Pakistan’s New Government Struggles to Consolidate Control

Pakistan’s New Government Struggles to Consolidate Control

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

By: Cyril Almeida;  Colin Cookman;  Adnan Rafiq;  Tamanna Salikuddin;  Jumaina Siddiqui

Pakistan’s current government, an unwieldy multi-party coalition led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party, faced a new setback in July after losses in mid-month special elections for 20 constituencies in the country’s heartland province of Punjab. Although the PML-N coalition attempted to retain control of the provincial government through manuevers in the provincial assembly, a Supreme Court ruling on July 26 overturned earlier precedent and ordered the election of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, an ally of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, to the position of chief minister.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics

China’s Engagement in Latin America: Views from the Region

China’s Engagement in Latin America: Views from the Region

Monday, August 8, 2022

By: Henry Tugendhat;  Lucy Stevenson-Yang

China’s economic and political engagement in Latin America grew significantly in the first part of the 21st century. And yet, Latin American reporting on China has not grown apace. Too few Latin American journalists cover Chinese activities in the region and even fewer foreign correspondents from Latin America report on developments in China. This knowledge gap means journalists struggle to provide proper context for major trade and investment deals and are unprepared to investigate when scandals erupt. Latin American media outlets often lack the capacity or resources to cover foreign affairs in general, much less the geo-political repercussions of China-Latin American relations.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EconomicsGlobal Policy

One Year Later, Taliban Unable to Reverse Afghanistan’s Economic Decline

One Year Later, Taliban Unable to Reverse Afghanistan’s Economic Decline

Monday, August 8, 2022

By: William Byrd, Ph.D.

Afghanistan’s economy was already deteriorating before the Taliban takeover of the country on August 15, 2021, suffering from severe drought, the COVID-19 pandemic, declining confidence in the previous government, falling international military spending as U.S. and other foreign troops left, human and capital flight, and Taliban advances on the battlefield. Then came the abrupt cutoff of civilian and security aid (more than $8 billion per year, equivalent to 40% of Afghanistan’s GDP) immediately after the Taliban takeover. No country in the world could have absorbed such an enormous economic shock — exacerbated by sanctions, the freezing of Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves and foreign banks’ reluctance to do business with the country.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceEconomics

Philippines: Seizing the Opportunity Offered by the Bangsamoro Transition Extension

Philippines: Seizing the Opportunity Offered by the Bangsamoro Transition Extension

Friday, August 5, 2022

By: Mary Ann M. Arnado

On October 28, 2021, Rodrigo Duterte, then president of the Philippines, signed into law a three-year extension of the transition period of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The region’s first parliamentary elections are now scheduled for May 2025, alongside the national elections. In 2021, the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) actively campaigned for the extension of the transition period to provide more time for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and the Philippine government to fully implement and deliver the commitments they made in the 2014 peace agreement between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The agreement grants greater political autonomy to the southern Mindanao region.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

How Should the U.S. Respond to China’s ‘Global Security Initiative?’

How Should the U.S. Respond to China’s ‘Global Security Initiative?’

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Alex Stephenson

After Russia invaded Ukraine, some hoped that China would use its “no limits” partnership with Moscow and multifaceted relationship with Kyiv to help prevent the conflict from escalating. The European Union’s foreign policy chief pointed to China as the obvious mediator and some among China’s policy elite also called publicly on their government to play a proactive role in helping to resolve the war. One prominent American intellectual urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to seize his “Teddy Roosevelt Moment,” referring to Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize winning mediation of the 1905 Russia-Japan war. For its part, Beijing indicated it was prepared to help mediate but it would do so “in its own way.”

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

A Kenyan Peacebuilder Explains What’s at Stake in Her Country’s Elections

A Kenyan Peacebuilder Explains What’s at Stake in Her Country’s Elections

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: Nicoletta Barbera;  Amriya Issa

Kenyans head to the polls on August 9 to vote for president, members of the National Assembly and Senate, and County Leadership for the country’s 47 counties. Elections are an important moment for any country, but the stakes are particularly high ahead for Kenya of Tuesday’s polls. Election violence has been a major issue in previous elections, and there are fears that this vote could spur conflict. Kenya’s next government will face significant challenges. Like many countries in the region, Kenya is suffering from a severe drought, rising debt and inflation, with food prices soaring by 15 percent in the last year. With the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya’s stability is critical for the wider region.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceGender

What’s Behind Moqtada al-Sadr’s Bid to Shake up Iraq’s Politics?

What’s Behind Moqtada al-Sadr’s Bid to Shake up Iraq’s Politics?

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed

Over the weekend, followers of the powerful Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed and occupied Iraq’s parliament in protest over a rival bloc attempting to form a government. The move comes less than two months after al-Sadr’s bloc in parliament resigned after its failure to form a majoritarian government following its victory in the October 2021 elections. Nearly 10 months after those elections, there is still no new government and the stability of the country is at stake as this showdown between al-Sadr’s supporters and his political rivals continues to play out.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Solomon Islands: WWII Legacy Unresolved 80 Years After Guadalcanal Campaign

Solomon Islands: WWII Legacy Unresolved 80 Years After Guadalcanal Campaign

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: Brian Harding;  Camilla Pohle-Anderson

On August 7, the Solomon Islands will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Guadalcanal campaign during a visit from U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy, whose fathers both fought there in World War II. As the United States and its partners look to strengthen their relationships with the Solomon Islands, addressing the enduring legacies of WWII — particularly the issue of unexploded ordnance — should be a renewed focus.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyPeace Processes

A Fragile Ukraine Grain Deal Raises Cautions on Talks with Putin

A Fragile Ukraine Grain Deal Raises Cautions on Talks with Putin

Thursday, August 4, 2022

By: James Rupert

This week’s first exports of Ukrainian grain under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey are a joyous headline for Ukraine and the many countries where the global surge in grain prices has caused food shortages. The deal could reduce prices if shipments accelerate, but it is vulnerable, as Russia signaled days ago by slamming missiles into Ukraine’s biggest seaport hours after formally agreeing to let that port ship its grain stocks. This fragile deal offers cautions for policymakers pondering eventual negotiations with Moscow to help end the Ukraine war and rebuild security in Europe.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyPeace Processes