President El-Sisi’s Egypt: Quietly rebuilding economic strength
Following his 2013 coup d’etat that was sternly criticized in Washington and European capitals, Egypt’s former defense minister, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was elected the country’s president by an overwhelming margin. After five years in charge of the most populous Arab country, Mr. El-Sisi has accumulated a predictably shoddy record on human rights but a surprisingly strong one as an economic reformer and agent of stability in the turbulent region.
Can Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delay his political twilight?
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has had plenty of success, already having become the country's second-longest serving head of government. But the good times are over – his political rivals smell weakness and could use upcoming election campaigns to oust him. Perhaps surprisingly, his biggest threat does not come from the opposition, but from within his own party.
Erdogan’s ‘new Turkey’ resembles an old stereotype
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now unleashed, having consolidated full power over Turkey’s ruling party, parliament and the judiciary. After sweeping away the remnants of democracy and the Kemalist state, he has reached the point of no return. Which raises a simple question: what happened to the “new Turkey” – the assertive, prosperous Islamic powerhouse – that he promised?
Ivory Coast’s recovery looks fragile
Ivory Coast is on the mend after a lost decade of internal turmoil and civil war. Yet recent army mutinies and protests by angry cocoa producers show how little real progress has been made in diversifying the economy and creating reliable security forces. On the horizon, perhaps, looms a presidential succession crisis as well.
Ecuador: Political instability makes a comeback
Ecuador is in a holding pattern ahead of the February 2017 general election. President Rafael Correa has decided to sit this one out, leaving his office up for grabs and the ruling Alianza PAIS party vulnerable. Already saddled with a stagnant economy and a crushing debt burden, Ecuador may revert to the political instability that plagued it for much of the past half century.
Mongolia’s June elections and their impact
Fed up with economic and political drift, Mongolian voters handed the center-left opposition a crushing victory in the June 29 general election. What the new government does with its constitutional majority is another question. To keep the sputtering economy afloat, it will have to strike shrewd bargains with powerful neighbors and creditors.
Ethnic strife continues to stymie Myanmar’s economic potential
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has seen decades of ethnic conflict and corrupt military rule stifle its considerable economic prospects. With an advantageous geographic location, abundant natural resources and ample labor force, Myanmar has the ingredients needed to become a regional economic power. A win by pro-democracy groups in last November’s elections offers a...
Global trends: India’s all-out push for economic growth
The government of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going into 2016 with two principal policy objectives. One will be implementing the economic reforms that he has promised to foreign investors. Such reforms are considered crucial to industrialization and further accelerating India’s growth, which currently clocks in at a respectable 7 percent rate. The other...
Japan’s quiet build-up to naval pre-eminence in East Asia
A precept of strategic planning is to study a country’s military capabilities rather than its presumed intentions. Japan’s practically unnoticed return to the ranks of first-class naval powers is a case in point. The country has many reasons to downplay its resurgent sea power to domestic and foreign audiences. But the island nation’s determination to protect its s...