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First move toward completely renewable energy system

First move toward completely renewable energy system

Most people have never heard of El Hierro, westernmost of the Spanish-controlled Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. But this tiny outpost, population 10,000, may well become a model for larger communities and countries seeking energy independence.

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Unlikely allies combat ISIS

Unlikely allies combat ISIS

The US-backed fight against ISIS in Iraq is gathering some unlikely allies, including a guerrilla force the State Dept. has labeled a terrorist organization. But when it comes to repelling the deadly insurgence of ISIS, is the enemy of the United States’ enemy its friend?

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Censorship alive and well in China

Censorship alive and well in China

As open as China has become in some ways (as it would like the rest of the world to think it has become), it continues to keep a tight lid on its citizens use of the Internet and media. In 2011, a 22-year-old Chinese reporter named Kang Xia launched a …

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Libya: Trying to establish order amid chaos

Libya: Trying to establish order amid chaos

While no road to democracy is smooth, Libya has seen its fair share of upheaval since the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 helped bust open the Arab Spring. Discord has escalated in the last month, threatening rule of law and the transitional government’s legitimacy.
Let’s go back to May 4, …

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Erdogan stays in control – for now

Erdogan stays in control – for now

In September 2011, on the heels of the Arab Spring upheaval, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, visited Cairo. In the shadow of the chaos of the Arab Spring, he took the opportunity to point …

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As U.S. pulls back, Egypt looks to Russia for military aid

As U.S. pulls back, Egypt looks to Russia for military aid

As Egyptian military leaders scramble to consolidate power ahead of a presidential election in April, it is seeking help from a former ally. After meetings last week in Moscow, it was reported that Russia will supply Egypt with $3 billion …

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May be time to accentuate the positives in Egypt, Turkey

May be time to accentuate the positives in Egypt, Turkey

Last month I wrote about The Economist’s timely debate about how democracy is doing these days. For the final tally of the public vote, 69 percent agreed with me that concerns about the health of democracy …

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Taking stock of democracy

Taking stock of democracy

The struggle to establish and maintain stable democracies continues the world over. As I have said many times before, no one ever said democracy is easy or simple, but it provides the best opportunities for freedom and prosperity (also see Churchill’s view of democracy in my “about the author” script). …

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Sovereingty questions at sea: China’s maritime claims

Sovereingty questions at sea: China’s maritime claims

Who owns the ocean? In reference to the water south of China, it depends on who you ask. Newer claims by China would extend its sovereignty well south to the island of Borneo, passing by Vietnam, Malaysia, and Philippines in the process. Let’s a take a look at

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Democracy’s potential on display in Chile

Democracy’s potential on display in Chile

2013 has been a year fraught with many challenges for democracy. One could circle the globe and find democratic struggles in every corner of it- from Maldives to Thailand, in Egypt and Iran, Venezuela to Burma, and of course the United States (I still shudder when thinking about the October …

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The struggle of Syrian refugees in Bulgaria

The struggle of Syrian refugees in Bulgaria

For a  large number of refugees fleeing Syria, life in the place they end up is no less a struggle.
Many Syrians looking to escape the ravages of war in their home country have made their way to Bulgaria (via Turkey) — the country I now call home. The problem is …

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Thailand and Maldives: the results are in

Thailand and Maldives: the results are in

In my update on Thailand and Maldives a few weeks ago, both countries were on the precipice of making decisions that would determine the direction of their democracies, or lack thereof. Let’s see how things …

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Regress in Thailand and Maldives

Regress in Thailand and Maldives

Sadly, the adage “the more things change the more they stay the same” is perfectly to describe struggles in keeping strong democracy in Asia. Upon returning from hiatus, I started looking for story ideas and ran across some “updates” to items I had covered earlier this year. But in reality …

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Deposed leader poised to return to Thailand

Deposed leader poised to return to Thailand

The wave of protests  sweeping all corners of the world has reached Thailand. What’s more: Thailand appears as the latest disturbing example of leaders imposing their will on countries even when not officially in power.
Thaksin Shinawatra served as prime minister of the Asian nation from 2001-06, when he was ousted …

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How U.S. fits in to Egypt events (if at all)

How U.S. fits in to Egypt events (if at all)

Two weeks after Mohamed Morsi was ousted as the leader of Egypt, chaos still reigns. According to state-run media, seven people died on Monday, July 15, in violent skirmishes between Morsi supporters and opponents. An interim government is trying to instill some …

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About the Author

Scott Bleiweis
Scott Bleiweis

Scott Bleiweis writes on international relations and foreign policy topics for FPA. He has a M.A. in democracy and conflict resolution from the Josef Korbel School of Int'l Studies at the University of Denver, and a B.A. in Politics/International Studies from Brandeis University. Scott taught English in Bulgaria as part of the Fulbright education exchange program (views in this blog are his own, and do not represent those of the Fulbright organization or U.S. government).

Scott supports Winston Churchill's characterization of the complex form of government known as democracy: “Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

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