June 29, 2017

Are Poor Societies Stuck with Dictators?

Inked after voting in South Africa's 4th democratic elections. (Photo by Darryn van der Walt, Creative Commons License)

A classical political science debate focuses on whether democracy is dependent on development. The director of the Electoral Integrity Project revisits the issue using new data from African elections. Read More »

Explainer: What Are ‘Tax Havens’?

Baughers Bay in British Virgin Island. (Photo by Jean-Marc Astesana, Creative Commons License)

Tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands and Panama have a few key things in common. Read More »

What’s Behind the Flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh?

A tank on display at Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Photo by Timon91, Creative Commons License)

Complacency in the face of long-understood risks should be replaced by strong political will and effective mechanisms to prevent further escalations in Nagorno-Karabakh – and indeed elsewhere in Europe and Russia’s shared neighborhood. Read More »

Sunny Days Ahead for Blossoming China–Nepal Ties

A view of the Kali Gandaki dam, completed in 2002. Nepal is seeking Chinese investment in the energy sector, because it is facing serious power crisis.  (image by ADB)

It is no coincidence that Chinese aid is flowing into Nepal at a rapid rate. China prioritizes relations with Nepal due to its geo-strategic location, lying between India and China’s autonomous region of Tibet. Chinese interest in Nepal has been stoked by national security concerns related to the free Tibet movements. Read More »

South Sudan’s Peace Needs More than Tents and Generators

SPLM/A-In Opposition at the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Workshop in Addis Ababa on 17 September 2015. (Photo via CRISIS GROUP)

As temperatures continue to rise in Juba, so do tensions. Many Western donors feel the government is holding them and the peace deal hostage in the hope of getting cash for implementation. Read More »

Why Putin Has Pulled Russia out of Syria

Fighter jets parked at Russian air base in Latakia, Syria. (Photo via video stream)

The Russian president is proving he has learned what America didn't: to quit while ahead. Read More »

The Kaesong’s Woes on the Korean Peninsula

A view of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. (Photo by Wiki Commons)

The closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex has virtually revived the Cold War between the two Koreas. Tensions are likely to escalate on the Korean Peninsula in the days ahead. Read More »

Darkness at High Noon in Korea

The border at Dorasan South Korea looking into the DMZ 38th Parallel. Beyond that is North Korea. (Photo by alflier001, Creative Commons License)

With governments on both sides of the DMZ extinguishing what little remained of the "sunshine era" of engagement, the peninsula is lurching toward a new period of darkness. Read More »

Is Rwanda Stoking Ethnic Fires in Burundi?

Young Burundian refugees at Mahama Refugee Camp celebrate the festive season with music, dance and drama last year. (File photo via The New Times)

According to both the United Nations and the United States, Rwanda is arming and training Burundian rebels. The goal is to bring down President Nkurunziza, but why? What’s in it for Rwanda? Here is an insight into the complex relationship between two neighbors who really don’t get along. Read More »

Food Security: Asia’s Critical Balancing Act

Rice fields in Nepal. (Photo by Sharada Prasad CS, Creative Commons License)

The sustainability of Asia’s food production systems is being questioned in a world with intensive agriculture. Current agricultural production and distribution already leaves hundreds of millions of people hungry in the world, while growth in agricultural production under a business-as-usual model will likely contribute to the planet approaching or even surpassing its safe operating space in terms of biodiversity, climate change and the nitrogen cycle. Read More »