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Op-Ed

  • Largest Climate Bill in U.S. History Is a Start, but Is It Enough?
    Met with an enthusiastic round of applause and cheers, US President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law on Aug. 16, 2022. In his address to the American people, Biden triumphantly said the IRA–a bill dedicated to fighting climate change and reducing fossil fuel emissions in a way that will also lower inflation–is one of the most significant laws in American history.
  • Jeff Bezos: Billionaire, Philanthropist, Greenwasher?
    The 27th UN Conference on Climate Change, COP27, saw a pronouncement from French President Emmanuel Macron that the Bezos Earth Fund had pledged $1 billion to protect carbon reserves and biodiversity. With such a prominent pledge, many have begun to ask, what is the Earth Fund, and where is it situated in the architecture of global environmental governance? Non-state actors are not new to the area, with NGOs and activists becoming increasingly prominent at these international conferences. But philanthropic groups like the Bezos Earth Fund are comparatively new. While they may be able to bring large amounts of money to the table, these actors raise concerns about legitimacy and the power of wealthy individuals like Jeff Bezos. As a result, the fund and its plans are worth a closer look.
  • Power Politics in the Arctic: China and India
    The melting of the glaciers is changing geopolitical arrangements. In the Arctic, global warming is opening opportunities for the allocation of needed resources even to non-Arctic states. The region is indeed opening up to new power dynamics and competition as states propel their economic, military, and political claims. New powers, such as China and India, have joined the resources race; but what can they really gain from the frozen Arctic lands? And how will this affect the regional and global balance of power?
  • An Evening for Salman Rushdie
    It has been almost three months since the British-American writer and faculty member of NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage during a literary event in New York by Hadi Matar at the Chautauqua Institution. On October 14th, 2022, I virtually joined an event, An Evening for Salman Rushdie, organized by PEN International at the British Library to celebrate his strength and dedication as a writer and a champion of free expression. In a way, it was also an evening of reflection. As horrifying as the assault on Rushdie was, it was 33 years in the making. Upon the Satanic Verses publication, protests broke out in India, the novel was banned, and footage of book burnings was widely broadcast around the world. Above all, a fatwa was issued against Rushdie by the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini which sent him into hiding.
  • China’s Party Congress and the End of Political Competition
    When the Chinese Communist Party’s National Congress concludes, it is a ripe time for many observers of Chinese politics to look at the new set of appointments and get a sense of the direction in which the country might be headed. Backgrounds of leaders elected to the Politburo Standing Committee (the highest decision-making body in the party) or the Politburo (the second-highest decision-making body) are revealed at the end of the Party Congress, and they would stay in power for the next five years. In Leninist-Marxist regimes, these leaders–who have historically been mostly men– are the living embodiment of the ‘five-year plans’ that rule planned economies. 
  • Can Sensationalism Save the Planet?
    In the last few weeks, climate activism groups have filled the news, social media, and online conversations after a series of art attacks. Last week, demonstrators from the Letzter Generation (Last Generation), a German group, threw mashed potatoes on a Monet painting in Potsdam, Germany. At the same time, Just Stop Oil advocates, a UK based group rapidly expanding in Europe, pied a statue of King Charles in Central London and glued themselves to Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painting in The Hague. These events seem to be increasing in frequency lately, certainly due to a culture based on meme imitations and sensationalism. However, they also appear to create even more polarization than the US midterms or the roulette of British PMs.
  • Can the UN Security Council be Reformed?
    As Putin’s rhetoric and violence continues to increase, and accusations of war crimes mount against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many around the world are wondering why Russia can’t simply be dismissed from the UN Security Council or at least blocked from voting. In February 2022 Russia Vetoed several Security Council decisions regarding the invasion. Since then,there has been discussion of UN Security Council reform as it has been well established that Putin’s military operation violates the UN Charter on many levels.
  • The Paradox of Post-Colonialism in Hong Kong
    On September 16, I watched as Hong Kongers lined up for hours outside the British Consulate in Admiralty, the city’s eastern central business district, to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II. A colossal bed of flowers and pictures of the queen were gradually built up against the consulate walls—it may have been one of the greatest displays of affection for the late monarch witnessed outside the UK. 
  • Putin May Not be Crazy
    Although the barrage of news coverage surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war tends to describe the conflict as “unprecedented” and “with no historical parallel,” the underlying interests and tensions that drove Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine are by no means new.
