Democracy Promotion

Will Putin Gamble All On A Broader Ukraine Invasion?

Westerners strain to predict Moscow's next moves in Ukraine, and elsewhere.

President Vladimir Putin may think that Russia can weather Western reactions if he decides to move beyond the occupied part of eastern Ukraine, perhaps seeking to forge a land bridge between Russia and Crimea.

But will he consider economic and political constraints, akin to those that hastened the fall of the USSR after its intervention in Afghanistan?

A Kremlin decision to widen its assault in Ukraine might not be irrational. But would it be imprudent? This question is more complex.

Middle East Realities That Challenge Obama’s Nuclear Deal With Iran

The emerging Iran deal that the Obama administration contends is comprehensive and definitive contains so many uncertainties, including those regarding Iran’s future nuclear weapons aspirations, that it might well turn out to be an extended interim accord.

This underscores an issue with a few things Secretary of State John Kerry recently said while defending the Iran deal–remarks that I presume he’d like to take back:

To Govern

The complexity of Mexico’s political life, the violence, and the corruption, but above all the absence of a real debate on domestic problems, has generated a thousand and one diagnoses on the nature of our dilemmas. It would appear obvious that our essential problem is not corruption, violence or criminality, but the absence of a system of functional government: that is, the three levels of government and the three branches of government. This is not a matter of guilt, of the good ones or the bad ones, but rather of essence. The question is how Mexico is going to be governed.

Obama's Arab Security Strategy: An Old Doctrine Gets Put to the Test in Yemen

Twenty-five years ago, in the wake of the Gulf War, the first Bush administration sketched out a plan for the security of its Arab partners. The original had Iraq in mind as the aggressor. Today, a version of that plan is finally seeing the light of day. But this time, Iran is the focus and the region is embroiled in a civil war in Yemen.

Transparency and the Rule of Law Series

Perhaps the greatest challenge Mexico is facing is building a genuine Rule of Law. The situation is currently characterized by a low level of trust in the authorities, a judicial system in transition to oral trials, and asymmetric institutional development between different levels of governments. In this context, the country has important historical challenges, such as improving processes that lead to effective protection of human rights, fighting corruption, and strengthening a system of transparency and accountability.

UK Elections 2015: David Cameron’s Big Win

Now that the dust has settled on what many have characterized as a surprisingly big win for David Cameron and his party, we asked Global Fellow Michael Geary to provide analysis of the UK elections. He discusses the outcome and implications for Scotland and the European Union with Wilson Center NOW host, John Milewski.  

Intrepid Autonomy

How are the high-speed train to Querétaro and the brand new National Electoral Institute (INE) alike? Unfortunately, the similarity is less altruistic than is desirable. Some months ago, the Secretary of Communications went to Congress to defend the high-speed Querétaro train project, but as soon as he arrived at his office, he turned on his heel and announced that the project was suspended. The order had been issued from the top.

Saudi Arabia's Yemen War Unravels

Riyadh—Saudi Arabia's plunge into the civil war next door in Yemen to keep Iranian-backed factions from taking over is hugely popular at home right now, and the general public mood is decidedly hawkish. But after more than five weeks of a daily bombing campaign, some Saudis are beginning to wonder privately whether the declared goal of restoring their ousted allies to power is a step too far.

Mexico's Midterm Elections and the Peña Nieto Administration

The Wilson Center's Mexico Institute was pleased to host an event on Mexico's 2015 midterm elections. On June 7, 2015, more than 86 million Mexicans will have the opportunity to elect 500 federal deputies, 17 state-level legislatures, 9 governors, and more than 300 mayors. This new cohort of legislators will replace the group that approved the major reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto during the first year of his administration.

Public Opinion and the Peace Process in Colombia

 

Since the beginning of the peace process between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and guerillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), public opinion polls have consistently reflected two impulses.  While the majority of the Colombian public supports the talks, there is also deep skepticism of the FARC’s interest in reaching or abiding by the terms of a final accord. The distrust has only deepened in the wake of a recent FARC attack that killed 11 soldiers, contravening a unilateral cease-fire declared by the guerrillas. 

Pages