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Flash Points

A person stands amid colorful piles on red-brown earth.
A person stands amid colorful piles on red-brown earth.

How NGOs Bolster Democracy

Nongovernmental organizations have the potential to undermine authoritarian governance, which must be why they face widespread crackdowns around the world.

A musician wearing a Soviet militia uniform stands before the entrance of the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on March 13.
A musician wearing a Soviet militia uniform stands before the entrance of the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on March 13.

Politics as Theater

On watching Gogol in Simferopol, and more.

A man in a yellow hat stands next to a conveyor belt with blue-green chunks on it.
A man in a yellow hat stands next to a conveyor belt with blue-green chunks on it.

Electric Vehicles’ Dirty Secret

EVs may hold great promise. But they’re not a silver bullet.

Mexico City residents travel to the outskirts of the city and relax along the banks of the Rio Magdalena. It is the last living river in the city, and so one of the few places to enjoy clean running water.
Mexico City residents travel to the outskirts of the city and relax along the banks of the Rio Magdalena. It is the last living river in the city, and so one of the few places to enjoy clean running water.

Can the World’s Rivers Be Saved?

Key waterways are drying up around the globe.

A teacher interacts with students at a UNRWA school.
A teacher interacts with students at a UNRWA school.
British Secretary of State Liz Truss chairs a call with her G-7 counterparts.
British Secretary of State Liz Truss chairs a call with her G-7 counterparts.
An illustration of China on the precipice of decline as a great power.
An illustration of China on the precipice of decline as a great power.

Is China Declining?

Experts debate the country’s trajectory.

A man's silhouette is seen in front of a light blue screen that reads INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.
A man's silhouette is seen in front of a light blue screen that reads INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

Can the IMF Help the Global South?

As debt burdens worsen, all eyes are on the IMF.

Frodo stands before the Cracks of Doom in Sergei Iukhimov’s cover illustration for Volume I of Vlastelin Kolec, Natalya Grigor’eva and Vladimir Grushetskij’s two-volume 1993 translation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Frodo stands before the Cracks of Doom in Sergei Iukhimov’s cover illustration for Volume I of Vlastelin Kolec, Natalya Grigor’eva and Vladimir Grushetskij’s two-volume 1993 translation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

How Soviet Artists Created Their Own Vision of Tolkien

Around the world, artists provide snapshots into national psyches.

Green cladding surrounds the Ghazanchetsots, an Armenian Apostolic cathedral damaged in the war, during construction on the building in Shusha on Sept. 25.
Green cladding surrounds the Ghazanchetsots, an Armenian Apostolic cathedral damaged in the war, during construction on the building in Shusha on Sept. 25.
Israel G. Vargas illustration for Foreign Policy/Netflix/Amazon
Israel G. Vargas illustration for Foreign Policy/Netflix/Amazon
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a bi-lateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the United Nations Headquarters on September 20, 2016 in New York City.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a bi-lateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the United Nations Headquarters on September 20, 2016 in New York City.

How Shinzo Abe Shaped Japan’s Foreign Policy

And made Tokyo a major player across the Indo-Pacific.

Gay rights activists march during a rally against Russia’s then-proposed “gay propaganda” law in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 1, 2013.
Gay rights activists march during a rally against Russia’s then-proposed “gay propaganda” law in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 1, 2013.
An entrance gate and an aerial view of Naval Station Key West.
An entrance gate and an aerial view of Naval Station Key West.

The Secrets of Modern Espionage

And how spycraft has changed over the centuries.

Opening day at the University of Hong Kong old hall in 1969
Opening day at the University of Hong Kong old hall in 1969
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