Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, Sept. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Ukraine’s president. The content of Volodymyr Zelensky’s now-infamous July 25th call with U.S. President Donald Trump will doubtless be picked over ad nauseum as the impeachment inquiry against Trump gets underway in Congress. Nor is history likely to forget how the release of a partial, reconstructed transcript of a single phone call between Trump and Zelensky triggered a constitutional crisis in the world’s most powerful country. Zelensky’s obsequious tone, his cloying requests to Trump for Javelin anti-tank missiles and his disparaging remarks about Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, have severely damaged Zelensky’s […]

President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Sept. 26, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Frederick Deknatel and Laura Weiss talk about President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to smear Democratic rival Joe Biden. They also discuss the politics of impeachment in Washington, and the impact the scandal will have on America’s standing in the world. 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 […]

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks at a press conference during an EU summit in Brussels, July 2, 2019 (AP file photo by Virginia Mayo)

MADRID—Spaniards are not happy that their country is headed for its fourth election in four years. According to a recent poll in El Pais, more than 90 percent of respondents said they felt either disappointment, anger or worry at the prospect of another vote. But the parliament that was chosen in April still dissolved Monday at midnight after the leaders of its main parties were unable or unwilling to come to an arrangement that would allow one of them to form a government, triggering an election on Nov. 10. While Sept. 23 was the final deadline for any sort of […]

Opposition demonstrators hold Georgian flags and posters reading “Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia go home” during a rally in front of the Georgian Parliament’s building in Tbilisi, Georgia, July 6, 2019 (AP photo by Shakh Aivazov).

Earlier this month, Georgia’s Parliament approved a new government led by Giorgi Gakharia, a controversial former interior minister who was nominated by the ruling Georgian Dream party despite his role in a violent crackdown on anti-government protests that rocked the capital, Tbilisi, this summer. Gakharia will now try to restore public confidence in the government ahead of parliamentary elections that are expected to be held early next year. Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the United National Movement, or UNM, also has work to do if it hopes to retake power. In an email interview with WPR, Olga Oliker and Olesya […]

Across the world, populism has become a prominent feature of the political landscape. This report provides a comprehensive look at the rise of populism and its implications for liberal democracies. Download your FREE copy of The Global Rise of Populism today. In Europe, an anti-immigrant backlash against the 2015 migrant crisis helped fuel the rise of far-right, nationalist parties whose leaders often adopt a populist style. The Brexit referendum in 2016 appeared to be the highwater mark of the populist wave, but in Eastern and Southern Europe, and even in Scandinavia, populist parties continue to either govern or enjoy widespread […]

Austrian Interim Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein, center, arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, July 2, 2019 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

VIENNA—Armin Wolf is one of Austria’s most hardened political interviewers. For more than two decades, the journalist and television anchor has been interviewing the country’s top politicians, winning awards and admiration along the way. At once witty and hard-hitting, he has the image of someone who can’t be caught off guard. But in a recent TV interview, Austria’s new interior minister, who is part of an interim government appointed in June in the aftermath of the worst political crisis in the country since World War II, appeared to blindside the usually unflappable Wolf. Wolf had invited the minister, Wolfgang Peschorn, […]

People protesting violence against women in Paris, July 6, 2019 (SIPA photo by Jacques Witt via AP Images).

PARIS—Helene de Ponsay hadn’t heard the word “femicide” until April, when police found the body of her older sister, Marie-Alice Dibon, stuffed in a suitcase, thrown into the Oise River. The 53-year-old Dibon, a pharmaceuticals and cosmetics specialist, was the 51st woman in France to be murdered by her partner in 2019. More than 50 deaths later, the word is hard to miss: in headlines, in presidential speeches, and plastered on buildings in cities across the country. Women’s rights advocates are now calling for femicide to be inscribed into the penal code. “How shameful that it took until now,” de […]

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, Aug. 20, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Frederick Deknatel and Laura Weiss talk about John Bolton’s abrupt departure as Donald Trump’s national security adviser. They also discuss the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and the EU’s newly named executive commission. 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 more complimentary articles in our weekly roundup […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron exchange contracts alongside their respective foreign minsters, in Aachen, Germany, Jan. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Martin Meissner).

Since 1945, America’s democratic allies around the world have relied on the United States to champion and defend an open, rules-based international system, grounded in liberal values and multilateralism. Since January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump has repudiated this role and turned the United States into a revisionist power, mimicking China and Russia in efforts to reconfigure important aspects of the global order. In a desperate attempt to hold the line, France and Germany will officially launch an “Alliance for Multilateralism” at the opening of the 74th United Nations General Assembly later this month. The architects of this new alliance […]

An AH-64 Apache attack helicopter provides security from above while CH-47 Chinooks drop off supplies to U.S. soldiers at Bost Airfield, Afghanistan, June 10, 2017 (Photo by Sgt. Justin Updegraff for U.S. Marine Corps via AP Images).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Frederick Deknatel and Laura Weiss talk about the tentative deal for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan announced this week. They also discuss the latest setback for Colombia’s peace process with the FARC insurgency and Boris Johnson’s bruising Brexit humiliation in the U.K. 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 […]

League party leader Matteo Salvini leaves after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, in Rome, Aug. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Alessandra Tarantino).

Members of Italy’s new Cabinet were sworn in this week, but questions are already swirling about the government’s staying power. The two new coalition partners—the center-left Democratic Party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, widely known as the M5S—have a history of animosity and a slew of disagreements on key policy issues. The government must also contend with Matteo Salvini, the head of the far-right League party whose failed bid to force snap elections toppled the previous coalition between the League and the M5S last month. Salvini, who now effectively leads the opposition, can put pressure on the new government […]

Italian Deputy Prime Ministers Matteo Salvini, right, and Luigi Di Maio during question time at the Chamber of Deputies, in Rome, Feb. 13, 2019 (ANSA photo by Fabio Frustaci via AP Images).

After weeks of political turmoil, Italy is set to have a new government, as the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, widely known as the M5S, has agreed to form a coalition with the center-left Democratic Party. The previous government, a partnership between the M5S and the far-right, anti-immigrant League party, collapsed last month after League leader Matteo Salvini filed a no-confidence motion in his own government in an effort to trigger new elections and take advantage of his rising popularity in opinion polls. The gambit backfired, however, when the M5S agreed to join together with the Democratic Party under the continued […]

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the Law and Justice party, addressing party members after the results of the European Parliament election were announced, in Warsaw, Poland, May 26, 2019 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

If the Law and Justice party wins the Polish elections for parliament in October, it will be harder for observers to dismiss its success as a blip in Poland’s post-communist history. What is behind the continued appeal of a party that merges nationalism with populism in a country once seen as a model of liberal democracy? With most of the votes counted, Jaroslaw Kaczynski took the stage and declared victory. “Today is a very important day,” he told a packed room of members of his populist Law and Justice party in Warsaw. PiS, as the party is known by its […]

Demonstrators hold upside down portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest through the streets of Bayonne, France, Aug. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Bob Edme).

Anti-government protesters have vandalized the offices of French officials aligned with President Emmanuel Macron in recent weeks, part of an ongoing backlash against the recent approval of a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, was ratified by the French legislature in late July, prompting farmers and environmental groups to target the offices of legislators and local officials who belong to Macron’s Republic on the Move party. In an email interview with WPR, Gerry Alons, an assistant professor of international relations and a trade policy expert at Radboud University in […]