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October 11, 2019

Election 2020
Election 2020 Foreign Policy Roundup: Syrian Kurds, the NBA, and LGBTQ Rights

The big foreign policy news this week was President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops who have been working with Syrian Kurds, effectively greenlighting Turkey’s subsequent invasion of …

People flee Turkish air strikes in Ras al Ain along the northern Syrian border.

October 4, 2019

Nigeria
The Legacy of Nigeria's 1999 Transition to Democracy

Commentators, especially outside Nigeria, saw the elections of 2015 as an important milestone for the country’s democratic development breaking the pattern of rigged elections. However, could it be that it was the elections of 2011 that really broke the pattern, and the elections of 2015 merely restored it? Were in fact the elections of 2015 much better than those before and after? Did the political classes determine that Jonathan had to go, in part because of the deteriorating economy and security situation, but also understanding that the 1998–9 bargain struck between the south and the north be restored? Will the bargain survive in 2023? 

Obasanjo walks past a cheering crowd in a white robe.

September 30, 2019

Cybersecurity
The First Ever Global Meeting on Cyber Norms Holds Promise, But Broader Challenges Remain

Earlier this month, the United Nations held the first ever global meeting on peace and stability in cyberspace. While there is little reason to expect states to reach a final agreement on major issue…

The United Nations building is pictured in New York, New York, U.S., September 24, 2018.

September 24, 2019

Donald Trump
Patriot Games: President Trump Again Puts the “Nation” in United Nations

Though Trump’s tone was solemn and even-keeled, the overall thrust of his UN General Assembly speech was of transactional nationalism, emphasizing the importance of pursuing national interests and co…

U.S. President Donald J. Trump addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, NY on September 24, 2019.

September 20, 2019

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: September 20, 2019

Australia concludes China responsible for cyberattack; North Korean hacking groups sanctioned; Facebook heads to Washington; and U.S. blacklisting still hurting Huawei.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg walks past members of the news media as he walks to the office of U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) while meeting with lawmakers to discuss "future internet regulation" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2019.

September 19, 2019

Nigeria
More Shiite Processions Met With Bloodshed in Nigeria

n September 10, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a Shia religious and political movement, marched in different cities across the north of Nigeria to mark the beginning of Ashura, a major Muslim holiday and fasting period. In doing so, they defied the government, which, in July, had banned the group. The IMN later claimed that fifteen of their members had been killed after police opened fire on the various IMN processions. The police denied the claim.

Protesters sit and hold posters that say "Buhari Free Zakzaky."

September 16, 2019

Eritrea
How Long Must Eritrea Wait for Change?

Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Eritrea "the most censored country in the world." That unsurprising conclusion is only the latest dubious distinction for Eritrea, a state that often seems frozen in an authoritarian limbo in the midst of region characterized by profound changes. 

Eritrean refugees participate in a demonstration in support of a U.N. human rights report accusing Eritrean leaders of crimes against humanity in front of the Africa Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, June 23, 2016

August 28, 2019

Women and Women's Rights
What the G7 Got Right—and Wrong—About Gender Equality

When the United States takes up leadership of the G7 next year, there’s one aspect of the French playbook it should follow: recognizing the importance of gender equality to the G7 agenda.

The faces of the G7 leaders are drawn in sand with the message "Turn the Tide for Gender Equality."

August 20, 2019

Energy and Climate Policy
Electricity as Coercion: Is There a Risk of Strategic Denial of Service?

This guest post is co-authored by Joshua Busby, associate professor of public affairs at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the LBJ School at the University of Texas a…

Electricity pylons are seen in London, Britain August 1, 2017.

August 7, 2019

Nigeria
Attacks on the Media Continue Unabated in Nigeria

There has been a string of arrests of media personalities and suspensions of media outlets in Nigeria. Recently, some of the arrests have been related to support for a protest tagged “Days of Rage” and #RevolutionNow, against what supporters consider a failure of governance, but the harassment of media in Nigeria is nothing new. 

A man looks at a newspaper headline in front of a newspaper stand in Abuja, Nigeria.