WPR Articles Aug. 25 — Aug. 31
Turkey and Russia are patching up their troubled relationship, and both Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin could use their rapprochement as a bargaining chip against the West, and the U.S. in particular. But while it’s true that Turkey is changing under Erdogan, its geopolitical realities are not.
Is the world going crazy? Or alternatively, are insane people at the helm, driving major global events? Whether discussing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or so-called lone-wolf terrorists, the question of mental sanity has increasingly crept into public discourse on global affairs.
In Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic regions, anti-government rallies turned into a bloodbath in early August as security forces again used live ammunition against protesters. The sustained discontent is a major challenge to Ethiopia’s government, as ethnic majorities like the Oromo assert their rights.
Would you be happy to live in a world in which 80 percent of the population enjoys more or less peaceful conditions, but the remaining 20 percent are condemned to live with a worsening spiral of war and suffering? This is a useful question, because it is a rough description of the actual world we live in.
Nicaragua moved closer to one-party rule last month, when its electoral council unseated 28 opposition lawmakers, effectively handing full control of the legislature to President Daniel Ortega’s party. Across Latin America, nominally democratic state institutions have been used to legitimize autocratic behavior.
When Russia announced last week that it had started launching bombing raids into Syria from a base inside Iran, the news produced a remarkable reaction, simultaneously angering both the United States and much of Iran. The episode highlighted just how complex and fragile new Russia-Iran ties are.
With the two-year anniversary of Afghanistan’s national unity government approaching in September, long-simmering tensions between President Ashraf Ghani and the country’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, have broken out into the open. A complicated power-sharing game shows little sign of being resolved soon.
After several women were murdered earlier this month in Italy, the government has allocated $13 million for a plan to combat violence against women and an additional $14 million to fight human trafficking. In an email interview, Annalisa Rosselli discusses women’s rights in Italy.
Just 25 years after winning the Cold War, the United States is facing a very different world than the one many had expected, with terrorism around the globe, major geostrategic conflicts and, perhaps most dismaying, the decline or even collapse of democratic governance in allies such as Thailand and Turkey.
In May, a Malaysian opposition party successfully tabled a bill to introduce “hudud,” or strict Islamic criminal codes, in the state of Kelantan. But Malaysia isn’t 100 percent Muslim, and the bill has sparked a tense debate about the country’s non-Muslim minority, hardening partisan fault lines.
Syria’s crisis is now generating new insights into the fault lines and even falsehoods of international cooperation. Diplomatic efforts to find some minimal common ground to tamp down the war have repeatedly fallen short. It reminds us that old-fashioned, formal alliances have more meaning than ad hoc coalitions.
Earlier this month, hundreds of people marched in Paraguay’s capital, demanding the resignation of President Horacio Cartes and denouncing widespread government corruption. In an email interview, Mercedes Hoffay and Christopher Sabatini discuss Cartes’ leadership and politics in Paraguay.