The US should remake the global order with input from the global south.

There is growing recognition in the West that multilateral institutions need to change to deal with worsening crises, as well as to respond to the legitimate demands of marginalized countries to be included in international decision-making. But there remains a lack of consensus on what a transformation of the global order entails.

Late Titicaca, which spans Peru and Bolivia, is increasingly threatened by climate change.

Lake Titicaca, spanning the border between Peru and Bolivia, is critical to supporting the livelihoods of 3 million people. That makes it all the more alarming that this year it was named the “Threatened Lake of the Year” by the Global Nature Fund and the Living Lakes Network, for the second time in just 11 years.

Demonstrators protest against the war in Gaza at the entrance to the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.

As with the war in Ukraine, fault lines in the international system have emerged amid the Israel-Hamas war. The variation in reactions is perhaps most evident among the African Union’s 55 member states, whose positions reflect different histories, traditions and interests as well as the preferences of national leaders.

Houthi supporters in Yemen.

For the past year, Yemen has been in a state of limbo, its messy, regionalized conflict on hold but unresolved. And that’s unlikely to change—for the better, at least—soon. Even if Saudi Arabia and the Houthis agree to a formal cease-fire, the country will remain stuck in the liminal space of “no war, no peace” for some time to come.

Democracy in Southeast Asia is being threatened by transnational repression.

In recent years, many countries have become much bolder about kidnapping or simply killing political dissidents inside the borders of other countries. Southeast Asia was actually in many ways ahead of this trend. In fact, the region has become a hotbed of extraterritorial renditions, disappearances and killings.

A plume of smoke rises in the sky during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City

Debates over the role that shifts in the global order may have played in the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war might seem trivial. But putting discrete events into a global context is valuable, particularly when it comes to conflict, as it can help us anticipate the frequency and kinds of conflicts we are likely to see.

Rwandan armed forces prepare to board a flight to Mozambique

No military solution has so far proved effective at combatting jihadist insurgents in the Sahel region of West Africa. Now a new long-shot idea is making the rounds: bringing in Rwandan security forces. However, the “Rwandan model” is no solution for the Sahel’s nightmare. The search for new ideas will have to continue.

In Nepal, Hindu nationalism is being imported from India.

In Nepal, the emergence of Hindu nationalism coupled with attacks on the country’s secularist credentials hint at an organized effort to increase the salience of religion in domestic politics. The stakes are urgent, as the health of Nepal’s young democracy would suffer if Hindu nationalism makes significant inroads there.

A lithium mine on the Salinas Grandes salt flats in Argentina.

Flaws in last year’s groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act, designed to speed the U.S. energy transition, could end up slowing the adoption of electric vehicles. The IRA’s tax incentives for EVs exclude major potential suppliers of critical minerals, including Argentina, where the lithium sector is growing explosively.

People walk through mounds of rubble that used to be high-rise apartment buildings in Aleppo, Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent visit to China signaled the diplomatic revival he has long hoped for. But Assad walked away from the trip empty-handed when it comes to financial commitments toward reconstruction of Syria’s still-devastated infrastructure. Worse still for Assad, China isn’t alone in its reticence toward Syria.

Australia-China relations have thawed under PM Anthony Albanese.

A noticeable thaw in relations between China and Australia under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese suggests both sides have agreed to put the acrimony of recent years behind them. But while Albanese has changed the tone of relations, his policy represents continuity, raising the question of whether this approach is just a short-term fix.

ECOWAS Commission President Mousa Tourey.

After each of a series of coups in Africa in recent years, Africa’s regional organizations have tried and failed to shape or alter events on the ground. The scenario has become a familiar one with each successive coup, which raises the question: What explains these organizations’ inability to roll back these military takeovers?

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice

Poland’s parliamentary elections on Oct. 15 could cement the ruling PiS party’s hold on power—or usher in its demise. Once again, the election centers on the rivalry between PiS and the centrist Civic Platform party that has dominated Polish politics since the mid-2000s. Warsaw’s partners and allies will be watching closely.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has dealt with domestic issues like corruption and democracy.

As Ukraine fast approaches its third year of all-out war, flickers of domestic politics have begun to reappear. That has created a new challenge for Ukrainian members of parliament who want to ensure accountability without undermining the war effort, at a time when support from Western allies is being thrown into question.

New Zealand holds its first elections since Jacinda Ardern resigned earlier this year.

New Zealand’s election on Oct. 14 is poised to deliver significant change. The last time the country went to the polls, in 2020, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s successful pandemic response saw her Labour Party rewarded with an absolute majority. Fast-forward three years and New Zealanders now are more grumpy than grateful.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been renewed in Gaza following an attack by Hamas.

Year after year, observers have been warning that the status quo in Gaza could not last, and yet year after year it stubbornly did. It was a testament to how sustainable an unsustainable situation can be—until the moment when it no longer is. The unprecedented attack this weekend marked that moment in Israel’s standoff with Hamas.

A pro-democracy protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied.

Two constants mark Tunisia under President Kais Saied: Dissidents and opposition politicians continue to be put behind bars, and the economy continues to worsen. And if the government is silencing more and more opposition voices, it is in part because it lacks palatable solutions or a long-term plan for the economic crisis.

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