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19 Sep 2016

On the Rise: Europe’s Fringe Right

Waves of refugees, stagnant economies, terror threats, and a cultural identity crisis are fueling nationalism, isolationism, and Euroskepticism – and challenging Europe’s liberal order.
29 Aug 2016

Nepal a Surprising Focal Point for the Global Movement for Democracy

Though the international community pays little attention to Nepal, it’s worth noting how the resilience of the country’s democracy movement is a beacon of hope and its activists are an example to others.
19 Sep 2016

Unstable, Unruly, and Reprobate: The Middle East Today

Tehran and Riyadh compete to expand their regional influence by maneuvering troops, funds, and surrogates in the midst of war, faltering economies, ethno-sectarian tension, jihad, and refugees.

Diplomacy's Aversion to Power: Consequences of Retreat

Retrenchment and disengagement have not yielded peace, stability, or global order—rather, growing instability, expanding terror’s reach, surging floods of refugees, and intensifying civil war.
18 Apr 2014

Editor’s Introduction

on the global situation, Joshua Muravchik worries that the traditional US role ...

3 Aug 2016

The Balkans: Backsliding, Bankrupt, and Vulnerable

In the wake of the West's endless pursuit of quick fixes, the Balkan countries are backsliding, bankrupt, or somewhere in between. And western 'investments' have provided meager returns.
30 Jun 2016

Unholy Alliance: Kleptocratic Authoritarians and their Western Enablers

The kleptocratic authoritarians who steal from their citizens, thwart freedom, and endanger world order mustn't be welcomed by Western banks.
17 Aug 2016

Dear President of Angola: Your Soldiers Are Starving

Soldiers in Angola’s military are in a deteriorating state, deprived of a living wage and struggling to afford food and other basic essentials—a stark contrast to luxuries displayed by the generals.
3 Mar 2016

The Continuing Battle for Human Rights in Russia

In spite of the murder, intimidation, and other assaults on freedom in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, there are many who bravely and actively work for a better future. They mustn’t be ignored or forgotten.
1 Jul 2010

Letter from the Editor: July/August 2010

to contributions from the New York Times ’ Helene Cooper on Africa’s first elected ...

14 Jul 2016

Iran and Oman: Burgeoning Allies

Oman—often called the Switzerland of the Gulf—is strengthening ties with Iran in a way that will likely strain the Gulf region's alignments and politics.
8 Jul 2016

Staying in Afghanistan

Obama’s decision to slow down the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan through 2017 should prevent gains by the Taliban and continue to strengthen the National Unity Government.
31 Oct 2014

Editor’s Introduction

The dark uncertainty that characterizes international affairs was (strange as it might seem) captured in a recent remark by Vice President Joe Biden, who observed that the world order we’ve known for nearly seventy years seems now to be “literally fraying at the seams.” We here at World Affairs feel that literal fraying, too. Yet we also believe that its continuation is not predetermined, which is why we’ve published an excerpt from Michael Zantovsky’s forthcoming Havel: A Life. Zantovsky (currently the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the Court of St. James’s) was a friend and comrade-in-arms of Vaclav Havel’s during the days when Charter 77 helped cause a different kind of fraying—of the loathsome fabric of the Soviet Union.
1 Jul 2016

NATO Must Act Before Putin Claims the Black Sea

More can be done to prevent Russian intimidation of the Black Sea states, and NATO should address it at its upcoming meeting in Warsaw, or the security risks in the region will only increase.
14 Jun 2016

In China, Xi's Legitimacy in the Balance

The contradictions between claims made by China's leaders and the country's realities have exposed the regime's vulnerabilities that activists must spotlight to further the push for freedom.
19 Apr 2016

Putin Consolidates Domestic Power


In a little noticed move, Vladimir Putin has established an entirely new security structure that further consolidates his personal grip on domestic control.
10 Feb 2016

The New Fight: Cuba and the Movement for Democracy

The Castro regime has lost whatever raison d’être it may once have had, is deeply corrupt, and now appears ideologically bankrupt to both the people of Cuba and the rest of the world. What’s next?
9 Jun 2016

Merkel and Putin's Wrestling Match

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin are wrestling over which approach to security will be more effective in coming years: economic strength or nuclear intimidation and military conflict.
31 May 2016

Western Paralysis and Retreat Threatens Democratic Progress

Democratic reversals of recent years have been somewhat offset by gains in Argentina, Burma, Nigeria, and Tunisia, but continued gains will require leadership from a dispirited West.
24 Jun 2016

After Brexit, EU Must Refocus on Credibility, Transparency, Legitimacy

As Brexit shock settles, the EU should stay pragmatic—keeping good relations with the UK—and refocus on European ambition to prevent the spread of a trend across the continent.
10 May 2016

EU Sanctions on Russia Still Needed

Russia’s economic woes are the result of structural defects and over-reliance on oil, not Western sanctions. However the EU will lose substantial credibility if it lifts sanctions now.
27 Feb 2013

Editor’s Introduction

but genuine reforms, initiated top-down by Burma’s new president, Thein Sein, ...

2 May 2016

Islam and Democracy After the Arab Spring

The Arab Winter convinced many that the Middle East is destined to be a hopelessly repressive region. But peel away the layers and it's clear there's both hope and opportunity.
12 Apr 2016

Solving Ukraine’s Security Dilemma

NATO won’t be expanding east anytime soon, so militarily weak countries between the Baltic and the Black Sea should form an alliance for mutual defense against Moscow.
5 Oct 2015

The New Cuba Policy: Fallacies and Implications

President Obama’s new approach to Cuba reflects a basic misunderstanding of life under the Castro regime—and sends harmful signal to tyrants around the world.
25 Sep 2015

Undeterred and Defiant, Vladimir Kara-Murza Returns

We at World Affairs are very pleased to announce that our friend and colleague, Vladimir Kara-Murza , has returned to his weekly blog after prevailing through the enormous challenges of recent months. We are most ...

