In response to growing criticism for its lack of diversity, Marvel Studios has featured an increasing number of women and people of color as heroes over the past five years. But despite the course-correction, its creations remain stubbornly American in terms of perspective. That may not work out well for the studio.
One of the dangers of a U.S. foreign policy consensus is that once it’s formed, there are enormous market incentives for analysts in Washington to formulate smart-sounding ways to operationalize it, rather than to question it. We see all of these dynamics on display now when it comes to U.S. policy on China.
2022 was a year of significant events and developments across Africa, from coups and elections to climate change crises and breakthroughs. The year ahead is likely to see more of the same, even as the tectonic plates in global politics continue to shift, underlining Africa’s growing prominence in international affairs.
Sometimes, the most significant news is something that is widely expected to happen, but doesn’t. That is the case with one aspect of the war in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022: that it has so far failed to become a bitter partisan wedge issue in the polarized politics of Western democracies.
For many, predictions are simply a fun exercise. But for pundits, they are more than that, as they offer a stress test for how well we truly understand our world. In order to predict, we must first understand. In that spirit, then, here’s my own stab at predicting what 2023 will have in store: a true “end of history” moment.
Last September, the hacktivist group Guacamaya launched its largest cyberattack yet, targeting Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense, as well as government agencies in El Salvador, Colombia, Peru and Chile. But while the group seeks accountability, they’ve also brought to light massive vulnerabilities in state institutions.
The EU failed to agree to a bloc-wide policy to require pre-departure coronavirus testing for travelers entering from China, amid a new wave of COVID-19 infections there. France, Italy and Spain already require a negative test result for travelers from China, but the EU was unable to agree on a similar requirement.
Nowhere is the challenge of recovering from the pandemic and the fallout from the war in Ukraine more pressing than in Latin America, the region that was arguably the world’s hardest-hit during the “polycrisis.” For governments hoping they will be able to retake the ground lost in the past three years, the task looks gargantuan.
Afghan commandos who fled to Iran to escape the Taliban are now being recruited to fight alongside the Russian military in Ukraine. Tempted by high salaries and lacking stable incomes or other means of support for their families, many of these U.S.-trained fighters see joining the war effort in Ukraine as the least bad option.
When books are written and movies made about moments of extraordinary historical change, the narratives that take shape focus on acts of heroism. But not every citizen whose support a democracy needs to survive is a hero. There will also be quite a few people whose commitment to a cause—or moral compass—is shaky.
Articles about enforced disappearances fill the pages of Ugandan newspapers these days, with many of the victims opposition supporters. Though few doubt that Ugandan security forces are behind the abductions, uncertainty about what is driving them abounds. As a result, a sense of fear hangs over the streets of the capital.
The beginning of a new year always provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of the previous year. While 2022 doesn’t have a flagship event that resonates quite like some years in the recent past, it nonetheless featured or foreshadowed a number of trends and developments that will likely have an impact in 2023 and beyond.