June 29, 2017

Move Over, NATO and IMF: Eurasia is Coming

Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 2012. (Photo via Wikipedia)

A thousand poles are blooming as new international blocs like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS Development Bank emerge to challenge Western economic and military dominance. Read More »

Can the Hong Kong Protesters and China Compromise?

Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution. (Photo by Pasu Au Yeung, Creative Commons License)

Protests continue to swell in Hong Kong and China is holding firm on its position that the designation of the 2017 electoral ballot is ultimately under Beijing’s control. But in the past there have been multiple instances of compromise between China and Hong Kong after public stand-offs over similarly sensitive issues. And compromise is again a feasible option. Read More »

Libya Aid Push Constrained by Insecurity

A stop sign outside a rebel-made checkpoint in post-war Misrata, Libya. November 2011. (Photo by Heba Aly via IRIN)

International organizations have put forth an ambitious plan to provide humanitarian aid to 85,000 Libyans by the end of this year. Yet concerns remain over the feasibility of such an operation, given the security risks, access issues and communication problems in the war-ravaged country. Read More »

Nationalism, N. Power and Japans Fragile Media Opposition

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Photo by President of the European Commission, Creative Commons License)

Japan’s big media companies were criticized after the Fukushima incident for underreporting the risks associated with nuclear power. This triggered a surge in investigative journalism. The real issue underpinning Japan’s media wars seems to be whether news media that criticizes the government can publish freely in an increasingly nationalistic climate. The answer remains to be seen. Read More »

East Asia: A Farewell to Arms

(Photo by Truthout.org, Creative Commons License)

With climate change upon us, it's time to bury the hatchet in one of the world's most volatile regions. Read More »

What Arab Partners Will Get in Return for Syria Strikes

Syria map

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE and Jordan are all on board against Islamic State. What’s in it for them? Read More »

Why Thailand Must Decentralize

Bangkok's Democracy Monument has remained scene of pro-democracy protests. (Photo by Ratchaprasong, Creative Commons License)

Significant decentralization is not included in the Thai military government’s understanding of ‘reform’. The policy package being proposed apparently contains no such measures. It may be too much to hope that a group of command-and-control generals could implement a decentralization of power, even if they wanted to. They are doing the opposite. Read More »

Great British Break Off Averted But What Next?

(Photo by Lawrence OP, Creative Commons License)

As further power is likely to be devolved from Westminster in the wake of Scotland’s independence vote, the one-sided nature of the current system becomes yet more pronounced. Read More »

How Hard Times Are Healing Bosnia

Although their public officials remain mired in empty sectarianism, ordinary Bosnians have increasingly crossed ethnic lines in anti-government protests and flooding relief efforts. (Photo: European Commission DG ECHO, Creative Commons License)

Amid rising anti-government sentiment and a series of natural disasters, Bosnia-Herzegovina's fractured ethnic communities are drawing strength from an unlikely source: each other. Read More »

Ecuador: Amazon’s Green Turns Dark Back

A view of Ecuadorian Amazon. (Photo by Dallas Krentzel, Creative Commons License)

One of the most interesting features of Ecuador is that it was the first country in the world to codify the Rights of Nature. Ecuador recognized the inalienable rights of ecosystems to exist and flourish in 2008, but the road that led the country to this recognition was not without obstacles. Read More »