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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.

Interview,

The civil war in Syria will soon enter its fifth year, with no end in sight. On January 20, Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to discuss the conflict in this exclusive interview.

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.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Leadership matters, especially in the Middle East, where institutions are weak and often nonexistent. But charisma and talent, on their own, won’t be enough to dig Saudi Arabia out of the profound generational problems that go beyond Abdullah, his successor Salman, or any leader who will preside over the Kingdom.

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,
Muhamed H. Almaliky

The new prime minister has inherited a country on the brink of collapse. Here's how he has done in his first months in power.

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.

Snapshot,
Jeffrey W. Hornung

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent electoral victory gave him some leeway to finally address the issue of comfort women, which plagues Japan’s relations with South Korea.

Snapshot,
Micha'el Tanchum

Since Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, needs to move forward on a referendum for Kurdish independence while he still holds the political cards, 2015 may be the year that the Kurds secede from Iraq.

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