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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WPR Articles Feb. 7 — Feb. 15

WPR Articles Feb. 7 — Feb. 15

The African Union Has a Plan to Fix Itself. Will It Be Able To?

By: Julian Hattem | Briefing
The African Union has a new face, with Chad’s former prime minister, Moussa Faki Mahamat, as the new chair of the AU Commission. But that won’t change the fact that in many regards, the AU is a broken institution. Can internal reforms proposed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame make a difference?

China Promotes a Narrow Definition of Women’s Rights

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
China passed its first law against domestic violence in 2015, but a key part of the legislation—issuing restraining orders against abusers—has not been properly implemented, putting women at risk. In an email interview, the University of Kent’s Andrea den Boer discusses women’s rights in China.

Macri’s Toughened Immigration Rules Evoke Trump and Risk Isolating Argentina

By: Patrick Corcoran | Briefing
Late last month, Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, announced new immigration rules that risk repudiating the country’s history and could presage a break with its neighbors. Though the measures are far from draconian and have public backing, they raise questions about the role Macri wants to play in Latin America.

Can the EU Get Dialogue Between Serbia and Kosovo Back on Track?

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Leaders from Serbia and Kosovo held talks in Brussels last week in a bid to defuse tensions. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said she was “encouraged by the constructive engagement from both sides.” In an email interview, Naim Rashiti discusses relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

The Price of Hun Sen’s Opposition Crackdown in Cambodia

By: Prashanth Parameswaran | Briefing
For over three decades, Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, has ruled his country without any sign of ever wanting to give up power, despite growing indications that Cambodians want him to. As the country prepares for elections, he has begun his most ruthless campaign yet to consolidate his position.

Is EU Membership the Solution to Rising Ethnic Tensions in Bosnia?

By: Mark S. Smith | Briefing
Fears of another war are growing in Bosnia and Herzegovina as xenophobia and nationalist rivalries surge in the largely autonomous and Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska. A growing separatist movement, observers warn, threatens the Dayton Accords that ended the Bosnian War of the 1990s.

Is Indonesia Doing Enough to Fight Inequality?

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Indonesian President Joko Widodo recently pledged that his administration would focus on reducing economic disparities, calling on ministers to accelerate the implementation of the government’s poverty-eradication programs. In an email interview, Matthew Wai-Poi discusses inequality in Indonesia.

Is Political Islam Really on the Rise in Indonesia?

By: Prashanth Parameswaran | Feature
In October, a controversy over Islam’s role in politics hit Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country: Ahok, Jakarta’s ethnically Chinese governor, is on trial for blasphemy. The incident has galvanized hard-line Islamist groups, but does it threaten social cohesion and moderation?

On Migration and Security, There Are Actually Three Mediterranean Stories

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
Some of the most compelling dramas about the effects of globalization are playing out in the Mediterranean basin, one of the geopolitical nodes where North and South intersect. Three distinct zones in the region show different coping mechanisms with respect to terrorism, migration and economic interdependence.

As Ecuador Prepares to Vote, Is Correa’s Populist Legacy at Stake?

By: Christine Wade | Briefing
Outgoing President Rafael Correa’s legacy has been omnipresent in Ecuador’s upcoming election—for better or worse. Many predict the race will be a referendum on his “Citizen’s Revolution,” as his successor will be faced with the possibility of dismantling some of Correa’s populist programs.

France’s Next President Could Spell Trouble for Ties With the U.S.—and NATO

By: Judah Grunstein | Column
Donald Trump has expressed deep skepticism of the NATO alliance and open hostility to the EU. The current field of candidates in France’s presidential election means there is a non-negligible chance the next French president will agree with him. But a lot could be lost in translation from French to English.

Understanding the Global Backlash Against Migration—and Its Costs

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
President Donald Trump’s entry ban for travelers from several Muslim-majority states focused attention on his migration policies. But developments in the U.S. are not occurring in a vacuum. The issue of how to regulate migration is climbing on the global agenda, with potentially harmful implications.

Will Trump Continue Obama’s Drone Policy?

By: Sarah Kreps | Briefing
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump was silent on the use of U.S. drones for counterterrorism, and his position was left unresolved after the election. What would it mean for there to be continuity with Obama’s drone policy? Can anything be gleaned from Trump’s first few weeks in office?

How to Assess Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s episode, the second of two special editions of Trend Lines, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, examine the various ways of trying to assess Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy, and how the prism that is used influences the conclusions that are drawn.

Trump Might Reverse a Rule on Conflict Minerals. Does It Matter?

By: Karina Piser | Trend Lines
Human rights advocates are alarmed that President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order suspending a section of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms that requires companies to disclose whether their products contain so-called conflict minerals. But the rule’s efficacy is up for debate.

Will Trump Choose Revolution or Reform for Dealing With the U.N.?

By: Steven Metz | Column
Upon taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump could have opted for a cautious approach. Instead he has rapidly staked out ambitious, even revolutionary positions. Among these was a draft executive order to drastically reduce U.S. involvement in the U.N. If implemented, it would be a revolutionary shift indeed.

In Vetoing Fayyad’s U.N. Nomination, Did the U.S. Kneecap Guterres or Itself?

By: Richard Gowan | Column
Last week, the U.S. nixed U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ nomination of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as his new envoy to Libya. The U.S. maneuver is destructive and liable to backfire. But it leaves Guterres with a personnel problem as he sets out to build up a credible top team.

Is International Cooperation on Terrorism a Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
Tensions among states over how to prevent terrorism are evident, from the confusion over U.S. efforts to clamp down on migration to disputes between neighbors over border controls. But the will to cooperate remains strong. The challenges center around capabilities, and the ever-changing nature of the enemy.

Last Hope or Last Stop? Mexico’s Growing Migrant Crisis

By: Laura Weiss | Feature
A growing number of Central Americans fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle countries are now seeking asylum in Mexico, straining the country’s already-weak asylum system. As U.S. President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies take shape, that burden is likely to deepen.

The Lessons of the CIA’s War in Laos: An Interview With Joshua Kurlantzick

By: Frederick Deknatel | Trend Lines
In his new book, Joshua Kurlantzick reframes the Laos war as the training ground for today’s CIA, which has led the shadow war against terrorism since 9/11. In an interview with WPR, Kurlantzick discussed his book and the lessons from the CIA’s war in Laos that can be applied today.

With an Eye to Untapped Potential, Israel and Japan Work to Expand Ties

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Earlier this month, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and visiting Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon signed an agreement that makes it easier for Japanese businesses to invest in Israeli cyber-technology firms. In an email interview, Emanuel Shahaf discusses Israel’s ties with Japan.

Angola Prepares for Life After Dos Santos

By: Soren Kirk Jensen | Briefing
The president of oil-rich Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos—the second-longest-ruling leader in Africa—announced earlier this month that he will not run in elections in August. It is the most significant political event in Angola since independence from Portugal in 1974, coming at a time of economic crisis.

Why Chile’s Devastating Wildfires Could Determine Its Next President

By: Christopher Looft | Briefing
For the past three weeks, much of Chile was burning, as the worst wildfires in the country’s history raged out of control. But the fires also threaten to seal the troubled legacy of President Michelle Bachelet, whose poor handling of the crisis magnified several recent criticisms of her government.

Will the World Have to Learn to Live With the U.S. as a Failed State?

By: Judah Grunstein | Column
Is the U.S. a rogue state? Is it a failed or failing state? The answer, of course, is no. But the hyperbole is meant to underscore how each day of Donald Trump’s presidency brings us further into unimaginable territory. While uncertainty remains, there are already clear conclusions that can be drawn.

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