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January 18, 2022

International Law
Legal Principles Matter in Defense of Democracies

Legal principles matter as two major democracies—Taiwan and Ukraine—are threatened by superpower neighbors. Whether one argues about Taiwan’s status as a country or a province of China, it is a vibra…

Ukrainian service members drive tanks during the Independence Day military parade in Kyiv, Ukraine in August 2021.

November 29, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Why Dictators Always Pretend to Love the Law

There’s something farcical—but entirely rational—about the way authoritarians such as Egypt’s Sisi invoke legal justifications for repression.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the Arab summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 31, 2019.

February 24, 2022

Nigeria
Nigeria’s All Too Familiar Corruption Ranking Begs Broader Questions Around Normative Collapse

Released last month, the 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) confirmed what many Nigerians know intuitively—that a steady stream of official antigraft rhetoric has hardly made a dent on what many agree is the most formidable perennial challenge to the country’s long-term stability. President Buhari’s sentiment to the effect that “if Nigeria does not kill corruption, then corruption will kill Nigeria,” is widely shared. Not only is Nigeria down five places from its 2020 ranking, its total score of twenty-four out of a maximum one hundred points represents a drop for the third successive year, making it West Africa’s second most corrupt country. Guinea-Bissau, still reeling from a failed military takeover in early February, holds the dubious honor of being the most corrupt.  

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari wearing gray traditional clothing and glasses sitting with a binder on his lap.

February 1, 2022

India
India’s Geopolitical Challenges in 2022

American author and journalist Hal Borland once noted, “The year’s end is neither a beginning nor an end but a going on.” As India enters 2022, what are its most challenging geopolitical goings-on, a…

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 2014

January 13, 2020

United Kingdom
Brexit’s Finish Line Is Only the "End of the Beginning" for Britain and the European Union

The United Kingdom faces numerous uncertainties as Brexit nears its nominal finish line.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in London.

December 1, 2021

Global
Central Bank Currency Swaps Tracker

Introduction Since the financial crisis of 2007, central banks around the world have entered into a multitude of bilateral currency swap agreements with one another. These agreements allow a centr…

October 18, 2021

United States
Colin Powell: An American Life

Colin Powell’s extraordinary career as a soldier-statesman provides a model for how to live one’s life in the public arena at a time few such models can be found.

Secretary of State Colin Powell listens as President Bush speaks on trade promotion authority at the Department of State.

November 5, 2021

Venezuela
Lessons from the Failure of Democracy Promotion in Venezuela

Why did the US effort to promote democracy in Venezuela fail? The lessons learned there should inform democracy promotion efforts around the globe. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

December 3, 2019

Syria
There’s Always a Next Time to Betray the Kurds

The Kurds have no choice but to always trust the United States—and to suffer the inevitable consequences.

A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holds a Kurdistan flag during a deployment in the area near the northern Iraqi border with Syria

August 15, 2021

Afghanistan
America’s Withdrawal of Choice

The swift fall of Kabul recalls the ignominious fall of Saigon in 1975. Beyond the local consequences—widespread reprisals, harsh repression of women and girls, and massive refugee flows—America’s st…

A U.S. Army helicopter is seen flying over Kabul