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Peace and Democracy in Colombia
Articles - August 30, 2016
 

On a hot rainy day in August 2013, a group of young Colombians were celebrating the completion of a playground project in the village of Villarrica, Tolima. The project was funded by a nonprofit, Fundación ECCO, which I founded to encourage youths in rural areas affected by violence to develop leadership skills and engage in the democratic process.

 
Iran's Hard-Line Elections
Articles - February 23, 2016
 

Henry Kissinger famously remarked some time ago that Iran must decide whether it wants to be "a nation or a cause." For decades, U.S. presidents of both parties have been trying to coax Tehran toward the former and away from the latter. 

Most recently, the U.S.-led global nuclear agreement with Iran - with its scores of billions in sanctions relief that President Obama hoped Iran would invest to improve the living standards of its people - was designed to convince Tehran to abandon its revolutionary ways and become a nation in good standing. 

 
South Asia Security Monitor - No. 382
Bulletins - November 19, 2015
 

Kabul to buy Helos from Delhi, despite Pak concerns;
China's top brass to tour Pakistan and India;
Islamic State joins Taliban splinter group in Afghanistan;
India calls for South China Sea code of conduct

 
It's your country, not mine: China's new language of discontent
Articles - November 4, 2015
 

Over the past few months, a new and divisive word has begun provoking debate across China. That word is niguo, translated as "your country", and it is the most prominent of a new lexicon of words that both mainland and overseas Chinese are using online to distance themselves from the injustice, bigotry and bad behaviour that have become commonplace in China. Lacking an open arena within which to freely express their opinions on important matters that affect their lives, a new generation of tech-savvy Chinese is using niguo to rhetorically opt out of the system and distance themselves from the Communist Party.

 
Iran Strategy Brief No. 7: Iran's Various Voices
Policy Papers - June 17, 2015
 

Is the Islamic Republic of Iran a country or a cause? For decades, the question is one that has bedeviled Western observers. Foreign politicians and diplomats long have struggled to reconcile the Iranian regime’s radical rhetoric and destructive international behavior with its pragmatic participation in numerous treaty arrangements, and its prominent role in various multilateral forums.

 
The Message Behind Nemtsov's Murder
Articles - March 4, 2015
 

Russia's political opposition has been put on notice. The Feb. 27 murder of prominent opposition leader Boris Nemtsov just steps from the Kremlin marks a dramatic escalation of the Russian regime's long-running war on its opponents. Nemtsov, after all, wasn't merely a dissenting politician. He was part of the old system, having served as a deputy prime minister in the government of President Boris Yeltsin in the late 1990s. Beginning in the early 2000s, Nemtsov had moved into the political opposition, emerging as a critic of Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin, and his policies. Even so, his position as a member of Yeltsin's inner circle had given him a degree of immunity from official retribution.

 
Asia for the Asians
Policy Papers - January 29, 2015
 

In recent months, Xi Jinping’s China has rolled out a large number of new foreign policy initiatives. Some of these have been economic proposals such as the BRICS Bank; the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; the China-Korea and China-Australia free trade agreements; the land and maritime silk road proposals; a massive, albeit not entirely transparent, energy deal with Russia; an increasingly effective effort to promote international trade denominated in the yuan or Renminbi; and an attempt to push ahead with either the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific.

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1948
Bulletins - January 9, 2015
 

New signs of life among the Russian opposition;
Moscow maintains focus on nuke modernization, and the Arctic

 

 

 
The Fall Of The Berlin Wall: A Forgotten Part Of The Story
Articles - November 9, 2014
 

Twenty-five years ago, the opening of the Berlin Wall transfixed the world, but somewhat obscured a bigger story: the peaceable seizure of the state by that part of East German society that did not want to go to the West. 

 
3 Lessons From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall
Articles - November 7, 2014
 

A quarter-century ago this month, East Germany's communist leaders announced they were opening the Berlin Wall in an act that, as much as anything else during that momentous year, symbolized the Cold War's end.