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Middle East and North Africa

Ten years on, the lives of people in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen have improved in certain aspects but worsened in others. CFR.org visualizes the changes.

 

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Middle East and North Africa

The region has always had problems—but it’s now almost past the point of recovery.
Censorship
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Censorship and Freedom of Expression

President Trump threatened to veto a major defense funding bill over a law that protects social media companies from liability for their users’ posts. Why is it controversial?

Technology and Innovation

In reconsidering the provision, it is important to be mindful of the risk of overcorrections and unintended consequences.

 

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Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Though President Trump withdrew from the TPP, the remaining members of the trade pact have forged ahead with a new version, leaving the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific in question.

 

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Trade

Over the weekend, 15 Asian states, including China, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The deal provides a major signal to investors that the region is still committed to multilateral trade integration.
Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Democracies should ask themselves whether forming yet another elite club of wealthy states represents the best means to counter China’s and fellow authoritarians’ digital rise.

Cybersecurity

To counter Chinese and Russian visions for the global internet, the United States and its allies should form a digital trade zone, a bloc of like-minded democracies that cooperates on cyber issues and through which digital trade flows freely.

Digital Policy

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Iran

Middle East and North Africa

The assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh will intensify debate in Tehran over whether to reengage in the nuclear deal with the Biden administration.

Iran

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Climate Change

Brazil

The Brazilian Amazon is burning, threatening the world’s largest repository of biodiversity. If the fires are not controlled soon, they could release a “climate bomb” of stored carbon that would accelerate climate change.

Brazil

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.

Deforestation

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Events

Coronavirus

Panelists discuss COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and disinformation campaigns and tactics to disrupt and disarm them.

Economics

The 2020 Stephen C. Freidheim Symposium on Global Economics discusses the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on global economic policy. This symposium is presented by the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and is made possible through the generous support of Council Board member Stephen C. Freidheim.

Public Health Threats and Pandemics

The coronavirus pandemic has not been an advertisement for the healthy effects of democracy. There have been some notable success stories among democracies, but it is also true that nine out of the ten nations with the highest cumulative COVID-19 cases are democracies. One possibility is that the mechanisms that ordinarily produce better health in democracies—accountability through free and fair elections and freedom of expression—may not function to produce the same result in a pandemic. In this Council on Foreign Relations roundtable, Drs. John Gerring and Ilona Kickbusch discuss this possibility and their work from a new BMJ series on democracy and health.

Venezuela

Panelists discuss the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela as the country continues to face high rates of poverty, unemployment, and even starvation. A La Calle (“To the Street”) is a firsthand account of the extraordinary efforts of ordinary Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy from the Nicolás Maduro administration. Working with a network of clandestine camera crews, the filmmakers spent three years recording exclusive interviews with key opposition figures as well as a host of everyday citizens to document the efforts of Venezuela’s opposition movement.

Expert Spotlight

Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman

Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Wars and Conflict Intelligence

Carla Anne Robbins

Intelligence Failure

Explainers

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Food and Water Security Rising Hunger: Facing a Food-Insecure World

Global food insecurity has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic, threatening to worsen humanitarian crises and spur further mass migration.

China China’s Approach to Global Governance

Learn about China's evolving approach to global governance and how it has shifted strategy under President Xi Jinping related to trade, the belt and road initiative, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Public Health Threats and Pandemics The Coronavirus Pandemic, With Tom Bollyky

Thomas J. Bollyky, director of CFR’s Global Health program and senior fellow for global health, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the World Health Organization’s newly declared pandemic, COVID-19.

United States How Police Compare in Different Democracies

Killings by U.S. officers in 2020 have sparked widespread calls for police reform and an end to systemic racism. Here’s how U.S. policing compares with other countries’ approaches.

Global Women’s Power Index

Find out where women around the world wield political power—and why it matters.

Featured Publications

China

CFR Senior Fellow Yanzhong Huang discusses how China’s environmental crisis is undermining public health and becoming an Achilles heel in its reemergence as a global power.

U.S. Foreign Policy

The definitive account of how regime change in the Middle East has proven so tempting to American policymakers for decades—and why it always seems to go wrong.

U.S. Foreign Policy

Charles A. Kupchan mines the nation’s past to uncover the ideological and political roots of ongoing changes in U.S. foreign policy, including the sources of Donald J. Trump's “America First” doctrine.