Rajan Menon

Rajan Menon is Anne and Bernard Spitzer of International Relations at the Powell School, City College of New York/City University of New York. He is a senior research fellow in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is the author, most recently, of The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Articles by this author

The homeless, society’s all but invisible castaways, can hope for little at a time when they will need more help than ever. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Homelessness in the Covid-19 Era
The novel SARS-CoV-2 has roared through the American landscape leaving physical, emotional, and economic devastation in its wake. By early July, known infections in this country exceeded three million , while deaths topped 135,000 . Home to just over 4% of the global population, the United States...
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No one knows just how bad things could get, how many people will succumb to Covid-19, or what heights the jobless rate will reach, but of this much we can be certain: the virus’s wave hasn’t crested yet and may not for weeks, or even months. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) Views
Monday, April 13, 2020
Living on a Pandemic Planet: The Ultimate Stress Test
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ( SARS-CoV-2 ) virus, which causes Covid-19, seemed to emerge from deepest history, from the Black Death of the 14th century and the “ Spanish Flu ” of 1918. In just months, it has infected more than 1.5 million people and claimed more than 88,000 lives. The...
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Whatever "Make America Great Again" may mean, it certainly doesn’t involve helping America’s poor kids. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr/cc) Views
Monday, February 03, 2020
The Shame of Child Poverty in the Age of Trump
The plight of impoverished children anywhere should evoke sympathy, exemplifying as it does the suffering of the innocent and defenseless. Poverty among children in a wealthy country like the United States, however, should summon shame and outrage as well. Unlike poor countries (sometimes run by...
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Hypersonic weapons are just the most recent manifestation of the urge to engage in an “arms race,” even if, as a sports metaphor, it couldn’t be more off base. (Photo: Reuters) Views
Tuesday, October 01, 2019
Hypersonic Weapons and National (In)security
Hypersonic weapons close in on their targets at a minimum speed of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound or 3,836.4 miles an hour. They are among the latest entrants in an arms competition that has embroiled the United States for generations, first with the Soviet Union, today with China and Russia...
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Evidence from the United States, Brazil, Japan, and Sweden does indicate that, as income inequality increases, so does the suicide rate. (Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Why Is America’s Suicide Epidemic Hitting Trump’s Base So Hard?
We hear a lot about suicide when celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade die by their own hand. Otherwise, it seldom makes the headlines. That’s odd given the magnitude of the problem. In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was...
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 1% of the population actually provides a quarter of all the money spent on politics by individuals and 80% of what the two major political parties raise. (Photo: Austin Kirk/flickr/cc) Views
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Money Talks, Big Time
Despair about the state of our politics pervades the political spectrum, from left to right. One source of it, the narrative of fairness offered in basic civics textbooks -- we all have an equal opportunity to succeed if we work hard and play by the rules; citizens can truly shape our politics --...
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A memorial wall remembering local victims of drug use and drug-related violence in Portsmouth, Ohio, 2012. (Photo: Joel Prince/Getty Images) Views
Sunday, February 03, 2019
There Is a Real National Emergency in America, It’s Just Not the Wall
President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress refuses to pony up $5.7 billion to build the “ great, great wall ” he promised his base during the 2016 election campaign. In an apocalyptic televised address early in January, he even warned -- falsely, as...
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No sooner had Air Force One touched down in Paris than the president in his usual fashion made news, drawing attention to his impulsiveness, his vindictiveness, and his contempt for facts. (Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images) Views
Monday, November 19, 2018
Shattering Europe?
You’ve probably had your fill of the media coverage, punditry, tweets, and wisecracks surrounding President Trump’s controversial trip to Paris, officially undertaken to honor the Allied soldiers, especially the Americans, who perished in France during World War I. By now, we’re used to the...
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In Yemen, the United States backs a grim military intervention for which—unless you are a weapons company—it is hard to find any justification, practical or moral. (Photo by Sebastiano Tomada/Getty Images Reportage Reportage) Views
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Yemen’s Descent into Hell
It’s the war from hell, the savage one that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with seven other Middle Eastern and North African states, have been waging in Yemen since March 2015, with fulsome support from the Pentagon and American weapons galore. It’s got everything. Dead children...
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"A third of Americans have no savings at all and another third have less than $1,000 in the bank." (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Views
Monday, July 16, 2018
The Wages of Poverty in America
So effectively has the Beltway establishment captured the concept of national security that, for most of us, it automatically conjures up images of terrorist groups, cyber warriors, or “rogue states.” To ward off such foes, the United States maintains a historically unprecedented constellation of...
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