Explainers

  • Turkey’s geography and membership in NATO have long given the country an influential voice in foreign policy, but the assertive policies of President Erdogan have complicated its role.
  • The Group of Seven (G7) serves as a forum to coordinate global policy, but experts are increasingly questioning the group’s relevance.
  • North Korea has embarked on an accelerated buildup of nuclear weapons and the modernization of its already large conventional force.
  • The U.S. government continues to seek strategies for responding to the growing number of migrants fleeing poverty, violence, and other challenges in the Central American region.
  • After the British government handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997, Beijing promised to let the city keep its capitalist economy and some of its democratic freedoms under the “one country, two systems” approach. However, Hong Kong’s future looks grim as Beijing increasingly cracks down on protests, free press, and dissent.
  • In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates seventy years on the throne. With Barbados the latest country to sever its ties to the British Crown, debate over whether to stay in the Commonwealth is spreading across the Caribbean. Why are countries choosing to leave, and what could that mean for the future of the monarchy?
  • As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, CFR celebrates a decade of hosting the annual Conference on Diversity in International Affairs (CDIA) in collaboration with the Global Access Pipeline and the International Career Advancement Program.
  • Since the creation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in 1980, more than three million refugees have been accepted into the country. Until recently, the United States was the world’s top country for taking in refugees. However, bans on refugees from certain countries significantly curtailed admissions during the Donald Trump administration and reignited a debate over the program’s national security implications. Now, President Joe Biden has pledged to restore the program as crises worsen in places such as Afghanistan and Ukraine.
  • The United States’ dependence on oil has long influenced its foreign policy. U.S. oil development spans three major periods: the rise of oil as a commodity, beginning in 1850; the post–World War II age of geopolitical competition; and the post–Cold War era of deregulation and diversification. Most recently, Russia’s war with Ukraine has aggravated geopolitical tensions and revived the debate about U.S. energy independence.
  • Since Fidel Castro’s ascent to power in 1959, U.S.-Cuba ties have endured a nuclear crisis, a long U.S. economic embargo, and political hostilities. The diplomatic relationship remained frozen well beyond the end of the Cold War but moved toward normalization during the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, whose policies were largely rolled back under President Donald Trump.
  • Since 1949, U.S.-China relations have evolved from tense standoffs to a complex mix of intensifying diplomacy, growing international rivalry, and increasingly intertwined economies.
  • The financial meltdown that started with the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble had worldwide economic repercussions, including recessions, far-reaching regulations, and deep-seated political discontent. Track its buildup and aftermath.