Protest outside the Supreme Court after Roe v. Wade is overturned on June 25, 2022 in Washington D.C. (Photo by JT/STAR MAX/IPx 2022).

The threats to the longevity of democracy in the United States keep growing. Last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which for five decades guaranteed the right to abortion, has put the spotlight on that once-revered institution, which is now steadily losing credibility in the eyes of the U.S. public and adding instability to a system in crisis. The ruling came in the midst of dramatic public hearings by a select congressional committee investigating the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The hearings are presenting mountains of evidence indicating that former U.S. President […]

An image of a mock gallows on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol during the attack of Jan. 6, 2021, is shown during the a public hearing of the House select committee investigating the Capitol Riot, Washington, June 9, 2022 (AP photo by J. Scott Applewhite).

The belief that the United States is a uniquely youthful society in contrast to an aging and decadent Europe has become so entrenched that it is rarely questioned. Whether out of politeness or genuine belief, Europeans encountering this recurring trope often turn to their own, emphasizing their belief that a European point of view is more mature than that of the supposedly youthful and naive United States. Very rarely is there much consideration about what it means for a society to be “old” or “young.” Sometimes commentators point to the steady birthrates and higher immigration that once sustained a more […]

A pregnant woman looks at her smartphone near a logo marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party in Beijing, July 8, 2021 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

The U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion since 1973, has brought the question of state involvement in reproductive rights issues on both sides of the Pacific into sharp focus. Abortion is not overtly central to debates about China’s One Child policy, a mass-scale reproductive control infrastructure introduced in 1980 that is now being gradually rolled back. But as in the post-Roe U.S., the Chinese state’s encroachment on individual autonomy and family planning choices nonetheless looms large when it comes to reproductive rights. Forced intrauterine devices, or […]

Maya Iribarren participates in an abortion-rights protest at City Hall in San Francisco following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, June 24, 2022 (AP photo by Josie Lepe).

Editor’s note: This will be Aishwarya Machani’s final weekly column for World Politics Review. We’d like to thank her for her forward-thinking coverage of the issues that affect young people around the world. We wish her the best of luck and are excited to continue working with her as a regular contributor.  On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States officially reversed its ruling on the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, thereby eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. It will now be up to individual U.S. states to decide whether abortion should be decriminalized in their jurisdictions. Reactions to this decision […]

Confetti explode over a screen showing photos of Gustavo Petro and his running mate Francia Marquez after they won Colombia’s presidential election, Bogota, Colombia, June 19, 2022 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

In 2022, it’s easy to be an opposition politician, party or political movement in Latin American democracies, where the political environment is about as anti-incumbent as it can get. Including the victory by Gustavo Petro in Colombia earlier this month, the parties of incumbent presidents have lost the past 14 consecutive democratic presidential elections in the region going back to 2018. Latin America has gone from a region where incumbent advantage was a major factor in elections to one where incumbent parties almost never win. Of course, there is an obvious catch to this phenomenon: Once the opposition wins, it is no longer the […]

Then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu uses a cartoonish diagram to dramatize his claim that Iran was close to enriching enough uranium for a nuclear weapon, at the U.N. General Assembly, New York, Sept. 27, 2012 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

Reports that Iran is nearing the point where it could conceivably develop a nuclear weapon are once again causing widespread alarm. The latest information suggests that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, if significantly further enriched, is more than enough to provide the weapons-grade fissile material needed for a bomb. That alone wouldn’t be enough to build—or deliver—a working bomb, but it does put Tehran closer than ever to equipping one. The news comes as multilateral talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—have stalled. Iran could return to […]

A supporter of the Polisario Front and Western Sahara waves a flag reading “Free Sahara,” Logrono, Spain, June 8, 2021 (AP photo by Alvaro Barrientos).

On June 8, Algeria suspended its Friendship and Neighborliness Treaty with Spain, in response to Madrid’s recent alignment with Morocco on the Western Sahara conflict. While the suspension of the treaty so far excludes contracts for gas, of which Algeria is Spain’s biggest supplier, it could jeopardize relations with the European Union. But with the change in Madrid’s position, Algeria felt it had to act to send a message, even if it comes at considerable cost. At first glance, the tensions might come as a surprise. Algeria should be riding high from the recent increase in global gas prices that […]

Gustavo Petro, presidential candidate with the Historical Pact coalition, waves upon his arrival to a polling station to vote in presidential elections in Bogota, Colombia, May 29, 2022 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

When Colombians went to the polls Sunday to choose a new president, both choices on the ballot meant change and more than a little uncertainty about the future. It’s no surprise, then, that now that the results are in, Colombia finds itself on edge, teetering between high expectations and high anxiety. The victory by Gustavo Petro, a former mayor of Bogota who once belonged to a radical leftist urban guerrilla movement, was above all a forceful rejection of the status quo. Petro promises profound change but speaks with the well-honed rhetoric of a smart, polished politician who has spent years […]

Fabrice Leggeri, the then-head of Frontex, arrives at a press conference at Frontex offices in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2016 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

If there were a contest for leaving office in the most undignified way possible, Fabrice Leggeri would surely be an odds-on favorite to win. After a long battle to hold onto his position as director of Frontex, the European Union’s border and coast guard agency, Leggeri was forced to resign on April 29 under murky circumstances. Faced with accusations that he had covered up attempts by Greek coast guard units assisted by Frontex to “push back” rather than rescue refugees at sea, Leggeri had spent months engaged in desperate career maneuvers that had more than a passing resemblance to episodes […]

Erin Call wears a mask as she shops for groceries at Harmons grocery store, April 3, 2020, in Salt Lake City (AP photo by Rick Bowmer).

