British Prime Minister Theresa May listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

In this week’s editors’ discussion episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein; managing editor, Frederick Deknatel; and associate editor, Elliot Waldman look at what to expect from President Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom, Ireland and France next week. The editors also discuss the many diplomatic, economic and security-related issues facing the trans-Atlantic alliance. 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 […]

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, at a press conference after the European Parliament elections, Milan, May 27, 2019 (ANSA photo by Daniel Dal Zennaro via AP).

Last week’s European Parliament elections were expected to propel the far right to new heights, auguring a shiny future for a populist agenda that sends fears across much of the continent. But although far-right nationalists did score their best performance to date, the election results fell far short of expectations. Just as importantly, there are major internal contradictions in the nationalists’ plans to take over the European Union from within, suggesting that the road ahead will bring mostly headaches and disappointment for them and their supporters. The results revealed troubling polarization and the steadily eroding power of centrist parties, the […]

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, May 28, 2019 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).

While the ostensible purpose of European Parliament elections, which took place this weekend, is to determine the makeup of the European Union’s deliberative body, the results often have implications for domestic politics across the member states. This is certainly the case for French President Emmanuel Macron, who positioned himself prominently in this year’s election campaign. But it’s still unclear exactly what impact the vote will have on the future of European or French politics. Macron portrayed the vote as a battle between his progressive, reformist vision for the EU and the illiberal, nationalist policies championed by the bloc’s far-right populist […]

The funeral service of murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 24, 2019 (Press Association photo by Liam McBurney via AP Images).

Last month, journalist Lyra McKee was fatally shot during a riot in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. A group calling itself the New Irish Republican Army took responsibility for the killing, a troubling reminder of the three decades of political violence known as the Troubles. That conflict, in which Catholic republicans seeking a united Ireland fought with Protestant unionists who wanted to remain a part of the United Kingdom, was brought to an end by the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. But now, the looming specter of Brexit threatens to reverse many of the gains made in the peace process. In an […]

A protester amid smoke from tear gas during clashes at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Sept. 8, 2018 (AP photo by Dimitris Tosidis).

ATHENS—Last September, a story consumed Greek media outlets. A fatal altercation had taken place near Omonoia Square, a neglected plaza in downtown Athens known primarily for its small shops, markets and Middle Eastern restaurants. According to initial reports, a knife-wielding drug user had attempted to rob a jewelry store, only to be apprehended by the owner and killed during the fight that ensued. Within hours, the story became a sensation, a fact that had less to do with its details, which were scant, than with Greece’s current political climate. It presented a prime opportunity for New Democracy, the center-right opposition […]

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech at the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, Sept. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Jean-Francois Badias).

In this week’s editors’ roundtable, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, and associate editor, Elliot Waldman, talk about the European Parliament elections, and the limitations of framing the voting as a battle between liberal reformers and the illiberal far right. They also discuss some of the week’s other top stories, including U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan, the first steps in Washington to repeal the broad post-9/11 law authorizing the use of military force against al-Qaida, and the official results of India’s general elections. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read […]

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini poses during a group photo of foreign ministers from the EU and the Eastern Partnership, Brussels, May 13, 2019 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).

Starting today and continuing through Sunday, voters across Europe head to the polls to elect a new European Parliament. But this year will bring about more than just a new group of lawmakers in the European Union’s only directly elected body. There will be bigger changes at the top of the EU, with both Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, and Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, leaving their posts in October. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, will also step down in November. For foreign policy observers, however, all eyes are on […]

Matteo Salvini, the Italian deputy prime minister, right, gestures during a news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Milan, Italy, Aug. 28, 2018 (AP photo by Luca Bruno).

Could next week’s European Parliament elections lead to a grand realignment of the continent’s politics, with the populist right wielding unprecedented influence? Hungary’s pugnacious and controversial prime minister, Viktor Orban, certainly hopes so. Poland’s de facto leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the ruling, arch-conservative Law and Justice party, PiS, is also eyeing the leadership of an invigorated right. So too Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, the figurehead for a potential new bloc of hard-right populist parties and governments opposed to immigration and aiming to reconstitute European politics. But even if they all do as well as predicted next […]

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Donald Tusk applaud after the signing of a new Germany-France friendship treaty, Aachen, Germany, Jan. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Martin Meissner).

