Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Senegal President Macky Sall shake hands prior to their meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018 (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal this week, returning to the African continent just months after his most recent four-day, three-nation tour last October, as well as the Third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, which was held in December in Istanbul. The Turkish leader, who has visited more than 30 African countries since becoming prime minister and then president, has devoted considerable effort to cultivating relations with his African counterparts and expanding his country’s presence across the continent. In a WPR article written after Erdogan’s October tour of Angola, Nigeria and Togo, I noted the steps Ankara has […]

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, center in chains, is shown to the press at the Police Headquarters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Feb. 15, 2022 (AP photo by Elmer Martinez).

On Feb. 14, the U.S. Department of Justice requested the extradition of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on drug trafficking and weapons charges. Hernandez was arrested the following day, just two weeks after he left office and a mere week after Washington had revoked his visa. Hernandez was led away from his home in handcuffs and a bullet-proof vest, and he will likely remain detained in the military headquarters of Honduras’ special forces until his extradition hearing, which is set to take place on March 16.  Hernandez’s arrest and the outcome of the extradition hearing signal a watershed moment […]

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga arrives at a rally of his supporters to declare his 2022 presidential bid, Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 10, 2021 (Sipa photo by Donwilson Odhiambo via AP Images).

Over the course of the next two and a half years, voters in several of Africa’s largest and most populous countries will be going to the polls, with a lot riding on the outcomes. This year, Kenya and Angola will both elect a president and national legislature to five-year terms. In 2023, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two of Africa’s four most-populous countries, are scheduled to hold general elections that include keenly anticipated presidential races, as are Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The following year, Egyptians, Rwandans and South Africans will cast ballots in elections that will ostensibly determine the […]

Police officers accompany climate activists as they take part in a protest through the streets of London, Nov. 6, 2021 (AP photo by David Cliff).

To mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020, its member states issued a collective declaration to express their commitment to transformative change and new efforts to address the major challenges of the 21st century. In the same declaration, they also committed to “listening to and working with youth.” But what does this mean in practice? When young thinkers and activists are asked what needs to change with regard to how the international system engages with them, the word they most often use is “tokenistic.” They are sick of being asked to speak at events, ostensibly on behalf […]

A police officer walks by the wreckage of a car bomb that exploded near a police station in Padilla, Cauca, Colombia, Feb.6 2022 (AP photo by Andres Gonzalez).

SARAVENA, Colombia—On Jan. 19, Sonia Lopez was working late in the office of the Joel Sierra Foundation, a human rights group based in the city Saravena, Colombia, just south of the Venezuelan border. It was hot and muggy, and she was exhausted. Normally, she wouldn’t have been working so late, but intense conflict between armed groups in the department of Arauca, where Saravena is located, had left 83 dead and more than 2,000 displaced since early January, putting a premium on her organization’s work. At 10:45 p.m., shots rang out. Armed men had fired pistols from two cars approaching the […]

Barbados’ new President Sandra Mason awards Prince Charles with the Order of Freedom of Barbados during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, Nov. 30, 2021 (AP photo by David McD Crichlow).

To the casual observer, Barbados appears to be the latest country to fall prey to increasing Chinese influence. Two years after signing up for China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2019, the Commonwealth nation declared itself a republic, replacing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Connecting these dots, the prestigious Sunday Times of London ran an article titled, “How Barbados went from Little England to Little China.” The piece noted that Barbados was flush with cash from China and implied that dropping the queen as head of state was the condition Beijing had set for further financing. A pharmaceutical salesman in Bridgetown, the […]

A protester holds the scales of justice outside the District Court during a hearing in then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial, in Jerusalem, Feb. 8, 2021 (AP photo by Maya Alleruzzo).

