Richard Gowan

Richard Gowan is an associate director at New York University's Center on International Cooperation, and a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Articles written by Richard Gowan

Diplomatic Fallout

Lessons in Secret Diplomacy From the First Christmas

By Richard Gowan
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The Christmas story is full of joy and wonder, but it also includes a cautionary tale about a diplomatic blunder. The three wise men give away key intelligence to King Herod, allowing him to seize the initiative and massacre innocents. Their failure offers useful lessons for the United States in 2014. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Bold or Not, Next U.N. Secretary-General Faces World of Pain

By Richard Gowan
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Earlier this month a campaign was launched to overturn the “outdated and opaque” process for selecting the U.N. secretary-general. But with global divisions threatening the organization’s ability to improve international cooperation, it’s questionable how much impact the post can really have. more

Diplomatic Fallout

U.N.’s Syria Cease-Fire Plan a Risky Gamble, but Worth It

By Richard Gowan
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Is the U.N. heading for another diplomatic humiliation in Syria? A proposal for a series of local cease-fires between the government and some rebel groups, beginning in Aleppo, has received some slight encouragement from the Syrian regime and a great deal of criticism from outside observers. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Frustrations Mount for Both the U.S. and Its Foes at the U.N.

By Richard Gowan
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Criticisms by Vladimir Putin and Samantha Power of the international system last week are illustrations of a well-established paradox: While many countries believe the U.S. wields too much influence, American policymakers are repeatedly frustrated by the system’s failure to deliver in major crises. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Now Is Not the Time for a 'Grand Bargain' With Russia

By Richard Gowan
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Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, Russia has shown little concern for international agreements and institutions. Some observers even suggest changing the international system to recognize Russia’s national interests. But there are at least five good reasons not to do so at this time. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Ebola Crisis Offers Ban Ki-moon a Last Chance to Lead

By Richard Gowan
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon revealed a new side to his character over the past week: Action Ban. A self-confessed fan of action movies, Ban must daydream of tackling threats with the speed and stern decisiveness of on-screen world leaders. Yet to date, he generally hasn’t done so. more