President Donald Trump prepares to swing a Marucci bat, from Baton Rouge, La., as Vice President Mike Pence looks on during a "Made in America" product showcase at the White House, Washington, July 17, 2017 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

For many of the United States’ friends and allies, the Trump administration’s foreign policy has been the source of confusion and anxiety. Nowhere is that sentiment more acute than in Eastern Europe, the region that endured decades of Soviet domination and strived since the end of the Cold War to come under the West’s protective umbrella. It is there, in the territories closest to Russia, where President Donald Trump’s efforts to transform Washington’s relationship with Moscow is most worrisome, particularly during a time when Russia is flexing its military muscle beyond its borders with increasing brazenness. In an effort to […]

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila, right, and Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo attend a press conference, Helsinki, Finland, June 12, 2017 (Lehtikuva photo by Jussi Nukari via AP).

Finland is currently conducting a trial to measure the effects of Universal Basic Income (UBI), though the project has been criticized by some as poorly designed. Writing in the New York Times last week, Antti Jauhiainen and Joona-Hermanni Makinen said the sample size was “too small to be scientifically viable.” In an email interview, Heikki Hiilamo, a professor of social policy at the University of Helsinki, describes the concepts underpinning UBI, how Finns are responding to the trial and what it is intended to measure. WPR: What is the objective of Finland’s pilot study on universal basic income, how much […]

Supporters of equal rights for LGBT Poles take part in the 17th Equality Parade, Warsaw, Poland, June 3, 2017 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on LGBT rights and discrimination in various countries around the world. The climate for LGBT Poles has deteriorated under the Law and Justice Party, which came to power in 2015. Attacks on LGBT individuals and organizations are on the rise; legal protections against discrimination remain limited; and curricula reforms privilege nationalist themes over messages of tolerance. In an email interview, A. Chaber, executive director of the Campaign Against Homophobia, explains how LGBT activists are trying to adapt. WPR: What is the current state of LGBT rights in Poland, and […]

School students sit in a reading group, Sollentuna, Sweden, April 30, 2008 (AP photo by Christopher Grant).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about education policy in various countries around the world. The influx of refugees and asylum-seekers arriving in Sweden since 2015 has placed strains on the country’s education system. Nevertheless, authorities have endeavored to retain features of the system that set it apart from other countries in Europe, including the right to education in one’s native language as well as an inclusive, secular approach to religious education. In an email interview, Jenny Berglund, an associate professor and senior lecturer at Sodertorn University in Stockholm, describes the rationale behind these policies […]

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni speak to the press, Rome, Oct. 14, 2016 (AP photo by Gregorio Borgia).

Editor’s Note: This is the final article in a series about NATO members’ contributions to and relationships with the alliance. Italy has long worked to improve ties between NATO and Russia, an effort that has continued even after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. At the same time, the country has urged NATO to focus more on threats facing the alliance’s southern flank, including insecurity resulting from migration. In an email interview, Alessandro Marrone, senior fellow with the Security, Defense and Space Program at the International Affairs Institute in Rome, describes Italy’s role in NATO and how this shapes […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a press statement after the German parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage, Berlin, June 30, 2017 (AP photo by Markus Schreiber).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on LGBT rights and discrimination in various countries around the world. The recent vote by German MPs to legalize same-sex marriage was seen as an example of the law catching up with public opinion. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was certain same-sex marriage would be approved, voted against it herself, leaving people guessing as to whether her vote reflected her values or was a strategic calculation. In an email interview, Dr. Beate Küpper, social psychologist on the Faculty of Social Services at the Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in […]

French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump during the Bastille Day military parade, Paris, July 14, 2017 (AP photo on Michel Euler).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, speaks with associate editors Karina Piser and Robbie Corey-Boulet about French President Emmanuel Macron’s agenda, from reforms in France and strengthening Europe to security in West Africa—and how Donald Trump’s Bastille Day visit to Paris fits into it. If you’d like to sign up for the beta version of WPR’s Africa-only subscription, you can do so here. It’s free for the first two months. And if you like what you hear on Trend Lines, as well as what you’ve seen on WPR, please think about supporting our work by subscribing. […]

Alexander Van der Bellen is sworn in as Austria's president at parliament, Vienna, Jan. 26, 2017 (AP photo by Ronald Zak).

