THE BEST OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
April 17, 2015
Don’t blame NATO for Russia’s Behaviour
Did NATO doom relations with Russia by aggressively expanding into Eastern Europe after the Cold War? Stephen Sestanovich doesn't think so. On the contrary, "Washington was obsessively attentive to Moscow’s wounded self-regard" after the Soviet Collapse. From The American Interest.
April 16, 2015
Over the last decade, projects funded by the World Bank have physically or economically displaced an estimated 3.4 million people, according to an investigation by the ICIJ and the Huffington Post. This despite the fact that the World Bank has “safeguard” policies in place to prevent that exact thing from happening.
April 15, 2015
Inside the “informal” mining economy
Alongside the large-scale mining projects run by multinationals like Barrick and Rio Tinto in Peru is the illegal mining sector. By one estimate, there are 400,000 informal gold miners working in the country, and black-market gold has reportedly surpassed cocaine as the country’s biggest illegal export. From the New Yorker.
April 13, 2015
Modi’s formidable challenge
"Mr. Modi is the most polarizing mainstream politician in modern India," writes Iain Marlow in a profile of India's prime minister for the Globe and Mail. " Can Modi bring his country together by modernizing its economy? Or will sectarian strife and grinding poverty continue to impede its growth?
April 13, 2015
Where to draw the line?
After the First World War, the victors divided up the Middle East with little knowledge of the region’s people, geography and customs. Some of those "contrived" borders are now breaking down. But drawing new ones won't be easy and won't necessarily solve the region's problems. From the Wall Street Journal.
April 10, 2015
To engage or not to engage?
"Be it resolved the West should engage, not isolate Russia" is the resolution being debated at tonight's Munk Debate. The Globe and Mail's Mark MacKinnon posed questions to two of the debaters, journalist and author Vladimir Pozner on the pro side and chess great and pro-democracy advocate Garry Kasparov on the con side.
April 9, 2015
There’s more to Iran than its theocracy
Perhaps obvious to those familiar with the country, but an important point to remember: the Iranian regime and the Iranian people don't always see eye to eye: "With the exception of Israel, there is unlikely any other country in the Middle East where pro-Western sentiment is as pronounced as it is in Iran." From Der Spiegel.
April 8, 2015
Hard choices for the planet
Capitalism is good at growth. The world is richer, better educated and healthier because of it. But it is not so good for the planet. That growth has increased the demand for energy, pumping carbon into the atmosphere. So the question becomes, can we imagine a future that is cleaner and sustainable without sacrificing our standard of living? From The Guardian.
April 7, 2015
A feminist foreign policy
On the need for a feminist foreign policy: "Traditionally, foreign policy has been formulated and enacted by men, but as more women join diplomatic circles around the world, they bring their perspective and concern for women into their countries’ international stances and actions." From Quartz.
April 6, 2015
Spy vs State
Yehuda Gil was one of the most revered operatives in the Israeli intelligence community. He recruited and handled Israel's most valuable agent in the Arab world. Or did he? The intelligence he provided almost started a war with Syria, and Gil was eventually found guilty of espionage and theft in a secret trial. But in the secretive world of Mossad, little is clear. From the Atavist Magazine.
April 2, 2015
Choose your own escape
If you were fleeing Syria for Europe, how would you do it? This interactive from BBC News lets you choose. While the options are limited and the situations somewhat superficial, they are based on real stories and give the user a glimpse of what it must be like for a refugee when simple decisions can mean life or death.
April 2, 2015
Algeria’s Double Life
Algeria through the lens of writer Kamel Daoud: "The great theme of Daoud’s writing is the Algerian condition. To be Algerian, he argues, is to be 'schizophrenic,' torn between religious piety and liberal individualism." Unsurprisingly, he's a polarizing figure in his home country. From the New York Times Magazine.
April 1, 2015
The rise of Podemos
A year ago, many dismissed Spain's Podemos ("We Can" in Spanish) as an angry, anti-austerity party that would fade away within months. Now it leads the polls. The Guardian reports on the origins of the upstart party that wants to bring the spirit of Greece’s Syriza to the euro zone's fourth-largest economy.
March 31, 2015
Living (and staying) in Iran
A female reporter's reflections on her life Iran: "I've chosen the harder path. Which means: not running off to another world as soon as life gets tough. It means staying in your own country and engaging in its discourse... I stay because, as my mother never stopped repeating, I am my own woman, but also my own man." From Guernica.
March 30, 2015
Who is Xi Jinping?
Xi Jinping is one of the most important leaders in the world – perhaps the most important. But what kind of leader is he? This New Yorker profile paints the picture of a man who is both a reformer and authoritarian, struggling to save his party while developing his country at a key juncture in its modern history.