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September 24, 2020

United States
Why Does the Census Matter?

The U.S. census, one of the few in the world to directly count every resident, is used to distribute political power as well as federal funding. In 2020, it faces complications due to the coronavirus…

Aerial shot suburban LA

September 23, 2020

Health
What Does the CDC Do?

The federal agency has a broad mandate to protect Americans’ health and an expansive global reach. But the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked debate about the future of the CDC.

An audience member photographs a slide showing the likeness of the Ebola virus during an Ebola safety presentation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 7, 2014, in Los Angeles.

November 25, 2020

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico: A U.S. Territory in Crisis

The Caribbean island, which shares a close yet fraught relationship with the rest of the United States, faces a multilayered economic and social crisis, rooted in long-standing policy and compounded …

A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Puerto Rico.

November 24, 2020

Southeast Asia
COVID-19 Sparks Democratic Regression in South and Southeast Asia

South and Southeast Asia have demonstrated mixed results in combating the coronavirus pandemic, yet COVID-19 has been a political boon for illiberal leaders in the region. In fact, South and Southeas…

U.S. President Donald Trump observes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the "Namaste Trump" event at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, in Ahmedabad, India, on February 24, 2020.

November 23, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Do Germans Believe America Is Back?

President-Elect Joe Biden has his work cut out for himself in his effort to restore allies’ trust in U.S. foreign policy.

Joe Biden walks beside Angela Merkel in front of U.S. and German flags.

November 23, 2020

Human Rights
Making America Decent Again: Biden and the Future of U.S. Human Rights Policy

The United States can only promote human rights abroad if it begins from a position of humility, acknowledging that the struggle to make America a more perfect union is ongoing.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump reaches his hand out to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un while sitting down in front of several United States and North Korean flags at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas,

November 23, 2020

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
What Is the World Doing to Create a COVID-19 Vaccine?

The search to find a vaccine for the new coronavirus is well underway. Governments and researchers are aiming to provide billions of people with immunity in eighteen months or less, which would be un…

An engineer shows an experimental vaccine for COVID-19 at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing.

November 20, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should Lame-Duck Presidents Make Major Foreign Policy Decisions?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Donald Trump is using all the powers of his presidency and creating a host of problem…

President Donald Trump stands looking up in front of a U.S. flag.

November 20, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
What Is the Kafala System?

The kafala system regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East, but growing outrage over human rights abuses, racism, and gender discrimination has fueled calls for …

Workers are seen in the Lusail National Stadium, which is under construction for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

November 19, 2020

Nigeria
Nigerian Security Forces and the Dangers of a Violence-First Approach

On October 20, 2020, Nigerians watched in horror on social media as men suspected to be members of the military opened fire on peaceful #EndSARS protesters—a movement responding to a litany of abuses by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A pair of military officers are seen walking towards a group of young men on the street in Nigeria. One man has both arms raised.