Supporters of Greece’s radical leftist party Syriza rally in Athens as European Union voters cast ballots in European Parliament elections, May 22, 2014 (Kyodo via AP Images).

Aftershocks: The Political Fallout of Greece’s Economic Crisis

By Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos
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This year, the Greek economy may finally return to growth. But while Greece is farther away from the fiscal abyss than it was four years ago, the social cost for middle- and low-income groups has been high, and political conflicts may put recent economic accomplishments at risk.
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A police officer and a soldier arrest a gang member in compliance with the government’s “Mano Dura” plan in San Salvador, El Salvador, Oct. 16, 2003 (AP photo by Victor Ruiz Caballero).

Justice Deferred: Rule of Law in Central America

By Michael Allison
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One of the primary historical causes of political violence in Central America has been the absence of democratic rule of law. Since the 1990s, reformists have mobilized to strengthen institutions in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. However, these efforts have been for the most part unsuccessful.
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An oil well undergoes testing in the Lake Albertine region of western Uganda, 2010 (AP photo by Monitor Publications Ltd).

Catalyst or Curse? East Africa’s Oil and Gas Boom

By Jon Rosen
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New oil and gas finds in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, the bulk of which should come online by the end of the decade, have put East Africa on the verge of a hydrocarbon-driven transformation. However, the path to exploitation is fraught with challenges, and the boom presents as many risks as rewards.
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An Iranian police officer stands behind drugs which were seized on the border with Afghanistan, June 1, 2014 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

Out of the Shadows: Iran’s Evolving Approach to Drug Addiction

By Mehrun Etebari
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Iran has long had one of the world’s biggest drug addiction problems, but the government’s attitude toward the drug war remains rife with contradiction. To understand its current approach, one must look at decades of shifting policies, as the battle against drug addiction has seen many phases.
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People stand around the statue of a Red Army soldier protesting against the Estonian government’s plan to move it, Tallinn, April 22, 2007 (AP photo by Timur Nisametdinov).

Compatriot Games: Russian-Speaking Minorities in the Baltic States

By Agnia Grigas
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Nowhere does Russia’s policy of protecting its “compatriots”—Moscow’s term for the Russian-speaking diaspora in the former Soviet republics—spell as much concern as in the Baltic states. All three have large Russian-speaking minorities concentrated close to the Russian border.
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Armed men belonging to the Self-Defense Council of Michoacan guard a checkpoint in western Mexico, May 9, 2014 (AP photo by Eduardo Verdugo).

Armed and Dangerous: Self-Defense Groups in Weak States

By Jerónimo Mohar
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The emergence of self-defense groups in Mexico earlier this year is yet another chapter in the history of nonstate actors that contest the government’s monopoly on violence. Parallel cases in Colombia, El Salvador and Nigeria can help illustrate how such groups form and why they persist.
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Zimbabweans queue in the rain outside immigration offices in Johannesburg as they wait to apply to become legal immigrants, Dec. 15, 2010 (AP photo by Denis Farrell).

Closing the Door: South Africa’s Draconian Immigration Reforms

By James Hamill
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Recent reforms to South Africa’s immigration regime threaten to disadvantage African immigrants seeking to enter or remain in the country. The changes flow from the privileging of a narrow nationalism at the expense of the pan-Africanist ideology supposedly informing South Africa’s public policy.
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A drill in the biocontainment unit in Omaha, Neb., Oct. 28, 2006 (AP photo by Nati Harnik).

After Ebola: Preparing Western Health Care Systems for the Next Epidemic

By Jeremy Youde
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The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has prompted a wider discussion about the ability of the U.S. and other Western countries to respond to an epidemic. The likelihood of Ebola overwhelming Western health systems is low, but we cannot be sanguine about their ability to tackle other threats.
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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai-class frigate Linyi moors alongside the Luhu-class destroyer Qingdao, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 6, 2013 (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Barker).

China's Naval Modernization: The Implications of Seapower

By Andrew S. Erickson
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As China pushes maritime territorial claims against its neighbors, Asia’s future may hinge on the capabilities of the Chinese navy. This article explores Beijing’s plans for modernizing its naval forces, as well as the rising costs of seapower and the implications for regional stability.
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A man sits alone near the road between the Dakhla Refugee Camp and Awsaard Refugee Camp, June 24, 2003 (UN photo by Evan Schneider).

Waiting for Disruption: The Western Sahara Stalemate

By Jacob Mundy
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The Western Sahara conflict is fast approaching its 40th anniversary with no end in sight. A web of geopolitical interests keeps the conflict in a permanent state of limbo. Therein lies the paradox: The peace process now exists to contain the conflict, but only a crisis will save Western Sahara.
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