Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, in Moscow, July 14, 2018 (Photo by Sergey Mamontov for Sputnik via AP Images).

Moscow's relationship with Sudan is far from new, but Russian activity in Sudan is deeper now, and Russia cannot afford to sacrifice the benefits of having Bashir in its orbit. As protests in Sudan calling for the removal of President Omar al-Bashir enter their fourth month, Russian support for the regime has begun to attract international interest. Much has been written about Russian activity, whether overt or covert, in places like Syria, the Central African Republic and Venezuela. But until now, comparatively little attention has been given to Moscow’s involvement in Sudan, which is a linchpin of Russia’s approach to […]

Thierry Baudet, left, and Jan Roos deliver a petition calling for the public to have a say on ties between the European Union and Ukraine, The Hague, Netherlands, Sept. 10, 2015 (Photo by Jaap Arriens for Sipa via AP Images).

Dutch voters delivered a shock in last week’s provincial elections, which also determined the makeup of the upper house of parliament. The outcome deprived Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s governing coalition of a majority in the Senate, giving the largest share of seats to a relatively new far-right party led by an ostentatious pseudo-intellectual, Thierry Baudet. The victory by Baudet’s Forum for Democracy party, or FvD, however, is not proof that the Netherlands has taken a sharp rightward turn. The parliament is highly fragmented, and the political landscape is in flux, but the Netherlands remains a nation characterized by compromise. The […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Rome’s Villa Madama, March 23, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Medichini).

On March 23, Italy officially joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, an expansive development strategy first unveiled in 2013 that aims to build a network of roads, railways and ports connecting China with more than 60 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In addition to the memorandum of understanding on the infrastructure-building initiative, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome last week, the two countries agreed on a constellation of deals worth 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion), ranging from banking and energy to sports. The visit’s outcome reflects deepening relations between the eurozone’s third-largest […]

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, Fla., March 24, 2019 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

The vaudeville and at times burlesque spectacle that has dominated U.S. politics for over two years now reached a pivotal climax last week, when special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia to the Justice Department. The culmination of an investigation that dates back to the early months of Trump’s presidency, Mueller’s report—according to the summary of it released by Trump’s hand-picked attorney general, William Barr—failed to establish evidence of coordination on Russia’s efforts to influence the election.* Mueller also refrained from reaching a conclusion on whether or not evidence […]

People demonstrate against racism and the government’s immigration policies in Rome, Italy, Dec. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Alessandra Tarantino).

Italy’s populist government scored a big legislative win late last year when it signed a new security decree into law, making life much harder for immigrants, especially asylum-seekers. But mayors and regional governors across the country are refusing to implement many of the law’s provisions, setting up a legal fight with the central government in Rome. In an interview with WPR, Marco Calaresu, a political scientist at the University of Sassari in Italy, and Anna Di Ronco, a sociologist at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, discuss the mounting grassroots resistance to the security decree and explain why […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Minister of Energy Alexander Novak during the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 6, 2018 (Photo by Maksim Blinov for Sputnik via AP Images).

Five years after the U.S. first imposed sanctions against Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea, Moscow continues to defy Western efforts to rein in its behavior. As the Russia sanctions risk becoming a permanent fixture in U.S.-Russia relations, three principal long-term trends are worth further examination. In March 2014, then-President Barack Obama signed the first tranche of executive orders imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation for its illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea. Five years later, the confrontation between the United States and Russia has come to dominate the national security conversation, driving unprecedented tensions in the trans-Atlantic relationship. […]

Muslims pray at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 22, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Baker).

In this week’s editors episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief Judah Grunstein, managing editor Frederick Deknatel and associate editor Elliot Waldman discuss the Christchurch shootings, the emergence of white nationalist terrorism and its implications for national security in Europe and the U.S. They also examine Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy and France, and what it reveals about the European Union’s internal divisions over whether to engage with China as an economic partner or confront it as a strategic competitor. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can […]

World leaders at the G-20 Summit, Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Learn more about the impact of the Global Financial Crisis on global economic governance, and where we are now, when you subscribe to World Politics Review today. As a result of the Global Financial Crisis, management of the global economy was broadened from a core of developed Western countries to a broader Group of 20, or G-20, comprised of the world’s 20 largest economies. The G-20’s emergence began when the onset of the financial crisis prompted the elevation of what had previously been a modest and little-reported meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to a much more prominent […]

Candles are placed to commemorate victims of last week’s shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 18, 2019 (AP photo by Vincent Thian).

The mass shooting last Friday at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a self-avowed white supremacist, and the violence in Paris on Saturday by the last vestiges of the Yellow Vest movement, have nothing substantively in common. But despite being discrete phenomena, they illustrate two of the greatest emerging threats to the internal cohesiveness of Western liberal democracies: the normalization of ethno-sectarian violence, and the legitimization of political violence. Both threats have been hiding in plain sight for many years now. The Department of Homeland Security signaled the growing danger of far-right and white nationalist terrorist groups in the […]

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa walks to the door of the Sao Bento palace in Lisbon, Portugal, Jan. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Armando Franca).

Thousands of Portuguese nurses marched through Lisbon earlier this month to call for higher wages and better working conditions, as the main nurses’ unions negotiate with the government following a recent three-week strike that paralyzed the country’s health sector. Other public sector unions have taken similar actions, putting intense pressure on Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who survived a no-confidence motion last month. In an interview with WPR, Jorge Fernandes, a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, points out that this turmoil is largely a result of behind-the-scenes politicking by Portugal’s major political parties ahead of legislative elections […]

A woman walks in front of a police cordon in front of the police headquarters in Belgrade, Serbia, March 17, 2019 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

Serbia’s protests have been hard to miss even if you don’t follow news and politics out of the Balkans. For more than three months, thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Belgrade and other Serbian cities to demand free and fair elections, an end to violent attacks against politicians and journalists and investigations into them, and more independent and unbiased reporting in the country. Why is that last demand so central to protesters? Serbia’s media environment has been suffering from several long-standing problems, but things took a turn for the worse after President Aleksandar Vucic and his Serbian […]

French President Emmanuel Macron receives Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Elysee Palace, Paris, France, April 10, 2018 (Sipa USA photo via AP Images).

For the first time since it was founded in 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council earlier this month rebuked Saudi Arabia for its human rights record. In a rare show of unity, the council’s statement, which condemned the kingdom’s “continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders,” was co-signed by all 28 members of the European Union. But that move coincided with another unanimous decision by EU member states: to prevent Saudi Arabia from being added to an EU blacklist of countries with insufficient controls on money laundering and terrorism financing. In an interview with WPR, Julien Barnes-Dacey, […]

French President Emmanuel Macron meets with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya, March 13, 2019 (AP photo by Khalil Senosi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. French President Emmanuel Macron’s latest Africa trip took him to a region where France doesn’t wield much influence. But the themes he stressed over four days in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya this week were familiar, underscoring the priorities of a government that, while unhappy with certain aspects of its role in Africa, has no plans to fundamentally alter it. Macron’s first stop was Djibouti, a former French colony that is home to a French naval base as well as […]

Anti-Brexit campaigners’ placards outside Parliament, London, Jan. 28, 2019 (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor for EMPPL PA Wire via AP Images).

In this week’s editors’ discussion episode of Trend Lines, WPR’s editor-in-chief Judah Grunstein, managing editor Frederick Deknatel and associate editor Elliot Waldman look at British Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit setback, the Trump administration’s latest policy shift on Israel, and the United Nations Security Council’s latest report on North Korea sanctions noncompliance. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a free preview article every day of the week, plus three […]

Zuzana Caputova, a candidate in Slovakia’s presidential election, prepares for a debate at a TV studio in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 13, 2019 (Photo by Mikula Martin for CTK via AP Images).

The murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kusirova, just over a year ago stunned Slovakia. Sunday’s presidential election will show if the shock was sharp enough to shake up a political scene long criticized for corruption and cronyism. Although the shooter, driver and other middlemen are all in jail, it took until today, March 14—two days before the election—for police to formally charge a suspect for ordering the February 2018 killing of Kuciak and Kusirova: Marian Kocner, a businessman with links to the ruling Smer party. The investigative journalist had been probing Kocner’s businesses. The murder sparked […]

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, president of the CDU, speaks at the Association of Municipal Enterprises, Berlin, Germany, March 11, 2019 (Photo by Bernd von Jutrczenka for dpa via AP Images).

If all that mattered in discussions over the future of the European Union were functional outcomes, there would be little debate or disagreement among the various sides. Almost everyone who believes in the European project would like to see the continent integrated into a mutually beneficial common market, protected from external shocks, and joined in a union of strong states whose combined strength is greater than the sum of its parts. Of course, the debate over the future of the EU is and always has been about how best to achieve those outcomes, and the differences usually center on where […]

Stuttgart residents gathered in late February for the 454th weekly protest against a plan to overhaul the city’s central train station (Photo by Andrew Green).

Germany’s Green party had a weak showing in federal elections in 2017, causing analysts to largely write it off as a political force. But the past two years have seen an abrupt turnaround in the party’s fortunes. Buoyed by widespread concern about the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, as well as broader upheaval that has undermined the traditional mainstream parties, the Greens are now in the No. 2 position in national polls, and they are expected to perform well in the European Parliament elections in May. As journalist Andrew Green writes in this week’s in-depth report, […]

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