Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, right, the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development, looks at a book with the Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines, July 1, 2015 (AP Photo by Aaron Favila).
As diplomats and international officials head off on their summer vacations, most will want to stop thinking about world affairs for a few weeks. 2022 has been a grueling year, thanks to Russia’s war on Ukraine and a worsening global economic crisis. Foreign policy professionals will want to read nothing more taxing than a frivolous thriller. Nonetheless, the summer break—which will be no break at all if more major crises erupt—is a good moment to delve into books that can cast light on the state of geopolitics. This week, I’ll highlight a big-picture book on warfare, a memoir, a biography [...]
Participants gather near a screen showing a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a plenary session of the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2017 (Sputnik photo by Grigory Sysoev).
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, headlines spread claiming that a new iron curtain had fallen across Europe. Russia’s economic and political isolation, they claimed, had come hand-in-hand with digital isolation. As the United States and its allies introduced technological sanctions against Russia, numerous Western tech companies also stopped doing business there, making their products and services unavailable to Russians. At the same time, the Russian state had moved quickly to block any websites that offered information about the war, especially those that criticized the Kremlin’s actions. It is well-known that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees an open and [...]
Abortion-rights supporters protest following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Washington, June 24, 2022 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health rolled back half a century of federally protected reproductive rights and reverted the authority to regulate abortion to the states. The ruling was celebrated by anti-abortion advocates and met with outrage from reproductive justice supporters. At the international level, it has been condemned by United Nations human rights officials and U.S. allies alike. It has also become a propaganda tool for U.S. enemies: The Taliban referred to the ruling to point out U.S. hypocrisy on women’s rights and argue that the sanctions against them should be [...]
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