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.


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.


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?


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.


Mourning the Syria That Might Have Been

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

GettyImages-79486934 crop

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.

GettyImages-576514510 crop

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.

GettyImages-515136402 CROPPED

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.

GettyImages-496693690 CROPPED

Europe’s Big Freedom Fail

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

GettyImages-514908218 CROPPED

Why Insurgency Is Fun

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

GettyImages-500973322 crop

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.

GettyImages-508199052 CROPPED

That Little Problem With the Lord

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

Litvinenko 506029172

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.

GettyImages-503209550 crop

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?

GettyImages-455733658 CROPPED

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.)

GettyImages-471658940 crop

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.

GettyImages-497369202 CROPPED

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.

GettyImages-484578262 crop

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.

GettyImages-495743642 crop

Few Straight Answers on the Campaign Trail in Burma

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

GettyImages-171611460 crop

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.


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.

Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia Commons

Remembering the Fall

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

Scott Olson/Getty Images

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.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

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.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Scotland’s Tricky Choice

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


License to Kill

Never underestimate the power of rage.

Universal Images Group / Getty Images

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.

Francois Gatete/YouTube

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.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Woman Who Came Back from Hell

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

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.


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.


False Positive

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

Pooya Jahandar/YouTube

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.

Don Arnold/Getty Images

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.

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

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.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

How to Win the Information War against Vladimir Putin

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


Get Real, Nick Kristof

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

Load 10 More Articles