Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launches the SNP's Manifesto at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 20, 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images).

According to the latest poll, released Wednesday, on the British referendum on European Union membership, 45 percent of Britons are in favor of remaining in the EU, while 38 percent are in favor of leaving. While the “remain” camp maintains a significant lead, support for the so-called Brexit is growing, with the “leave” campaign gaining 2 percent in the past month. In Scotland, the story is different. According to the same poll, over 56 percent of Scots want to remain in the EU. Pro-EU sentiment in Scotland has been consistent over the past eight months, with some polls putting support […]

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung delivers a speech next to General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong during the opening ceremony of the Communist Party of Vietnam's 12th Congress, Hanoi, Vietnam, Jan. 21, 2016 (Pool Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam via AP).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the recent violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, the U.N.’s cease-fire monitoring capabilities, and West Africa’s regional anti-Boko Haram force. For the Report, David Brown joins us to discuss leadership struggles, prospects for economic growth, and the fight against corruption in Vietnam. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles from WPR: Why Nagorno-Karabakh’s Conflict Turned Hot—and Could Again It’s Time for the U.N. to Refresh Its Neglected Cease-Fire Monitoring Skills West Africa’s Regional Force Against Boko Haram Is a Political Prop Can Vietnam’s New Leadership Deliver on […]

Migrants behind a fence at the Nizip refugee camp, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey, April 23, 2016 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).

There has been no shortage of criticism of Europe’s response to the worsening refugee crisis that first escalated in 2015. In January, Denmark passed a law authorizing the government to seize assets from asylum-seekers. Poland and Slovakia announced they would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. And a recent deal between the European Union and Turkey has come under fire over questions about its legality. The deal allows Greece to return “all new irregular migrants” to Turkey; in exchange, for every migrant settled in Turkey, one Syrian already in Turkey will be resettled in the EU. Immediately after the deal’s […]

Austrian Freedom Party presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, right, during a news conference with party head Heinz-Christian Strache, Vienna, Austria, March 14, 2016 (AP photo by Ronald Zak).

In the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, Norbert Hofer, the candidate from the far-right Freedom Party, came in first place with 36 percent of the vote; Alexander Van der Bellen, former chairman of the Green Party who ran as an independent, came in second with 20 percent. In an email interview, Thomas Meyer, an assistant professor at the University of Vienna, discussed the elections and the state of politics in Austria. WPR: What explains the failure of the centrist People’s Party and the center-left Social Democrats to make it into the second round of presidential elections, and what […]

A girl passes by a vandalized campaign poster featuring Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic with the slogan: "Strongly against corruption," Belgrade, Serbia, March 15, 2014 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of corruption and various countries’ efforts to combat it. Last week, Serbian police arrested 49 people, including officials from several government ministries and state-run businesses, on allegations of corruption, as part of a larger anti-graft campaign. In an email interview, Petrus C. van Duyne, a professor emeritus at Tilburg University, discussed Serbia’s fight against corruption. WPR: How big a problem is corruption, both low- and government-level, in Serbia, and to the degree it is one, how does it manifest itself in daily life? Petrus C. van […]

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leaves parliament after his resignation, Kiev, April 14, 2016 (AP photo by Efrem Lukatsky).

Earlier this month, in a nonbinding referendum, Dutch voters firmly rejected a treaty that would establish closer ties between the European Union and Ukraine. The Netherlands currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, and for Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a supporter of the treaty, the vote was a clear rebuke. The Netherlands, like many other countries across Europe, is in the midst of a populist backlash against European integration in general. Referendum voters also expressed discontent with migration and economic regulation, echoing sentiments held everywhere from France to Hungary. But the referendum also reflected discontent with Ukraine itself. More than two […]

Karabakh Armenian soldiers near a howitzer in Hadrut province, Nagorno-Karabakh, April 5, 2016 (Photolure photo by Albert Khachatryan via AP).

The recent bout of intense fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan along the so-called line of contact near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh should be seen not as an isolated flashpoint, but as the culmination of years of escalating tensions. The regional economic downturn and ongoing tensions between Russia and Turkey only add to the conflict’s volatility. The four days of fighting in early April between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces was the largest eruption of hostilities since the cease-fire to the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 1994, which left Armenian forces in control of the landlocked mountainous region, as well as much of […]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign event, Hartford, Conn., April 21, 2016 (AP photo by Jessica Hill).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority; the U.K. referendum on European Union membership; and instability in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. For the Report, WPR columnist Michael Cohen joins us to talk about the role of foreign policy in the U.S. presidential election. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Saudi Arabia’s Shiites Caught in the Crossfire Between Riyadh and Tehran Cameron’s Brexit Referendum Ploy Could Lead to Broader EU Reforms Nigeria’s Amnesty, Handouts Stave Off Wider Unrest in Niger Delta—For Now What Would a Truly […]

An F-35A at Mountain Home Air Force Base to conduct operational testing, Idaho, Feb. 8, 2016 (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Connor J. Marth).

