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

A 2020 U.N. report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan notes that 2019 was the sixth straight year in which 10,000 civilians were killed or wounded. (Photo: Scott Nelson/Getty Images) Views
Monday, April 26, 2021
America's Ruinous Pursuit of Mission Impossible in Afghanistan
On May 1st, the date Donald Trump signed onto for the withdrawal of the remaining 3,500 American troops from Afghanistan, the war there, already 19 years old, was still officially a teenager. Think of September 11, 2021—the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the date Joe Biden has chosen for...
Read more
Isn’t the American social safety net supposed to help the vulnerable in times of economic distress?  As it happens, at least compared to those of other wealthy countries, it’s been remarkably ineffective. (Photo: Getty/Stock Photo/Catherine Falls Commercial) Views
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
How This Country Fails Its Most Vulnerable
Economic crises shine a spotlight on a society’s inequities and hierarchies, as well as its commitment to support those who are most vulnerable in such grievous moments. The calamity created by Covid-19 is no exception. The economic fallout from that pandemic has tested the nation’s social safety...
Read more
Boxes of food are stacked next to people waiting in line at a walk-up food distribution bank for people facing economic hardship or food insecurity, in a church parking lot in Los Angeles, California, August 10, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Covid-19 and the Nightmare of Food Insecurity
As autumn fades and winter looms, the dire predictions public-health experts made about Covid-19 have, unfortunately, proven all-too-accurate. On October 27th, 74,379 people were infected in the United States; less than a month and a half later, on December 9th, that number had soared to 218,677,...
Read more
He will want only one thing: to see his successor fail. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) Views
Monday, October 26, 2020
So Trump Loses to Biden....Then What?
Donald Trump isn’t just inside the heads of his Trumpster base; he’s long been a consuming obsession among those yearning for his defeat in November. With barely more than a week to go before the election of our lifetime, those given to nail biting as a response to anxiety have by now gnawed...
Read more
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...
Read more
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...
Read more
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...
Read more
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...
Read more
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...
Read more
 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 --...
Read more