Regions

Africa

Snapshot,
Joshua Meservey

Nairobi's use of extreme measures to fight terrorism is undermining its fledgling democracy.

Snapshot,
Robert Muggah

Fragile cities—places where government authority is crumbling and violence runs deep—will be the world's greatest challenge in the coming decades. But turning such cities around is possible. Here's how. 

Snapshot,
Emmanuel D'Harcourt

Ebola’s reputation is fearsome. Its horrifying symptoms, quick human-to-human transmission, and exotic locale seem ready-made for a thriller movie. Indeed, in the midst of the largest Ebola virus outbreak ever, a real-time script is emerging. There’s just one problem: the story is at best incomplete and at worst outright wrong

Americas

Snapshot,
David James Gill and Michael John Gill

For today's cash-strapped countries, a strong credit rating can provide a huge advantages. Getting one, however, is not simply a matter of hitting the right benchmarks; it's also an exercise in strategy.

Snapshot,
C. Fred Bergsten

Obama’s signature international economic initiative is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress have insisted that the TPP forcefully address the manipulation of exchange rates. Here's how to resolve this dilemma.

Snapshot,
Robert Muggah

Fragile cities—places where government authority is crumbling and violence runs deep—will be the world's greatest challenge in the coming decades. But turning such cities around is possible. Here's how. 

Asia

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.

Snapshot,
Vamsee Juluri

Whether Modi will usher in a Hindu renaissance, as his supporters hope, or contribute to the rise of Hindu nationalism, as his detractors warn, remains to be seen. For the moment, however, his words have been promising. 

Snapshot,
Jung-Chul Lee and Inwook Kim

Recent hacking aside, Pyongyang has been softening its tone for some time now—a possible sign that it is ready to return to the negotiating table.

Europe

Postscript,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

Talk of overturning austerity aside, Greece still needs the last 7.2 billion euro installment of the bailout to cover its financing gap. For the time being, then, the new government will need to abide by the program’s requirements—that is, the very combination of austerity and reform that Syriza has pledged to overturn. This may be enough to break the party.

Snapshot,
Jonathan Laurence

Although the absolutism of French republican ideals has inspired democracies worldwide for centuries, it has only been France's gradual adjustment of those ideals to social and demographic realities—first to its Jewish population and in the future, perhaps, to the Muslim community or to the right—that afforded the country lasting political stability.

Snapshot,
Paul Hockenos

Before the bloodshed in Paris, Pegida and its variants across the country, which oppose the “Islamization of Christian Europe” and Germany’s “foreign infiltration,” were faltering. No longer.

Middle East

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.

Russia & FSU

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,
Anton Barbashin

Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the new Eurasian Economic Union will reintegrate the former Soviet states. But the union is nothing more than an illusion—and an unconvincing one at that.

Snapshot,
Nate Schenkkan

What started off as a relatively simple customs union in early 2014 has been transformed by treaty into a single economic space. But expansion has come at the cost of the union’s coherence, and as Russia’s economy spirals into crisis, the prognosis for 2015 is dire.

Global Commons

Snapshot,
Milosz Reterski

In defending its vital interests in the Arctic, the United States lacks a critical tool: mighty nuclear-powered icebreakers that would solidify its economic and strategic role in the region. Russia is surging ahead in this area, and the United States must catch up.   

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard N. Haass

With U.S. hegemony waning and no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the current international system will likely give way to a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy. The post–Cold War order is unraveling, and it will be missed.

Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

The economic potential of the Arctic is undoubtedly considerable, and that has heightened Asian interest in the region. Because these are perilous times for the Arctic environment, though, the exploration (and exploitation) of the area needs to be done sustainably.