WPR Articles Dec. 6 — Dec. 14
China and Japan’s standoff over disputed islands in the East China Sea merely serves as the most visible manifestation of an increasingly multifaceted and multilateral rivalry. Their competition threatens to polarize the region and, left unaddressed, raises the risk of a crisis and potential conflict.
When the GCC states and their Western defense partners meet, the demand for changes in regional security cooperation and threat management has long come from the outsiders. But the Gulf states are clearly not ready to take ownership of regional security, nor do they take the initiative for improving it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
A new mandate for Japanese Self-Defense Forces participating in the U.N. mission in South Sudan went into force Monday, allowing Japanese troops to rescue humanitarian workers under attack and protect U.N. camps. In an email interview, Ippeita Nishida discusses the Japanese military’s overseas activities.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stands down at the end of the month. I once called him a “chump” and a “poodle.” More recently, I have said nicer things about his efforts to secure the Paris climate change treaty. Yet as Ban heads for the exit, I have to admit that he will leave a hole in my life.
Mauricio Macri assumed the presidency of Argentina a little over a year ago, intent on correcting years of mistakes by his predecessors and eager to cement his place as a leader of significance. While he has largely succeeded in the first goal, the second remains stubbornly out of reach.
The EU signed an agreement normalizing ties with Cuba on Monday in Brussels. The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement will help expand diplomatic and political ties between the EU and Cuba, but how will the United States, its embargo and President-elect Donald Trump affect the new deal?
The Maldives is world-famous for its idyllic pristine tourist beaches, which are insulated from a society marred by corruption, infighting and rising Islamic fundamentalism. Elections planned for 2018 are a moot point given President Abdulla Yameen’s grip on power, and prospects for reform are dim.
As with most things having to do with Donald Trump’s foreign policy, questions about his motives are unanswerable. But the condescending and mocking tone many foreign affairs commentators have used to describe his foreign policy pronouncements to date is counterproductive to any effort to rein them in.
Piracy in Africa brings up images of Somalia and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa, rather than West African countries that enjoy far more developed governmental structures and security tools. Then why is piracy significantly decreasing in Somalia, while it is growing in the Gulf of Guinea?