  • The Inevitable War: Putin’s Obsession with Ukraine
    As the world continues to watch in horror the war crimes committed by Russia, various narratives have emerged to explain the current conflict. In this article, the Russian narrative will be the focus.
  • Hezbollah After Syria: More Lethal, Less Domestic Support
    This February, Arab Gulf states engaged in talks with Lebanon, spearheaded by Kuwait’s peace plan in an attempt to repair relations with the country.
  • The Pandora Papers: Why You Should Care
    Dubbed the ‘Pandora Papers,’ this collection included documents, images, emails, and spreadsheets that totaled around 2.9 terabytes of data.
  • Will China Become the New Middle East Power Broker?
    As the United States draws down its presence in the Middle East, many in the international community are wondering what actor might step in to fill the supposed power vacuum that will be left in place of the region’s main security broker.
  • The Regulatory Crackdown: Xi’s Reforms Miss the Mark
    The prospect of China’s superstar real estate giant, Evergrande Group, defaulting on an offshore coupon payment of $84 million sent panic waves across the global investing community.
  • Getting Your Favorite Chocolate May Come at a Price
    Although fruits and vegetables are great for our health, sometimes we crave foods that will satisfy our sweet tooth. For many, that means chocolate. Chocolate…
  • For Developing Countries, Desire to Grow Overpowers Climate Change Activism
    Climate change activism tends to advocate for changes in individual lifestyles as a solution for global heating.
  • COVID-19 Reaches the Gig Economy
    One of the first things I did when I moved to New York was sign up for Wag, an app-based dog-walking service. I love both…
  • Iran May Be Disappointed When China’s Commitment is Tested
    In his spare time, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif likes reminding his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Iran is finally ready to take on…
  • The Global Community Has Finally Agreed On Something, But It’s Not World Peace
    In a world where each nation’s values are so incredibly diverse, one value that most countries agree on—now more than ever—is that of domestic security.…
  • Tackling Corruption is the Best Way to Save Iraq
    In 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that IS was defeated in Iraq. Without IS holding it back, Iraq would have been on the…
  • Theresa May’s Long Charade
    Theresa May has effectively resigned, putting an end to her long struggle to bring about Brexit. Finally, she has tried to compromise with fellow Tories…
  • Bashir is gone, transitional military is in power. But only women can make change
    Three decades of dictatorship, gone. Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, rejoiced on April 11th as Omar Al-Bashir was forced out of office. The Sudanese people have never…
  • Notre Double Standard de Paris
    Public, palpable, and universal grief erupted in mid-April.  A tragic fire in Paris shook hearts around the world. The people of Paris took to the…
  • Tech Industry Growth is Manifesting in Right-Wing Extremism
    The global outpourings of grief, shock, and solidarity were not the only significant outcomes of Christchurch shooting in New Zealand last month. The tragedy also…
  • Democracies are in decline, and our educational institutions are to blame
    The rise of right-wing populism has sparked the demise of democracies across the globe. Whilst this may be true, frankly, our outdated, 20th century educational…
  • Arrests in Marielle Franco’s Death a Blow to Bolsonaro’s Brazil, a Step Towards the Accountability She Fought For
    Two ex-police officers were arrested in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday in connection with former Brazilian Councilwoman Marielle Franco’s death, a monumental step toward justice…
  • A Case against Military Intervention in Iran
    The Trump administration defines Iran as one of its top foreign policy threats. This is mainly due to Iran’s support of proxies in conflicts such…
  • Under Different Kinds of Attacks: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
    The camp in Dalhamiyeh is among hundreds of informal clusters of Syrian refugee tents in the Bekaa Valley | Photo courtesy Dylan Collins/Al Jazeera When…
  • Unfazed by Critics, the Crown Prince Reigns
    Prince Mohammed Bin Salman | Photo courtesy Saudi Press Agency On September 26, 2017—led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman—Saudi Arabia issued a Royal Decree…
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Arts and Culture
    Photo courtesy: Clip Art A year and 375 meetings later, CreateNYC prepares to release a report on feedback from arts and culture creatives, activists, advocates,…
  • The Authority to not Compromise: The New Turkish Constitution
    In December 2016, Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, together with the ultranationalist MHP party launched a proposal to amend the Turkish constitution. These parties sought…
  • Africa, Don’t Abandon Your Last Colony
    Recently, in a glossy conference hall in the Ethiopian capital, a king spoke about his change of heart.  The king, Mohammed VI of Morocco, was…
  • Reconciling Ideology: In Between NYC and Nowhere
    The majority of Russian-Americans were thrilled by Trump’s familiar rhetoric, isolationism, and friendly view of Russia and Putin, and they were equally delighted when he…
  • BLOCKED Muslim Ban 2.0
