The Syrian ‘Day of Rage’: A Revolution That Wasn’t

In a recent exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria stated, “When there is divergence between your policy and the people’s beliefs and interests, you will have this vacuum that creates disturbance.” He also said that despite the similarities between Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia, Syrians were different because they had […]

The Microfinance Split: Reharnessing the Good Micro Loans

Poverty can be eradicated by 2050 as proposed by the Millennium Development Goals, according to Muhammad Yunus. Founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, he believes that microcredit is the answer. Lending small amounts of money to people who are too poor or marginalized to qualify for bank loans in order to further their small businesses […]

Why the EU Needs Turkey: A Case for Accession

The Republic of Turkey stands at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western worlds. It is a land bridge between Europe and Asia, and through it flows the major water route between Russia and the Middle East. Its location has always put Turkey at the center of cultural origin and intercourse. For hundreds of years […]

America and Cuba Today: The Coming of Age of the Cuba Embargo Under the Obama Administration

In retrospect, the Cuban embargo was presumably logical. World order was essentially polarized into two distinct categories: Capitalism vs. Communism. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, this approach seems worthless in terms of achieving peaceful, stable relations with Cuba in contemporary international relations. In short, the Cuban embargo […]

Labour 2010: Not So Rosy

In May 1997, after a surprising election victory, a young, charismatic man named Tony Blair settled into his new office at 10 Downing Street in London as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister. This signaled the beginning of the Labour Party’s hold on the Premiership. However, after nearly thirteen years in power, Labour’s grasp on Downing […]

Iraq’s Huddles Masses: Iraqi Refugees and the Special Immigrant Visa Program

Many Iraqis face certain danger from armed militias and terrorist groups if they work for the American military or contractors. These groups threaten, hunt down, torture and kill Iraqis whom they know or suspect have worked for Americans.  Realizing this heinous trend, the US made it easier for Iraqis to come to America.  In 2007 […]

A New Beginning: Balancing Values and Interests in Obama’s Foreign Policy

Promoting and defending human rights has long challenged governments and policymakers. Some hardly bother and others give it their all. All governments balance their interests with their values. The United States has wavered back and forth between vocal and aggressive “democracy promotion” and realpolitik, often within the same administration. Most recent administrations have agreed on […]

Bitter Sweets: The Problem of Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry

Ten-year-old Madi, whose family cannot afford to send him to school, spends his days hacking away at cocoa pods with a machete. Such conditions are common in the Ivory Coast’s farms where 43% of the world’s chocolate is produced. Although United States chocolate companies passed a protocol to get rid of “the worst forms of […]

The Fickle Mr. Kim: Trends in North Korean Foreign Policy

In recent years, North Korea’s foreign policy has appeared to be volatile and erratic. Most international media coverage of East Asia in the past few months has featured election results and the region’s recovery from the global recession. North Korea, with its closed communist economy and dictator Chairman Kim Jong Il, has not been heavily […]

What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East?

In What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East, author Brian Whittaker has taken an unconventional and ambitious look into authoritarianism what is not so much the Middle East but the Arab world. The book asks: why is political order in so many Arab countries dysfunctional; why does political and religious violence spring from the region […]