WPR Articles Dec. 2 — Dec. 9
Donald Trump has a knack for simplifying complex international problems. For years, for example, scholars have debated whether China will be a constructive or disruptive global power. Many have argued that it could take decades to find out. Thanks to Trump, we could know the answer in just a few months.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is in Bahrain to meet with Gulf leaders on the sidelines of the annual Gulf Cooperation Council Summit. With political uncertainty over Britain’s future relations with Europe and its place in the world after Brexit, British ministers have zeroed in on the GCC.
Brazil, the embattled South American nation that has seen its fortunes rise and fall dramatically in the past few years, is once again looking like a country that foreshadows major global trends. This time, it is flashing warning signs about the coming battles in the worldwide campaign against corruption.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned Wednesday after voters rejected a referendum on constitutional changes that Renzi had staked his premiership on. Italy’s political and economic uncertainty raises new questions about its future in the eurozone and the strength of populist movements across Europe.
Donald Trump’s surprising election victory has been met with caution around the world as America’s friends and rivals try to gauge the future direction of U.S. foreign policy. In Japan, which helps guide U.S. strategy in Asia, Trump’s win has elicited pause and an intense effort to shore up Japanese interests.
In Germany, the emergence of a new right-wing movement has not been limited to the political class. The forces underpinning the rise of the far-right party Alternative for Germany have galvanized grass-roots groups demanding an end to immigration and what they call the Islamization of Germany.
On Nov. 8, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes would be withdrawn from circulation, a move designed to tackle corruption that has created chaos and disproportionately affected India’s poor. In an email interview, Jan Breman discusses India’s informal economy.
Wedged between Central Europe, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, Romania’s strategic importance is often overlooked. Parliamentary election on Dec. 5 may not change its pro-U.S. and pro-EU alignment, despite concerns about waning U.S. interest and risks to independent institutions.
Appointing military officers to a presidential administration is an American tradition. In the past, though, it has been the exception rather than the norm. That may be changing, with Donald Trump considering an unprecedented number of former officers for Cabinet positions. Is this a cause for concern?
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss Fidel Castro’s death and the implications for reform in Cuba and ties with the U.S. For the Report, Anouar Boukhars talks with Peter Dörrie about militancy in West Africa.
Guatemala banned child marriage last year, but the practice continues. With an extended drought exacerbating poverty across the country, many poor families see daughters as a financial burden and marry them to pay off debts. In an email interview, Serena Cosgrove discusses women’s rights in Guatemala.
Two decades ago, nuclear energy provided the power for nearly one-fifth of the world’s electricity. Now it generates only about half that share. Nuclear energy would be facing strong headwinds even if Japan’s Fukushima accident had not occurred in 2011, because of the market forces of supply and demand.
Last week, dozens of indigenous people blocked the entrance to the presidential palace in Brasilia to demand that Brazilian President Michel Temer’s administration respect their rights. In an email interview, Ana Carolina Alfinito Vieira and Luiz Henrique Eloy discuss indigenous rights in Brazil.
Poland’s illiberal turn, including a constitutional court crisis and tightening government control over state media, has sparked condemnation from the EU and European capitals. But Poland is far from isolated and more than comfortable calling Brussels’ bluff on sanctions for rule-of-law violations.
In a stunning upset, opposition candidate Adama Barrow defeated Gambia’s long-time dictator, Yahya Jammeh, in the country’s presidential election last week. Jammeh likely could have won if he wanted to, by manipulating the results. But it seems he calculated that the cost of victory would be too great.
The buzz in foreign policy circles this week has been over President-elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, overturning decades of diplomatic protocol. But if U.S. diplomacy has lost some of its sheen, it is not only the result of Trump’s iconoclastic approach.
The Syrian war has revealed the inadequacy of international responses to refugees and the system in place to protect them. Developed countries often outsource their obligations to poorer nations; 20th-century legal protections do not reflect the contemporary landscape of conflict and displacement.
The next time they meet, Matteo Renzi, the soon-to-be former Italian premier, and Francois Hollande, the lame duck French president, will probably take a moment to console each other for their recent misfortunes. Afterward, they might spend some time trying to figure out where things all went wrong.
For years, Costa Rica has been a Latin American success story. The country’s democratic institutions and attention to good governance have enabled its resource-poor economy to thrive in a dangerous part of the world. But several trends point to the diminishing effectiveness of Costa Rica’s economic model.
Though Sweden has one of the lowest rates of income inequality in the world, it is experiencing a wave of anti-establishment nationalism similar to much of Europe and the U.S., fueled largely by a backlash against immigration. In an interview, Daniel Waldenström discusses income inequality in Sweden.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan last month saw the conclusion of an India-Japan nuclear deal that had long been in the works. Not many years ago, that development would have elicited major international reaction, given India’s nonsignatory status with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Frederick Deknatel discuss U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the implications for U.S.-China relations. For the Report, Miles Pomper talks with Peter Dörrie about the future of nuclear energy.
From the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory and other fake news to a spike in hate crimes after the U.S. election, social media’s outsize role in shaping politics is more evident than ever. On Tuesday, European officials called on U.S. tech giants to crack down on hateful rhetoric. Free speech advocates are wary.
From Stilton blue cheese to Cornish pasties, many British food specialties that currently enjoy protected status under EU law face an uncertain future. An economic benefit of EU membership beyond tariff-free trade within the single market, these kinds of trademarks have fallen under the radar after Brexit.
During the U.S. presidential campaign, it was hard to get a firm grasp on Donald Trump’s intended national security policy. Now, with only weeks until Trump takes office, he has begun to flesh out his approach. As the Trump strategy emerges, the tensions and contradictions in it are also coming into view.