Egyptian youths shout slogans against the country’s ruling military council during a demonstration in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 30, 2011 (AP photo by Bela Szandelszky).

Down but Not Out: Youth and Revolution in Egypt and Beyond

By Thanassis Cambanis
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Young people and youthful energy propelled the Egyptian uprising that began in 2011, and they remain the Arab world’s best hope. Today the military appears to have won in Egypt, but the long-term outcome of the struggle there is still in question; how it unfolds will be a bellwether for the Arab world.
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Oil sands refinery in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, Feb. 10, 2012 (photo by Flickr user kris krüg, licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license).

Shifting Sands: How Energy Is Shaping Canada’s Foreign Policy

By Mike De Souza
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The Canadian government has been engaging in an aggressive public relations campaign for its energy industry as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s declared goal of making Canada an energy superpower. In the process, Canada’s foreign policy and climate change agenda have also been transformed.
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France’s far right presidential candidate and National Front party president Marine Le Pen attends a political rally in Chateauroux, France, Feb. 26, 2012 (Sipa via AP Images).

History’s Postscript: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy

By Jan-Werner Müller
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Contrary to what has often been alleged, Francis Fukuyama’s argument in “The End of History” that only liberal democracy can fulfill basic human aspirations for freedom and dignity has not been so obviously disproven. But democracy does have a serious rival today: populism.
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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Aug. 25, 2014 (AP photo by Diego Azubel).

Adaptive Engagement: China’s Approach to Southern Africa

By Cobus van Staden
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Observers of China’s engagement with Africa often assume that Africa is passive in the relationship. A look at Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa shows that the reality is more complicated: Chinese actors often try to partially adapt to specific African systems, with varying degrees of success.
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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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Russian-speakers stand around the statue of a Red Army soldier protesting against the Estonian government’s plan to move it, Tallinn, Estonia, 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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