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Along with 1968, 1989 is one of the most symbolically charged dates of the second half of the 20th century—the year in which democracy decisively triumphed over totalitarianism, and won the right to be hailed as the future of the world. But is 1989 still an inspiration for continuing change, or a high-water mark from which the tide of democracy has now receded?

In this month’s debate, Robert Kagan and Robert Cooper tackle these questions (and each others’ views), along with the issues of what can be said to be “normal” in global politics, what kind of world-view most accurately…

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