People look at the foreign exchange rates displayed in the window of a Bureau de Change, London, June 25, 2016 (AP photo by Tim Ireland).

AMSTERDAM—Little doubt remains by now that Brexit, the British voters’ decision to pull their country out of the European Union, will have a detrimental impact on the United Kingdom’s economic fortunes. The country will experience an economic contraction, and it is quite likely that a loss of global influence will also ensue. In fact, the U.K. itself may ultimately come apart, as Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which opposed Brexit, ponder a separate future. The reverberations from the vote, however, extend far beyond the British Isles. If resentment over the impact of globalization was one of the motivating forces […]

Peasants work in a potato field, Villapinzon, Colombia, Aug. 23, 2013 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Two weeks of strikes, protests and roadblocks ended in rural Colombia two weeks ago after peasant farmers and indigenous groups reached an agreement with the Colombian government to include them in future rulings on mining and other issues in the country’s rural areas. More than 30,000 members of indigenous and peasant groups across the countryside initially joined the agrarian strike on May 30, which affected 24 of Colombia’s 32 departments, or regions. Three protesters were killed in clashes with riot police, and some 100 people were injured. “The government was responsible for the signing of agreements, which are viable and […]

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party speaks to the media on College Green, London, June 24, 2016 (AP photo by Matt Dunham).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the impact of the Brexit vote on the European Union and on the U.K.’s international role. For the Report, Richard Weitz joins us to talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to shore up ties with China. LISTEN:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Dysfunctional Democracy and Referenda: The Case of Brexit Cameron’s Brexit Referendum Ploy Could Lead to Broader EU Reforms Brexit Raises Economic and Security Fears in Central and Eastern Europe Scottish Independence Back on the Table as Brexit Gains Momentum […]

People crowd around market stalls, Lagos, Nigeria, June 20, 2016 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Nigeria’s currency, the naira, lost 30 percent of its value after the Central Bank of Nigeria abandoned its peg to the dollar on June 20. The bank’s move was a substantial but long-overdue shift after a year of haphazard and detrimental economic policy under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It took 16 months for the bank to abandon its peg, which had exacerbated negative external economic factors, including depressed global oil prices, and helped move the country toward a recession. The lag in policy change is indicative of a slow, centralized and politicized decision-making process under Buhari. The abandoning […]

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee with Cote d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast, June 14, 2016 (AP photo by Diomande Bleblonde).

Earlier this month, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee went on a six-day tour of Africa, visiting Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia, where he announced new grant assistance and lines of credit as well as expanded scholarship opportunities. In an email interview, Amanda Lucey, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, discusses India’s outreach to Africa. WPR: How extensive are India’s political and economic ties with Africa, and what sectors are the main focus of India’s outreach to the continent? Amanda Lucey: India has long-standing ties with Africa, stemming from a shared history of colonization, ancient trade ties […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, Monday, May 23, 2016 (AP photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu).

Earlier this month, the German parliament voted to recognize the 1915 killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide, a motion that passed with support from all parties in the parliament. Turkey, unsurprisingly, was furious about the vote, and immediately recalled its ambassador in Berlin. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on a visit to Kenya at the time, said “the decision will seriously impact Turkish-German relations.” Erdogan also took aim at German parliamentarians of Turkish origin, saying they should have blood tests to prove their Turkish identity since “their blood is impure,” statements that infuriated the Turkish community in Germany. […]

Search and rescue team members at the Lily Gold Mine, Barberton, South Africa, Feb. 13, 2016 (AP photo).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries. South Africa announced that its economy had shrunk by 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016, bringing the country even closer to recession. In an email interview, Ross Harvey, a senior researcher at the South African Institution of International Affairs, discusses the role of the mining sector for South Africa’s economy and the effects of the current commodities slump. WPR: How important are commodities for South Africa’s economy, and what impact have falling commodities prices had […]

Pipelines running from an oil production site in eastern Ecuador, Dec. 3, 2012 (DPA photo by Erwin Patzelt via AP).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa defended his legacy last month in his last state of the nation address, saying that the current recession is the result of a perfect storm of falling oil prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar. In an email interview, Diego Grijalva, a professor of economics at the University of San Francisco of Quito, discusses Ecuador’s economy in the wake of the commodities bust. WPR: How important are commodities for Ecuador’s economy, and what impact […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during their meeting in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia, May 8, 2015 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

When Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Beijing in late June, he can rightfully take some satisfaction in his rapport with his host and Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping. While Moscow’s relations with other strategically important countries are troubled, there has been a remarkable strengthening of Russian-Chinese security, economic and ideological ties since Putin took charge of the Kremlin in 1999. Since then, Russia and China have cooperated more to promote common regional interests; their bilateral defense relationship has evolved to become more institutionalized and better integrated; and China has become Russia’s leading national trade partner and gateway to other […]

Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, May 15, 2016, Jiddah, Saudi Arabia (Saudi Press Agency via AP).

When Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, delivered her first speech after the weekend massacre at an Orlando LGBT nightclub, she listed a predictable collection of problems contributing to the killings, from the availability of assault rifles in the U.S. to the proliferation of extremist ideologies emanating from the Middle East. Then she delivered a surprisingly blunt message to America’s Arab allies: It is “long past time,” she declared, for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations, as well as from “supporting radical schools and mosques” that send young people into extremism. The […]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace, Tehran, May 23, 2016 (Iranian Presidency Office via AP).

With international sanctions against Iran lifted, India is keen to get ties with Tehran back to their pre-sanctions level. This was reflected in the flurry of high-level visits that took place this year in the run-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in late May. While India is looking to Iran to help in its transition to an economy fueled by natural gas, it is also betting on Iran to be its gateway into markets in Central Asia, through the development of the Iranian port of Chabahar. For its part, Iran seems keen to deepen its strategic economic […]

The Guepratte, a stealth frigate of France's Naval Action Force, docked at a pier in Manila, Philippines, May 4, 2016 (AP photo by Aaron Favila).

France has always claimed to be a power in the Asia-Pacific, but some recent strategic developments have given additional credence to that claim. In April, France won a landmark contract to sell 12 attack submarines to Australia, after securing a deal with India for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets last year. The Australia submarine contract, worth some $39 billion, is viewed in Paris as heralding a new beginning for France-Australia ties, which until the late 1990s were marred by disputes over French nuclear tests in Polynesia. Australia had been mulling Japanese and German bids. The Asia-Pacific market is […]

Street vendors begin their workday, Villa Maria del Triunfo, Peru, Oct. 6, 2015 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

Editor’s note: This is the final article in WPR’s ongoing series on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the potential impact on members’ economies.. Peru’s recently elected president, Pablo Kuczynski, is a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and ratification of the deal by Peru’s Congress is likely in the near future. In an email interview, Alan Fairlie, a professor of economics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, discussed the benefits and drawbacks of TPP membership for Peru. WPR: What are the expected economic benefits and potential downsides for Peru from the TPP, and who are the expected “winners” and “losers”? […]

Women stitch pieces of a cotton dress at the Ayka-Addis textile and garment factory, Oromia, Ethiopia, April, 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Rosen).

ALEM GENA, Ethiopia—As she shuffles about the factory floor, watching over the machines that weave spools of thread into fabric, Asrat Yimam personifies the future of the Ethiopian workforce. A 27-year-old mother of one from the nearby capital, Addis Ababa, Yimam has spent the past six years toiling for Ayka-Addis, a Turkish-owned textile and garment factory and the largest firm in Ethiopia’s emerging apparel industry. Six days a week, for 1,500 birr ($68) a month after taxes, she rises early for her eight-hour shift, dons her spotted blue and white Ayka uniform, and spends her day churning out cotton for […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with their delegates, Beijing, May 9, 2013 (AP photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon).

For more than 20 years, Israel’s ties with countries in Asia have gradually increased, enough to warrant talk of Israel’s own pivot to the region. But it is not just a pivot. Instead, it is a major realignment of Israel’s foreign policy on a broad scale, supported by geopolitical developments and motivated by Israel’s slowly eroding political relations with Europe and the United States. The origins of this process can be found in Israel’s desire to stake out a claim in booming world trade with China, whose massive growth in recent decades could leave no trading partner indifferent. But what […]

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on countries’ risk exposure, contribution and response to climate change. Leaders from Canada, the United States and Mexico are to meet later this month for the so-called Three Amigos summit, and climate change is expected to dominate the agenda. In an email interview, Alexis Arthur, an independent energy consultant, discussed Mexico’s response to climate change. WPR: What is Mexico’s risk exposure to climate change, what effects of climate change are already apparent, and what sorts of mitigation approaches will it have to adopt or develop? Alexis Arthur: Like many […]

Opposition supporters during a protest, Male', Maldives, May 1, 2015 (AP photo by Sinan Hussain).

On June 5, the Maldives’ former vice president, Ahmed Adeeb, was convicted of attempting to assassinate its president, Abdulla Yameen, the latest politically motivated court case against the opposition. In an email interview, New Delhi-based journalist Vishal Arora discusses the state of democracy and rule of law in the Maldives. WPR: What is the state of democracy and rule of law in the Maldives, and how has the space for political dissent been reduced since the 2012 resignation of former President Mohamed Nasheed, his subsequent arrest and trial, and the legal proceedings against other opposition leaders? Vishal Arora: While democratic […]

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