Politics and Strategy


Amid Political Infighting, Malaysia's Democratic Slide Continues

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
World Politics Review

Political infighting in Malaysia, with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak resign amid a corruption scandal, is the latest sign of the country’s democratic reversal. But, Joshua Kurlantzick writes, Malaysia’s slide is part of a trend across Southeast Asia, where democratization has stalled.

See more in Malaysia; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Democratization

Primary Sources

Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR): Leading Through Civilian Power

The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) release the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which "identifies major global and operational trends that constitute threats or opportunities, delineates priorities and reforms, to ensure our civilian institutions are in the strongest position to shape and respond to a rapidly changing world." The first QDDR was published in 2010.

See more in United States; Grand Strategy; Diplomacy and Statecraft


From Putin, a New Tune on Ukraine?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine.

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced this legislation on April 16, 2015. The legislation allows the White House to continue pursuing trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and allows Congress to vote on the treaties.

See more in United States; Trade; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures