Sunday, February 14, 2016
  1. The Dark Heart of ASEAN

    Joshua Kurlantzick

    The Dark Heart of ASEAN

    1

     is concerned about America's deepening engagement with Southeast Asian autocrats.

    Air Force One on tarmac in Malaysia surrounded by royal-looking guards Lawrence Jackson/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire

    Next week's meeting between US President Barack Obama and the leaders of the ten ASEAN countries – the first US-ASEAN meeting on American soil – signifies America’s growing interest in Southeast Asia. The question is whether, by engaging with all members of ASEAN, the US is allowing its interests to overwhelm its principles. READ MORE

  2. Eastern Europe’s Authoritarian Return

    Shlomo Ben-Ami

    Eastern Europe’s Authoritarian Return

    6

     worries that the region's rising illiberalism is eroding the EU's core values.

    Polish flag

    By building on shared values, the EU overcame historical conflicts and created a space of peace, progress, and freedom. But the rise of authoritarianism in Eastern Europe, together with resurgent nationalism throughout the continent, is testing those values – and thus the future of European integration. READ MORE

  3. China’s Rule of Fear

    Minxin Pei

    China’s Rule of Fear

    3

     warns that the totalitarian relics inhabiting the country's institutions are being dusted off.

    Armed policemen in China

    China is once again gripped by fear. From the inner sanctum of the Chinese Communist Party to university lecture halls and executive suites, the specter of harsh accusations and harsher punishment is stalking China’s political, intellectual, and business elites. READ MORE

  4. The Limits of German Power

    Volker Perthes

    The Limits of German Power

    6

     pins hope of a greater global role on a strong, unified European foreign and defense policy.

    Darts with French, German, and British flag designs

    In the last two years, Germany has adopted leadership roles regarding the conflict in Ukraine, the civil war in Syria, and the refugee crisis. While this is a welcome development, German leaders must bear in mind that their country's EU membership remains its most potent source of power. READ MORE

  5. Oil Dictator Dominos

    Bill Emmott

    Oil Dictator Dominos

    8

     thinks that collapsing hydrocarbon prices could topple Central Asia's authoritarian regimes.

    Dominoes

    The dramatic drop in hydrocarbon prices will produce economic winners and losers. But the biggest dangers will be political, especially for rigid authoritarian regimes that have depended on high oil prices to remain in power. READ MORE

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