    The author, Ionut Gitan, with his makeshift sign at JFK airport, snapped by a photographer at New York Times | Photo courtesy Victor J. Blue/NYT…
  • Serbia and Kosovo are Pluming Their War Feathers
    Photo taken in Kosovska-Mitrovica (where the train was being sent). Translated from Russian it means Kosovska Mitrovica: Kosovo is Serbian; Crimea is Russian. | Photo…
  • The Contested US Intelligence Community: Why Limiting its Role Would be a Blunder
    On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, in an event unforeseen by the US intelligence community. Yet, as we commemorate Pearl…
  • Lebanon’s Confessionalism is a Bulwark Against Democracy
    Two years, six months, and eight days. That was the amount of time needed for the Lebanese parliament to elect a new president. On October…
  • The Case for Donald J. Trump
    In a final installment of JPI’s 2016 election coverage, we bring you two articles, with each writer arguing why their candidate should be elected President…
  • The Case for Hillary Clinton
    In a final installment of JPI’s 2016 election coverage, we bring you two articles, with each writer arguing why their candidate should be elected President…
  • The Hazards of Hillary
    At the Democratic Party’s convention this past summer, Hillary Clinton recited the words of John Wesley—the 17th century founder of her Christian Methodist denomination—during her…
  • Kent State Massacre’s Twin: 40 Years Later and 8000 Miles Away, Why Don’t We Care?
    On June 7, Papua New Guinea’s police opened fire on university students who were peacefully protesting against government corruption. Initial reports stated that four students…
  • Obligatory democracy is no democracy at all
    When asked to govern themselves, it appears most Americans would rather do other things. Local elections rarely pull more than 30 percent of constituents to…
  • Trump’s Misguided Torture Plan
    “We can’t do waterboarding, and they can chop off our heads,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said during a CNN interview in March in response…
  • Jeb Bush, Super PAC-Man
    It was an unbelievable, record-setting amount of money. In the first six months of 2015, the super PAC behind Jeb Bush’s presidential run, Right to…
  • Looking back in anger: The dangers of Ukraine’s decommunization laws
    Ukrainian workers began in mid-March the process of dismantling the country’s largest statue of communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. It took them two days to complete…
  • Obama in Cuba: The Eagle Has Landed?
    In Havana, legend has it that a great symbol of US imperialism was defaced in January of 1961. Designed in 1925 to commemorate the U.S.…
  • Sharing is caring: Why America needs a single-payer healthcare system
    [A version of this article was previously published here] Americans think that a simple doctor’s visit in Britain means waiting in a Soviet-style bread line.…
  • The UN imposed the harshest sanctions in history against North Korea—what now?
    On March 2nd, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose the harshest sanctions on North Korea in nearly two decades in a multilateral effort…
  • Border Protection, but at What Cost? Lessons learned from Australia’s tough anti-refugee policies.
    In August 2001, a Norwegian freight ship carrying 438 refugees attempted to cross Australian waters. The ship’s captain, who rescued the refugees after their boat…
  • So you want to move to Canada, eh?
    Well, well, well. How the tables have turned. It was only last month that I was still getting a constant barrage of “You’re Canadian?! That’s…
  • Peace in Syria? Don’t Hold Your Breath
    On Feb. 11 news broke of a potential breakthrough in the Syrian Civil War. Russian-backed pro-Assad forces and an umbrella group of U.S.-backed anti-regime rebels…
  • Sellouts and back stabbers: The nasty game of political endorsements
    After Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday victory, a new game of political calculation is beginning. As the days tick by till there’s a new decider in…
  • Zika Virus: A Global Cry for Help
    There’s a lot we don’t know about the Zika Virus. Every media outlet reporting on the pandemic that has ravaged the Americas over the last…
  • What criminal justice can teach us about the primaries
    Power is always partially underwritten by popularity, but modern democracies make the relationship official and exclusive. Popularity is the only widely accepted basis for authority,…
  • After natural catastrophes, aid mismanagement leads to civil unrest
    More than 9,000 people were killed in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal on April 25, 2015. Four days later, nearly 200 Nepali villagers…
  • Ethnic violence in Myanmar tampers promises of democracy
    Since the military junta stepped down in 2011, Myanmar began a sustained process of political transformation. President Thein Sein’s administration has paved the way for…
  • What the sponsors of the Global Citizen Conference forgot to mention
    60,000 fans waved their smartphones in the air as Beyoncé joined Eddie Vedder to close the Global Citizen Conference last weekend in New York with…
  • Social Enterprises Offer a New Approach to International Development
    In a world that has created a division between the rich and poor, there are people searching for answers on how to even the playing…
  • How your favorite chocolate is killing orangutans in Malaysia—and what you can do to avoid it.
