In the glare of global anticipation, and despite a botched first attempt, Nigeria conducted presidential and national assembly elections that have been largely viewed by domestic and international observers as fair and free. This is a significant achievement compared to the last three marred attempts. But deadly post-election riots in the north have cast a shadow over the balloting. Late on Monday, Attahiru Jega, head of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), declared incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan the winner after he received 22.5 million votes and more than 25 percent of the vote in more than 24 of the country’s […]

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The Libyan intervention is now reaching an inflection point, with the limited initial commitment of force apparently incapable of achieving the expressed — and universally desired — strategic outcome of driving Moammar Gadhafi from power. As a result, Britain and France will send small teams of military advisers in an effort to improve the rebels’ fighting capability, and the U.S. has decided to commit UAV drones to the intervention. But neither measure is likely to have a rapidly decisive impact on the fighting, which has now devolved into a war of attrition that neither side seems poised to win, which […]

One of the main causes of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt was the frustration that millions of Tunisians and Egyptians felt with the state of their economies. Among their many grievances, citizens of both countries were especially fed up with inequality, high unemployment and corruption. Yet the uprisings have led to a further deterioration of economic conditions in both countries. International tourists are staying away, and tourist facilities have laid off thousands of workers. Increased economic uncertainty has also led international investors to stay away for now. To make matters worse, some labor unions have taken advantage of the […]

The World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report is out, and this year’s version highlights the interplay between “conflict, security, and development.” That’s a welcome theme to someone who’s spent the last decade describing how globalization’s spreading connectivity and rules have rendered certain regions stable, while their absence has condemned others to perpetual strife. But although the growing international awareness of these crosscutting issues is long overdue, the report ultimately disappoints by focusing only on the available tools with which great powers might collaborate on these stubborn problems, while ignoring the motivations that prevent them from doing so. First, the good […]

DENPASAR, Indonesia — The recent spate of popular uprisings in the Middle East has surprised and captivated public attention. It is now widely expected that policymakers in Washington, Brussels and the U.N., among others, will draft pro-democracy aid packages for the region, many of which will focus on security sector reform (SSR). This is a welcome development, but in the rush to support Egypt, Tunisia and possibly Yemen and Libya, aid donors should not forget countries that are already going through a similar process. Indonesia is a case in point. The archipelago nation, with its 240 million inhabitants, happens to […]

When the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) coordinated and carried out the initial response to the catastrophe. For the first time ever, the ground, air and sea components of the JSDF formed a joint task force for dealing with the disaster. With the support of the United States Navy, the JSDF has assisted with relief of stricken areas and the general management of the disaster. It is no exaggeration to say that the earthquake has spurred the most significant Japanese military operations since the end of World War II. The experience […]

The notion that the underlying distribution of global power is shifting from West to East and from North to South is not new. For more than a decade, astute observers have noted that countries like China, Brazil and India, among others, were consistently posting impressive economic growth rates and closing the gap separating them from the advanced industrial economies. Yet, even as the reality of their economic rise was impossible to dispute, the structures of global financial governance did not adapt to reflect these changes. Of course, this is not surprising, as international institutions are notoriously resistant to reform. As […]

Africa’s longstanding position as the forgotten continent is rapidly being transformed. At the heart of this dramatic change is the rise of economic giants in the developing world — China, India and Brazil, in particular — whose state-owned enterprises and private companies, acting in combination with assertive diplomacy, have forged a growing partnership with Africa. Under the rubric of “South-South cooperation,” these emerging powers have made significant inroads into Western economic and political dominance on the continent. While the media has tended to focus on the dislocating effect that competitive emerging powers have had on key sectors of African economies […]