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Africa Politics

Elections called in a Contested Ethiopia

The political crisis in the North of Ethiopia is currently one of the most notorious humanitarian disasters in global affairs. The tragedy and ferocity of the conflict has sometimes distracted from it’s trigger: the delay of the 2020 federal & regional elections. Now, one year since their postponement, Ethiopians head to the polls to contest the leading Prosperity Party’s grip on power. Whether this will prove to be an opportunity to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions or a gateway to further crises remains to be seen.

Politics Southeast Asia

Potential Backlash of EU Sanctions for People of Myanmar

Countries around the world have had conflicting responses to the military coup that removed Aung San Suu Kyi and replaced Myanmar’s democratically elected government with the Tatmadaw. While some countries, such as the United States, are choosing to target specific members of this junta, the bloc of nations that comprise the European Union (EU) are considering targeting military businesses with sanctions following the violent crackdown that has left 61 peaceful protesters dead. If the EU places sanctions on these junta affiliated conglomerates, a true quagmire will reveal itself, as the general population in Myanmar will be the most afflicted. 

Africa Politics

Are COVID-19 Measures Being Used to Stifle Democracy in Africa?

The global pandemic presents a unique challenge to democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from making it more difficult and more expensive to carry out elections, there is an emerging worry that democratic activity will be suppressed in the name of ‘stopping the spread’. 

Africa Technology and infrastructure

Fake News, Soft Authoritarianism and Challenges to Digital Democracy in Africa

On 27 December 2020, voters headed to the polls across the Central African Republic, one of the continent’s most fragile democracies. The elections were overshadowed by violence as covert disinformation campaigns, waged from Paris and Moscow, sought to inflame communal tensions across the fractured country. Facebook subsequently released a statement, claiming that the platform had removed multiple networks of ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ traced back to the French and Russian militaries whose influence extended far beyond the Central African Republic, encompassing over a dozen African countries, from Algeria to Cameroon. However, this latest incident represents merely the tip of the iceberg of the far more pervasive and increasingly widespread challenge posed by the proliferation of digital media across the continent’s fledgling democracies.  

International Politics

The Capitol Riots: How Have America’s Two Biggest Rivals Reacted?

The January 6th storming of the US capitol caused outrage amongst a large number of world leaders. Some of these dissenting world leaders, however, are now using the event as a central tactical argument to shore up their authoritarian regimes. Whilst there was a consistent display of shock and outrage from many governments, two of America’s principal rivals took a particularly different approach to the event. Both Russia and China have used the event as an instrument of propaganda at a time when stirring xenophoic and nationalist sentiment are important tools in Xi and Putin’s tactical arsenal. 

North America Politics

America at a Crossroads: Split Strategies in the Republican Party As They Wrestle with the Future of Trumpism

The Trump presidency was a stress test on US democratic institutions, exemplified by the insurrection in Washington over the presidential transition. While it may appear that America sits at a

Africa The Security Briefing

Benin’s Democracy: What has happened to it?

The aftermath of April’s legislative elections in Benin laid bare the public’s displeasure with President Patrice Talon’s administration.

Africa Politics

Will Abiy Ahmed usher in a new Ethiopia?

Dr Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s reforming PM, has stimulated outlandish optimism for Ethiopia’s future. However, the country is beset with challenges. The young PM hopes to bring lasting stability and democracy through social change. Is that enough?

Politics Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: soon to be Africa’s largest democracy?

Previous elections in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, have been plagued by violence and election fraud. Amidst a backdrop of heightened insecurity fuelled by political tensions in the region, Saturday’s election will be decisive in defining Nigeria’s role on the global stage. They will also be fundamental in determining investor confidence and characterising Africa’s relationship with democracy.

North America Politics

The US abdicates a key role at UN Human Rights Council

In another sign of its abdication of global leadership, the US has decided to withdraw from the UN human rights council, citing the latter’s hostility to Israel and favorable treatment to regimes with unsavory human rights records. What are the consequences for the world – and the Council’s future?