Politics & Society

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Letter From,
David Schenker

In the course of two hours, Rudaynah al Otti, a Jordanian parliamentarian, saw almost 20 of her constituents. The brief meetings were evenly punctuated—nearly every three minutes—by a stream of calls on her mobile phone. She was courteous (she always started by asking about her constituent’s family) but then got straight to business. This is politics in Jordan.

Snapshot,
Steven A. Cook

For Gallipoli’s Turkish defenders, the battle there was an important victory in defense of the Ottoman Empire. Paradoxically, it also became a touchstone of the nationalism that was so important to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey less than a decade later. Likewise, celebrations planned for the battle’s centenary reflect the tension between the valorization of the Ottoman era and the hallowed memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Snapshot,
Benjamin Brake

In the wake of the Snowden revelations, it has become more difficult for governments to conduct surveillance operations. As a result, black and gray markets for anti-encryption software have boomed.

Letter From,
Michael J. Bustamante

Average Cubans on depressed state salaries are already hurrying to grab the last of this year’s delayed crop of potatoes. Across town,Sara’s Bar draws patrons from the island’s foreign-currency-holding elite with a conspicuous imitation of South Beach chic. And ten minutes away, the red flag of the Soviet Union proudly advertises a new private Russian restaurant, complete with Lenin-era propaganda posters to lend the décor the right amount of nostalgic kitsch.

Snapshot,
Catherine Thomas and Johannes Haushofer

Mental health is not just a First World problem. In the developing world, depression is often a cause, not a result, of poverty.

Snapshot,
Charles Schmitz

Many suspect former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of using the Houthis, his old enemies, to try to regain power. But in the end, he may end up as the conflict's biggest loser.

Snapshot,
Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot

The United States and Europe frequently criticized Netanyahu's settlement policy as expanding Israeli presence in the West Bank. Meanwhile, right-wing constituencies in Israel lashed out at Netanyahu for doing the exact opposite. In fact, he was doing both—a balancing act that is about to get a lot harder.

Snapshot,
Thomas J. Reese and Daniel I. Mark

Moscow is applying its restrictive laws in Crimea. As a result, Muslims, Jews, and even some Orthodox Christian groups are facing increasing discrimination.

Snapshot,
Andrew F. March and Mara Revkin

Debating whether ISIS is really "Islamic" or is better understood as an exotic apocalyptic death cult does not bring the world closer to understanding how the group governs. Indeed, whatever it believes about the apocalypse, it sees itself as creating a distinctive legal order for the here and now, one that is based on a literal (if selective) reading of early Islamic materials and a long-standing theory of statecraft and legal authority.

Snapshot,
Geoff D. Porter

From conflict in Mali to Libya's dangerous morass, Algeria has never faced such serious threats directly on its own borders. For the moment, the country appears determined to follow its usual strategy of pushing for political solutions to the external crises while beefing up its internal security as a safeguard if these solutions fail. The problem with this strategy is that asks too much from ordinary Algerians, who can only hope that it’s the best way to protect the normalcy that they hold so dear.

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