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January 2021: Impacts of Capitol riot will reverberate at home and abroad

The Brief

January 11, 2021

January 6, 2021 will be remembered as the day protests turned deadly at the U.S. Capitol. As a result, Johns Hopkins SAIS experts are commenting on these events and measures needed to address the domestic and global consequences of the riot.
Dean Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic “the penalties for this assault—not only on the Capitol building or even on the bodies of American legislators, but on the principles of free government—need to be as severe as the restraints of law allow.”
Filipe Campante, Vice Dean and Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of International Economics, argued in Johns Hopkins News-Letter that President Trump’s rhetoric and encouragement directly caused and exacerbated the riot, adding “it’s not even coded language, it’s an open call.”
Sarah Parkinson, Aronson Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies, told Johns Hopkins News-Letter “we’re into the realm of an executive who is actively trying to subvert the Constitution and American democracy.”
Henry Farrell, Agora Institute Professor of International Affairs, analyzed the role election challenges played in the riot in a co-written piece for the Washington Post, writing that Republican lawmakers “not only helped provoke a mob but could also make American democracy unworkable.”
Yascha Mounk, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Relations, wrote in Greece-based Kathimerini that America’s institutions are seriously damaged after seeing what happened at the Capitol, predicting that “even in the most optimistic case, it will take decades for them to recover their former trust and prestige.”

Anne Applebaum, Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence, examined the global ramifications of the riot in The Atlantic, writing America’s enemies will be more confident and secure “using violence to prevent peaceful debate and peaceful transfers of power since they observed that the American president does too.”
John McLaughlin, Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, discussed the U.S.'s perception globally following the riot during an OZY News panel, telling the outlet “a lot of the world will see us as on probation now in terms of how they think about us.” (McLaughlin’s statement starts at the 23:35 mark)
Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, emphasized in Bloomberg Opinion that the U.S. must get its house in order domestically, adding “it must not — and need not — retreat from the world to do so.”

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing and Communications.