Features

Snapshots

Snapshot,
Maria Popova

Given Ukraine's rule-of-law problems, it is not surprising that one of the Euromaidan protesters’ top demands was for legal reform. Nor is it surprising that the new government in Kiev has focused on clearing out the judiciary and emancipating it from its political subservience. But how it has gone about that will only make Ukraine's problems worse.

Snapshot,
Kemal Kirisci and Raj Salooja

Turkey has maintained a generous open-door policy for Syrian refugees. As Syrian refugees continue to pour into the country, Turkey must address their long-term status within its borders.

Snapshot,
Andrew Wilson

Letters From

Letter From,
Annabelle Chapman

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has recently become a hotbed for discussions of federalism. It could be a bellwether for the rest of Ukraine’s east.

Letter From,
Boris Muñoz

Like his successor, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tends to blame his country's violence problem on inequality. Yet if the government has made significant progress reducing inequality, and if, as Hugo Chávez believed, violence is derived from social injustice, what explains the recent surge in crime?

Letter From,
Annabelle Chapman

No sooner had embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled office than his old nemesis, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was back on the scene. Her return, which could upset the fragile balance among the three opposition leaders that helped boot Yanukovych, has already sparked concerns that this week marked the end of one president's rule but not the start of something new.

Postscripts

Postscript,
Keith Darden

For the first time since 1989, Europe is transforming. The primary protagonists, by most accounts, are Russia and the West. The bit of territory that they are clawing at -- Ukraine -- has largely been eclipsed. Yet inattention to Ukraine’s internal demons reflects a dangerous misreading of current events.

Postscript,
Isobel Coleman

In the run up to this spring's parliamentary elections, Iraqis are debating a new personal status law. Supporters claim that the law will give Shia more freedom to practice their religion. Opponents argue that it would promote sectarianism and seriously undermine the rights of women and children by permitting unfettered polygamy, a Taliban-like restriction on women’s movement, child marriage for girls as young as nine, unequal divorce and custody, and an end to interreligious marriage.

Postscript,
Alexander J. Motyl

To deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the West has to assume that he is rational and will respond to carrots and sticks. Accordingly, it should take him up on his proposal to form a working group on Ukraine, which would at least force everyone to take a deep breath and survey the situation with a measure of calm.

Reading Lists

Reading List,
Joel D. Barkan

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Kenya.

Reading List,
Charles King

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on the Caucasus.

Reading List,
Cynthia McClintock

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Peruvian politics.

Comments

Comment, 2014
Jake Kendall and Rodger Voorhies

Most of the world’s poor lack a basic savings account, but the humble cell phone may change all that. Thanks to mobile finance, banks can now offer critical services to more people and in more places than ever before, helping them escape poverty for good.

Comment, 2014
Jan-Werner Müller

Ten years ago, eight eastern European states joined the European Union, seemingly locking them onto an upward developmental trajectory. But now this supposed triumph is in serious doubt, as most those countries are experiencing profound political crises.

Comment, 2014
Ira Trivedi

Last December, India's Supreme Court re-established a colonial era law prohibiting homosexual relations. That will mix poorly with an Indian society that has a long tradition of tolerance for sexual minorities.

Essays

Essay,
Swanee Hunt

It would be obscene to say that the genocide in Rwanda had even the thinnest silver lining. But it did create a natural -- or unnatural -- experiment, as the country’s social, economic, and political institutions were wiped out. In important respects, the reconstructed Rwanda is a dramatically different country, especially for women.

Essay, 2014
Bernard Avishai; Jalal Al-e Ahmad

In 1963, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, an Iranian writer popular with dissident Islamist clerics, traveled to Israel and wrote a surprisingly positive account of his trip. That a guru to the ayatollahs liked Israel now seems touching. But what he liked seems cautionary.

Essay, 2014
Robert D. Blackwill and Meghan L. O'Sullivan

As the U.S. boom in shale oil and gas drives down global energy prices, energy-producing states that lack diversified economies will lose out, whereas energy consumers stand to gain. But the biggest benefits will accrue to the United States.

Responses

Response, 2014
Michael A. Cohen; Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore

The Manning and Snowden leaks do shed light on U.S. foreign policy, sometimes in an unflattering way. But they certainly do not prove that Washington acts hypocritically.

Response, 2014
Jarno Limnéll; Thomas Rid
Response, Jan/Feb 2014
Richard Katz