The National Interest
Winter 1995/96 cover
EditorJacob Heilbrunn (since July 2013)
CategoriesInternational affairs
FounderIrving Kristol
First issue1985
CompanyNational Affairs, Inc. (1985–2001)
Center for the National Interest (2001–present)
CountryUnited States
Based inWashington, D.C.

The National Interest (TNI) is an American bimonthly international relations magazine edited by American journalist Jacob Heilbrunn and published by the Center for the National Interest, a public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., that was established by former U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1994 as the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom. The magazine is associated with the realist school of international studies.[1]


Founded in 1985 by American columnist and neoconservatism advocate Irving Kristol, the magazine was until 2001 edited by Australian academic Owen Harries.[1]

In 2001, The National Interest was acquired by The Center for the National Interest, a public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., that was established by former U.S. President Richard Nixon on January 20, 1994, as the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom.[2]

In 2005, ten editors of The National Interest resigned due to different viewpoints regarding the magazine's acquisition and with the larger editorial board. Those who left founded a separate journal, The American Interest.[3][4]

In 2013, RealClearWorld named The National Interest one of the Best World Opinion Websites.[5]

In January 2023, it shut down its print edition, which had dropped from 10,000 subscribers in the 1990s to around 2,000 subscribers.[6]

Influence and reception

The National Interest is credited with introducing ideas like "the West and the rest" and geoeconomics into public discourse.[3] Political scientist Francis Fukuyama formulated his early political and philosophical thoughts on the end of history in the journal in 1989, where he argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free-market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government.[7][8][9] In 2005, Fukuyama left to found The American Interest, citing what he saw as excessive international relations realism supported by the Nixon Center.[3][4]

In 2015, Maria Butina, who was later in 2018 convicted as a Russian spy, wrote an editorial in the magazine titled "The Bear and the Elephant" stating that only by electing a president from the Republican Party could the United States and Russia improve relations.[10][11][12]

Writing in Politico, journalist James Kirchick argued in 2016 while commenting on Donald Trump's Russian relationships that The National Interest and its parent company "are two of the most Kremlin-sympathetic institutions in the nation's capital, even more so than the Carnegie Moscow Center."[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "The National Interest". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  2. ^ The Nixon Center: Mission statement Archived October 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c Kirkpatrick, David D. (March 13, 2005). "Battle Splits Conservative Magazine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Milbank, Dana (May 7, 2005). "Dana Milbank - No Lack of Interest in GOP Foreign Policy". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  5. ^ CST, Posted on 12 15 13 8:22 PM. "RealClearPolitics - The National Interest". Retrieved October 8, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Lippman, Daniel; ALEX; Ward, Er; Berg, Matt (January 6, 2023). "Money problems hit right-leaning foreign policy magazine". POLITICO. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  7. ^ Fukuyama, Francis (1989). "The End of History?". The National Interest (16): 3–18. ISSN 0884-9382. JSTOR 24027184.
  8. ^ Atlas, James (October 22, 1989). "What Is Fukuyama Saying? And to Whom Is He Saying It?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  9. ^ "Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History". The New Yorker. August 27, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Bump, Philip (July 16, 2018). "Analysis | Timeline: The odd overlap of Maria Butina, the gun-rights movement and the 2016 election". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  11. ^ Butina, Maria (June 12, 2015). "The Bear and the Elephant". The National Interest. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Jackman, Tom; Helderman, Rosalind S. (July 16, 2018). "Russian gun rights advocate Maria Butina is charged in U.S. with acting as Russian Federation agent". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  13. ^ Kirchick, James (April 27, 2016). "Donald Trump's Russia connections". POLITICO. Retrieved September 10, 2020.