Explainers

Videos

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

Explainers Video Filters and Cards

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.
Saudi Arabia
The Dangers of the Middle East’s Kafala System
Play
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 reform.
Olympics
Are the Olympics Worth the Cost?
Play
The Olympics cost host countries billions of dollars. With concerns growing over displacement, debt, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are questioning whether to host the big event.
2021 in Review
We Are the Council on Foreign Relations
Play
For one hundred years, CFR has been examining the most pressing foreign policy issues of the day through its events, books, podcasts, educational products, Foreign Affairs magazine, and award-winning website. Facing global challenges such as COVID-19, climate change, and Chinese and Russian aggression, CFR continues to be a trusted resource for those trying to understand the world around them.
Germany
How Are Green Parties Shaping Global Politics?
Play
As the focus on environmental and social justice issues has increased, green parties have grown in influence across many countries. Here’s how they’re reshaping today’s political landscape.
Space
A New Age of Space Defense
Play
A handful of countries including China and Russia are breaking new ground in developing space weapons. Does that mean the world is headed for an arms race in space?
Afghanistan
Where Have Afghan Refugees Gone?
Play
There were 2.8 million Afghan refugees in 2020, half of whom were living in Pakistan. Here are the countries that could host many of the Afghans fleeing the country after the Taliban’s takeover.
Sub-Saharan Africa
What’s Behind Africa’s Democratic Downturn?
Play
Only eight out of nearly fifty sub-Saharan countries are considered free. Here’s why democracy is declining across the region.
Oceans and Seas
How Illegal Fishing Threatens Oceans
Play
There’s a one-in-five chance the fish you ate for dinner was caught illegally. Illegal fishing is devastating ecosystems and coastal communities. Here’s what countries are doing about it.
Infrastructure
What More Investment Could Mean for U.S. Infrastructure
Play
Increased infrastructure spending could improve U.S. economic competitiveness, including by reducing traffic congestion, better preparing for extreme weather events, and improving broadband access.
China
What to Know About the Chinese Communist Party
Play
As the Chinese Communist Party marks its 100th anniversary this month, it faces a raft of challenges, including slow economic growth, environmental degradation, and tensions with the United States.
Yemen
What’s Causing a Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen?
Play
A civil war, demolished infrastructure, and millions of people at risk of starvation. Here’s why Yemen’s is considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
China
What to Know About the Border Conflict Between China and India
Play
China and India have disputed their shared border for years—they even went to war in 1962. Here’s what to know about the latest escalation between the two Asian giants.
Central America
Why are People Fleeing the Northern Triangle?
Play
Tens of thousands of migrants from a region known as the Northern Triangle are arriving at the U.S. southern border. Here’s why they’re making the arduous journey.