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.
Over the past year, I have fielded several requests from readers and interlocutors who sought out my thoughts and recommendations on literature, poetry and plays by African writers. To that end, I decided to create a list of some of my favorite literary works by African authors that were published in 2022.
EU energy ministers adopted a natural gas price cap after months of heated negotiations, causing concern in the Biden administration and the European Commission that the cap will push exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas away from Washington’s allies in Europe and toward other countries that are willing to pay more for them.
Amid a boycott by Tunisia’s main parties, only 11 percent of voters turned out for legislative elections Saturday. The elections were meant to legitimize President Kais Saied’s efforts to remake Tunisia’s democratic institutions. Instead, the opposition says low turnout indicates he has lost all legitimacy and must resign.
The concerns, criticisms and debates at the Qatar World Cup about human rights and other contentious issues served as reminders that sporting events carried out under the banner of national flags will always be susceptible to politicization, no matter how often it is claimed that the athletic arena is off-limits to politics.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted 49 African leaders during this week’s U.S.-Africa Summit in an effort to improve ties damaged by the four tumultuous years of the Trump administration. Biden administration officials announced a raft of initiatives as a signal of Washington’s intent. But it is unlikely the summit alone will overcome lukewarm attitudes in African capitals toward Washington.
Brussels has been rocked this week by the biggest corruption scandal to hit the city in decades, with several people arrested as part of a probe into suspected bribery of European Parliament officials by a Gulf state. Amid all the fevered speculation, the biggest question on the minds of many now is: Who will be next to be implicated?
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia last week for a four-day trip that included three summits in Riyadh with a range of Arab leaders. A bilateral strategic agreement signed by Riyadh and Beijing during Xi’s visit signals Saudi Arabia’s determination to diversify its partnerships and China’s growing role in the region.
Pedro Castillo’s victory in Peru’s 2021 presidential election was a symptom of the country’s political instability. After taking office, however, he went from being a symptom to being a cause of instability. His impeachment and subsequent arrest this week mark a denouement that was as swift and surprising as his initial rise.
Despite a third round of peace talks between the government of Congo and representatives of major rebel groups this week, ongoing tensions in eastern Congo are raising fears of the conflict potentially escalating into an interstate war. It would be a dismal end to a year that has already proven to be a bloody one across the continent.
Senior officials in the European Commission are seething at the national governments on the EU Council for what they view as caving to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s threat to veto aid to Ukraine amid the EU’s long-running dispute with Budapest over its failure to uphold democratic institutions.
China’s former leader Jiang Zemin died last week at the age of 96. As the country enters a period of mourning, many foreign observers of Chinese politics continue to reflect on Jiang’s impact on Chinese foreign policy, while many in China will be thinking of his legacy as the Chinese Communist Party’s leader.
As the 2022 FIFA World Cup enters its knockout rounds, a subdued atmosphere in Doha increasingly mirrors the waning public debate around geopolitical issues—particularly Qatar’s poor human rights record—that received significant attention in the runup to the World Cup and during the tournament’s first two weeks.
The protests against China’s zero-COVID policies are notable for featuring overt criticism of Xi Jinping, the CCP and the country’s political system. Coming just weeks after Xi was reappointed to a third term as party leader, the protests are a major reversal in the triumphalist narrative he and the CCP had hoped to portray.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s political future hangs in the balance after an independent panel found evidence that he had violated the country’s constitution and breached the country’s anti-corruption laws in an incident involving large sums of cash stolen from one of his properties two years ago.
French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week for an official state visit to the United States. While the visit comes at a pivotal moment in the bilateral relationship, many European observers are paying attention to the areas of divergence over issues related to trade and Western unity as the war in Ukraine drags on.