Intellectual property: It sounds boring, but its protection has become one of the cornerstones of U.S. economic policy. And now, it may have an impact on how the Pentagon thinks about the future of technology. In recent years, the big push for international intellectual property protection came about through the concerted action of a group of powerful, well-connected American corporations. These corporations had determined that they could make a great deal of money—or at least stop the loss of a great deal of money—by putting crucial intellectual property protections into international law. Washington has embraced this idea, making intellectual property […]

Men in t-shirts before the start of a rally held an anti-EU campaign group, London, U.K., Feb. 19, 2016 (AP photo by Matt Dunham).

Just two months ahead of a referendum on the so-called Brexit, the prospects of a British exit from the European Union have sent any number of economists back to their computers to weigh how it would affect the country’s economy. Most seem to think that exit is a bad idea—at least that is the conclusion reached by more than three-quarters of the 100-plus economists polled by the Financial Times. But the British public, as it prepares to vote, is hardly thinking about economics. Instead, matters of sovereignty and culture take precedence. The people want to protect the nation’s borders from […]

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic at a press conference, Belgrade, Jan. 14, 2016 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

BELGRADE, Serbia—Growing fears about the unmooring of the Western Balkans from its European path; the prime minster himself warning that the region remains a powder keg; concerns over malign Kremlin influence and gains made by pro-Russian hard-right parties; allegations of rising authoritarianism and corruption in government circles; and claims of double-dealing among a fragmented and fractious opposition. This is the atmosphere in which Serbia’s parliamentary election this Sunday, April 24, is taking place. The ruling pro-European Union Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) looks assured of topping the poll, the third Serbia has had in four years. The snap election was called […]

View of Mamoudzou, Mayotte, Sep. 15, 2003 (photo by David Stanley, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

Denunciations of French President Francois Hollande’s government know no geographic boundaries these days. In Paris, students are protesting a labor reform bill; in Mali, demonstrators ransacked an airport, decrying arrests made by French forces there. And since March 30, strikes and protests have paralyzed the French department and former colony of Mayotte, as residents demand “real equality” with the rest of France. Mayotte, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean situated between Madagascar and Mozambique, is one of France’s overseas departments; its residents are French citizens with parliamentary representation. But in many ways, Mayotte is far behind other overseas departments and […]

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte casts his vote in a referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement, The Hague, Netherlands, April 6, 2016 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

AMSTERDAM — Last week, voters in the Netherlands sent a gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin along with a punch in the gut to the people of Ukraine. That was the impact felt in Moscow and Kiev from a nonbinding but politically potent referendum in which Dutch voters soundly rejected a European Union treaty forging closer bonds between the EU and Ukraine. The outcome of the referendum on the EU Association Agreement for Ukraine would have been surprising under almost any circumstances, but it was particularly disconcerting given the dramatic, tragic role the Netherlands has played in the ongoing confrontation […]

The wreckage of a suicide bombing near a police checkpoint in Russia’s Dagestan republic, Feb. 15, 2016 (NewsTeam photo by Bashir Aliev via AP).

Russia’s North Caucasus insurgency has gone relatively quiet, but reduced casualty numbers belie a still-worrying situation where long-standing grievances remain. As more and more fighters join the cause of globalized jihadi groups, most of all the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS), Moscow may find that it has only transformed and widened its war. A thwarted suicide bombing outside a police station near the Northern Caucasus city of Stavropol on Monday was the latest sign. Adding to the threat is the fear of blowback at home of previously dormant ISIS-inspired terrorist cells. This comes after a remarkable reduction of violence in Europe’s […]

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and European Council President Donald Tusk during an EU summit, Brussels, Belgium, March 18, 2016 (AP photo by Virginia Mayo).

The recent terrorist attacks in Belgium exposed critical deficiencies in Europe’s intelligence agencies. Soon after the attacks in late March, the Turkish government announced that, in July 2015, it had arrested Ibrahim El Bakraoui, a Belgian responsible for the Brussels airport bombing, and deported him to the Netherlands after determining that he intended to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State. European authorities never followed up. It was just the latest sign of the European Union and Turkey’s failure to cooperate on counterterrorism since the outset of the Syrian conflict. For close to three years, the European Union withheld from Turkey the […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of the Army-2015 international military show, Moscow, June 16, 2015 (AP photo by Ivan Sekretarev).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the upcoming elections in Peru and Chad as well as the varying reactions to the Panama Papers around the globe. For the Report, Steven Metz joins us to talk about the concept of “limited war” and the differences in the U.S. and Russian approach to it. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles on WPR: In Peru’s ‘Chaotic’ Presidential Elections, It’s a Race for Second Place Deby Set to Keep Power in Chad Election, but Discontent Is Growing Reaction to the ‘Panama Papers’ Reveals […]

Czech President Milos Zeman and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the Prague Castle, Czech Republic, March 29, 2016 (AP photo by Petr David Josek).

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Czech Republic, where he signed more than 30 deals worth nearly $4 billion. In an email interview, Richard Turcsanyi, the deputy director of the Institute for Asian Studies, Bratislava, discussed Chinese investment in Central and Eastern Europe. WPR: How extensive is Chinese investment in Central and Eastern Europe, and what factors are driving China’s investment strategy there? Richard Turcsanyi: To begin with, it is extremely difficult to establish unequivocally the amount of investments from one country in another’s economy. Various statistical sources notoriously show differences. Putting together the numbers from a range […]

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