Explainers

  • Opioid addiction in the United States has become a prolonged epidemic, threatening not only public health but economic output and national security.
  • Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 is on track to be the United States’ deadliest year for gun violence in two decades. How do other countries regulate firearms and respond to mass shootings?
  • Communist Cuba has long been a major foreign policy challenge for the United States. The bilateral relationship thawed considerably under President Obama, but many restrictions were reimposed by the Trump administration. 
  • Once a fringe movement, green parties are increasingly shaping the debate in countries around the world. How influential are they, and what comes next?
  • The Center for Preventive Action’s Global Conflict Tracker is an interactive guide to ongoing conflicts around the world of concern to the United States.
  • Most countries still have laws that make it harder for women to work than men. This inequality shortchanges not only women but also entire economies.
  • Japan's constitutional debate is about not simply the document's past but also the nation's ability to respond to twenty-first-century challenges.
  • Find out where women around the world wield political power—and why it matters.
  • A civil war, demolished infrastructure, and millions of people at risk of starvation. Here’s why Yemen’s is considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
  • China and India have disputed their shared border for years—they even went to war in 1962. Here’s what to know about the latest escalation between the two Asian giants.
  • Tens of thousands of migrants from a region known as the Northern Triangle are arriving at the U.S. southern border. Here’s why they’re making the arduous journey.
  • Three years ago, Abiy Ahmed came to power with promises of peace. Now, jarring reports of killings and sexual violence have come out of Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost region. Here’s what to know about the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
  • Industrial disasters around the world, many involving multinational corporations, have caused significant health, environmental, and economic damages. Such tragedies have also led to lengthy legal challenges and prompted new global regulations.  
  • 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 1945, many regime leaders and key figures have been brought before domestic and international courts to answer to charges including genocide and crimes against humanity, amid a larger struggle to promote and enforce the rule of law worldwide.
  • Onetime allies, the United States and Iran have seen tensions escalate repeatedly in the four decades since the Islamic Revolution.