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 […]

Spain's acting prime minister and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy during a campaign rally, Madrid, June 24, 2016 (AP photo by Daniel Ochoa de Olza).

Spain held its second general election in six months on Sunday, after political leaders failed to form a governing coalition in the wake of December’s inconclusive vote. However, results from Sunday’s voting didn’t move the needle much from December, and Spain, once again, faces the prospect of continued political deadlock. Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) managed a better showing this time around, winning 33 percent of the vote, up from 29 percent in December. This gives the party 137 seats in the Spanish parliament, but leaves it short of the 176 seats needed for a majority, so […]

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron during an EU summit in Brussels, June 28, 2016 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

In the months and weeks preceding the British referendum on its European Union membership, speculation abounded over the potential implications of a U.K. withdrawal from the bloc. Once Britons voted to leave last week, global markets took a hit, as did the EU’s aspirations for further political integration. World Politics Review’s 10-article compilation helps trace what led up to the historic vote, and considers its potential implications for the U.K., the European Union and beyond. The Road to Brexit U.K.’s Cameron Pursues Risky Strategy for EU Reform In 2013, British Prime Minister David Cameron—who is now set to resign in […]

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron after a joint news conference at 10 Downing Street, London, April 22, 2016 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, the debate among U.S. foreign policy pundits has taken a predictable and customary turn: looking for who is to blame. Also predictable, but customary, are the usual suspects on parade. Not surprisingly, for many the culprit is ultimately to be found, not in London or Brussels, but in Washington. After that, the partisan divide makes the trail harder to follow. But if partisan politics in Washington makes agreeing on a single culprit impossible, there is bipartisan consensus on at least one thing: Just about everything that happens in the world is determined in […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference during the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, May 24, 2016 (OCHA photo by Berk Özkan).

The cycle of violence between the Turkish state and insurgents of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is reaching proportions not seen since the 1990s. The fighting has left approximately 11,000 homes destroyed, leading The Financial Times to declare Turkey “the most dangerous country in Europe” and others to begin speaking of the “Syrianization” of the country’s southeastern region, where the brunt of the conflict has taken place. The fighting in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak, Hakkari, Van and Bingol has taken a heavy toll on civilians. About 1.3 million people have been impacted, with tens of thousands forced to flee […]

Saudi King Salman greets U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 24, 2015 (AP photo via SPA).

The Brexit bombshell is bad news for the Middle East region on a number of scores, in particular what it says about Western attitudes toward migrants and Muslims, and about loss of support for economic integration, a big idea that would improve prospects for the Arab world. The shock waves after the U.K. referendum are being felt in the Middle East, but so far the reactions are fairly superficial and self-interested. Judging from comments on Twitter and other social media quoted by Arab media, the focus for many in the Arab world has been on the weakness of the major […]

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 […]

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. […]

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo during a press conference, Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 5, 2016 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

BELGRADE, Serbia—The perceived threat of millions of immigrants from the western Balkans and Turkey, and the status of citizens from Central Europe living in the United Kingdom, have become touchstone issues in the British referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU. But little attention has been paid the other way, to the impact of a potential Brexit on Central and Eastern Europe, a region extending from Poland, the union’s sixth-most-populous member, to Kosovo, which has its own distant aspirations of membership. As polling in the U.K. has showed more support for the “leave” vote, discomfort has grown […]

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 […]

Migrants and refugees crowd the tracks of a railway station used as a makeshift camp, Idomeni, Greece, May 5, 2016 (AP photo by Gregorio Borgia).

On Friday, the aid group Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym, MSF, announced that it will no longer take money from the European Union or any of its member states, in a denunciation of the union’s “intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores.” In 2015, the group received about $42 million from member states and nearly $21 million from the EU itself. The move is a response to a deal between the EU and Turkey, in which Turkey agreed to take back all migrants, including Syrian refugees, who arrived on Greek islands, in […]

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 […]

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the ruling Law and Justice party, delivers a speech, May 2, 2016, Warsaw, Poland (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

Last week, the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, released an opinion accusing Poland’s government of endangering the rule of law and violating the EU’s democratic principles. The report is the first step in a process that could lead to EU sanctions on Warsaw, including the suspension of voting rights in EU deliberations, and comes after a months-long investigation into changes made to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. Many observers have called the changes, which have plunged Poland into a constitutional crisis, undemocratic. The crisis began last October, when the previous right-of-center government led by the Civic Platform party, […]

Nigel Farage, leader of Britain's UKIP party, in front of a 'Grassroots Out' banner, London, March 31, 2016 (AP photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth).

The current era of democratic politics in the West is marked by dysfunction. Long-standing political institutions are creaking. The establishment consensus of free trade, economic openness and liberal migration policies that has buttressed the U.S.-led postwar liberal system is quickly losing its popular legitimacy. Since the late 1980s, electoral turnout has fallen in much of Europe; the joint vote share of center-right and center-left parties is hitting all-time lows; and various populist and anti-establishment parties have filled the void with the promise of easy solutions. At a time when the European Union is heavily criticized for being run by unelected […]

Protesters use a slingshot to throw balloons filled with colored paint on the main government building, Skopje, Macedonia, June 6, 2016 (AP photo by Boris Grdanoski).

BELGRADE, Serbia—Sixteen months after its rumbling political crisis erupted with allegations of government wire-tapping—which exposed abuses like corruption, voter fraud, the suppression of free media, and attempts to manipulate the judiciary—Macedonia remains in limbo. The country’s predicament has raised concerns that it could pull its neighbors into a new Balkan conflagration. It has also revealed the shortcomings of the European Union’s approach to the region at a time when Macedonia’s path toward EU membership is looking as precarious as ever. In an interview with WPR, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki says that “a stable Balkans goes through a stable Macedonia. […]

A demonstration in support of refugees and migrants entering Europe, Barcelona, Spain, March 19, 2016 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

BARCELONA, Spain—The countries around the Mediterranean basin are a diverse lot, ranging from the European Union and NATO’s southernmost members to the states of the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa. One thing almost all of them share is a constant tension from the seemingly contradictory trends toward separation and integration. In the early 21st century, each trajectory has its appeal in this maritime region, but neither represents a panacea. Over time, the Mediterranean will continue to teach us about independence, interdependence and integration as parts of a natural cycle for states and societies. Traveling from the lands of […]

Supporters of the Podemos party, Madrid, Dec. 20, 2015 (AP photo by Daniel Ochoa de Olza).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the United States’ relationship with Pakistan, evolving U.S. strategic partnerships, and the possibilities for unrest in the run-up to Kenya’s presidential elections next year. For the Report, Jan-Werner Müller joins us to talk about the growth of populism and the role it plays in European politics. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles on WPR: High Hopes, Great Disappointments: U.S.-Pakistan Relations Under Obama Are the Winds of Change Blowing for U.S. Strategic Partnerships? Protests and Clashes Likely Just the Start of Political Unrest in […]

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