Russian President Vladimir Putin at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Moscow, Feb. 23, 2016 (AP photo by Pavel Golovkin).

It was a year of turmoil and unpredictability, and World Politics Review covered it all. Our 10 most-read articles of 2016 reflect the scope of our coverage and the diverse interests of our readers. The list below, based on unique page views, runs across the world, from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea, with stops in Ethiopia, Uganda, Iran, the Philippines and elsewhere. Where will the stories of 2017 be? 1. Putin’s Intimidation Strategy Backfires as Eastern Europe Turns to NATOFrida Ghitis May 11, 2016 2. Ethiopia’s Regime Prioritizes Power Over Reform as Ethnic Protests ContinueWilliam DavisonAug. 29, 2016 […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin with U.S. President Barack Obama Hangzhou, China, Sept. 5, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik via AP).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, and associate editors, Maria Savel and Karina Piser, discuss the biggest events of 2016, including the rise of populism, China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, and the election of Donald Trump. Listen:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Donald Trump and the Global Rise of Populism The Danger of Overreacting to Terrorism—and How to Resist It The EU Tries, Tries and Tries Again to Address the Migrant and Refugee Crisis Putin’s Attritional Diplomacy Leaves the West Permanently Off Balance The Economy Is […]

An Aleppo neighborhood retaken by troops loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Dec. 13, 2016 (Kyodo via AP Images).

The United Nations is kind to losers. The defeated parties in many conflicts, large and small, frequently turn to the U.N. in the last resort to defend what remains of their positions. Palestinian leaders have turned to the General Assembly for decades to argue their case against Israel. In the wake of the Cold War, Russia clung onto its permanent seat in the Security Council as one last bastion of international influence. Moscow made the best use it could of the U.N. during its years of weakness, and Western powers often threw it a diplomatic bone or two. After bombing […]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during an interview with the Associated Press, Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 16, 2016 (AP photo by Mosa'ab Elshamy).

This may be one of the last times I write about Ban Ki-moon, a thought that makes me unexpectedly melancholic. The United Nations secretary-general will hand over his duties to Antonio Guterres at the end of the month, after 10 years in office. Over that time, I estimate that I have written about 50,000 to 60,000 words about Ban’s performance, in addition to more general pieces on U.N. diplomacy. Quite a few of those words have been unkind: I have frequently criticized Ban for being too cautious, too hidebound by protocol and too slow to grasp many of the U.N.’s […]

The Isar nuclear power plant, Bavaria, Germany, Nov. 13, 2010 (Photo by Bjoern Schwarz via flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the implications for U.S.-China relations. For the Report, Miles Pomper talks with Peter Dörrie about the future of nuclear energy. Listen:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Why Trump’s Taiwan Call Might Be the Least of Traditional Diplomacy’s Worries Will Trump Regret Backing China Into a Corner on Taiwan and the South China Sea? What’s Behind Jammeh’s Perplexing Decision to Accept Gambia’s Election Results? Will the Syrian Crisis Doom the […]

Syrian refugee boys await approval to enter Jordan at the Hadalat reception area, Syrian-Jordanian border, May 4, 2016 (AP photo by Raad Adayleh).

The Syrian war has laid bare the inadequacy of current international responses to refugees and the global system in place to protect them. While the number of refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and elsewhere has slowed in recent months and the topic has largely faded from the front pages of newspapers, this lull is likely to be temporary. The slowdown is largely the result of the European Union’s controversial agreement with Turkey, which requires Ankara to improve conditions for refugees and crack down on illicit departures to Europe in exchange for economic aid and visa-free travel within the Schengen […]

The unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant, which was sold at auction last month for $111 million, Hollywood, Ala., Sept. 7, 2016 (AP photo by Brynn Anderson).

In 2007, The Economist reported that “America’s nuclear industry is about to embark on its biggest expansion in more than a generation. This will influence energy policy in the rest of the world.” Safety, management and regulatory improvements, it predicted, would lead to an “atomic renaissance” for a nuclear energy industry hobbled for decades by the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. The nuclear industry itself anticipated that soaring electricity demand in fast-growing developing countries and rising concerns about climate change would drive countries to take a fresh look at an industry whose safety practices appeared to have improved […]