Backgrounders

Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

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, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in United States; Innovation

Author: Steven J. Markovich

Income inequality is generating high-level attention and debate in the United States, but the causes are complex and the policy remedies so far are modest, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in United States; Poverty

Renewing America

Renewing America

Driverless Cars

Author: Steven J. Markovich

Tech and auto companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia are moving forward rapidly with efforts to develop driverless cars and street networks. The benefits appear tantalizing, but roadblocks loom, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in Global; Technology and Science

Ukraine in Crisis

Author: Robert McMahon

Ukraine's most serious crisis since independence has prompted Russian moves to control Crimea and promises of major Western economic aid, while questions persist about the ability of Ukrainians to govern themselves, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in Ukraine; Political Movements and Protests

U.S.-Cuba Relations

Author: Brianna Lee

The U.S.-Cuba relationship remains frozen after fifty years. Despite economic reforms in Cuba and swelling public opinion in favor of resuming diplomatic and economic ties, analysts do not anticipate any normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations in the near to medium term, explains this Backgrounder.

See more in Cuba; Diplomacy and Statecraft