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  • Editors' Note
  • Harrison Goohs and Tom Hoffecker

Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man symbolizes the euphoric zeitgeist that had accompanied the fall of the Berlin Wall. In hindsight, the triumphant victory of liberal democracies was pronounced embarrassingly prematurely. The globalization of world economies, ideas, and politics has spurred anxiety and fear around the world, as wealth inequalities continue to expand and national identities are threatened. As this issue of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs was being written, a reactionary backlash has delved the world into an era of insecurity: violent Islamism and the genesis of ISIS bring violence to our television screens, illiberal authoritarianism has reemerged in Poland and Hungary, right wing populism threatens the international order, and technological developments have created cyber warfare. Perhaps the greatest threat to the liberal democratic order is the age-old problem of corruption.

Corruption is not a new threat, but it has evolved to fit the political situation of the 21st century. Professor Michael Johnston, author in the Forum section, explains the nefarious forms of contemporary corruption. The notion that it is the same in every case is not only false but dangerous. He argues that, in fact, there are four broad categories of corruption: influence markets, elite clans, oligarchs and clans, and official moguls. Tackling each strain requires a unique and versatile approach. The Director of the Global Indicators Group at the World Bank, Augusto Lopez-Claros, clarifies some of the best antidotes. He recommends an increase in the pay of civil servants, greater governmental fiscal transparency, a reduction in red tape, female empowerment, and greater heed to enforcing already existing international conventions.

In this edition's other sections, we look at topics recently in the headlines and ones that may be soon: nationalism in East Asia, Russia's use of covert influence in the Internet age, and the ethics of using the geneediting technology known as Crispr-Cas9. Other contributions offer a more retrospective viewpoint: articles that look at the past and present of Islam in France, examine Greece's economic and political challenges over the last decade, and review a book that analyzes Vladimir Putin's rise to power.

We would like to recognize our dedicated staff, who helped put this edition together. Additionally, we are grateful to all the contributors, who have contributed in meaningful ways to international dialogue, public policy, and greater understanding of the many challenges we face in the upcoming years. Finally, a special thanks to Dean Jennifer Long, our primary advisor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, for her untiring dedication and support.

Thank you,
Harrison Goohs and Tom Hoffecker [End Page 1]



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