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
, , Feature
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.
more
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
, , Feature
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.
more
Panama City skyline, Oct. 15, 2012 (photo by Flickr user Jim Nix licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license).

Latin American Tiger: Can Panama Get Expansion Right?

Panama’s new government has set its sights on weeding out corruption, which has marred the country’s efforts to become the Singapore of the Western Hemisphere. The economy is roaring. The question is whether politics—and in particular corruption—will ultimately drag Panama down.
more
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
, , Feature
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.
more
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
, , Feature
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.
more
Supporters of presidential candidate and former President Michelle Bachelet wave flags during a victory rally in Santiago, Chile, Dec. 15, 2013 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).

Rising to the Challenge: Can Latin America Escape Its Past?

By The Editors
, , Report
Electoral democracy is flourishing across Latin America. But if the region has eagerly embraced pluralism, many problems remain, ranging from insecurity and corruption to balancing economic growth with environmental concerns. This report covers the full spectrum of Latin America’s challenges.
more
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
, , Feature
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.
more
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
, , Feature
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.
more
South Korean army soldiers patrol along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Cheorwon, South Korea, May 13, 2014 (AP photo by Lim Byung-shik).

Strategic Posture Review: South Korea

By Richard Weitz
, , Report

As a fully democratic and developed country, South Korea has realized its aspirations to become a major international player. Nonetheless, the persistent threat from North Korea, along with the challenge of having three of the world’s most powerful countries as neighbors, continues to constrain South Korea.

more
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
, , Feature
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.
more