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July 11, 2018

Southeast Asia
Prayuth-Macron-6.25.2018 The Thai Junta Wins Back the World

More than four years after Thailand’s military seized power in a coup, the nineteenth coup or coup attempt in the kingdom since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, the country still seems far f…

June 19, 2018

Southeast Asia
Mahathir_6.11.2018 After the Big Win, Mahathir Faces Reality

Following the surprise victory by Malaysia’s (former) opposition coalition in national elections in May, a spirit of jubilation erupted in much of the country, at least in regions not won by UMNO, th…

June 25, 2018

Southeast Asia
Mahathir-Abe_6.12.2018 After the Big Win, Mahathir Faces Reality—Part Two

In my previous post, I discussed how, after a surprising victory in May elections, and jubilation among supporters of the former opposition coalition that they had finally broken through, ending the …

May 2, 2018

Donald Trump
Buhari-Trump-White-House-Nigeria-USA Buhari's Visit to Washington a Small Win for President Trump

Unlike the recent visits of French President Emmanuel Macron, who criticized Trump’s policies before a joint session of Congress, or German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who continues to be critical of a range of Trump’s polices, Buhari praised Trump in ways that will be pleasing to him and his base. 

August 15, 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC-Kabila-Elections-President Kabila Will Not Stand in Elections, but Will Congo Really Change?

After keeping his own citizens and the international community in suspense for over two years past the end of his mandate in 2016, President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo anno…

August 14, 2018

Nigeria
Nigeria-Osinbajo-Buhari-President-Election Osinbajo Remains Buhari's Running Mate for Nigerian Election

Domestic and international observers generally see Osinbajo as highly competent and his tenure as vice president a success. The Lagos business community, highly critical of Buhari’s economic policies, will welcome the prospect that Osinbajo will continue as vice president. He has been generally lauded for his role as acting president during Buhari's absences, most recently for his handling of a blockade of the national assembly by certain members of the security services. 

August 8, 2018

Saudi Arabia
Saudi women celebrate the lifting of the driving ban on women in east Saudi Arabia. Unpacking the Canadian/Saudi Spat

Last week, the Saudi government arrested two prominent women’s activists, the latest move in a series of incarcerations targeting women’s and civil society leaders in the Gulf kingdom. 

April 5, 2018

Mexico
A union worker holds a placard as she protests outside Pemex headquarters to demand better contracts for technicians and other professionals, in Mexico City, Mexico November 7, 2017. The placard reads: "The oil is from the nation" Mexico's Election Could Leave Its Economy in Limbo — No Matter Who Wins

Pena Nieto’s structural reforms in Mexico have yielded a few quick gains, mostly in telecom prices and access to credit, but most of the benefits are yet to come. However many may not, as justified frustration with the government’s fiscal mismanagement and corruption leads voters to turn away from a more open economic model before the advantages appear.

August 1, 2018

Pakistan
Erum Ahmed, chief executive officer (CEO) of the textile retail brand So Kamal, talks to workers as she visits a factory in Faisalabad. Pakistan’s Imran Khan Promises End to Discriminatory Laws

Khan has a powerful opportunity to deliver on his party’s platform and further Pakistani women’s workplace safety -- and the economic growth of the entire nation.

July 31, 2018

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe-Elections-Mnangagwa The Zimbabwe Election and Mnangagwa’s Charm Offensive

A victorious candidate must win 50 percent of the total vote plus one. If there is no outright winner, the top two candidates will be forced into a runoff, which would take place on September 8. Mnangagwa and Chamisa ran neck and neck in preelection polls, and there are many analysts now raising the possibility, even the likelihood, of a runoff.