Snapshots

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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.

Snapshot,
Ellen Laipson

History will show that Abdullah did more than his predecessors to help Saudi Arabia adapt to changing expectations of Saudi citizens, but there was nothing transformative in the short run, and nothing profoundly disruptive or destabilizing either. That may have been his special talent, and a worthy legacy.

Snapshot,
Taras Kuzio

Putin’s goal in Ukraine is simple. He wants to rebuild “New Russia,” the Tsarist empire's term for the eight Russian-speaking regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. After months of deadlock, pro-Russian groups are resorting to terrorism to get the job done.

Snapshot,
Peter Martin

India has long seemed unable or unwilling to become a major player on the world stage. But the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is looking to change all that. In order to compensate for a small and weak foreign service, he is tapping into India’s considerable soft power: its emigrants, intellectuals, and yogis.

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