Brazil's president Bolsanaro ahead of elections

The erosion of democracy in places like Brazil, which votes in a presidential election Sunday, has led U.S. President Joe Biden to declare the contest between democracy and autocracy as the defining battle of our times. But if the past few years have seen a crisis of democracy, they’ve also seen a crisis of autocracy.

remnants of an attack in myanmar's civil war

A massacre committed on Sept. 16 by Myanmar’s military, in which 11 children died, is consistent with the junta’s strategy to regain control of the country. The regime’s scorched-earth campaign is focusing on areas dominated by rebel units and those loyal to the opposition government in exile, the National Unity Government.

polling station in gambia's young democracy

Gambia has made indisputable progress since the ouster of longtime dictator Yahya Jammeh in 2016, but its transition to democracy remains far from complete. This is particularly the case regarding critical reform and transitional justice efforts needed to institutionalize Gambia’s democracy and safeguard it from backsliding.

detained demonstrators trying to collapse russia

The sudden regime failures of the Shah of Iran and the USSR should be kept in mind when examining the self-inflicted disasters that Moscow and Tehran are currently struggling with. The West should remain cautious before making firm predictions that either will collapse, but prepare for a range of outcomes if they do.

protests in iran

Women in Iran are taking to the streets to protest the imposition of the headscarf. The protests may not necessarily signal the beginning of the end for the theocratic regime that has held power since 1979. But they highlight the schism between the regime and the Iranian population, and the limits of its hold on society.

winnie byanyima, who has spoken about visa reciprocity

This past July, the International AIDS Conference was held in Montreal, Canada. But what was meant to be an opportunity to galvanize international cooperation against a disease that has killed millions devolved into a debate about the inequitable nature of visa regimes and their impact on attendance at global conferences.

Maduro, president of venezuela

Not ongoing everyone agrees negotiations and dialogue will solve Venezuela’s ongoing political, economic and humanitarian crises or create the conditions for a political transition. But whether they succeed or fail, they appear to be a necessary precondition for any solution to Venezuela’s ongoing crises to be found.

protests in iran

The death of Mahsa Amini after being arrested by the Iranian police’s “guidance patrol”—tasked with enforcing the mandatory hijab law—may not seem like the kind of event that could seriously undermine the Islamic Republic’s authority. But it has set off a wave of protests that could become the largest the country has seen in years.

An anti-coup protester in Sudan.

October will mark the one-year anniversary of the Sudanese military takeover from a transitional government created in 2019 after the overthrow of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir. But nearly 12 months later, the country faces a stalemated transition, economic malaise and political paralysis that could cause state failure.

Climate change refugees of floods in Pakistan

The number of people displaced as a result of climate disasters and the slower-onset impacts of climate change is likely to grow, but legally speaking, there’s no such thing as a “climate refugee.” This begs the question: Are our current legal frameworks adequate to deal with climate-related displacement?

COVID-19 testing site in China

At the early onset of the pandemic, the robot Baymax became an unlikely pandemic folk hero, on account of his strong resemblance to the protective gear worn by Chinese health care volunteers. But the suits have now become symbolic of Beijing’s top-down pandemic control measures—and the public’s frustration with them.

In Thailand, a protest against the government

With Thailand’s national elections planned for early 2023, the mood among the opposition and even members of the pro-military ruling coalition is increasingly sour. This growing anger, focused on Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, is setting the stage for political chaos in the coming months, and possibly a problematic election next year.

chile's boric shakes hand with fellow pink tide winner gustavo petro of colombia

The “pink tide” that swept across Latin America in the early 2000s is making a comeback, after having been overtaken by a wave of conservative governments. Major advances in the region are also in danger, and Russia and China are deepening trade ties across the region. What’s next for South America?

Newspapers in Kenya, formerly part of the British Empire, show coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II at a newstand in Nairobi.

Since Queen Elizabeth II died last week at the age of 96, tributes to her have poured in from the U.K. and across the world. But many Africans regard the late queen as the symbol of a cruel institution that subjugated millions, plundered wealth from their lands and imposed conditions that continue to haunt them to this day.

AMLO with a military commander

On Aug. 18, a truth commission report on the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa detailed the Mexican military’s involvement in the incident. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador believes those responsible should be punished. But his security policies do nothing to prevent similar atrocities in the future.

Family members and friends participate in a march seeking justice for the missing 43 Ayotzinapa students in Mexico City

On Aug. 18, nearly eight years after 43 students from a teacher’s college in the rural town of Ayotzinapa disappeared, a truth commission set up by the government released a sprawling report that confirmed what many had long argued: The state was involved. But whether the findings will result in accountability remains to be seen.

A protester affected by tear gas fired by police splashes water on his face, during a protest in Haiti.

Across Haiti, mass protests are erupting against insecurity and government impunity. But Prime Minister Ariel Henry seems more interested in protecting his power than in addressing Haiti’s crisis. Since 2021, however, Haitian civil society has been working to develop local solutions to the country’s problems.

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