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.
Cities are not signing international treaties, nor do they have embassies around the world. But they can engage in all kinds of negotiations, reach agreements, and influence world politics. The State Department could tap into this power to enhance U.S. diplomacy, global image, and influence.
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.
While the U.S. government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, most presidential candidates and many states have proposed climate plans of their own. How might voters determine if any of these plans can seriously address climate change?
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.
The notion that sanctions are primarily responsible for the economic collapse in Zimbabwe is a useful fiction promoted by that country's authoritarian elite. In reality, the ruling party, in power for 39 years, has no one to blame but itself.
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.
What is it like to work in the White House during an impeachment? RAND's Ambassador James Dobbins was special assistant to the president on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton impeachment. Here, he shares insights on the experience.