WPR is taking a hiatus from publishing this week, as we do every August. Our briefings, columns, interviews and other series will return Tuesday, Sept. 6. While we're gone, we thought we'd leave you with a few key articles from our archives that should help you better understand current issues and events.
The Turks have not been so actively involved in the Middle East since the days of the Ottoman Empire. But Turkey's leaders have found it difficult to balance the region's competing interests while staying above the fray. With protests continuing in Syria, Turkey's closest neighbor, Damascus is where Ankara's regional role will either be made or broken. Syria is the litmus test of Turkey's future role in the new Middle East.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has had a rocky seven months in office. Having already shuffled her cabinet three times, twice due to corruption scandals, Rousseff is now facing a brewing controversy in the Tourism Ministry that has the potential to force a fourth cabinet change. One might expect the shaky start to undermine Rousseff's credibility, but so far she has managed to weather the storm.
Last week, the Islamist group Boko Haram attacked the U.N.'s headquarters in the country. Earlier this summer, theybombed Nigeria's police headquarters in Abuja, killing six. In an email interview, Jennifer Giroux, a senior researcher at the Crisis and Risk Network at ETH Zurich, discussed Nigeria's rebel groups.
For Nepal's largely impoverished population of 25 million, which lives in a territory the size of Florida, a bloody decade of people's war has since 2006 given way to "peace." Yet to call the situation in Nepal peace is appropriate only if one believes that Lebanon with Hezbollah and Gaza with Hamas are also at peace. In reality, war continues using other means.
With the exception of Raphael Lemkin's efforts that resulted in the 1948 Genocide Convention, no idea has moved faster than the responsibility to protect in the international normative arena. "A blink of the eye in the history of ideas," concluded Gareth Evans, former Australian foreign minister and past president of the International Crisis Group. What happened to the sacrosanct principle of state sovereignty?
Photo: Beach reading (photo by Flickr user chintermeyer, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic agreement).