Analysis Brief

Analytical briefs written by's staff on issues of the day with links to the news, analysis, commentary, and primary source materials that put the facts in context.

Weighing a European Fiscal Compact

Author: Christopher Alessi

EU leaders are moving forward with a new fiscal compact, but doubts persist over the agreement's legality and its ability to stem the tide of eurozone sovereign debt contagion.

See more in Financial Crises

A New Fiscal Union for Europe

Author: Christopher Alessi

At a Brussels summit, EU leaders agreed to develop a new fiscal union in an effort to preserve the indebted eurozone. Analysts say Britain's decision to opt out of the plan could dramatically reshape the path of European integration.

See more in Financial Crises

Can Iran's Central Bank Be Sanctioned?

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

There is growing support in the U.S. Congress to sanction Iran's central bank in response to new nuclear revelations. Some experts say such a move could backfire and help the regime.

See more in Iran; Sanctions

Assessing Myanmar's Reforms

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

Secretary Clinton is in Myanmar to gauge recent reforms by the military-backed regime. Experts are calling for further democratization, including strengthening the rule of law and reconciliation with ethnic minority groups.

See more in Burma/Myanmar; Human Rights

Egypt's Uncertain Vote

Author: Toni Johnson

Egyptians began voting in parliamentary elections despite ongoing protests. But experts say the continuing strife over military rule and fears over Islamist parties threaten stability.

See more in Egypt; Elections

U.S.-Australia Alliance and China

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

In Canberra, President Obama announced an expansion of defense ties, but it has prompted debate among Australian analysts over balancing a strategic U.S. alliance with growing economic ties with Beijing.

See more in China; Australia; Defense Strategy

Italy and the Future of the Eurozone

Author: Christopher Alessi

New Prime Minister Mario Monti faces the daunting task of reining in Italy's high public debt. Analysts say he will have to tackle fiscal irresponsibility to rebuild market confidence and prevent the eurozone's third largest economy from defaulting.

See more in Italy; Financial Crises; EU

A Greek Technocrat's Tall Task

Author: Jonathan Masters

New Prime Minister Lucas Papademos faces daunting challenges to rescue Greece's economy. A fiscal collapse, analysts say, will also raise questions over the eurozone's ability to manage debt crises in other struggling European economies.

See more in EU; Greece; Financial Crises

Italian Debt Clouds over Europe

Author: Christopher Alessi

Despite a pledge by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign, Italy faces pressure to address its sovereign debt burden by quickly implementing austerity measures or risk a new magnitude of eurozone contagion.

See more in Italy; Financial Crises

An Iranian Nuclear Escalation?

Author: Jayshree Bajoria

A UN report on Iranian efforts to obtain a nuclear device triggers new debate among analysts and policymakers over the appropriate U.S. and international response.

See more in Iran; Proliferation

Greece's Risky Eurozone Maneuver

Author: Christopher Alessi

EU leaders are making plans for a Greek exit from the euro, even as Prime Minister George Papandreou scrambles to garner support for the new EU rescue package and tougher austerity measures.

See more in EU; Greece; Financial Crises