Society and Culture
In June, Hassan Rouhani was elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Rouhani ran as a reform candidate, and many have interpreted his victory as a harbinger of a possible liberalization or rationalization of Iranian domestic and foreign policy. But the dominant figure in Iranian politics is not the president but rather the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Society and Culture
The U.S. Senate rejects multilateral treaties as if it were sport. Some it rejects outright, as when it voted against the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities in 2012 and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1999.
See more in North America; Society and Culture
In March 1933, with the United States deep in the throes of the Great Depression, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his first inaugural address, warning of the power of fear -- or, more specifically, the danger of "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
See more in North America; Society and Culture
Across Mexico, the lawlessness and carnage of the drug wars have given rise to scores of local self-defense forces aiming to defend their communities. The federal government may be tempted to disband and disarm these armed vigilantes, but until it can shape up its security sector, the local groups offer an imperfect but acceptable alternative.
See more in Mexico; Homeland Security; Drug Trafficking and Control
As two new books detail, Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has formed a partisan bloc able to manipulate the country's political system even as it makes little effort to hide its contempt for secular democracy. But it is not too late for Israeli centrists to push back.
See more in Israel; Religion
Pope Benedict XVI made reaching out to other faiths and promoting Christian unity hallmarks of his tenure. Pope Francis will continue this work, not only because he has a history of facilitating religious dialogue, but also because global Catholicism requires it.
See more in Vatican/Holy See; Religion
Edward Alden discusses the struggle to overcome the legacy of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act and argues that increases in border enforcement over the past thirty years may be the strongest argument for why immigration reform in 2013 would not be a repeat of 1986.
See more in Mexico; Immigration; Migration; United States
With its commandments and parables, its kings and its prophets, the Hebrew Bible has served as a reference point for Western politics for centuries. Almost every kind of political movement, it seems, has drawn its own message from the text.
See more in United Kingdom; Religion
The United States worries about China's rise, but Washington rarely considers how the world looks through Beijing's eyes.
See more in Culture and Foreign Policy; China
A new book aims to settle the long-running debate over democracy and "Asian values," arguing that culture is not to blame for the fact that only six of the 16 countries of East and Southeast Asia are functioning democracies.
See more in Religion; Asia and Pacific
Populations throughout the developed world are aging and shrinking, with dire consequences. Yet decline is not inevitable. Even in the industrialized world, governments can encourage childbearing through policies that let women reconcile work and family.
See more in Population; Women
Mexico is winning its death match against the drug cartels and rebuilding once-corrupt institutions in the process. But an election is approaching, and the candidates are calling for a truce. Mexico can take its place in the sun, but only if it wipes out the cartels for good.
See more in Mexico; Drug Trafficking and Control
From the day the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower, religion has played a prominent role in American public life.
See more in Religion; United States
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been gripped by a devastating population crisis almost unprecedented during peacetime.
See more in Russian Federation; Population
Neither intensifying the drug war nor legalizing all drugs offers much hope of reducing drug abuse in the United States or lessening violence in Mexico.
See more in Drug Trafficking and Control; Mexico
To understand the Brotherhood's prospects in Egypt's upcoming elections, one has to understand the organization itself.
See more in Religion; Egypt
Olivier Roy's new book argues that religion and culture are disengaging from each other thanks to globalization.
See more in Political Movements and Protests; Religion
New books by Witold Rybczynski and Edward Glaeser celebrate the ever-changing American urban experience.
See more in United States; Population
Germany's recent debate regarding immigration is missing an important reality.
See more in Germany; Immigration
Many comparisons of India and Pakistan attribute India's democracy to Hinduism and Pakistan's autocracy to Islam.
See more in India; Pakistan; Religion