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Civil Society

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.

Women are seen making food and holding food containers in a kitchen.
Women are seen making food and holding food containers in a kitchen.

Chavismo’s Latest Target

NGOs are essential to Venezuelan society. A new law may lead to their collapse.

People participate in a protest against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi outside of the United Nations on September 21, 2022 in New York City.
People participate in a protest against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi outside of the United Nations on September 21, 2022 in New York City.

Iran’s Anti-Veil Protests Have Already Succeeded

The Islamic Republic is no stranger to protests—but this time, they’re leaving a permanent mark.

Young men wearing headphones sit in front of computer screens showing a scene from an online game.
Young men wearing headphones sit in front of computer screens showing a scene from an online game.

Iran’s Leaders Are Scared of the Internet

They should be more scared of shutting it off.

Demonstrators hold a placard that reads "EU, UN and US it is time for B.D.S."
Demonstrators hold a placard that reads "EU, UN and US it is time for B.D.S."

The BDS Movement Has Already Lost

Where it counts—in the halls of government and boardrooms—the effort to boycott Israel doesn’t even register.

Pro-Choice demonstrators celebrate outside the Justice Palace in Bogota after the Constitutional Court voted in favor of decriminalizing abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation
Pro-Choice demonstrators celebrate outside the Justice Palace in Bogota after the Constitutional Court voted in favor of decriminalizing abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation

How Latin American Feminists Won Abortion Rights

Many argue abortion is not just an issue of individual choice but also of social justice.

People, mainly women and children, arrive in Przemysl, Poland on a train from wartorn Ukraine on March 28.
People, mainly women and children, arrive in Przemysl, Poland on a train from wartorn Ukraine on March 28.

Poland Demonized Refugees. Now It’s Struggling to Integrate Them.

The heaviest burden of accommodating fleeing Ukrainians has fallen on the state least prepared to carry it.

Women watch on as an instructor demonstrates self-defense techniques during an urban survival training class organized by the volunteer group the Ukrainian Women’s Guard on February 05, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Women watch on as an instructor demonstrates self-defense techniques during an urban survival training class organized by the volunteer group the Ukrainian Women’s Guard on February 05, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Kyiv Is Calm, but Ukrainians Are Quietly Bracing for War

Officials in Kyiv have downplayed Western warnings of an imminent Russian invasion—but many in the capital are learning self-defense and locating bomb shelters.

United Nations headquarters
United Nations headquarters

NGOs Frozen Out of U.N. Building

Civil society representatives are blocked over COVID-19 concerns, even as foreign diplomats and journalists pass freely through the headquarters.

An Afghan Pashtun tribal elder speaks to an interpreter.
An Afghan Pashtun tribal elder speaks to an interpreter.

Why Afghanistan’s Tribes Beat the United States

Tightly bound kinship networks aren’t vestiges of the past. They’re a modern—and effective—form of political organization.

Illustration of Agbaya
Illustration of Agbaya

Age and the Agbayas

One word perfectly captures the clash between Nigeria’s leaders and its booming young population.

Alexei Navalny marches in a protest in 2017.
Alexei Navalny marches in a protest in 2017.

The Berlin Patient

Russia is no stranger to protests, but Navalny’s are different.

kabul university attack
kabul university attack

How Liberal Values Became a Business in Afghanistan

Washington promised to bring liberal democracy to Kabul. It created a bloated and ineffective sector of artificial NGOs instead.

Protesters wave ethnic flags during a demonstration against the military coup in Myanmar.
Protesters wave ethnic flags during a demonstration against the military coup in Myanmar.

Protests Unite Myanmar’s Ethnic Groups Against Common Foe

The shared experience of military violence has shifted political objectives among the ethnic majority.

Protesters at Place de la Nation in Dakar, Senegal, on March 8.
Protesters at Place de la Nation in Dakar, Senegal, on March 8.

Senegal’s Political Crisis

A country seen as a bulwark of stability faces mass unrest.

A chemical engineering student works with a test during the method of separating specific proteins to be applied in the production of vaccines.
A chemical engineering student works with a test during the method of separating specific proteins to be applied in the production of vaccines.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Transform How Vaccines Are Made

The COVID-19 crisis could enable the improvement of the global vaccine system for all diseases. Here’s how that could happen.

world-maps-cold-war-geopolitics-social
world-maps-cold-war-geopolitics-social

The End of History and the Last Map

Cartography and conflict in the post-Cold War world.

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