Foreign Policy Blogs

Development

How coal is putting stranglehold on Indian politics

How coal is putting stranglehold on Indian politics

A scandal roiling India’s multi-billion dollar coal industry has made its way into the country’s parliament. A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General accuses the government of giving out coal mining contracts to certain organizations using questionable accounting practices. By the report, India has lost out on $34 billion it should have collected […]

read more

Global Health Update: World Water Week, Misoprostol, and Overtreatment

Global Health Update: World Water Week, Misoprostol, and Overtreatment

Clean Drinking Water: The Cure for Malnutrition? This week is World Water Week — which is timely, given the serious cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone and neighboring countries. The focus of this year’s conference is on food security, water scarcity, and their ties to food (and water) waste. As I’ve written before, up to 40 percent […]

read more

A tale of two African democracies

A tale of two African democracies

After recently covering Ethiopia (here and here), I thought I’d stay in Africa for this article. I want to look at two nations with a wide space between them in terms of geography, culture, political ideology and democracy (i.e., government) itself. Basically, they’re as far apart from each other as you can be in Africa, […]

read more

West Nile, Ebola, and Cholera: Lessons from Three Epidemics

West Nile, Ebola, and Cholera: Lessons from Three Epidemics

In the past month, we’ve seen the United States’ worst outbreak of West Nile Virus, Ebola in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and cholera in Sierra Leone that’s spread to its West African neighbors. What lessons can be learned from these three epidemics? West Nile, which has only been endemic to […]

read more

Updates on leadership in Romania, Ethiopia

Updates on leadership in Romania, Ethiopia

Recently, important new developments have occurred in Romania and Ethiopia in relation to topics I have recently written about: the impeachment of Romanian President Traian Basescu, and mysterious disappearance of Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi. Here’s a rundown of the aftermath of those stories. The future of democracy in both nations appears unclear. Romania On Aug. […]

read more

The Question of Democracy in Ethiopia

The Question of Democracy in Ethiopia

Ethiopia, the second-most populous country on the African continent (behind only Nigeria), is looked to as a relatively strong and stable presence in a volatile region. Its cooperation is vital to security concerns in the region, especially as a barrier to the spread of radical Islamism and terrorism from neighboring Somalia. The U.S. has collaborated […]

read more

Free Trade Agreements: Reducing Access to Medicine for the World’s Poor?

Free Trade Agreements: Reducing Access to Medicine for the World’s Poor?

Recently, the European Union and India have been in the news for a near-final free trade agreement, as have the United States and the 10 other countries who are hammering out the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While these agreements could bolster economies that were weakened by the recession or that are struggling to emerge, they also […]

read more

AIDS 2012: A Snapshot of the Epidemic

AIDS 2012: A Snapshot of the Epidemic

The International AIDS Conference was held last week in Washington, D.C. This was the first time the conference was hosted by an American city in more than 20 years, a nod to President Obama’s 2009 lifting of the ban on people living with HIV from entering the United States. Although there is way too much […]

read more

How great it is when what you expect to happen, happens

How great it is when what you expect to happen, happens

So often the news, and commentary on it, focuses on when things go wrong. Things going wrong usually involve drama and confrontation, which makes for interesting stories. I am have been guilty of contributing to this trend myself in commenting on when democracy goes wrong, i.e., election fraud and impeachments. But recently I was reminded […]

read more

Concerns over democratic progress in Romania and Bulgaria

Concerns over democratic progress in Romania and Bulgaria

One of my primary interests regarding government is how countries transition to democracy from another form of rule, and why some places seem to have more success with this than others. For countries formerly under the influence of the Soviet Union, some have seen democracy establish a strong foothold, whereas others face a constant struggle […]

read more

U.S. Financial Support for Democratic Transition in the Middle East

U.S. Financial Support for Democratic Transition in the Middle East

Currently, a key question for U.S. policymakers is how to engage with and/or support new governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. For those of you interested in the topic of U.S. foreign assistance to the Middle East, I strongly recommend a new Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) paper, The Federal Budget and Appropriations for […]

read more

In the News: Family Planning Gets a Boost & the US’s Effect on Polio and HIV

In the News: Family Planning Gets a Boost & the US’s Effect on Polio and HIV

In global health news this week, I have updates to previously covered topics. World leaders have committed money and support to family planning, spearheaded by the Gates Foundation. The CIA’s fake vaccination program, part of efforts to ferret out Osama Bin Laden, has contributed to a ban on polio vaccinations by the Taliban controlling the […]

read more

In Case You Missed It: A State Department Program for Leaders in New Democracies

In Case You Missed It: A State Department Program for Leaders in New Democracies

This week, the State Department held a “virtual ribbon cutting” for a new initiative, Leaders Engaged in New Democracies (LEND). LEND will help leaders in fledgling democracies connect with leaders who have experienced democratic transition in their own countries. As Voice of America reports, the initiative will facilitate conversations between leaders “by leveraging voice, video and […]

read more

Romanian Parliament Impeaches President

Romanian Parliament Impeaches President

  It appears Paraguay (as I covered last month) is not the only country embroiled in an impeachment scandal. Last Friday July 6 Romania’s parliament voted to impeach President Traian Basescu, who has violated the Constitution and acted as a dictator according to opponents (note: all news-related information and quotes in this article derive from […]

read more

FDA Approves At-Home HIV Test

FDA Approves At-Home HIV Test

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finally approved a rapid, over-the-counter, and at-home test for HIV. The test, called OraQuick and made by OraSure, allows people to check their serostatus in the convenience and privacy of their own homes and illustrates the change in perception around HIV ever since it became an epidemic […]

read more

americasdiplomats_socialmediaasset