Opposing corruption is not “easy” nor is doing so a “convenient distraction” from addressing “the world’s most persistent ills and injustices,” as Gabriella Cook Francis and Christopher Sabatini argued in a recent World Politics Review article titled, “The Corruption Obsession is a Convenient Distraction.” To the contrary, we insist that the “ills and injustices” to which the authors refer will never be properly addressed while endemic serious corruption, kleptocracy and state capture are allowed to persist in modern states. Our interest in the topic and our desire to correct what we consider to be the misconceptions in their article stem from our […]

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in a joint press conference with Fiji’s acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Nadi, Fiji, Feb. 12, 2022 (AP photo by Kevin Lamarque).

With the first visit in four decades by a U.S. secretary of state to Fiji and plans to open an embassy in the Solomon Islands reportedly in the works, Washington officially announced its “return” to the Pacific Islands this past weekend. “It is about building a free and open Indo-Pacific, defending it with democratic institutions, with transparency, with commitment to a rules-based order that we share,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a joint press conference with Acting Fijian Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on Feb. 12. Blinken spoke after a virtual meeting with 18 Pacific Island leaders meant to […]

The family portrait at a joint African Union and European Union ministerial meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, Oct. 26, 2021 (Belga/Sipa photo by Hatim Kaghat via AP Images).

The sixth leaders’ summit between the African Union and European Union will finally take place this week in Brussels, following several postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic. Traditionally occurring every three years, the summit was initially scheduled for 2020. The AU-EU summit is often touted as the ideal venue for European and African elites to discuss issues of mutual concern. But this one is particularly significant, as it provides the opportunity for both sides to unpack the new EU strategy directed toward Africa, which was launched in 2020. Beyond the strategy, however, the EU also just launched the 300 billion euro Global Gateway initiative […]

African heads of state gather for a group photograph at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Feb. 5, 2022 (AP photo).

The African Union leaders’ summit took place last weekend at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The two-day gathering, which kicked off Feb. 5, was held against the backdrop of the continent’s ongoing struggles with the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic—including its persistently low vaccination rates—as well as growing fears of democratic erosion amid a spate of military coups. The summit also marked the passing of the AU’s rotating leadership baton, with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi handing over the ceremonial chair to his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall. Setting out his priorities for the coming year in his inaugural […]

Syrian Democratic Forces soldiers hold a position in Hassakeh, northeast Syria, Jan. 27, 2022 (AP photo by Baderkhan Ahmad).

The Islamic State, or ISIS, made global headlines recently on account of two significant developments in Syria: a prison uprising in Hasakeh in late January and the raid by U.S. special operations forces a week later, on Feb. 3, that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. Both events have focused attention on the Islamic State’s capacity to wage insurgency and mobilize militants in its former territory. But another factor that is potentially more important in assessing the group’s future prospects is the large number of ISIS members and sympathizers languishing in detention nearly four years […]

Activists make posters before participating in a protest as part of the Fridays for Future climate movement, Kolkata, India, Sept. 24, 2021 (AP photo by Bikas Das).

Being an activist is tough. Being a young activist is tougher still. Although youth-led groups and movements have proven time and time again they can be drivers of progress and prosperity, the world has a poor track record of offering them a helping hand as they try to do so.  Today, for instance, we look back with fond nostalgia at the protests that swept the West in 1968, including the civil rights movement in the U.S. that resulted in the landmark Civil Rights Act, as well as student and wildcat strikes across France known collectively as May ’68. Popular accounts of that time highlight how […]

A man walks past destruction resulting from airstrikes on the town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 30, 2020 (AP photo by Ghaith Alsayed).

Normalization of diplomatic ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad raises troubling questions for humanists who are also realists. When an evil regime wins a bloody war that allows it stay in power, how can a liberal-democratic state express solidarity for victims of that regime's brutality without engaging in fantasy politics? By fantasy politics, I mean pursuing policies that continue a lost war through punitive acts that do little to limit the targeted regime’s capabilities, while hurting the innocent civilians those penalties are ostensibly intended to help; or pretending that the losing side of a conflict has leverage to pursue its […]