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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

WPR Articles June 2 — June 8

WPR Articles June 2 — June 8

Amid Crackdown, China’s Dissidents Fight to Keep the Spirit of Tiananmen Alive

By: Yaqiu Wang | Feature
The landscape for dissent in China is as closed as ever, and the government’s tight policing of the internet inhibits public awareness of its crackdown. Although social media has empowered some activists, who have upped the volume on calls for reform, an opening remains far off.

Economically Weakened, Russia Turns to Soft Power to Meddle in Europe

By: Maria Savel | Trend Lines
Sanctions following its annexation of Crimea and declining energy revenues have put a huge financial burden on Russia. But Moscow is waging a successful soft power campaign to expose Europe’s weakness and influence the increasingly popular far-right parties across the continent.

Are the Winds of Change Blowing for U.S. Strategic Partnerships?

By: Steven Metz | Column
Today the United States is more receptive to major change in its global strategy than it has been for decades. Things unthinkable or relegated to the political fringe only a few years ago are now on the table. This includes the reconfiguration of both partnerships and adversarial relationships.

Turkey Looks to Play Larger Economic and Security Role in East Africa

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Uganda, Kenya and Somalia last week to promote trade, tourism and security ties. In an email interview, David Shinn, an adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, discussed Turkey’s outreach to East Africa.

Protests and Clashes Likely Just the Start of Political Unrest in Kenya

By: Andrew Green | Briefing
Kenya’s national elections are more than a year away, but political tensions are already rising. Recent protests have been met with widespread police brutality, with three protesters killed late last month. President Uhuru Kenyatta and the opposition are talking, but more political clashes could come.

Putin Uses Islamic State as Cover for Russia’s Real Objectives in Syria

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
From the outset of its Syria intervention, Russia tried to portray its campaign as a push against the self-declared Islamic State. But Russia has leveraged the horrors of the Islamic State for its own purposes, using the group’s dark reputation to dress up the pursuit of its own strategic goals.

South Korea’s Park Pushes Economic and Political Agenda on Africa Visit

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Last week, South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrived in Ethiopia, the first stop on her week-long Africa tour that also includes visits to Kenya and Uganda. In an email interview, J. Berkshire Miller, a fellow on Japan for the Pacific Forum CSIS, discussed South Korea’s ties in Africa.

Alberto Fujimori’s Shadow Hangs Over Peru’s Presidential Election

By: David Dudenhoefer | Briefing
Ahead of Sunday’s second-round presidential election, many Peruvians will be thinking of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori, who has a polemical but powerful political legacy in the country. His daughter, Keiko, is the front-runner, and her party already has a majority in Congress.

Clean Energy Is Key to Meeting the Goals of the Paris Climate Deal

By: Tom Kutsch | Briefing
Diplomats and negotiators have been praised for the success of last year’s COP 21 Paris climate agreement. But to mitigate the worst effects of climate change by displacing fossil fuels, countries must expand their clean energy infrastructure. Fortunately, a number of developments are well underway.

Is Populism a Threat to European Democracy?

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and host Peter Dörrie discuss U.S. ties with Pakistan, evolving U.S. strategic partnerships, and unrest in Kenya. For the Report, Jan-Werner Müller joins us to talk about the role of populism in European politics.

El Salvador’s ‘Iron Fist’: Inside Its Unending War on Gangs

By: Christine Wade | Briefing
Since taking office two years ago, El Salvador’s leftist president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, has continued his right-wing predecessors’ hard-line, militarized policies on gangs. But critics are increasingly wary of this so-called war on gangs, which has been linked to state abuses and extrajudicial killings.

Is Habre’s Landmark Conviction a New Model for International Justice?

By: Celeste Hicks | Briefing
Last week’s conviction of Chad’s former president, Hissene Habre, for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture is a significant victory for the civil society campaign that fought tirelessly for more than 20 years to bring him to justice. But it seems unlikely that there will be any immediate repeat.

The Push for U.N. Humanitarian Airdrops in Syria Could Backfire

By: Richard Gowan | Column
When the U.N. Security Council tries to micromanage a conflict, it is a pretty good bet that the situation will very soon get worse. There is now a risk that Western council members may make similar mistakes in Syria as were made in the Balkans before that conflict was finally brought to an end.

Behind the Headlines of Saudi Reform, a Push for Public Accountability

By: Gerald Butt | Briefing
Since ascending to the Saudi throne in January 2015, King Salman has launched a range of reform initiatives. One of the more radical, but least sign-posted, is a drive for greater accountability and transparency in public life, spearheaded by his powerful son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Europe and the Mediterranean, Torn Between Separatism and Integration

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
The diverse countries of the Mediterranean basin share the contradictory trends toward separation and integration. Each has its appeal, but neither represents a panacea. Over time, the Mediterranean will continue to teach us about these trends as parts of a natural cycle for states and societies.

Southeast Asia Takes ‘Mini-Lateral’ Approach to Maritime Security

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Last month, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines agreed to begin coordinated patrols to improve maritime security after an increase in kidnappings at sea by the Filipino militant group Abu Sayyaf. In an email interview, Collin Koh discussed maritime security cooperation in Southeast Asia.

Macedonia’s Political Mess Lingers Long After Wire-Tapping Scandal

By: Andrew MacDowall | Briefing
Sixteen months after its rumbling political crisis erupted with allegations of wire-tapping and government abuses, Macedonia remains in limbo. Its predicament has raised concerns about a new Balkan conflagration, and revealed the shortcomings of the European Union’s approach to the region.

Trump’s Posturing Opens Space for Clinton to Soften Her Foreign Policy Image

By: Michael A. Cohen | Column
In addition to trashing Donald Trump in a foreign policy speech last week, Hillary Clinton did something else that may end up being pretty important: She made a convincing case for a liberal internationalist foreign policy. For all of Clinton’s identification as a hawk, she sounded downright dovish.

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