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April 12, 2021

Southeast Asia
Myanmar Moves Toward Civil War, Failed State

In the initial days after the Myanmar armed forces launched a coup on February 1, deposing an elected government, the military may have hoped it would be able to pull off the putsch with minimal bloo…

A fire burns on the street during a protest against the military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar on April 1, 2021.

June 7, 2021

Southeast Asia
Of Questionable Connectivity: China’s BRI and Thai Civil Society

Benjamin Zawacki is a senior program specialist with the Asia Foundation’s office in Thailand, focused on regional security and cooperation, and the author of Thailand: Shifting Ground between the US…

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (C) and Wang Xiaotao (C-L), a representative of the Chinese government, take part during the groundbreaking ceremony of the cooperation between Thailand and China on the Bangkok-Nong Khai high speed rail development in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand on December 21, 2017.

July 1, 2021

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Northern Elders Forum: Keeping the Igbo is Not Worth a Civil War

On June 9, following a closed-door meeting, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) issued a public statement that the Igbo-dominated southeast should be allowed to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria if it was necessary to avoid a civil war. NEF spokesman Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said “the Forum has arrived at the difficult conclusion that if support for secession among the Igbo is as widespread as it is being made to look, and Igbo leadership appears to be in support of it, then the country should be advised not to stand in the way.”

A black and white photo of soldiers marching with rifles. Civilians crowd them to the side of the street.

January 19, 2021

China
China’s Growing Trade and Investment in Latin America Outpaces Its Influence in the Region’s Media and Civil Society

The dramatic growth in trade and investment relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has not yet translated into a significant expansion of Beijing’s influence over the regio…

Members of the Chinese Confucius institute take part in a Lunar New Year celebration in Viña del Mar, Chile on February 3, 2011.

September 11, 2017

Privacy
Is the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Back in Business?

The executive branch and Congress have had a love-hate relationship with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Will a new chairman keep the board relevant?

Security camera at the Capitol

October 7, 2021

Women and Women's Rights
CFR Roundtable Speaker Wins 2021 MacArthur “Genius” Award

Dr. Safiya Noble, who spoke at a CFR roundtable in 2018, was announced as a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

An image of Safiya Noble

October 28, 2014

Middle East and North Africa
Liberty and the Palestinian Authority

Palestinian Authority officials have given thousands of speeches  over the years about removing the Israeli occupation, freeing Palestinians, self-government, and the like. But today --as in the days…

October 21, 2019

Civil Society
Should There Be a "Right to Assist" Campaigns of Civil Resistance?

A "Right to Assist" could help prevent violent conflict and ease democratic transitions. But several important questions remain unanswered. 

Anti-government protesters gather at the start of a protest march in Hong Kong's tourism district of Tsim Sha Tsui, China.

October 5, 2018

Human Rights
Terrorism and Civil Society

On October 4, the White House issued its new National Strategy for Counterterrorism. This is a long and welcome document, and I want to discuss only one element of the strategy: the role of civil soc…

October 18, 2021

Cameroon
Cameroon Presidential Succession Looms Large in Solving Country's Political Crises

In Cameroon, an incident last week in which a gendarme shot and killed a young child in Buea—a regional capital that has been the site of clashes between anglophone separatists and federal government forces—is the most recent outrage to make international headlines. Yet every day, the country’s civil conflict inflicts a brutal toll on the population, with surprisingly little outside attention. For five years, a deepening crisis has pit anglophone separatists against federal authorities, leading to thousands of lives lost and hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced—disrupting the education of hundreds of thousands of children in the process.

Soldiers brandishing rifles sit in the back of a camouflaged pickup truck. An election advertisement board of Cameroon President Paul Biya is seen behind them alongside another billboard with an advertisement.