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Teaching Notes

Teaching Notes, by CFR fellows and other experts, feature discussion questions, classroom activities, essay prompts, and supplemental readings. Built around CFR resources and general foreign policy topics, Teaching Notes are designed to assist professors and teachers in developing course syllabi and curricula. Use of these notes is free of charge.

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Deforestation in the Amazon InfoGuide

The Amazon rainforest absorbs more greenhouse gases than any other tropical forest. But in Brazil, deforestation has claimed nearly a fifth of its tree cover, which threatens biodiversity and contributes to climate change.

State Capitalism: How the Return of Statism is Transforming the World

In his new book, State Capitalism: How the Return of Statism is Transforming the World, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick analyzes the rise in state capitalism in developing nations, including China, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, and South Africa, among other states. He defines state capitalism as situations in which governments control or exert significant influence over at least one-third of the largest corporations in a country.

War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft

Today, nations increasingly carry out geopolitical combat through economic means. Policies governing everything from trade and investment to energy and exchange rates are wielded as tools to win diplomatic allies, punish adversaries, and coerce those in between. Not so in the United States, however. America still too often reaches for the gun over the purse to advance its interests abroad. The result is a playing field sharply tilting against the United States.

The Hacked World Order

In The Hacked World Order, Adam Segal shows how governments use the web to wage war, spy on, coerce, and damage each other. While scholars, activists, and technologists initially heralded the Internet as a space outside of state control, governments have been quick to step into this new domain—both to control activity that happens within it and to adopt it as a new tool of state power.

The Eastern Congo

The eastern Congo has been ravaged by foreign invasions and homegrown rebellions that have killed and displaced millions. A fragile peace process seeks to bring stability to central Africa, but its hard-won gains remain at risk.

Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy

In Red Team, CFR Senior Fellow Micah Zenko provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day devil's advocates.

The Japan-South Korea Identity Clash

In this book, CFR Senior Fellow Scott A. Snyder and coauthor Brad Glosserman investigate the roots of fractured relations between Japan and South Korea and their ongoing threat to the region and the world. Teaching notes by the author.

Time of the Kurds

Upheaval in the Middle East presents both challenges and opportunities for the 30 million Kurds living in the region. The newest InfoGuide outlines these dynamics, their historical underpinnings, and how they could reshape the Middle East.

The Taliban

The Taliban has outlasted the world’s most potent military forces, and its two main factions now challenge the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. As U.S. troops draw down, the next phase of conflict has consequences that extend far beyond the region.

The Sunni-Shia Divide

Sectarian conflict is becoming entrenched in some Muslim countries and is threatening to fracture Iraq and Syria. This interactive InfoGuide—which includes videos, infographics, maps, and timelines—explains how tensions between Sunnis and Shias could reshape the future Middle East.