Christian Caryl

Alma-ata, president of the rsfsr boris yeltsin (l) and president of kazakhstan nursultan nazarbayev are pictured at the press-conference, december 21, 1991. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

The Birth of ‘Absurdistan’

How I experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Let’s Face It: The U.S. Constitution Needs a Makeover

The 2016 election shows that it’s time to start a national conversation about fundamental political reform.

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President Duterte’s Crazy Drug War Is Just the Beginning

The Philippines’ new strongman is eating away at the foundations of democracy. Can anyone stop him?

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We’ve Got to Face It: Trump Is Riding a Global Trend

If Hillary Clinton wants to win, she needs to confront the rise of fear-driven politics.

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Mourning the Syria That Might Have Been

How Assad’s forces bombed a democratic experiment into oblivion.

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Memo to the Establishment: Inspire Us or Lose

The competent politicians holding Western democracy together are dropping like flies. It’s time for them to embrace the tactic of stirring emotions -- to positive ends.

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Why Does Tunisia Produce So Many Terrorists?

The success story of the Arab Spring has made room for moderate secularists to flourish. But that’s a double-edged sword.

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The End of Politics as We Know It

The traditional ideological divides of Left and Right are collapsing. And that raises big questions about the future of liberal democracy.

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Europe’s Big Freedom Fail

It's time for the European Union to get serious about enforcing democratic standards.

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Why Insurgency Is Fun

The status quo in the Western democracies is under attack — and its defenders are looking more listless by the hour.

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Banning Muslims From the United States Is the World’s Dumbest Idea

Donald Trump’s proposal is politically, morally, and strategically wrong. It also doesn’t make any sense.

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That Little Problem With the Lord

People are claiming that Muslims, Christians, and Jews might have something in common. God forbid!

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A Tale of Two Poisonings

One was a former spy, the other a liberal activist. Both ended up in the sights of Vladimir Putin's Kremlin.

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A Tale of Two Poisonings

One was a former spy, the other a liberal activist. Both ended up in the sights of Vladimir Putin's Kremlin.

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The Age of Disillusionment

Both the world’s liberal democracies and their authoritarian competitors are facing an uncertain year. Who will rise to the challenge?

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When You Close Your Eyes and Think of America, What Do You See?

Why nationalism can be a force for good. (But beware of the dark side.)

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The Rights Stuff

On the occasion of Human Rights Day, a conversation with a key U.S. State Department official on democracy and human rights.

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Want to Beat the Islamic State? Help Tunisia.

One of the best ways to undermine the jihadists is by helping Tunisia prove that democracy offers a better way of life.

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Burma Gives a Big Thumbs-Up to Facebook

Four years ago Facebook didn’t exist in Burma. Now it’s the country’s most important source of information.

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Few Straight Answers on the Campaign Trail in Burma

In Burma’s historic election, party platforms mean little. Personalities are everything.

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Can Burma Save Buddhism From the Politicians?

An unholy alliance between the government and extremist Buddhist monks is threatening to derail the transition to democracy.

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Can Thailand Move Beyond the Coup?

Thailand under military rule may look calm. But big changes are coming, whether the generals like it or not.

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Remembering the Fall

It's hard to remember just how impassable the Berlin Wall was -- until one day it wasn't. A memoir.

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The Beacon Dims

The United States wants to spread democratic values around the world. It can start by cleaning up its own act at home.

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Sorry, Eric X. Li, Democracy Is Not the Problem

Hong Kong's pro-democracy activists aren't radicals or revolutionaries. But that's what Beijing wants you to believe.

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Scotland’s Tricky Choice

Self-determination doesn't necessarily mean freedom. Can an independent Scotland achieve both?

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License to Kill

Never underestimate the power of rage.

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How the Wizard of Oz Explains America’s Foreign Policy

A few thoughts on saving the Munchkins, defeating tyranny, and the politics of America's favorite fairytale.

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9 Things to Avoid When Creating Your Own Caliphate

If you want to rule for 1,000 years, don't touch my daughters or my cigarettes.

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The Woman Who Came Back from Hell

How Rwanda's Pentecostals are keeping the demons of the past at bay.

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Rwandan Shadows

Twenty years after the end of a genocidal regime, Rwandans are still trying to come to terms with the destruction of their world.

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Mosul’s Christians Say Goodbye

The jihadist takeover of northern Iraq is a disaster for Iraqis. But the destruction of an ancient Christian culture is a disaster for the world.

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False Positive

Why Hillary Clinton's greatest foreign policy "success" isn't the win her new book claims.

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Not So Happy In Iran

Iran’s ayatollahs are going nuts over a harmless video. But they’re not the first autocrats to obsess about the impact of popular culture.

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Is the Vatican Guilty of Torture?

History has shown that the Catholic Church can be a great force for good. But it can only live up to that promise by properly addressing the clerical sex abuse scandal.

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In a Divided Ukraine, Even Victory Over Hitler Isn’t What It Used to Be

As Russia marks the USSR's victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the chill of Crimea casts a shadow over remembrances.

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How to Win the Information War against Vladimir Putin

The best antidote to propaganda isn't counterpropaganda. It's access to accurate information.

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Get Real, Nick Kristof

Happy talk isn't going to help Ukraine and Moldova deter Vladimir Putin.

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