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Political Analysis

  • Poland Under Fire: What the Missile Crisis Teaches Us About NATO’s Response and the Containment of the Ukraine Conflict
    On Tuesday, November 15, Poland reported two missile strikes against the town of Przewodów, located 6 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border. The strike resulted in two civilian casualties. While Russia was initially suspected, it has since been confirmed that the missiles were fired by Ukrainian air defenses against an incoming Russian missile. Regardless of the missile’s origin, we have never been closer to the risk of a global war since the start of the Ukrainian conflict.
  • Political Theater at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
    Held from October 16 to 22, China’s 20th Party Congress was a series of political spectacles. President Xi Jinping cemented his status as Paramount-Leader-For-Life, after being confirmed as General Secretary for an unprecedented third consecutive term. This not only broke the two-term limit established four decades ago by Deng Xiaoping, but also made Xi  the first Chinese leader to rule for more than two consecutive terms since Chairman Mao. Xi ushered in a new guard to helm the Politburo Standing Committee, all promoted based on their personal loyalty, and ensured the systematic removal of any factional opposition within the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Most publicized of all was the political farce that played out as former President Hu Jintao was physically removed during the closing ceremony  before the new leadership was announced, in front of a baffled audience of foreign media outlets and journalists.  The show of force and shift in new leadership firmly established Xi’s undisputed control over party and country, making the entire week-long affair seem less about confirming political appointments, and more of a coronation ceremony for Xi.
  • On Iran’s Ambitions, Gulf States and the US Keep Passing the Buck
    Much of the Middle East is facing a crisis of indecision on Iran. Despite extensive reporting on Iran’s expansionist ambitions, the Islamic Republic has been making bold demands with the expectation of both Western and Arab acquiescence. Iranian proxy footholds have long eroded the sovereignties of sectarian states. Regional tensions have further deepened due to Tehran’s insistence that a renewed nuclear agreement must preclude the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate undisclosed uranium enrichment facilities.
  • Faced with Europe’s Increasing Swing to the Right, EU President Ursula von der Leyen Takes Confrontational Tone
    As Italy’s recent election of a far-right leader revives memories of a not-so-distant authoritarian age, European leaders last month invoked history of another kind in Athens at the 10th annual Democracy Forum. 
  • Beijing – The Next Target of US Sanctions?
    Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has animated the use of economic sanctions in an unprecedented way. Strenuous US-China relations, exacerbated by Nancy Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan, raise the question of whether Washington would impose similar measures on Beijing in the face of a military invasion of Taiwan.
  • A Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis?
    On August 4, 2022, the day following the official state visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) responded by conducting the largest military exercises ever staged by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Taiwan Strait.
  • NATO Expansion is Still an Option
    After weeks of fighting in Ukraine, reports surfaced in the beginning of April that Finland and Sweden were making serious moves to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • Russia’s Decision to Invade Ukraine and Theories of International Relations
    This article looks at only two specific sets of international relations theories, with the aim of explaining what led to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • 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.
  • Impact of the U.S.-China Trade War and China’s Policy Responses
    Since China’s accession to the WTO, trade between China and the U.S. has been increasing over time.
  • A New Hope for an Impoverished African Nation?
    Like many other African nations, Zambia has had its toil with corruption.
  • What Does the Abraham Accord Mean for India?
    On August 13, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced normalization of their relations. This deal, known as the Abraham Accord, was brokered by United…
  • COVID-19 Presents Challenges for Religious Expression in the U.S.
    Religious institutions across the U.S. are filing lawsuits against their state and local governments, arguing that the social distancing rules meant to slow the spread…
  • Panic in Morocco is Not (Only) Coronavirus Related
    The lives of thousands of men in Morocco have been turned upside down. Vulnerability, exposure and fear are some of the words that express how…
  • Activists Work to Keep Young Immigrant Dreams Alive
    Itzel Hernandez, 26, came to the United States when she was ten years old. In 1994, she and her mother made their way from Puebla,…
  • Is Lebanon Headed to More Secular Politics?
