What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Obama's Foreign Policy: Democratic Realism, not Appeasement

December 12, 2011, 1:00 PM
800px-barack_obama_on_phone_with_benjamin_netanyahu_2009-06-08

What's the Latest Development?

For some time after he took office, President Obama rarely spoke out for human rights or used the word 'democracy'. It seemed that the administration decided that, in light of the war in Iraq, too much 'democracy' talk might be a bad thing. Instead, Obama was focused on rebuilding alliances and his approach was closer to the old-fashioned realism of the first President Bush.

What's the Big Idea?

But the Arab Spring may have insired Obama to speak even more forcefully on democracy and human rights. "What the president is pursuing might best be described as “democratic realism,” says E.J. Dionne Jr. "If we want a constructive foreign policy debate, let’s drop the appeasement nonsense and argue instead about democratic realism."

 

Obama's Foreign Policy: Dem...

Newsletter: Share: