Argentines go to the polls on October 25 for what is shaping up to be one of the most important elections in years. Whoever wins — either this Sunday or in a likely November 22 runoff — will end the twelve-year Kirchner era. Who will tango their way into the Casa Rosada?
In this month's spotlight, we ask: what will be the outcome of Argentina's presidential elections?
Can Latin America maintain the momentum of the past decade's social transformations? The answer will depend on its ability to adopt innovative solutions to advance social progress. Considered the third arm of development by the World Bank, social entrepreneurship in Latin America has expanded dramatically in the past two decades and is today addressing societal problems that governments, civil society, and the private sector cannot effectively tackle.
The situation in this keystone Middle East state is catastrophic. More than 220,000 Syrians have died in its four-year civil war. More than 11 million Syrians — half the population — have fled their homes. Four million have taken refuge in nearby countries. Nearly double that number are displaced within Syria itself. The Islamic State occupies more than a third of Syria's territory and swathes of Iraq. Given this level of deprivation, mass murder and geopolitical risk in Syria, the response of the rest of the world has been woefully inadequate. The U.N. Security Council has been neither a peacemaker nor a pain reliever.
Through the magic of the Internet and sophisticated audiovisual technology, I chatted for 20 minutes with a young man in Tehran about the mood in society in anticipation of a historic nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other nations.
• A multinational joint task force consisting of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger has driven Boko Haram from key territorial strongholds in northeastern Nigeria; on June 18, the Chadian military conducted airstrikes against six Boko Haram bases in Nigeria
• But the terror group continues to launch deadly, near-daily attacks throughout the region—including on June 15 with twin suicide bombings in Chad—using guerrilla tactics rather than conventional warfare• Nigeria’s newly-inaugurated president, Muhammadu Buhari, has moved quickly to support regional counter-Boko Haram efforts, insisting on Nigerian leadership in the task force and pledging $100 million in financial support
• Despite the nascent successes of the joint task force, Islamic State gains in North Africa and, in particular, Libya, could impact the flow of weapons and fighters into Nigeria; Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March of this year.
Rousseff's official US trip comes in a period of domestic uncertainty—recession and corruption scandals are crippling her popularity and power. The rapprochement is a byproduct of Brazil's foreign policy aligning with domestic policy: she needs to change Brazil's—and her—negative narrative to a positive one. While Workers' Party (PT) stalwarts remain skeptical of closer relations with the United States, today it represents one of the most important roads back toward renewed growth of the Brazilian economy. For the United States, this presents a unique opportunity to inject new life into the bilateral relationship. (A full Arsht Center report on the bilateral agenda, US-Brazil Relations: A New Beginning? How to Strengthen the Bilateral Agenda, will be released on June 19.).