2022 marks nearly five decades since the death of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, but the legacy of his Great Leap Forward lingers on for Chinese farmers that raise livestock and fish or grow crops. Chinese history has made many demands of the country’s agricultural workers, relying on their labor while granting few benefits in return.
The Nicaraguan regime has a new target. Not content with jailing leading opposition figures, the regime has now taken aim at the Catholic Church. The message, it seems, is that there is room for only one church in this majority-Catholic country: the one that worships President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo.
The Lima Group came together in 2017 with the goal of improving human rights and humanitarian conditions in Venezuela. Today, it is clear that the Lima Group failed to achieve its lofty goals. But its experience can offer lessons to Latin America on the challenges similar projects could face in the future.
During the 15 months I wrote the Middle East Memo newsletter, I sought to explore the myriad challenges the Middle East faces, from authoritarianism, to human rights abuses, to the climate crisis, to poor governance. In the end, I remain more certain than ever that the region’s future depends mainly on its people.
Recent arrests of priests in Nicaragua would seem to offer a moment for the Catholic Church, which remains influential in Latin America, to galvanize regional governments against the repressive rule of President Daniel Ortega. But while local priests speak out, church leaders have appeared unwilling to do more.
In July, Guatemalan police arrested Jose Ruben Zamora, one of the country’s most prominent journalists and publisher of El Periodico, a newspaper whose mission is to shine light on corruption. The arrest was an ominous lurch toward authoritarianism in a region where democracy, with its shallow roots, is getting trampled.
A recurring trope in the British media is an opinion piece that ostentatiously praises or condemns Scandinavian welfare policies. This tendency to reduce Scandinavia to a simplistic caricature misses insights into how these societies are adapting to social change—and how the rest of Europe might overcome its own challenges.
A debate is raging across Europe over whether all Russians should be banned from entering the EU. Politicians are debating whether that would unfairly hold the Russian people collectively responsible for the war in Ukraine, and conversely whether it is fair to let them in while Europeans cannot safely travel to Russia.
The international community may be experiencing a case of compassion fatigue when it comes to the violence currently gripping Haiti. But it is hardly an excuse. While much of Haiti’s misery is homegrown, the roots of its troubles extend beyond the island, and the reverberations from its crises always breach its borders.
With polls showing that he may lose by a wide margin in Brazil’s Oct. 2 presidential election, President Jair Bolsonaro is setting the stage to claim fraud and have his supporters protest his loss. More troubling, Bolsonaro has hinted that elements of the military and police will back his efforts.
For the eighth time in 11 years, voters have been called to the ballot box to weigh in on Tunisia’s future. Over the past decade, Tunisians have chosen new presidents, fresh parliaments and local representatives in peaceful elections. But last week’s referendum, which approved a new constitution, may bring an end to that civic process.
The remarkable developments in Sri Lanka, in which a monthslong citizen mobilization led to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation last month, would have been unthinkable until recently. But while Rajapaksa’s resignation realized part of the protesters’ demands, there is still a long way to go for systemic change.
A video depicting a chained woman in a dark shack in the Chinese city of Xuzhou went viral, racking up more than 1.9 billion views on Chinese social media. But the reaction by authorities to the video show how online outrage is often corralled and stripped of its more systemic critiques of the state.
At the heart of Turkey’s cycles of escalation against real or imagined enemies at home and abroad are two core dynamics eroding the power structures Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used to dominate Turkish politics for 20 years: economic mismanagement and the accelerating fragmentation of Erdogan’s electoral coalition.
One year after the Taliban seized power in Kabul, the situation in Afghanistan is—in a word—worse. Now, the killing of al-Qaida’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a U.S. drone attack has raised renewed concerns that the Taliban are providing sanctuary to the terrorist group, which could have grave implications for the country’s future.
The political impasse in Iraq has reached an ominous phase that underscores the danger of litigating politics through displays of force. And in Lebanon, the many twists and turns in its deadlocked politics demonstrate that negotiation through violence can give way to a sustainable—if bloody—alternative to civic democracy.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Kyiv has barred adult men aged 18-60 from leaving the country and fleeing the war with their families—regardless of their training or fitness for military service. But is this policy strictly necessary, or could the war effort be helped by allowing men to leave the country?