    Before the inception of the Lebanese republic, the Lebanese political system functioned as a multi-confessional system where power has been allocated to different religious communities.…
  • The Uniting Power of Trump’s Immigration Policies
    Since the 2016 U.S. election, the Trump administration has tried to keep its campaign promises by making refugee entry into the U.S. as difficult as…
  • Japan sends mixed signals as they push for ‘World Free of Nuclear Weapons’
    Japan faces a moral conundrum in its stance towards nuclear weapons. As the only country ever to experience the atrocities of the atomic bomb, it…
  • Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Problem
    As the oldest political revivalist group in the Islamic world—and one of the most polarizing—the Muslim Brotherhood has the disputed status throughout the region as…
  • New Developments on the Stagnant Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
    Photo courtesy Office of the NKR President Bako Sahakyan, the president of a mountainous Central Asian de facto state roughly the size of Rhode Island,…
  • Why Do Cease-Fire Agreements Mediated by Third Parties Fail?
    The remains of a market in Maarat al-Noaman, in Syria’s northern province of Idlib, after an airstrike Tuesday. Dozens of people were reported killed. |…
  • At the United Nations and at Home, a Push to Recognize Puerto Rico’s Right to Self-determination
    Taken by the author at “Unidos against PROMESA,” a protest that took place on the day that the federally appointed fiscal board was scheduled to…
  • Despite Opposition, LGBT Rights to Take Center Stage at the UNGA
    Vitit Muntarbhorn, independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations, speaking at a press conference in 2014. Photo courtesy: UN /…
  • Trump Leaves the Neighborhood Bloc Party
    The United States may not keep its neighbors behind an iron curtain, but it has certainly asserted regional dominance over the past century. The United…
  • What Robert Bork’s Legacy Means for the Trump Administration
    Brace yourself: Robert Bork is about to become very relevant again. The name Robert Bork is familiar to most politicos, and his story serves as…
  • Turkish Women’s Rights Struggle During State of Emergency
    A week ago the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, began a referendum campaign to support a bill that could transform the country’s parliamentary system into…
  • Local Leaders Resist Trump Immigration Order
    President Trump issued executive orders on Wednesday to construct a border wall with Mexico and increase efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. The Trump…
  • Surge in US Citizenship Applications as Immigrants Demand the Vote
    Students nestle into desks in a crowded classroom at elementary school PS 69 in the Jackson Heights, neighborhood of Queens, New York. But it is…
  • Governments at the Table, NGOs on the Sidelines
    It took four years to break the logjam, but in July, the Committee to Protect Journalists cut through opposition from the UN’s NGO Committee and…
  • Caught between two goals: Turkey’s Conflicting Quest for Sustainability and Economic Development
      Turkey has a long history of trying to stimulate its economy and protect fledgling industries through large-scale development strategies. A new 5-year plan is…
  • Who is Britain’s new Prime Minister?
    Before Theresa May entered 10 Downing Street as Britain’s new Prime Minister on July 13, she spoke of her commitment to making a success of…
  • Western Women in ISIS: Naïve Victims, or Violent Terrorists?
    “It was a really hard life.” Said by a shaken 16-year-old named Marilyn Nevalainen, these words represent a girl’s realization about life under ISIS rule.…
  • One in Three Native American Women Report Rape – Rarely See Justice
    In April, Joseph Dean Lee was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for sexually assaulting a Native American woman on the Fort Peck Reservation…
  • Two years after Maidan, has Ukraine forgotten about LGBT reform?
    The Equality Festival, a two-day celebration to promote tolerance and equality for social groups in the western city of Lviv, Ukraine, should have taken place…
  • Russia’s exit from Syria: Mission unaccomplished?
    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on March 14 that he would begin to remove his troops from Syria, claiming that he had achieved all of…
  • Jacob Zuma avoids impeachment, but is South Africa any closer to political stability?
