Supporters of Argentine President-elect Javier Milei.

It is tempting to view the win in Argentina by far-right libertarian economist Javier Milei followed by the first-place finish in the Netherlands by the anti-Muslim firebrand Geert Wilders as evidence of a global movement. But it would be a mistake to view these two earthquakes as part of the same tectonic pattern.

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Campaigning has officially begun for Indonesia’s Feb. 14 presidential election, a race in which the two frontrunners are likely to face off in a runoff round. But even before the official campaign season got underway, President Joko Widodo’s dynasty-building efforts introduced no small amount of intrigue and controversy to the race.

In Venezuela, a crisis compounded with crime and autocracy

The political and humanitarian crises that have sent Venezuela into a death spiral for the past several years has now spilled over into neighboring countries and become a flashpoint in international affairs. But the protracted fight for control of the country has only meant additional suffering for its citizens. Is there any end in sight for Venezuela’s crisis?

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch far-right Party for Freedom.

The far-right PVV party’s victory in the Netherlands’ elections has fueled frantic speculation about what the outcome means for European democracy. Less attention has been paid to the broader trends enabling a party as radical as the PVV to get to a position where 24 percent of Dutch voters might give it the benefit of the doubt.

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Two weeks ago in San Francisco, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech to a gathering of U.S. business leaders that was chock full of his signature ideological ideas, including “Chinese-style modernization.” Why did Xi lecture them about these ideas? And what does Chinese-style modernization mean for U.S.-China relations?

An activist holds a sign reading "war=warming."

Addressing climate resilience needs in fragile states is one of the biggest outstanding gaps in climate finance. However, recent research suggests it is also one of the biggest opportunities, including for addressing crucial conflict drivers. COP28 will bring together the major stakeholders needed to tackle this problem.

Argentine President-elect Javier Milei.

The big question hanging over Argentine President-elect Javier Milei’s term in office is whether he can turn around the country’s crisis-stricken economy. But if Milei’s control over Argentina’s economic fate is limited, he’ll have free rein over the country’s foreign policy, where he is also planning some very large shifts.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

Three weeks ago, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa submitted his resignation amid a corruption scandal, ushering in what is probably the biggest crisis in Portuguese politics in at least 20 years. The snap elections called for March promise to be the most contested and important ballot in that same period.

U.S. President Joe Biden poses for photos with Pacific Island leaders.

The Solomon Islands has become the focus of a fierce geopolitical rivalry between the allies of the U.S. on one hand, and China on the other, after announcing an extensive security pact with Beijing a year and a half ago. But some are concerned that great power competition is overshadowing national development priorities.

The leaders of nine southern EU countries and two EU officials pose for a photo.

European states are debating the war in Gaza as a foreign policy crisis with little direct connection to the internal workings of the EU. Yet as the conflict continues to escalate, the efforts by Brussels to keep the horror engulfing Gaza and Israel at arm’s length from the EU are unlikely to remain sustainable for long.

Then-interim Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks in Madrid.

Pedro Sanchez was elected Spain’s prime minister last week in a parliamentary investiture that represents a validation of his high-risk gamble to call early elections that he was widely expected to lose. But the win comes after weeks of massive protests that reflect why this is his most controversial victory to date.

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President Joe Biden entered office promising to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA. But doing so has proven tricky for Biden’s administration, in part because of the complex politics surrounding the deal in both Washington and Tehran, but also because of the tense relations between the two countries, which soured significantly under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

Palestinians walk outside buildings destroyed in the Israeli bombardment on al-Zahra, on the outskirts of Gaza City, Oct. 20, 2023.

Largely absent from the conversation about Israel’s military offensive in Gaza is the question of whether or not Israel is using inherently indiscriminate means and methods of warfare. If so, even if any resulting deaths might be arguably “proportionate” and “incidental,” they could still be considered war crimes.

The Kurdistan flag is seen waving over a statue of Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa Barzani, founder of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Dec. 17, 2021.

Last month, the Iraqi army clashed with Kurdish peshmerga forces, leading to multiple casualties on each side. But while ethno-sectarian violence in Iraq was historically aimed at toppling the government, this recent violence should be seen as a way to negotiate power within the political system. And it shows that the equilibrium between Baghdad and Erbil is shifting.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro delivers a speech during the first meeting of the Global School Meals Coalition in Paris, Oct. 18, 2023.

With Central America facing numerous crises, it could be easy to overlook a small legislative scuffle in Honduras. However, the institutional maneuverings there in recent weeks are a great example of the sorts of questionable power grabs that degrade democracy and undermine anti-corruption efforts around the region.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the U.N. Sustainable Development Forum.

Following the Sustainable Development Goals Summit this past September, the U.N. published a guidance paper to identify pathways to achieving the SDGs by their target date of 2030. But if those goals are to be met, even partially, the U.N. must also rethink the political underpinnings of international development cooperation.

A passenger from Kigali, Rwanda, waits to be cleared by immigration officials at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 1, 2020.

Kenya and Rwanda’s decision to remove visas for African travelers were met with enthusiasm. But visas are only part of the complexity of cross-border travel for Africans across the continent. Visa-free travel is a step in the right direction, but it is not sufficient to address the challenges facing Africans who cross borders in Africa.

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