Analytical briefs written by CFR.org's staff on issues of the day with links to the news, analysis, commentary, and primary source materials that put the facts in context.
To help readers better understand the nuances of foreign policy, CFR staff writers and Consulting Editor Bernard Gwertzman conduct in-depth interviews with a wide range of international experts, as well as newsmakers.
After the disqualification of popular former president Rafsanjani, it's unclear which of the remaining, mostly conservative candidates will triumph in the June presidential election, says expert Farideh Farhi.
Global monitors say Iran's human rights situation is poor and unlikely to improve amid a climate of political uncertainty and growing external pressures. But activists urge continued international scrutiny of Iran's violations.
South Africa in the post-apartheid period has registered steady growth, but mounting problems over inequality threaten the continent's economic engine, explains this Backgrounder.
A state of emergency in Nigeria's northeast signals that Islamist violence and the government's brutal response have rendered the region ungovernable, says CFR's John Campbell.
The odds of a peaceful power transition emerging from another summit on the Syria crisis are poor, but the U.S.-Russian push for renewed diplomacy is still worthwhile, says expert Frederic C. Hof.
With the economic benefits of broadband access rising, experts continue to debate how U.S. digital infrastructure compares to its international peers. This Backgrounder examines the issues.
New plans for another global summit on the Syrian crisis represent modest progress, but the real question is whether the Kremlin is willing to withdraw support for the Assad regime, says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.
Nawaz Sharif appears poised to return as Pakistan's prime minister, which would create new challenges for the country's already fractious politics and add strains to the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, writes CFR's Daniel Markey.
In their first White House meeting on Tuesday, Presidents Obama and Park will likely seek to reassert the long-standing security and economic relationship between the United States and South Korea, says CFR's Scott Snyder.
The Internet's growing role in economies and societies also poses new threats. The time has come for states and private partners to set global norms for web conduct, says expert Andrea Renda.
The political standoff between the Shiite government of Nuri al-Maliki and Sunni protestors is fueling growing instability in Iraq, which recorded its most violent month in five years, explains Iraq expert Ned Parker.
U.S. missile defense in the twenty-first century is focused on emerging threats from North Korea and Iran, but critics say these systems are too costly and largely unproven, explains this Backgrounder.
Recent developments in Portugal provide yet another example of the growing political strength of anti-austerity forces in Europe.