The world is in the throes of a nearly decade-long global democratic recession. Democratic breakdowns in strategically important countries like Russia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Venezuela are cause for serious concern, as are reversals in Turkey and Hungary. Using a combination of repression and noncoercive tools, governments are shutting down space for civil society around the world. Is Authoritarianism Staging A Comeback? offers answers to why authoritarianism is gaining on democracy—and what the international community can do about it.
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But this week, just as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was taking up sensitive Iran-related legislation, Russia announced that it was going forward with an old contract to sell Iran an air defense missile system that could make it less vulnerable to foreign attack.
The talks have already achieved something tangible and rare: The United States and Iran are talking again, after decades of a bitter divorce and near total isolation from each other.
In Setting the Stage for Peace in Syria: The Case for a Syrian National Stabilization Force, Frederic C. Hof of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Bassma Kodmani of the Arab Reform Initiative, and Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute, present a new way forward—a sort of train-and-equip on steroids—the Syrian National Stabilization Force (SNSF).
In this month’s Spotlight, we ask: What will be the top headlines at the VII Summit of the Americas?The Summit of the Americas on April 10-11 is generating an unprecedented amount of attention, thanks in large part to the dramatic changes in the US-Cuba relationship. Though historic, the novelty of seeing Cuban President Raúl Castro and US President Barack Obama at the same table is sure to wear off after the first photo, and the region's attention will quickly turn to other pressing matters.
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After 36 years of mutual demonization, proxy wars and occasional direct conflict, the two old adversaries, joined by negotiators from other major world powers, agreed in Lausanne, Switzerland on a framework for a long-term deal curbing Iran's nuclear program and potentially doing much more.