Austria’s democracy, for decades one of the most stable political systems in Europe, is entering a new period of uncertainty. The balance between left and right—developed after its experiences with authoritarianism in the 1930s and seven years of totalitarian Nazi rule—is probably coming to an end. The tradition of power-sharing arrangements between two major parties that has defined Austria for most of its postwar history seems to have lost its appeal. Snap parliamentary elections, scheduled for October, could be a decisive turning point for Austrian politics. This does not mean that the country’s liberal democracy is in danger. Rather, Austria’s […]

People gather outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump, Washington, July 11, 2017 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

The challenge of writing about U.S. foreign policy in the Trump era is twofold. First, the United States does not have a foreign policy per se in the Trump era. Rather, it has a disparate collection of poorly coordinated and at times contradictory channels of communication and engagement with the world, some run through the White House, others by Cabinet officials and still others by faceless bureaucrats who are either improvising around the margins or working the clean-up crew. Looming over them all is the tragicomic figure of President Donald Trump himself, whose declarations, we are told, have little bearing […]

British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.K. Representative to the EU Tim Barrow at an EU summit, Brussels, June 22, 2017 (AP photo by Virginia Mayo).

What a difference a few months can make in British politics. In early May, a confident Prime Minister Theresa May looked well on her way to securing a much bigger majority for her Conservative Party in the House of Commons on a platform of “strong and steady leadership” and a promise to deliver on Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party looked out of touch with the real concerns of most British people and seemed destined for electoral oblivion. So the shock result of a hung parliament after the U.K. general election on June 8 not only transformed the British political landscape, […]

Migrants and refugees stand on the deck of a vessel after being rescued by Spanish NGO workers on the Mediterranean Sea, June 16, 2017 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. As people continue to migrate—and die—by crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat, it is time to reflect on what has gone wrong with the 2015 European Agenda on Migration. The agenda purports to be a comprehensive, multidimensional framework designed to address the crisis of increased precarious migration to Europe and associated fatalities at sea. It has led to the development and implementation of policies across a range of priority areas. Yet without […]

Firebrand anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders casts his ballot in the Dutch general elections, The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017 (AP photo by Peter Dejong).

European progressives are feeling cautiously optimistic. Last year, in the shadow of the United Kingdom’s shock referendum vote for Brexit and then the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, many in Europe were fearful of a so-called contagion effect. With looming elections in the Netherlands and Austria, European leaders braced for their own populist backlash against liberalism, the European Union and international free trade. Inspired by Trump and against the backdrop of a pan-European refugee crisis, populist nationalists seemed poised to reimpose themselves onto the political agenda. Once again, a major crisis loomed on the horizon […]

Italy’s Northern League leader Matteo Salvini, left, celebrates local election results with Genoa’s new mayor Marco Bucci, Genoa, Italy, June 26, 2017 (ANSA photo by Luca Zennaro via AP).

Italy’s center-right parties performed impressively in last month’s local elections, prompting former Prime Minister and Democratic Party head Matteo Renzi to acknowledge that the polls “could have gone better” for his center-left formation. But turnout was just 46 percent, according to Reuters, and there were questions as to whether the results are predictive of how the various parties will fare in next year’s general elections. In an email interview, Mark Gilbert, a professor of international history at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS Europe, describes the factors that fueled the center-right’s success and the issues that are most important to Italian voters. WPR: […]

Ramush Haradinaj greets supporters in Pristina, Kosovo, June 12, 2017 (AP photo by Visar Kryeziu).

Belgrade, SERBIA—Nearly a decade after its disputed declaration of independence and on the heels of a snap election last month, Kosovo is sending mixed signals to the world. Where some see a radical leftist surge that will force Kosovo’s neighbors and the international community to take notice, others see a further fraying of the West’s influence. And while some see progress toward the creation of a more functional state, for others the result of the June 18 election fundamentally confirms the status quo, for better or worse. The left-wing Levizja Vetevendosje, or Movement for Self-Determination, emerged as the largest single […]