Snapshots

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Snapshot,
Mark Blyth and Cornel Ban

Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so has Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe’s leaders saying he shouldn’t. Whether Tsipras will succeed is still unclear, but whatever happens, his victory represents a crucial turning point for Europe—a signal that time has run out on austerity policies.

Snapshot,

We poll experts on whether they think that, for the United States, the benefits of the shale revolution outweigh the costs.

Snapshot,
Fahad Nazer

In late January, in the span of only a day, both Saudi Arabia and Yemen turned a new leaf. Ninety-year-old Saudi King Abdullah passed away and, earlier in Sanaa, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced his resignation. For the Saudis, the change of power within Yemen may weaken the leverage they once had with Sanaa and signals the growth of an even larger threat: Iran.

Snapshot,
Eric B. Schnurer

By launching an e-residency program, Estonia is leading the way to a new market—one in which states compete for customers just as businesses do.

Snapshot,
Yoel Guzansky and Sigurd Neubauer

This might be the year that changes everything in the Middle East. The reason: a possible thaw in Saudi Arabian–Iranian relations.

Snapshot,
John Campbell

Americans tend to think of elections as the apex of democracy. But in some cases they are the opposite. In countries with weak democratic cultures and lax rule of law, elections can be destabilizing. Nigeria, which will hold elections next month, is a case in point.

Snapshot,
Michael Singh

Washington should be wary of pinning its hopes on Rouhani’s camp, much less on influencing the regime’s internal struggle.

Snapshot,
David C. Litt

Syria's civil war will end not with surrender but with a negotiated political solution, since no single actor or group of actors has the firepower to overwhelm its opponents. It's time, then, to start mapping out a peace deal.

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

The main reason ransom demands have increased so dramatically might be government involvement. On their own, insurers and negotiators want to minimize payouts; banks question multi-million cash withdrawals, and delivery to desolate locations is complex, time consuming, and expensive. Once a government gets involved, however, these barriers are removed.

Snapshot,
Tareq Baconi

Israel's new-found gas deposits are being touted as a lifeline for peace in the Middle East. But two recent energy deals in the region are likely to cause more conflict.

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