Trend Lines

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel, left, takes the oath during a swearing-in ceremony with Belgian King Philippe at the Royal Palace in Brussels, Sept. 11, 2014 (AP photo by Yves Logghe).

Ruling Coalition in Belgium Risks Alienating French-Speakers

By Maria Savel
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Belgium is known for its complicated politics, thanks in large part to linguistic divisions. But the new government, with only one francophone party and a hardline Flemish nationalist party, has raised new questions about its ability to fairly represent both Flanders and Wallonia. more


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Turkey’s Regime Change Policy for Syria Finds Little Domestic Support

By The Editors
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Turkey recently announced that only Syrian refugees would be allowed to cross the border to fight against the so-called Islamic State in the besieged town of Kobani. In an email interview, Sinan Ülgen, a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, discussed domestic influences on Turkey’s Syria policy. more

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Chad Uses Environmental Rules to Keep Tight Grip on Oil Sector

By The Editors
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Chad is currently in talks with the Chinese National Petroleum Company over oil-extraction licenses that were revoked due to environmental violations. In an email interview, Celeste Hicks, a freelance journalist specializing in Africa, discussed Chad’s oil sector. more

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Iraq’s Limited Air Power Constrains Ability to Fight Islamic State

By The Editors
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In an email interview, Rick Brennan, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and former senior adviser to the U.S. military in Iraq from 2006-2011, discussed the current air capabilities of the Iraqi military and its significance for both internal security and external defense. more