Venezuela and South Korea are both presidential republics/representative democracies; they have a system where the executive branch exists separately from a legislature, and elected representatives – not citizens themselves – vote on legislation. Currently, these two countries are experiencing high political tensions, making headlines all over the world. The two cases share some common threads which are worth noting.
African development discourse likes to debate whether Africa’s rapid population growth constitutes the desirable demographic (“youth”) dividend, or a much more ambivalent youth bulge. The United Nations defines a demographic dividend as “the economic growth that ensues when there are more working-age people (15 to 64) than the non-working people (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” Conversely, a youth bulge is characterized by “high youth unemployment and widespread protests—a recipe for political instability.” So, which one is it?
As a component of these schemes, the North Korean Government runs a chain of restaurants throughout the world called Pyongyang Restaurant, featuring hand-selected North Korean waitresses serving North Korean food, karaoke services, and mysterious secret rooms. Although this chain had long existed in China and former Soviet bloc countries, the North Korean government saw potential in entering Pyongyang into the Southeast Asian market during the early 2000s. These new venues allowed North Korea to increase their network of revenue and money laundering, and could serve as potential recruiting grounds.
China is North Korea’s sole ally. Since intervening on behalf of North Korea during the Korean War, China has been a staunch supporter of the Communist North Korean government. In the past, China has done little to pressure North Korea to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and its provocative missile tests, but that may soon change. I
The use of sarin indicates that Assad’s chemical weapons program is far more extensive than intelligence experts and policymakers believed. In the wake of the 2013 chemical attack in the Ghouta district outside of Damascus, the U.S. and Russia backed a plan by which Syria would give up its chemical stockpiles. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)would then transport and dismantle them under international supervision. By spring of 2014, the Obama administration reported that all of Syria’s reported chemical weapons had been removed from the country. Since then, the Syrian government has used chlorine gas on rebels on multiple occasions.
Leveling contradictory examples of isolationist, pragmatic and Machiavellian policy choices, the new president appears to be leaping down the same path of support for brutal authoritarian regimes and to be supporting vicious insurgent movements in favor of a “quick fix” in the Middle East. Clearly failing to hide his reverence for the autocratic institutions of oppressed nations, President Trump is pursuing an unsustainable, counterproductive and outright dangerous policy that, according to all logic, will produce tangible benefits for neither the American people nor the average citizens of literally any other country.
What if every global development project was designed by people in the villages and cities who were the actual beneficiaries of that project...Could this truly work, or is it just a grand-sounding idea?
Sino-African relations date back to the early 1950s and the emergence of the People's Republic of China as an international actor, but, since 2000, China's presence in Africa has exploded. Beijing's involvement extends beyond trade to influence diverse sectors, such as infrastructure construction, national development funds, natural resource extraction, health, and a Chinese migration pattern that has now settled more than 1 million Chinese in Africa. [Please note that this article is in French]
Cultural monuments and sites have historical and personal significance for nations. A radical group may target such sites to demonstrate a blatant and intentional disregard for a culture’s history and to display the scope of the group’s power over a population.