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Friday, June 10, 2016

WPR Articles June 3 — June 10

WPR Articles June 3 — June 10

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.

Poland Refuses to Back Down to EU Over Constitutional Court Crisis

By: Maria Savel | Trend Lines
Last week, the EU released an opinion accusing Poland’s government of endangering the rule of law and violating the union’s democratic principles, over changes made to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. But the threat of sanctions is unlikely to make the ruling Law and Justice party change tack.

Turkey and Iran Seek to Insulate Economic Ties From Syria Tensions

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Last week, a Turkish energy firm signed a $4.2 billion deal for the construction of seven natural gas power plants in Iran, the largest investment deal in Iran since sanctions were lifted. In an email interview, Brandeis University’s Nader Habibi discussed the evolution of Turkish-Iranian ties.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Opposition Has No Way Out of Republic of Congo’s Political Violence

By: Karina Piser | Trend Lines
The Republic of Congo rarely captures global attention, but the government’s military attacks on civilians, which have raged since early April, have become impossible to ignore. Yet France and other European countries have so far failed to speak out against the continuing political violence.

Can Modi’s India Become the Global Economy’s Next Engine of Growth?

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
The global economy has always relied on at least one major engine of growth. Right now, the U.S., China and Europe are not up to the task. Is India, which just unveiled figures making it the fastest-growing of any of the world’s major economies? The answer, unfortunately, remains an emphatic “maybe.”

Dysfunctional Democracy and Referenda: The Case of Brexit

By: Matthias Matthijs | Briefing
British Prime Minister David Cameron has gotten himself into a much bigger mess than he ever bargained for. The risk of an actual British exit from the EU is all too real, and the consequences for the Conservative Party are likely to be dire, even in the case of a close vote in favor of remaining in the EU.

China’s Mastery of the Internet Keeps Dissent at Bay

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and host Peter Dörrie discuss gang violence in El Salvador, a crackdown on the opposition in the Republic of Congo, and diplomatic outreach to Africa by Turkey and South Korea. For the Report, Yaqiu Wang joins us to talk about dissent in China.

Crossing the Rubicon: The Inevitable Emergence of Military Robots

By: Steven Metz | Column
Important as the U.S. military’s adoption of drone warfare is, it is only a first step in a much bigger process. A move has now begun toward the development and adoption of autonomous, unmanned systems, so-called killer robots. Roboticization is inevitable, but where it ultimately will lead is unclear.

Mongolia, Hit Hard by the Commodities Slump, Wearily Faces Elections

By: Julian Dierkes | Briefing
Given the scale of its economic downturn, Mongolia’s parliamentary elections June 29 could see a staggering defeat for the ruling Democratic Party. Yet rather than offer a compelling vision for the future, the party has focused on reconfiguring the entire election system, creating more problems in the process.

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