Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 30, 2018 (DPA photo via AP Images).

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi rules with brutal authority, but Egypt's political and economic future look anything but secure. CAIRO—To the many Egyptians who took to the streets in January 2011 to bring down former President Hosni Mubarak, Cairo is full of reminders of the country's post-revolution failures. Tahrir Square is once again a bleak traffic-laden roundabout; just next to it, the Egyptian Museum is associated with torture by the military after activists were detained and interrogated there following a protest in March 2011. Nearby, the downtown area of Maspero is notorious for the massacre of Coptic Christians. To the east, Rabaa […]

An asylum-seeker at the Hermanos en el Camino shelter studies a map of Mexico, Ixtepec, Oaxaca, June 17, 2016 (Photo by Joseph Sorrentino).

Mexico, once viewed mainly as a country of transit for Central Americans fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, has increasingly become a destination, according to the United Nations. The number of Central Americans applying for asylum in Mexico increased from 3,400 in 2015 to 14,600 in 2017. Francesca Fontanini, the regional spokesperson for the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said that there were 14,000 applications in the first six months of 2018 alone. But for most Central Americans, Mexico really isn’t a country of destination. It’s a country of last resort. Between 400,000 and 500,000 Central Americans enter […]

Migrants climb into a truck to head north into Algeria at the Assamaka border post in northern Niger, June 3, 2018 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Even as they escape poverty and violence at home, many African migrants find there is no promised land for them abroad. Learn more when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR). Early one morning in April 2017, Etienne, a 36-year-old migrant from Cameroon, was awakened in his hotel room in Oran, a port city on the northwestern coast of Algeria, by a contingent of Algerian police officers raiding the hotel. They arrested Etienne and the dozens of other migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa who had also been living there. The African migrants—a group that included men, women and some children—were eventually […]

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, with Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in Singapore, Nov. 14, 2018 (AP photo by Bernat Armangue).

During the first two years of the Trump administration, Washington has dramatically reduced its rhetorical focus on democracy promotion in Asia. For instance, President Donald Trump has mostly ignored issues of human rights and democracy when meeting with leaders of abusive regimes, like the Thai prime minister and junta leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha. This approach is consistent with Trump’s overall realpolitik; he usually does not raise rights issues in meetings with other authoritarian leaders, and he often seems to have more contempt for democratically elected leaders around the globe than for autocrats. More recently, despite extensive evidence suggesting that the armed […]

A demonstration in memory of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, who was abducted, tortured and murdered in Cairo, in Rome, Jan. 25, 2018 (Photo by Riccardo Antimianu for ANSA via AP Images).

Italian prosecutors earlier this month named five Egyptian security officials as suspects in the murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian graduate student whose mutilated body was found in a roadside ditch outside Cairo in February 2016, nine days after he disappeared. Regeni had been conducting research on labor unions in Egypt for a doctorate at Cambridge University. For nearly three years, investigators in Rome have been frustrated by the lack of cooperation from their Egyptian counterparts, which led to the extraordinary decision to publicly identify Egyptian government agents as suspects. In an email interview with WPR, Timothy Kaldas, a nonresident […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, bottom row center, speaks during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 18, 2018 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech on Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing marked the 40th anniversary of a watershed moment in modern Chinese history. At a meeting in December 1978, Deng Xiaoping and other reformist Communist Party leaders, who had fallen from grace during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, laid the groundwork for the program of economic liberalization that later became officially known as “reform and opening up.” Four decades later, amid slowing economic growth and […]

A banner in a town square in the French Alps reads “Welcome Refugees,” Chamonix, France, Oct. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Bertrand Combaldieu).

Find out how the aftermath of the refugee crisis is still upending politics across Europe—when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR). As the nationalist, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats claimed their best result yet in Sweden’s parliamentary elections in September, the nation’s newspapers went bold with their headlines. “Chaos,” read the front pages, in all caps, of the two largest tabloids. Dagens Industri, a financial newspaper, called the outcome “a political earthquake.” But the subject of their worry was not the rise of the Sweden Democrats, the latest party to surf Europe’s anti-establishment populist wave. Instead, it was the utter fragmentation […]

Houthi representative Mohammed Abdulsalam, right, and Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yaman, left, with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at peace talks in Rimbo, Sweden, Dec. 13, 2018 (TT News Agency photo via AP).

What happened in the multilateral system in 2018? Looking back over the year, it is possible to identify three strategic trends and a last-minute political surprise that may resonate in the future. The big trends in multilateralism included a hardening of the Trump administration’s opposition to international cooperation, a concomitant increase in China’s efforts to influence bodies like the United Nations, and worrying signs of European splits over the value of internationalism. The surprise was an unexpected, and arguably almost accidental, revitalization of humanitarian politics over Yemen. Let’s start with the trends. By the end of 2017, it was clear […]

Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar at a convention for the All Progressives Congress, Lagos, Nigeria, Dec. 10, 2014 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Earlier this month, Oby Ezekwesili, a Nigerian activist, former Cabinet minister and 2019 presidential candidate, participated in an event at Chatham House titled “Next Generation Nigeria: How to Foster Inclusion, Social Justice and Opportunity for All.” The official announcement suggested it would be a pretty tame affair, but one brief exchange with a Nigerian audience member kept Ezekwesili’s name in the headlines for days afterward. At one point during the event’s question-and-answer portion, Bisi Alimi, a prominent Nigerian LGBT activist who fled to the U.K. more than a decade ago because of threats to his safety, asked Ezekwesili for her […]

A FijiFirst poster with the image of Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is displayed at the entrance to a village in Nausori, Fiji, Nov. 7, 2018 (AP photo).