22 Feb 2016

North Korea: Why Human Rights Must Come First

It’s now time for US policy on North Korea to adopt a comprehensive approach that treats human rights as a practical requirement, and not as a negotiations obstacle.
21 Mar 2016

Is Democracy in Retreat?

After the fall of communism in Europe, democracy appeared unstoppable. Today, NED president Carl Gershman says that we are learning that democracy is neither inevitable nor irreversible.
10 Feb 2016

After the Shake-Up: Rhetoric vs. Reform in Sri Lanka

The window for Washington to walk back some of its soaring rhetoric about Sri Lanka and instead focus on helping push the country toward real change is quickly closing.
12 Feb 2016

Four Reasons Why the Syria Cease-fire Won't Work

The so-called Syria cease-fire agreement is a poorly disguised diplomatic ruse by the Kremlin to break down Western unity and resolve as it accomplishes its brutal ends in Syria and Ukraine.
24 Feb 2016

Russia's Social Media vs. the Kremlin's Domestic Information War

Like their Soviet ancestors, the Kremlin has warped its citizens' worldview with a relentless information war. Can the propaganda be countered via Russia's social media platforms?
10 Feb 2016

Not Even Past: Bravado Meets Reality in Brazil

Having attached itself to China’s fortunes, Brazil’s emerging economy is now in a major tailspin that reveals the country’s deep social fissures and underlying economic weaknesses.

Turning from the West: South Africa’s Ominous Pivot

Operating somewhat under the international radar, South Africa’s ruling ANC has shifted away from Nelson Mandela’s western orientation in favor of Beijing and Moscow.
2 Feb 2016

Crouching Tiger: China Acts, America Dithers

From its island landgrabs and “closed sea” doctrine to its asymmetric strategy and calculated naval buildup, China is moving ahead with plans to neutralize US sea power in Asian waters.
29 Dec 2015

Democracy's Retreats and Tentative Advances in 2015

2015 saw important, yet fragile, democratic gains around the world. But, as the West is now preoccupied with domestic challenges, the future of democratic reform will be determined by those on the frontlines.
2 Jul 2015

A New Focus: The Future of US Trade

With a second-term president looking to secure his legacy and a pro-trade majority anxious to show its ability to govern, the time is right for two new deals that reaffirm US global leadership.

Is It Good for the Jews?: Anti-Semitism and the New Europe

The problem is real enough, but the causes are harder to discover. At the very least, it’s time for Europeans to reassert their own secular liberal values in a positive, inclusive way.

Tokyo Ascending: Abe’s New Defense Strategy

Under Shinzo Abe’s careful leadership, Japan is demonstrating that the US-led deterrence system installed after World War II can respond effectively to Beijing’s mounting aggression.
10 Feb 2016

Moscow on the Tigris: Russia Joins the Terror Nexus

While an exhausted United States simply wishes international migraines like the Syrian civil war would just go away, Russia is energized by the prospect of filling the vacuum.

The Ukraine Example: Nuclear Disarmament Doesn’t Pay

Washington’s failure to fulfill its explicit security assurances in exchange for Ukraine dismantling its nuclear arsenal has greatly undermined US credibility and global nonproliferation.
18 Jan 2016

Slovakia’s Illiberal Future?

Though there are few immigrants in Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico is manipulating the issue to distance himself, his party, and country from Europe's mainstream and western values.
10 Feb 2016

Merah: The ‘Untold Story’ of a French Jihadist Icon

Like so many other French jihadists, Mohamed Merah, the killer who filmed his savage murder of three Jewish children and a teacher, started as a petty criminal with an “endless” rap sheet.
30 Dec 2015

The Pas de Deux in Burma

Both the process leading to Burma's recent elections and the actual results give reason to be hopeful that Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein can advance reforms further.
30 Apr 2015

The New Containment: Undermining Democracy

As the West once used containment to halt the spread of communism, the world’s authoritarians now use it to curtail democracy in the hope of guarding their power and spoils.
21 Dec 2015

Darkness at Noon: FDR and the Holocaust

What did the era’s most prominent symbol of humanitarianism think when confronted with the world’s most compelling moral outrage? History records only a question mark.
23 Nov 2015

Transatlantic Unity: Indispensable in the Defeat of Tyranny

“We must stand together in defense of the same principles that have united us … our right to live together in peace, in security, and in freedom, in open and tolerant societies.”
1 Sep 2011

Ten Years Later

“The attacks of September 11, 2001, impelled America to declare war against terrorism. Its unforeseen consequence may be a historic leap in the global spread of democracy and human rights.”
5 Oct 2015

Iranian Devolution: Tehran Fights the Digital Future

In the wake of the Green Movement and the Arab Spring, the Iranian government has undertaken a major effort to isolate the Islamic Republic’s cyberspace from the outside world.
2 Jul 2015

Editor’s Introduction

austerity measures of our own. The new covers aren’t quite as brilliant, but we’ve found the new paper actually makes the journal a bit easier to curl ...

5 Oct 2015

A Path to the Sea: China’s Pakistan Plan

Dwarfing recent US aid and foreign investment, the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could be a game-changer for the region, and even make Beijing a two-ocean power.

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