    On Tuesday April 5, a motion to impeach the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was rejected by parliament for the second time this year.…
  • Russia’s NGO law leaves environmental activists in troubled waters
    Jennie Sutton had nearly given up hope. Would Baikal Ecological Wave, the environmental nonprofit she helped start 25 years ago, manage to raise 300,000 rubles…
  • Myanmar elects new president but full democracy’s yet to come
    On April 1, Myanmar’s new President, Htin Kyaw, will take his post in office and usher in a new era in the country’s politics. His…
  • Should they stay or should they go: Brits clash over Brexit
    On June 23, Britons will have to take a stand on the United Kingdom’s potential exit from the EU. Just over three months from now,…
  • Paris Attacks: A new era in French politics?
    Numbers remain uncertain and suspects are still being apprehended, but one thing is clear, France, and people around the world, are in shock. The terrorist…
  • A Mediterranean-Style Crisis for the Andaman Sea?
    On the 11th floor of an apartment building on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, four Rohingya men sat down to celebrate the end of the…
  • Catalan secessionism wins the election—but not in votes
    Pro-independence parties in Catalonia won the regional elections on Sunday—elections that registered a historic high turnout of 77.4 percent. But secessionist parties didn’t get the…
  • Immunity for sexual abuses by UN Peacekeepers?
    His blue helmet indicated his mission was to protect, but Amnesty International reported that the U.N. peacekeeper dragged a 12-year-old girl out of her house…
  • Volkswagen emissions scandal dampens automotive industry credibility
    Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn turned in his resignation on Wednesday in the wake of a growing scandal over falsified emissions tests in the United States.…
  • The implications of “oxi” in Greece’s future.
    Greece has been remarkably calm. Syntagma Square, the main square facing the parliament building, has not been full of protesters in weeks. The upscale hotels…
  • France under Marine
    Arrogant. Snob. Elitist. These are three words that are often used to describe the French. Clearly negative, they do not have the same meaning however…
  • In Spain Of Thrones, Catalonia is playing dead
    For the first time in five years, the growing mass in favor of an independence process for Catalonia, the northeast and richest region in Spain,…
  • Arrested Development: The “new capital” in Egypt
    The most recent economic conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, was a grand spectacle. Not so much because of the fanfare, well-decorated conference centers or…
  • Flying Through the Fog of War
    The Legal Debate on the U.S. Drone Program and Why it Matters to U.S. Interests On Thursday, the White House released a statement disclosing that…
  • The Detention of Anwar Might Be PM Najib’s Undoing
    On February 10, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was imprisoned on charges of sodomy, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. This…
  • Putin’s Latest Oblast: A Constructivist Perspective
    Vladimir Putin’s decision to support a referendum in order to annex Crimea has sent a clear message to the international community: there is no set…
  • Theorizing a Role for Public Media in American Society in the 21st Century
    Public media in the United States, as we know it today, exists almost as if it were a relic from another era of American life,…
  • Global Zero: Life without the Bomb?
    Nuclear weapons: the single most awesome form of energy ever harnessed by mankind can be controlled and condensed into a metal capsule, capable, nay, designed…
  • Mali and the Sahel
    [Originally posted here] “You want to cut hands? Here are two! Cut them!” So dares a fishmonger to the occupiers of her hometown, theatrically presenting…
  • Kids on the Front Lines
    [Originally posted here] Because of manpower shortages, the Syrian conflict has given rise to yet another distressing phenomenon: child soldiers. Although all factions in the…
  • 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…
  • A Middle Eastern Marshall Plan
    Rich nations should provide funds to help integrate Syrian refugees into their host countries. [Originally posted here] By Paul Mutter As violence in Iraq wages…
  • Europe Contributors
    Are you interested in European affairs? JPI is expanding and in addition to the Journal, published twice a year, we are now accepting contributions for…