv, described as “another Stalingrad”. You do not call Ukrainians your brothers then bomb them into submission. Whatever the war’s immediate results, Putin has ensured that Russia’s western borders become “ungovernable”. This is a dreadful legacy. However, let’s not lose all sense of history....

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The Future of Work: Is Artificial Intelligence a New Road to Serfdom?

Lecture and Discussion with Lord Robert Skidelsky Lord Robert Skidelsky has given a lecture at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) on Tuesday, 15 March 2022, 18:00 CET in Vienna. In contemporary discussions about the future of artificial intelligence we often lose our heads. While economists offer bleak predictions of mass job losses and a deepening of already widespread precarity, Silicon Valley utopians insist that new technologies are bringing us ever closer...

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Think Twice Before Sanctioning Russia Further

Despite massive Western economic sanctions against Russia, the chance that they will lead to President Vladimir Putin’s ouster, or even to a drastic change in Russian policy toward Ukraine, is much lower than most people suppose. It is far more likely that punishing will neither stop the war nor secure the peace. LONDON – The West has imposed massive financial and economic sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. But are the sanctions supposed to be a way to end the...

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Ukraine: Refugees – House of Lords Questions

Lord Skidelsky: My Lords, in addition to the help that the Government are giving to Ukrainians to come to this country, will they consider offering humanitarian visas to those brave Russians—members of the clergy, members of civil society, academics, journalists and ordinary citizens—who face long prison sentences for exercising their democratic right to oppose this war? Baroness Williams of Trafford: I am very glad that the noble Lord asked that question because, at this point,...

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Letter: Just look at the map to see Moscow’s point of view

Martin Wolf is right to say that Vladimir Putin has ignited an indefensible war against Ukraine (Opinion, March 2). That it is worse than a crime is a folly highlighted by your report about Kharkiv, described as “another Stalingrad” (March 3). You do not call Ukrainians your brothers, then bomb them into submission. Whatever the war’s immediate results, Putin has ensured that Russia’s western borders become “ungovernable”. Belarus will be next on the list for “brotherly” persuasion, once...

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