Topics

Economics

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

An end to Russia’s intrusions into Ukraine would bring some measure of respite to Kiev. However, that alone will not be enough to place the country on a truly new path. For that, Ukraine must overcome its self-inflicted problems, in particular rampant and pervasive corruption.

Snapshot,
Deborah M. Lehr and Leigh Wedell

In early June, Chinese president Xi Jinping deployed eight SWAT-like inspection teams across China to ensure that local officials were meeting his new environmental targets. The teams submitted a 1,000-page report with a simple conclusion: local leaders, looking out for their own financial interests, were consistently ignoring directives from Beijing.

Snapshot,
Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev

Russia's annexation of Crimea came with few consequences for Russia, while an accidental attack on a civilian airliner by semi-anarchical rebel forces, only loosely controlled by Moscow, may redefine the country's place in the world order. Here's why.

Environment

Snapshot,
Sulmaan Khan

On the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau, one sometimes hears a strange chattering -- an excited buzz that seems to emanate from the earth itself. Anyone who stops to look for the source will quickly realize that the ground is marked by a series of holes, from which small, shy creatures are likely to be watching. The labyrinthine burrows made by these mammals, called pikas, provide them security. But they also ensure China's water supply. Here's what their plight says about Chinese conservation efforts.

Snapshot,
John Sfakianakis

As it stands, the mess in Iraq won’t dramatically alter the oil market unless things get far worse inside the country. Iraq has been in trouble for quite some time -- but the world has only just started to pay attention.

Snapshot,
Scott M. Moore

China’s environmental crisis, severe as it is, won’t bring down the communist regime -- its leaders are too clever to let that happen. Instead, they have carefully co-opted China’s growing environmental movement as their own, expanding their own power in the process.

Security

Snapshot,
Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev

Russia's annexation of Crimea came with few consequences for Russia, while an accidental attack on a civilian airliner by semi-anarchical rebel forces, only loosely controlled by Moscow, may redefine the country's place in the world order. Here's why.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Qatar’s diplomatic intervention in Gaza has exposed the risks inherent in its broader grand strategy. Although Qatar’s foreign policy has not changed, it is no longer going to be able to pose as a neutral arbiter.

Snapshot,
Jason Pack

The violence tearing apart Libya might appear to be an ideological struggle. In fact, it is an economic competition between two rival criminal networks.

Law & Institutions

Snapshot,
Andrew Erickson and Austin Strange

Ongoing international disputes over territory in the South China Sea have led many to invoke an old adage: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.” Beijing is using all these approaches simultaneously, but with an ambitious twist -- as it tells other claimants to pound sand, China is pouring it -- literally expanding the territory under its control.

Postscript,
R. Daniel Kelemen

Last Friday, EU leaders voted to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission. Juncker’s nomination constituted a major victory for the European Parliament and a humiliating defeat for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Snapshot,
Emily Dyer and Louise Millet

Some supporters of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had hoped that he would dial back attacks on women's rights. Just a year into his time in office, though, he has left those backers disappointed. In some cases, his government is just as bad as his predecessor’s.

Politics & Society

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

An end to Russia’s intrusions into Ukraine would bring some measure of respite to Kiev. However, that alone will not be enough to place the country on a truly new path. For that, Ukraine must overcome its self-inflicted problems, in particular rampant and pervasive corruption.

Snapshot,
Farea Al-muslimi

Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama suggested that Yemen could be an example for how to bring stability to Iraq. His comments came as a shock to most Yemenis. The contradiction between their country’s political reality and its reputation as an Arab Spring success story has always been glaring, but now it had become absurd.

Snapshot,
Khaled Elgindy

For Israeli policymakers, another concentrated war against Gaza was preferable to the possibility of another West Bank uprising against Israel, akin to the so-called intifadas that occurred in the late 1980s and the early 2000s. Contrary to what Israelis may have hoped, however, the present war has made a third intifada more, not less, likely.

U.S. Policy

Snapshot,
Deborah M. Lehr and Leigh Wedell

In early June, Chinese president Xi Jinping deployed eight SWAT-like inspection teams across China to ensure that local officials were meeting his new environmental targets. The teams submitted a 1,000-page report with a simple conclusion: local leaders, looking out for their own financial interests, were consistently ignoring directives from Beijing.

Video,
Gideon Rose and Alexander J. Motyl

Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, sits down with Alexander Motyl, professor of political science at Rutgers, to discuss the ongoing Ukraine crisis. 

Snapshot,
Jan-Werner Müller

The Europe of today is a creation of Christian Democrats. Yet both as a set of ideas and as a political movement, Christian democracy is growing less influential and less coherent. As the larger project of European integration faces new risks, then, its most important backer may soon prove incapable of defending it.