After a dramatic year in which us-china relations got more tense and the russia-ukraine war began, it can be easy to feel like everything has changed

It’s hard not to see 2022 as a “year that changed everything.” The war in Ukraine and other developments certainly represented shocks to the international system. But rather than a year that has changed everything, I see a year that has made everything more possible, at times for the worse but also for the better.

China-US tensions flared up because of an incident between US Coast Guard and an illegal chinese fishing fleet

Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel off the coast of Ecuador was forced to take evasive action when a Chinese fishing boat tried to ram it to avoid being boarded and inspected. The incident highlights the growing risk for conflict over fishing rights amid heightened geopolitical rivalry on the world’s oceans.

The need for peacebuilding in post-conflict societies grew out of the realization that signing agreements to bring fighting to an end is a necessary but insufficient step toward true and enduring peace. But while many of peacebuilding’s objectives seem self-evident, it is often laborious and expensive—and easily undone.

Investment in renewable energy is taking off as the fight against fossil fuels and climate change accelerates

Though the world is still not on track to tackle the climate crisis, politicians, investors and businesses are waking up to the far-reaching transitions, such as clean energy, that are needed to limit the effects of climate change. That transition is accelerating, with important implications for finance, trade and geopolitics.

After a difficult year, it's worth sharing the bright spots in fields like climate change, the US military's new civilian casualties policy, and protests in Iran pro-democracy

Writing about human security and international law often means writing about the worst things in the world. With the holidays around the corner, it’s worth sharing a few stories that show how numerous strategies—including NGO activism and nonviolent protest movements—are making a positive difference for human security worldwide.

Congressmembers in the US speak about the threat of foreign interference and influence in national security and elections

In defending themselves from foreign interference, Western countries currently tend to look at all the tools used to pursue it in isolation. In order to effectively defend themselves, however, Western governments ought to see all the tools of foreign interference as elements of a strategic continuum, requiring a holistic response.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speak before the 2022 World Cup draw, in Doha, Qatar

From the outset of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, many observers have been quick to point to its downsides, from accusations of corruption in the host-country selection process to human rights concerns. But major sporting events like the World Cup and Olympic Games still offer unique opportunities for the host countries and the world.

Corruption knows no geographic boundaries, and its impact is devastating, particularly for developing countries. While recent revelations of massive corruption have made the issue a high priority for voters, the obstacles to effectively tackling corruption can prove to be persistent. That, in turn, can lead to popular disenchantment with leaders and democratic processes.

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Around the world, the popular backlash against global migration has fueled the rise of far-right populist parties and driven some centrist governments to adopt a tougher line on immigration. But with short-term strategies dominating the debate, many of the persistent drivers of migration go unaddressed, even as efforts to craft a global consensus on migration are hobbled by demands for quick solutions.

Solar panels on a building in a city as an effort to mitigate climate change effects

Cities have emerged as key leaders in implementing climate solutions. But while transport and energy often get more attention, the construction and operation of buildings is typically a city’s highest source of emissions. It’s not surprising, then, that buildings have become a top priority for climate action for U.S. cities.

Despite the challenges that technological innovations like artificial intelligence and autonomous drones pose to governance and society, they will continue to emerge. In the absence of any global agreement, there is still an opportunity for governments to seize on the benefits these advances might bring, while encouraging their ethical and democratic use.

President Joe Biden’s first priority upon taking office was to reassure U.S. allies of America’s ongoing security commitments, promising that “America is back.” Despite some missteps along the way, that effort has paid off during the current standoff with Russia over Ukraine. But Biden still has a lot of work to do when it comes to shoring up America’s security partnerships to deal with a rising China.

FTX Exchange Arena, a symbol of crypto and why it will likely soon be regulated

Advocates of cryptocurrencies have long argued that the new technology behind them would break the government monopoly on currency regulation. The collapse of the FTX exchange illustrates why this sort of “disruption” is unlikely in the realm of currency control, which has historically been and will remain the domain of governments.

The UN General Assembly amid a crisis of diplomacy caused by Russia's war in Ukraine

After an inauspicious start, 2022 has been a year of low-key but surprisingly successful muddling through for multilateralism. While the war in Ukraine had the potential to throw international institutions into disarray, overall these institutions weathered the storm in better shape than seemed imaginable shortly after the invasion.