Foreign Policy Blogs

Democracy Promotion

The Mykonos Case: U.S. Federal Bar to Present Historic Awards to German Colleagues

The Mykonos Case: U.S. Federal Bar to Present Historic Awards to German Colleagues

In 1997, after trial proceedings lasting over three years, Berlin’s High Criminal Court convicted four individuals of murdering Iranian dissidents in a Berlin restaurant—and more significantly—explicitly found the murders were ordered at the highest levels of government in Tehran. The historic judgment culminated in an unprecedented diplomatic shift between Iran …

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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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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 turned out.
Thailand
On Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, Thailand’s senate made …

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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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The Bus Driver’s Bolivarian Revolution

The Bus Driver’s Bolivarian Revolution

Elected President of Venezuela following Hugo Chávez’s death from cancer in March, Nicolás Maduro, a former bus driver who was Mr. Chávez’s foreign minister, has had a rocky start leading the country. Allegations of ballot-tampering, appointing corrupt officials to high-level government positions, and foreign policy missteps have created the impression that …

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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 sense of ruling stability, but the …

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Did Obama’s Africa tour make the right stops?

Did Obama’s Africa tour make the right stops?

Apparently President Obama has received some criticism over taking the “easy road” in his visit to Africa earlier this week. Instead of drawing attention to more troubled spots on the continent such as Nigeria or Kenya, he choose to visit the relatively safe, stable, and democratically potent (at least in …

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Iran’s election: What it means for democracy and foreign policy

Iran’s election: What it means for democracy and foreign policy

On Sat. June 15 Iran announced the results of its latest presidential election. In what many saw as a surprise, Hassan Rowhani – a relatively moderate cleric — emerged as the outright winner. Instead of protests in the streets as followed the 2009 reelection of the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, …

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Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

What began as a peaceful sit-in to save a downtown park in Istanbul has erupted into a conflict between the forces of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government and liberal reformers. On Monday, June 17, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinic announced Turkey “will resort to calling on the military to …

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Demonstrations denote divided Turkey

Demonstrations denote divided Turkey

In a country where two continents meet and empires have risen and fallen for millenia, Turkey continues to struggle with its contrasts. A predominantly Muslim country with a secular government, a growing economy increasingly influenced by capitalism but with a recent rise in conservative tendencies.
Last weekend protesters took …

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No clear path for Maldives

No clear path for Maldives

 
Last April I wrote about the tiny island nation of Maldvies, and its embattled former President Mohamed Nasheed. After a brief foray into democracy, it seems that Maldives has slid back to the political bullying of its past.
Nasheed claims to have been deposed …

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Political tensions in Venezuela, Bolivia run high

Political tensions in Venezuela, Bolivia run high

 
Over two weeks have passed since Nicolas Maduro’s contested election victory over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. Unfortunately, fair democracy appears to remain limited in Venezuela, even after the passing of Hugo Chavez.
Capriles and his supporters have demanded a recount in the closely contested race and refuse to acknowledge Maduro’s …

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