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji narrowly won a second term in an election last month that pitted two former coup leaders against each other. Bainimarama has ruled the Pacific island nation since taking power in a bloodless coup in 2006, but his FijiFirst party will now have to contend with stiffer resistance from the main opposition Social and Democratic Liberal Party, which strengthened its position in Parliament in the Nov. 14 vote. In an email interview with WPR, Jon Fraenkel, a professor of comparative politics at Victoria University of Wellington, discusses the results in the context of the Pacific […]

Protesters speak out against the coup attempt in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Sept. 21, 2015 (AP photo by Theo Renaut).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. It’s been two decades since the body of Norbert Zongo, an investigative journalist in Burkina Faso, was found in his car on a road south of the capital, Ouagadougou. He appeared to have been shot and badly burned, as had his brother, his driver and a colleague, all of whom were killed alongside him. Suspicion immediately fell on Francois Compaore, the younger brother of longtime President Blaise Compaore. Zongo had reported aggressively on the killing of Francois Compaore’s driver, […]

A woman shows a picture of Mapuche indigenous man Camilo Catrillanca, who was killed by security forces, to riot police during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 19, 2018 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

President Sebastian Pinera’s administration in Chile is facing heavy criticism for its treatment of the country’s marginalized indigenous groups after security forces killed a young indigenous man in the southern Araucania region last month. Camilo Catrillanca, a 24-year-old Mapuche, was fatally shot on Nov. 14 by members of a heavily armed counterterrorism squad known as the “Jungle Commandos.” Four soldiers have been arrested in connection with the incident, which has prompted public protests across the country. In an interview with WPR, Jorge Contesse, a professor of international human rights law at Rutgers University, discusses the history of the Chilean government’s […]

A demonstrator holds a sign that reads in Spanish “Stop the corrupted” outside the National Assembly in Panama City, Panama, March 11, 2018 (AP photo by Arnulfo Franco).

In recent years, a combination of factors has converged to produce an unprecedented number of high-profile anti-corruption investigations around the world. From Brazil to South Korea, from the Panama Papers to the global FIFA scandals, publics across the globe have seen their worst suspicions confirmed, as daring investigative journalists and hard-charging prosecutors lay out case after case, revealing the details of pervasive malfeasance at the loftiest levels of power. At first glance, this is unquestionably a positive development for society as a whole, for the economies of the countries affected and for the global political environment. Corruption corrodes the moral […]

Guinean President Alpha Conde during a press conference at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, Nov. 22, 2017 (Photo by Jacques Witt for Sipa via AP Images).

Late last month, officials in the West African nation of Guinea announced that policing in the capital, Conakry, would be undergoing some changes. Specifically, they said soldiers would be deployed alongside police officers and gendarmes as part of new mixed patrols. The inauguration of these patrols, they said, was a necessary response to weeks of violent, sometimes fatal protests over issues ranging from low teacher pay to suspected election fraud. News of the patrols sparked a forceful outcry from opposition politicians and human rights activists, who denounced their creation as a legally baseless maneuver intended to quell dissent primarily in […]

China’s President Xi Jinping and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, right, after the signing of agreements between the two countries at the Queluz National Palace in Queluz, outside Lisbon, Dec. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Armando Franca).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. Saturday night’s dinner between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, led to a 90-day trade truce and plenty of uncertainty for observers, stock traders and even Trump administration officials. No joint statement was released after the meeting, and there was little overlap in the separate readouts given by both sides. Subsequent comments from U.S. officials and Trump himself have only generated more confusion, while […]

Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, greets the crowd at the end of his inauguration ceremony, Mexico City, Dec. 1, 2018 (AP photo by Eduardo Verdugo).

MEXICO CITY—Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was officially sworn in as Mexico’s new president on Dec. 1, but for many Mexicans, it seemed as if he had already taken office months ago, eager to shake things up. Near-daily press conferences on the steps of his Mexico City apartment building, promises of informal popular referendums on any number of policy issues, and a notably antagonistic stance toward both opposition forces and the media suggest a new era of uncertainty for Mexico. The veteran leftist, better known in Mexico by his initials “AMLO,” rode to a landslide victory in July’s election, vowing to […]

Police, whose shields carry anti-President Evo Morales stickers placed by demonstrators, block protesters from reaching the National Palace where Evo Morales has his offices in La Paz, Bolivia, Nov. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Juan Karita).

In September, Bolivian President Evo Morales signed a long-anticipated law enacting reforms to the country’s justice system, which consistently ranks among the worst in the Western Hemisphere. The law aims to alleviate heavy caseloads for judges and reduce long wait times for cases to be resolved, but it fails to address many of the systemic issues plaguing the Bolivian judiciary. In an interview with WPR, Ramiro Orias, a La Paz-based lawyer and program officer for the Due Process of Law Foundation, discusses the new reform initiative and explains why its implementation so far does not inspire confidence. World Politics Review: […]