European Parliament elections usually play two roles. The first is a practical one. The voting determines the makeup for the next five years not only of the European Union’s deliberative branch, but also indirectly its executive branch, the European Commission. The second is symbolic. Amid widespread apathy and abstention, European Parliament elections often amount to national referenda on the popularity of sitting governments across Europe. On both counts, French President Emmanuel Macron has reason to worry about this year’s elections, which take place next week. His Republic on the Move party, or LRM, has run a lackluster campaign and could […]

Members of the Serbian gendarmerie stand guard in front of the Serbian presidency building in Belgrade, Serbia, March 17, 2019 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

Anti-government protests have been taking place every week in Serbia since late last year, underscoring widespread frustrations with the government and concerns about President Aleksandar Vucic’s consolidated hold on power. Vucic and his political party, the Serbian Progressive Party, have been content to shrug off the protests and cite them as evidence that, contrary to what his critics may say, dissent is alive and well in the country. Yet as Aleks Eror points out in this week’s in-depth report, the president can respond dismissively to the protests precisely because of the strength of his political position and his ability to […]

Mart Helme, chairman of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, or EKRE, after parliamentary elections in Tallinn, Estonia, March 4, 2019 (AP photo by Tanel Meos).

After doubling its support in parliamentary elections that were held in March, Estonia’s far-right, populist Conservative People’s Party, known as EKRE, is now part of a three-party coalition government. EKRE’s emergence reflects rising political discontent in Estonia, but its euroskeptic and anti-immigrant positions are likely to be tempered by its coalition partners, which include incumbent Prime Minister Juri Ratas’ Center Party and the conservative Fatherland party. In an email interview with WPR, Martin Mölder, a researcher at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu, in Estonia, discusses the recent election results and what to expect […]

A supporter of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic waves Serbian flags and shouts slogans during a rally to counter months of anti-government protests in Belgrade, Serbia, April 19, 2019 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

BELGRADE, Serbia—The night in mid-March when protesters stormed the headquarters of Serbia’s public broadcaster began like many recent Saturday nights in the Serbian capital. Weekly protests against the government of President Aleksandar Vucic had entered their fourth month, and several thousand people turned out for a mile-long march across the city. They planned to vent their frustrations over escalating political violence and democratic backsliding in the country. The previous 14 protests had largely unfolded without incident, and there was no reason to believe this one would be any different. But as protesters made a pit stop in front of Radio […]

Municipal workers at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, June 26, 2018 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko). The role of immigrants in the labor force is an unresolved question of Russia's immigration policy.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series on immigration policy around the world. Like many other advanced economies, Russia faces serious demographic challenges in the coming decades. According to government projections, the population is expected to shrink by 2.5 million people by 2035, and the active working-age population will likely decrease by 3.1 million people. Russian federal and state authorities recognize the need to hold these trends in check by keeping the country’s doors open, but immigrants, particularly migrant workers, often have trouble accessing social services and must navigate a complex patchwork of rules and regulations in order […]

An endangered Agalychnis annae, commonly known as a Blue-Sided Leaf Frog, at the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, in Heredia, Costa Rica, Oct. 21, 2009 (AP photo by Kent Gilbert).

Last week, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, put out a call to arms to save endangered species and ecosystems. The body’s report, titled “Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,” was based on the work of hundreds of scientists and thousands of scientific studies. It warned that no fewer than a million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction around the globe. “Biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history,” the report lamented—and humans are to blame. We have long taken the innumerable goods that nature provides […]

A Ukrainian serviceman guards a position near the frontline of the conflict in Mariinka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, April 20, 2019 (AP photo by Evgeniy Maloletka).

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree late last month to expedite the process of applying for Russian citizenship for people living in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. The move came only days after the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, which was won by former actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky. The decree poses challenges for Zelensky’s agenda and could exacerbate divisions that worsened due to the nationalist policies of outgoing President Petro Poroshenko, says Gordon Hahn, a senior researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies and the author of “Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West and […]

The trade port in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Dec. 2, 2018 (AP photo by Efrem Lukatsky).

The World Trade Organization recently released a decision that it surely would have preferred to avoid. Ukraine had challenged restrictions on its exports imposed by Russia in the wake of its 2014 takeover of Crimea. The Russian government claimed that an exception to international trade rules allowed it alone to decide when trade restrictions are “necessary” for national security reasons. Moscow argued that the WTO should have no role in adjudicating the dispute. Since the WTO had never previously ruled on the national security justifications for trade restrictions, the Russia-Ukraine case is important in its own right. But lurking behind […]

People protest against the parliamentary election results in Chisinau, Moldova, March 21, 2019 (Photo by Dmitrij Osmatesko for Sputnik via AP).

Parliamentary elections were held in Moldova in late February, but the country has yet to form a government. The opposition Socialist Party, which favors closer ties with Russia, gained 35 out of 101 seats in Parliament, while the ruling Democratic Party took 30 seats. A pro-European Union opposition coalition called the ACUM campaigned on an anti-corruption platform and came in third, with 26 seats. Any two of these three parties could form a governing coalition, but wide gaps in their platforms have so far precluded any agreements, says Denis Cenusa, a researcher at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. In […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 191 2 Last