    When France’s ecology minister Ségolène Royal implored the world to stop eating Nutella this week, she became the most prominent Western politician to join the…
  • Lee Kuan Yew’s Last Gift to Taiwan: Funeral Diplomacy and the Future of Singapore-Taiwan Relations
    Even in his death, Lee Kuan Yew, the late Singaporean Prime Minister, has given Taiwan one last gift: the reaffirmation of Taiwan-Singapore relations in an…
  • Time Is Running Out for Korean Families Torn Apart by War
    “Do you remember all the stories and information I have told you about my parents and siblings in the North? Do never forget and please…
  • Is Israel on the Brink of a Financial Crisis?
    [A version of this was originally posted here] Along with highly publicized remarks on the turnout of Arab Israeli voters and his support for a…
  • The US Needs To Set Clear Cybersecurity Standards
    In February, the Obama Administration unveiled its latest National Security Strategy, and to no surprise, cyber threats are prominent on the list of concerns. The…
  • From Havana, With Love
    [A version of this was originally posted here] “Hello, happy holidays!” On the cobblestone streets that skirt Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza de Armas,…
  • Aung San Suu Kyi Won’t Speak Up for This Human Rights Abuse
      She is the consummate activist for democracy and freedom, but she remains silent on a major human rights violation against the Rohingya minority in…
  • Why Is Israel Losing the Public Relations War
    [A version of this originally appeared here] Israel is losing the global PR war, reveals a poll published by the BBC World Service in 2014.…
  • Buhari Victory: What it Means for Nigeria
    It is official. The people of Nigeria have spoken and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari has won the Nigerian presidential election. Buhari will take over…
  • Libya: The Islamic State’s Pivot Point
    [This was originally published here] Thanks to Allah who kept us alive to see the dawn of the Caliphate state reemerge… And Allah’s blessing upon Libya…
  • Ukraine Troll Armies
    [Originally posted here] The Ukrainian government, in an attempt to counter the narrative of the Russian-backed rebels, announced last month that it would be recruiting…
  • Power to the Oppressor: The Venezuelan-Security Council Paradox
    Tens of thousands of Venezuelan students took to the streets of Caracas to peacefully protest against an inefficient government in February 2014. Shortage of food…
  • How the Republicans Might Have Accidentally Helped Obama Get Closer to a Deal with Iran
    After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu’s March 3 address to Congress without an invitation from the executive branch, 47 Republican senators circumvented the White House…
  • Trouble in Paradise: The Island President Under Attack
      The Maldives archipelago inspires images of pristine blue water, white sandy beaches and palm trees. Yet on February 23, a very different image populated…
  • Time for India to Take Down Dawood Ibrahim
    [Originally posted here] Dawood Ibrahim is perhaps the most notorious “underworld don” in South Asia, involved in everything from supporting terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and…
  • Venezuela’s Maduro must take the first step toward admitting that he has a problem
    [Originally posted here] There is a common theme among leaders of oppressive regimes around the world — a rhetorical assertion that the United States is…
  • Latin America: A Culture of Violence?
    [Originally posted here in collaboration with Jorge de Cardenas] On April 17, 2014, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its 2013 Global…
  • South Asia: Battle Ground Between ISIS & al-Qaeda
    [Originally posted here] Since the video statement by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri on September 3 announcing al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, South Asia has…
  • Boko Haram: What Are We Doing?
    Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based terrorist network, has wreaked havoc in West Africa since its reemergence in 2009. The group gained international notoriety for its kidnapping…
  • The Fate of Badawi
    [Originally posted here] With Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud laid to rest on Friday, a first test the direction the kingdom could…