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January 15, 2021

United States
A Unique Military Force: The U.S. National Guard

The National Guard is a special part of the U.S. military that answers to both state governors and the president. In some instances, how leaders have used the Guard has generated controversy, particu…

Members of the Connecticut National Guard survey flooded areas in Florida from a helicopter as part of the response to Hurricane Irma.

November 12, 2020

United States
How Police Compare in Different Democracies

Killings by U.S. officers in 2020 have sparked widespread calls for police reform and an end to systemic racism. Here’s how U.S. policing compares with other countries’ approaches.

A photo from behind of rows of police officers wearing navy blue uniforms and hats in a moodily lit arena.

September 25, 2020

China
Religion in China

As more people in China practice religion, the government continues to toughen oversight, increase religious persecution, and attempt to co-opt state-sanctioned religious organizations.

People kneel and pray in a mosque in Shanghai, China.

July 27, 2020

Education
How Countries Are Reopening Schools During the Pandemic

Educators worldwide are facing the agonizing decision of whether to resume in-person instruction while there’s still no cure for the new coronavirus. Countries including Denmark, India, and Kenya are…

A student wearing a protective face mask makes a presentation behind a plastic sheet during an English class at Takanedai Daisan Elementary School in Funabashi, Japan, on July 16, 2020.

July 7, 2020

Labor and Employment
U.S. Temporary Foreign Worker Visa Programs

The United States has long accepted hundreds of thousands of foreign workers each year, but the Trump administration has blocked many of these visas as unemployment among the domestic labor force has…

Agricultural workers from Bud Farms harvest celery on March 26, 2020, in Oxnard, California.

June 30, 2020

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state, but civil society and regional blocs may be slowing the trend of extending presidential terms in some areas.

A taxi passes an electoral poster for Cameroonian President Paul Biya in a market in Yaounde.

January 19, 2018

Olympics
The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Games

The costs of hosting the Olympics have skyrocketed, while the economic benefits are far from clear. This has led to fewer states interested in playing host and a search for options to lighten the bur…

Lighting the Olympic Torch

February 11, 2015

Eurozone
The Eurozone in Crisis

The eurozone, once seen as a crowning achievement in the decades-long path toward European integration, continues to struggle with the effects of its sovereign debt crises and their implications for …

Euro currency sign in front of ECB

November 19, 2012

Europe
European Foreign Policy and the Euro Crisis

The eurozone crisis has consequences far beyond the continent’s economic performance, such as the EU’s ability to forge coherent defense and foreign policy.

December 19, 2012

United States
U.S. Patents and Innovation

The U.S. patent system has generated growing debate over whether it helps foster innovation or stifles it through unnecessary protections, as this Backgrounder explains.