Situation Reports

Southern Thailand’s Fractured Peace Process at a Crossroads

Thai leader Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, cc http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/59119/photos/56587, Kremlin.ru, modified,

Hopes of a breakthrough have evaporated after a government no-show at peace talks in February. Can the next Thai government regain recent momentum?

Japan Posts Record Population Decline in 2018

Japan subway poster, cc Flickr Ryan McBride, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Demographic decline will mean new risks and opportunities for the Japanese economy.

Snap Election Looms in Spain

Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, cc SPD Schleswig-Holstein, Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Move over economics and austerity. The next election is going to revolve around questions of Spanish identity.

Can AMLO Save Mexico’s Pemex?

PemexMex, cc Flickr Matthew Rutledge, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The newly elected president has set out to reverse the long-term decline of Mexico’s state-owned oil giant. But he’s going to have his work cut out for him.

Is Another Russia-Georgia War Looming on the Horizon?

A Georgian ship sunk in the 2008 war, cc Flickr Gavin, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Another former Soviet republic is pushing for EU and NATO membership, stoking fears of another Ukraine crisis.

High-Tech Domination and the US-China Trade War: AI Is Cheapening Authoritarian Governance

made in china, cc Flickr Martin Abegglen, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a path to economic success and a way to cement its rule, AI represents a lucrative frontier for the Chinese Communist Party. So although Made in China 2025 might be forced to change its branding, the core of the policy isn’t going anywhere.

US Debt: Bomb or Overblown?

Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO), public domain

Ignored by headlines and political debate, the US debt load continues to expand at a staggering rate.

Trump-Kim Nuclear Summit Gets a Sequel

The first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kim_and_Trump_shaking_hands_at_the_red_carpet_during_the_DPRK%E2%80%93USA_Singapore_Summit.jpg

The long-awaited sequel to the first Trump-Kim summit will be dropping in late February. But could it actually be worse than the original?

EU Takes Aim at Rule of Law Violators

Donald Tusk, CC Flickr EU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The EU is debating legislation that would freeze funding for member states that are backsliding on democratic norms. But will it come at the cost of widening the bloc’s internal divisions?

Bolsonaro Takes Aim at Brazil’s Pension System

Plenário do Congresso, cc Flickr Senado Federal,modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The pension fight will signal whether the new Brazilian president can translate electoral victory into significant reforms.

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