Backgrounders

Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

Renewing America

Renewing America

The U.S. Immigration Debate

Authors: Danielle Renwick and Brianna Lee

Comprehensive immigration reform has eluded Congress for years, moving controversial policy decisions into the executive and judicial branches of government, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in Immigration; United States

Mexico's Drug War

Author: Brianna Lee

Since 2006, the Mexican government has been in embroiled in a bloody drug war, which has failed to significantly curb trafficking. The ongoing conflict poses mounting challenges for Mexico, which is trying to polish its image as an investment hotspot, as well as the United States, its most important regional partner.

See more in Mexico; Drug Trafficking and Control

Renewing America

Renewing America

Gasoline Prices

Author: Toni Johnson

With the Middle East unrest ongoing and the global economy recovering, gasoline prices are rising considerably. But policies to ease U.S. consumer impact take time and policymakers are divided over the course of action.

See more in United States; Oil; Energy Policy

Hamas

Author: Zachary Laub

Hamas is the main Palestinian armed resistance group, but the Islamist movement has struggled with governance since assuming control of Gaza.

See more in Israel; Palestine; Terrorism

Poland's Economic Model

Author: Christopher Alessi

Poland has maintained economic growth despite the global financial crisis and eurozone woes, while asserting itself as a leading advocate for greater European integration.

See more in Economic Development; Poland

Author: Steven J. Markovich

Spending on research and development is cited as important to a globally competitive economy. But a crucial U.S. advantage appears to be eroding.

See more in United States; Innovation

Deterring Iran's nuclear weapons program is a foreign policy priority for the United States. Candidates for the 2012 presidential elections debate the best options, including a military strike.

See more in Iran; Elections