Georgia's status as a post-Soviet democratic leader is under challenge. A flawed presidential election, use of force against protesters, and political manipulations have strained public confidence and brought mounting public protests. Domestic calm may hinge on improving political dialogue and conducting free and fair parliamentary elections next year.
After six months of escalating police violence and protester resistance, matters in Hong Kong have come to a head. What steps could the United States consider to reduce the prospect of a resurgence in violence?
Whatever fate awaits Hong Kong, recent trends leave little reason for optimism. It is becoming an increasingly violent and polarized place that might prompt Chinese military action, and the crisis has opened a new wound in U.S.–China relations. The best hope is that the recent election reminds all sides why Hong Kong is worth saving.
Where the original Arab Spring protests removed authoritarian leaders, the current demonstrators in Iraq and Lebanon are trying to topple popularly elected governments. This could have dramatic implications for the future of representative democracy in the Middle East.
As protests in Iraq grow, a “good news” narrative seems to be developing that they are a significant blow to Iranian influence. But the bigger story is not who is up and who is down between Washington and Tehran; it is that yet another Arab public has taken to the streets demanding change.
Blizzard-Activision recently found itself drawn into the political controversy surrounding the Hong Kong protests. The experience could serve as a warning for other companies that could find themselves plunged into crisis-management mode by world events.
Rebuilding trust between the residents of Hong Kong and their government will be an extremely difficult task. But with some reasonable compromises on both sides, Hong Kong has the opportunity to step back from the brink of disaster.
At a time when outside powers are calibrating how they respond to political transitions around the world, the divergent paths of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe illustrate their precariousness and offer lessons for how the international community can support democratization processes in Africa and beyond.
Forty years have passed since the Islamic Revolution. While Iran hasn't departed from its revolutionary roots, its foreign policy today is largely shaped by threat perceptions and interests, not ideology.
Economic hardship is fueling unrest in Iran. New sanctions stemming from the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal may exacerbate already difficult conditions. Now might be the time to exert maximum pressure on the regime in an effort to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table.
Strengthening the leadership role of the Communist Party and removing term limits for President Xi Jinping have raised fears about increasingly authoritarian Chinese politics. While repression may well increase, boosting the party’s influence also increases the chance of badly needed reforms concerning governance and the economy.