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.
Activist groups in South Korea are seeking improvements in the balloons they use to carry political, religious, and humanitarian materials across the border into North Korea. Balloon delivery techniques have evolved and some have started using hexacopter drones. How effective are these methods?
As the unrest that began in Iran on Dec. 28 begins to wane following a crackdown, it is difficult to assess what may come next. But this is not the first time Iranians have come out on the streets to protest and challenge authoritarian rule, nor will it be the last; the Iranian people have a long history of seeking a democratic political order.
Iran has spent billions of dollars in its quest to be a regional leader, but its main achievement has been to spark instability across a wide swath of the Middle East. Ordinary Iranians are struggling and protesters are urging a retreat from costly foreign fights and more aid at home.
It's too early to say whether the Arab Spring will turn out to be a success or not. The Arab Spring was about people deciding what they did not want and rising up against it, but they hadn't worked out what they did want. Many of them still have hope.
This study explores the factors that lead to a political leader in Afghanistan being defined as "good," "strong," or "popular" -- as well as what needs to be done to improve political leadership for future generations.
It is time for the United States to step in and take the lead on the crucial process of reconciling the Sunnis with their government in order to bolster the tactical fight against ISIL and to ensure Iraq does not further destabilize.
Tunisia has not unraveled into civil war like Syria or Libya. It has not undergone a counter-revolution that returned it to the autocracy of its pre-revolution days, like Egypt has. Tunisia is fragile, but its success is vital to the long-term stability and societal health of the Middle East.
From the indignant graffiti scrawled on walls across Tunis to the war-torn neighborhoods of Damascus and Tripoli, the region and the world's hopes of establishing peace and democracy have largely faded.
The lessons from the nearly 200 insurgencies that have taken place since World War II suggest that Russian aid probably will fail to turn the tide in Syria. The Assad regime still faces serious challenges, not the least of which is a lack of legitimacy among the Syrian people.
In Tunisia, healthy disagreement between political parties has fostered some real change since the 2011 uprisings and throughout the course of the transition, but the persistent power-sharing dynamics in play aren't advancing democracy.
Georgia is poised to make big changes to reinvigorate its democracy and economy, but it needs support to deter risks and advance progress. With one-fifth of its territory occupied by Russia and facing risks every day, Georgia needs more Western aid, including military training, technology, and defensive arms.