Explainers

Videos

Visual stories that delve into some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Explainers Video Filters and Cards

Haiti
Growing Instability in Haiti
More than a year after President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination, Haiti remains embroiled in a humanitarian crisis. Economic and political instability persist, and a surge in gang-related violence in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince, has displaced tens of thousands of people. World leaders are now debating whether to send troops to help restore basic governance in the country. What does the future hold for Haiti?
United States
Post-Roe v. Wade: Abortion Law Around the World
Play
With the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, it’s up to states to decide their own abortion laws. Watch to see what has changed so far in the United States and how it compares with other countries on abortion access.  
United Kingdom
King Charles III and the Future of the Commonwealth
Play
As King Charles III ascends to the British throne after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Commonwealth countries are debating whether to follow Barbados, which broke ties with the Crown in 2021. Why are countries choosing to leave the monarchy, and what could that mean for its future?
European Union
The Russia-Ukraine War and Europe’s Energy Bind
Play
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led European governments to propose bans on Russian oil and gas, but rising energy costs and a lack of alternatives are undermining the effort. Here’s how Europe has been challenged by Russia’s leverage in the energy market.
United States
How U.S. Gun Policies Compare With the World’s
Play
The debate over gun laws has raged in Washington for decades, often reigniting after high-profile mass shootings. In mid-2022, Congress passed a rare, compromise gun control bill, but critics say it still leaves the United States with some of the loosest gun laws in the world. Here’s how the United States and some other advanced democracies have responded to gun violence.
Hong Kong
China’s Crackdown on a Free Hong Kong
Play
After the British government handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997, Beijing promised to let the city keep its capitalist economy and some of its democratic freedoms under the “one country, two systems” approach. However, Hong Kong’s future looks grim as Beijing increasingly cracks down on protests, free press, and dissent.
United Kingdom
The Uncertain Future of the British Commonwealth
Play
Before her passing in 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated seventy years on the throne. As Charles III takes the crown, Caribbean countries are debating whether to stay in the Commonwealth or follow Barbados, which broke ties with the Crown in 2021. Why are countries choosing to leave, and what could that mean for the future of the monarchy?
Diplomacy and International Institutions
Celebrating Ten Years: Conference on Diversity in International Affairs
Play
As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, CFR celebrates a decade of hosting the annual Conference on Diversity in International Affairs (CDIA) in collaboration with the Global Access Pipeline and the International Career Advancement Program.
United States
How Has the U.S. Refugee System Changed Over Time?
Play
Since the creation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in 1980, more than three million refugees have been accepted into the country. Until recently, the United States was the world’s top country for taking in refugees. However, bans on refugees from certain countries significantly curtailed admissions during the Donald Trump administration and reignited a debate over the program’s national security implications. Now, President Joe Biden has pledged to restore the program as crises worsen in places such as Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Japan
After Seventy-Five Years, Will Japan Strengthen Its Military?
Play
Since it went into effect seventy-five years ago, Japan’s constitution has prevented the country from engaging in combat. But China’s growing military power and North Korea’s increasing threats raised concerns about the strength of Japan’s defenses. Some Japanese politicians have called for a revised constitution so the country can effectively confront twenty-first century challenges. Already, Japan’s defense spending is steadily rising, and the Japanese military is now allowed to work with other militaries, including the United States’. Still, some Japanese people are wary of constitutional change, which has protected them from conflict. Can Japan maintain its pacifist constitution?
Ukraine
Is Russia Committing War Crimes in Ukraine?
Play
Russian forces have been accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, including an apparent massacre in the city of Bucha and the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol. What’s the difference between these types of grave crimes, and who has the authority to prosecute them?
Ukraine
Where Are Ukrainian Refugees Going?
Play
Europe’s largest humanitarian crisis in decades is unfolding in Ukraine. Russia’s invasion has displaced millions of people, thousands of whom remain in Ukraine, and experts say the number of refugees could grow to seven million. Here’s what people are facing in Ukraine and what the international response has been from European countries and international organizations.
Labor and Employment
Why Are Countries Pushing for a Global Minimum Tax?
Play
A global tax agreement has been signed by 136 countries that will require corporations to pay a minimum tax rate of 15 percent. The deal would end decades of competition between governments to attract foreign investment. Here’s why some economists are pushing for the reform and why others support lower corporate taxes.
Public Health Threats and Pandemics
Where Has COVID-19 Contact Tracing Worked?
Play
As part of global efforts to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, health officials have tried a variety of contact-tracing strategies in countries around the world. Some have been success stories; others have been flops, as governments struggled to get buy-in from the public or shore up the resources needed for comprehensive tracing. Here are five countries’ experiences with contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cybersecurity
Cryptocurrencies and the Future of Money
Play
The increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies poses big challenges for governments, some of which are responding with their own digital currencies. Here are some of the benefits and risks of crypto.