The dramatic rise of fuel prices worldwide, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has set alarm bells ringing. With millions of people struggling to afford “record-high” prices of gasoline and diesel, many governments are now looking into introducing subsidies or tax discounts to alleviate the financial burden placed on their citizens. These initiatives are much needed. They could offer valuable relief to the poor, who have been hit hardest by the price hikes, and could prevent anger over cost-of-living increases from congealing into domestic political crises. However, they also showcase how short-sighted and reactive most governments of today are, considering policies like […]

Indigenous Constituent Assembly representatives celebrate after the final vote on constitutional reforms, Santiago, Chile, June 14, 2022 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

After a messy and controversial drafting process that had to be extended by three months, the text of Chile’s new constitution is mostly finalized. The final document is overly long, and many of its key promises will require substantial legislative guidance to determine how they should be implemented. Many on the political right feel as if they have been left out of the process, in part due to their own failures when the Constitutional Assembly drafting the document was elected. Meanwhile, many on the far left feel that the proposed constitution makes too many compromises and doesn’t go far enough […]

Protesters shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest condemning President Joe Biden's decision on frozen Afghan assets in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 15, 2022 (AP photo by Hussein Malla).

On Feb. 11, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order that proposed a plan for the $7 billion of frozen Afghan reserves that have been locked up in U.S. financial institutions since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August. Half was to be placed in a trust that would benefit the Afghan people, with the rest remaining frozen until a U.S. court rules as to whether it could be used to settle the Taliban’s legal debts with the families of 9/11 victims. The president did not determine whether that latter portion could in fact be used for 9/11 reparations—but […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro review the honor guard, in Ankara, Turkey, June 8, 2022 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

When U.S. President Joe Biden decided not to invite Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to last week’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, the Venezuela leader—whose presidency was for years deemed illegitimate by the U.S, the United Kingdom, the European Union and many of Venezuela’s Latin American neighbors, among others—set out on a whirlwind international trip aiming to show he still has support in other parts of the world. One of his first stops, unsurprisingly, was Iran, another country targeted by Western sanctions, where he and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi gushed about their deepening friendship. More noteworthy was Maduro’s visit […]

Syrian refugees sit in a train and read a local newspaper with special pages in Arabic for refugees, Berlin, Sept. 9, 2015.

They were noticeable for seeming slightly lost at the train stations where they arrived and were greeted by volunteers providing assistance. A call from friends trying to find a place to stay for a recently arrived family would lead to a collective scramble to contact local welfare agencies. In the months that followed, chance meetings at a bar, football match or the workplace would lead a circle of friends to extend invitations to some of the newcomers, who in time would become familiar faces. Germany in the summer and autumn of 2015? Yes, but not only. And when traveling around […]

William Kamkwamba, inventor known as “the boy who harnessed the wind,” seen at Red Bull Amaphiko Academy in Durban, South Africa on June 18, 2019.

Just over a week ago, Forbes published its highly anticipated “30 Under 30” list for the African continent. As the publication’s editors put it, this list showcases the “best and brightest” young “trailblazers” in Africa working on everything from medicine to fashion. The annual publication of “Africa 30 Under 30” is just one part of Forbes’ larger effort to highlight and encourage entrepreneurship in Africa. It comes shortly after the company’s first ever Under 30 Summit in Botswana in April, which brought together the world’s “most elite young entrepreneurs” to hear from and network with leaders in government and business. […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attend a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 16, 2022.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, don’t agree on much when it comes to foreign policy, even if they sometimes exhibit similar populist styles. Bolsonaro is a right-wing firebrand who rails against “socialism” and was a close regional ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump. As for AMLO, as Lopez Obrador is known, despite his fiscal and social conservatism domestically, he tends to lean left internationally. He is friends with Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and he provided asylum to former Bolivian President Evo Morales in 2019 when Morales fled […]

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Akasaka Palace, in Tokyo, May 23, 2022 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In an age of rapid news cycles, when controversies often emerge and fade away in hours, if not days, U.S. President Joe Biden’s declaration in late May that the United States would defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China might seem like ancient history. But given the weightiness of the topic, recent calls for creating a “Pacific NATO” and the heightened focus in recent months on a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan similar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the remarks, which caused quite a stir at the time, warrant a second look. At a joint press conference with Japanese […]

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