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.

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.

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?

The leaders of Qatar and Egypt meet to discuss their relations

Egypt took another major step toward rapprochement with Qatar last week, as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi made a two-day visit to Doha. The improved relations serve different purposes for each country, though, as Cairo looks to bolster its economy while Doha attempts to boost its diplomatic clout.

A protestor in Peru protests Pedro Castillo

Throughout South America, leftist candidates have been sweeping to power, winning election after election with promises of tackling the region’s chronic—and recently aggravated—poverty and inequality. Once in office, though, the new presidents have struggled badly, confirming that it’s much easier to criticize than govern.

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.

Kenyans protest against inflation and the cost of living, especially higher prices of basic foodstuffs, in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, July 7, 2022.

The global economic situation is dire, particularly for low- and middle-income countries. Yet, when it comes to solutions, relatively little thought has gone to the role that might be played by international financial institutions and tools—like debt relief—that could support countries in their fight against inflation.

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.

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.

Colombia president Gustavo Petro speaks to supporters in Bogota.

On Aug. 7, a multi-ethnic and socially diverse crowd witnessed the historic inauguration of modern Colombia’s first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, and its first Afro-Colombian and woman vice president, Francia Marquez. Petro now faces the enormous challenge of meeting their expectations and making good on his campaign promises.

A Saudi man looks at an artwork at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.

In writing Middle East Memo each week, I’ll be focusing on what is happening in the Middle East and why it matters to policymakers, analysts and lay readers alike. And in conveying a clearer picture of events in the region, I will try to situate what is going on there within the greater geopolitical landscape.


In October 2020, nearly 80 percent of Chileans voted in favor of rewriting the country’s constitution. On Sunday, over 60 percent of them voted to reject the document that resulted from that process. But this weekend’s result does not reflect a change in public opinion regarding whether the current constitution should be reformed.


Chileans will vote Sunday to determine whether to approve a new draft constitution, the culmination of a process that began with spontaneous protests in October 2019. The most recent polling shows the “No” camp with a significant but narrowing lead. But whether or not the constitution passes, Chile is in for a period of uncertainty.


Bolivia officially became the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2009, when a newly ratified constitution formally recognized the country’s cultural diversity. But the country’s experience since then shows how radical ideas can end up diluted into policies that, while significant, fall short of fundamental change.