Popularly, Madagascar is known as an exotic and verdant island populated by cheeky animated characters voiced by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But politically, it remains one of Africa’s most volatile countries, regularly awash in coups, plots and prevarications that keep its tourist-dependent population in grinding poverty. The latest installment in the Indian Ocean island’s saga of political exploitation would seem to combine the two, pitting a yogurt salesman against a radio disc jockey in the battle for supremacy. In March 2009, following weeks of anti-government protests, Andry Rajoelina — the fresh-faced mayor of the capital, Antananarivo — ousted President […]

Peacekeeping is a tragic business. That may seem obvious, if only because, when reading about United Nations peacekeeping operations, you come across the word “tragedy” a lot. It describes what happened in Bosnia and Rwanda all too neatly. There’s no better word for what took place in Haiti, where more than 100 U.N. personnel were among the 250,000 dead in January’s earthquake. But, as English professors have tried to explain to generations of dozy students, “tragic” is more than just a synonym for “awful.” Great tragedies — Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, Scarface — aren’t just about suffering. They center on protagonists […]

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo — Were it not for the convoys of blue-helmeted soldiers, one would hardly guess this lakeside town is the nexus of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Though its rutted streets are a stark contrast to the newly surfaced, tree-lined avenues across the nearby Rwandan border, the capital of eastern Congo’s North Kivu Province is abuzz with new construction, a testament to Goma’s status as a bastion of stability in a region defined by conflict. On a recent Friday night, cigarette-smoking ex-pats downed Primus beers at Petite Bruxelles, a kitsch new establishment and ode […]

MONROVIA, Liberia — Almost a year ago, President Barack Obama used his long-awaited speech in Ghana to address a question with which the African continent is all too familiar: corruption. “No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves,” Obama lectured his audience in the Ghanaian Parliament. Since then, the question of corruption has taken on added urgency, and not just in Africa. The visit this week to Washington by Afghan President Hamid Karzai highlighted the degree to which U.S. concerns over widespread Afghan corruption have taken a back seat to war-time priorities. […]

SKOPJE, Macedonia — When the old Yugoslavia tore itself apart during the 1990s, the people of Macedonia watched with dismay. Would they, too, experience the horror of war if they declared their independence from Belgrade? As it happened, Macedonia’s secession from Yugoslavia triggered only a token action from the Yugoslavian army. That, however, did not mean that Macedonia would join the community of nations without conflict or strife. Conflict did come, in the form of profound internal divisions that sparked a brief, low-grade war, and stubborn external obstacles that nearly blocked the way to international recognition. Almost two decades into […]

This World Politics Review special report is a compilation of World Politics Review’s top articles on the global nuclear agenda from July 2009 through April 2010. The report includes articles on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Below are links to each article, which subscribers can read in full. Subscribers can also download a pdf version of the report. Not a subscriber? Subscribe now, or try our subscription service for free. Disarmament Movement Needs Youth Involvement to Counter Cynicism By Johan Bergen√§sJuly 30, 2009Moving Past STARTBy Richard WeitzAugust 4, 2009Obama’s Challenging NPT AgendaBy Miles A. PomperAugust 4, 2009Keeping Swords, Building PlowsharesBy […]