GIS Dossier: Argentina digs itself out of a hole
Nearly 20 years after its historic default, Argentina is still trying to climb back to economic equilibrium. Years of corruption and mismanagement frittered away profits from natural resource exports, while a “gradualist” approach to reform still ended in Latin America’s largest-ever bailout from the IMF. This GIS Dossier reviews our predictions and analysis for one of South America’s largest countries, trying to regain economic stability and influence on the international scene.
In postelection DRC, transition looks like restoration
After delaying elections for two years, former DRC President Joseph Kabila hit upon a clever stratagem to resolve his “third-term” problem. Borrowing a page from Vladimir Putin’s book, he appears to have arranged for a stand-in, nominally from the opposition, to win the presidency in a manipulated ballot. Mr. Kabila intends to run the country from a Senate seat or perhaps even as prime minister. The international community seems to be turning a blind eye to these shenanigans because it prefers stability to the prospect of turmoil and civil war.
GIS Dossier: Corruption and political transformation
Graft has long been a feature of political systems where rewarding loyalty takes precedence over economic efficiency or the rule of law. But recent events in Latin America show that popular anger at corruption has become a force to be reckoned with – fueled by the power of global markets, the information revolution, and democratization movements. This report assesses the geopolitical implications.
A new wave of unrest in North Africa
Street demonstrations have forced Algeria’s president to resign and Sudan’s to declare a year-long state of emergency. In both countries, these popular revolts are challenging entrenched regimes that successfully weathered the Arab Spring protests of 2011. Can this unexpected coda to the revolutions that opened an unhappy decade in the Middle East and North Africa lead to better results?
The Gambia’s critical moment
Two years ago, The Gambia managed to oust a dictator through a democratic election. It has opened up politically and economically, but the benefits are dribbling in slowly. Now its president, Adama Barrow, must decide whether to honor an agreement to stay in power for only three years or to serve out his constitutionally guaranteed term of five years. Both options pose risks for this West African state just getting back on its feet.
Foreign meddling in elections: a form of ‘alternative truth’
Apparently, the president of the United States is not going to be charged with cooperating with the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. An in-depth investigation has found no proof that any collusion occured. The talk in Europe that the Kremlin is hell-bent on corrupting the electoral process here as well also seems intended to conceal the real problem of the ruling establishments: they have governed poorly and are losing popular support.
Libya and the Franco-Italian rivalry
In North Africa, France and Italy share vital national interests on migration, terrorism and energy. Yet profound differences on tackling these issues – rooted in history and leadership styles – has put them in direct competition, and even led to a diplomatic crisis earlier this year. Nowhere is the rivalry more visible than in Libya, where it is delaying a resolution to that country’s civil war.
India decides on force to break a pointless cycle
The latest round of fighting on the India-Pakistan border reveals a changed mood in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to order an air strike deep inside Pakistan in reprisal for a terrorist attack is evidence of a more muscular policy taking shape. If Mr. Modi is reelected in a few months, it can be assumed that India will be brandishing a bigger stick at its Western neighbor.
Italian gold and populist publicity
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has revived a five-year-old proposal to use his country’s gold reserves to bring down the budget deficit. The idea is problematic for several reasons – but that is not the point. Mr. Salvini is likely using this controversial plan to make headlines and burnish his populist credentials ahead of the European Parliament elections. While he may take the gold idea further, his real goal is to enlarge and lead a pan-European alliance of euroskeptics.