Articles by: Marvin Ott

Marvin Ott

Marvin Ott

Columnist at The Ellsworth American
Marvin Ott is a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution. He is a summer resident of Cranberry Isles.
  • Brexit blues

    “There is a lesson here for Americans,”writes Columnist Marvin Ott this week. “Brexit is the product of inept government and a populace animated by illusions, division and diminished self-confidence. None of this was necessary or inevitable; it is a self-inflicted wound.”

  • Biden’s damaged inheritance

    When President Biden takes the oath of office, he will confront a daunting foreign policy agenda — much of it dictated by the need to repair the wreckage left behind by Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the current White House is doing everything it can to further poison the well between now and Jan. 20. We know

  • New world

    The most urgent and immediate issues facing the President-elect will be domestic — including efforts by a raging, demented Donald Trump to destroy anything and everything that comes after him. [Mainers may be interested to learn that Roger Stone, longtime political confidant of Trump, announced on TV that he had “absolute incontrovertible evidence” that the

  • The men who would destroy America

    We are living in dangerous and unprecedented times. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney captured the moment as well as anyone: “Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of

  • Back from the abyss

    “Welcome back, America.”  — Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris It was a near-run thing. Choose your favorite metaphor: “dodged a bullet,” “near death experience.” It all adds up to the fact that the 240-year-old experiment that we call American democracy hung in the balance on Nov. 3. After four years of control by an utterly

  • Democracy in Asia

    Over the last several weeks the streets of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, have been engulfed by thousands of demonstrators, most of them young, demanding one basic thing — democracy. This follows months, even years, of similar demonstrations in Hong Kong. These are the latest scenes in a profoundly important drama that has been playing out in

  • The American century: a requiem

    America’s “greatest generation” is justly celebrated for overcoming the Great Depression at home and the mortal threat posed by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan overseas. In many respects, the postwar generation of the 1950s and 1960s built a legacy that was equally consequential. At the conclusion of World War II, Europe and Asia lay in

  • Assassinating democracy

    President Obama gave an eloquent appeal at the recent Democratic Party convention calling upon citizens to protect “your democracy.” To see what is at stake, we need only look at events over the last few days in Belarus and Russia. Belarus seldom headlines the news. It is a medium-sized country sandwiched between Russia and Europe.

  • Taiwan: the next crisis

    National security planners in the Pentagon and elsewhere get paid to look ahead. What threats and challenges will the United States face in the years ahead that require serious preparations now and in the near term? There is a list, and at the top of that list is a place few Americans even think about

  • The Pacific War: a legacy

    Aug. 15 is the 75th anniversary of one of history’s seminal events — the unconditional surrender of Japan and with it the end of World War II. That war was a cataclysm that produced seismic changes on a planetary scale, nowhere more than in the Pacific. The conquest of East Asia by Imperial Japan lasted

  • The new cold war

    In the ongoing rush of events, it is easy to lose track of the big picture.  As tensions grow between the U.S. and China, there are occasional references to a possible new cold war. Such thoughts are not misplaced; that is exactly where we are headed but the arena will not be limited to China

  • COVID: reshaping the world

    It goes without saying that the COVID pandemic has already shaken the world. Anyone who studies pandemics could have predicted that the impact of such an event on personal and communal life would be profound. Anticipating the effects, if any, on international affairs/international politics would have been more difficult. Yet, at this point, roughly seven