Prospects for stability in the Horn of Africa
For decades, the Horn of Africa has been home to conflict and failed states. Changes are occurring rapidly, however, driven by the recent rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Even Somalia has made modest progress. The question is whether these gains can be consolidated, since economic and ethnic tensions are still rife, and a host of global and regional powers continue to vie for influence.
Lebanon’s economy: still stuck
Almost exactly a year ago, French President Emmanuel Macron got officials and investors from 50 countries to agree on an $11.1 billion reform and investment program for Lebanon. Fast forward 12 months, and the country remains a shambles. With no signs of progress on any of the key structural problems – corruption, Hezbollah and 2 million refugees – the only recourse for young Lebanese may be to get out.
Opinion: Ukraine gridlocked
The evident stalemate in Ukraine is as much in Western policymakers’ heads as on the Donbas battlefront. Since the European Union has framed the conflict in moral terms that do not allow it to admit failure, it must maintain the pretense of success – giving Russia and Ukraine ample leeway to play their own games of deception. Yet the costs of this false equilibrium – to the EU, Russia and Ukraine itself – are too large to be sustained indefinitely.
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.
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.
Opinion: Property rights and the challenges of transplanting institutions
Since the time of Adam Smith, economists have understood that the wealth or poverty of nations hinge on the quality of their institutions. Political, economic and social rules of the game can be inclusive, offering opportunities for prosperity to all, or extractive, protecting the rents of a few. But the international effort to introduce one such rule – formal property rights – shows that even simple changes can have complex and unwelcome effects in alien cultural settings.
2019 Global Outlook: India turns inward
Ahead of parliamentary elections this spring, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reinvented himself. Putting aside earlier economic reforms, his talk is mostly about social welfare. While the Indian leader focuses on wooing small-town voters, his government has put most foreign policy initiatives on hold. Whether Mr. Modi’s ruling BJP wins or loses, India may be due for a period of weaker government.