When picturing a protracted armed conflict between two sovereign nations in the 21st century, one may conjure to mind images of tanks rolling through villages, or perhaps fighter jets flying menacingly overhead. Clamoring crowds around empty shelves at a grocery store, however, is a far less likely picture.
Since Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022, global markets for countless goods have faced major upsets and disruptions, carrying far-reaching effects on many different sectors. In particular, this has had extremely consequential effects on the production, prices, and availability of food worldwide.
The Olympics is widely regarded as the largest sports event in the world. As much as the Olympic motto advocates for pure sports spirits, the Olympics have always created political implications. Host countries are often incentivized by the opportunity to show the world its strength, to increase collective confidence in their people by winning medals, and to stimulate consumption during the game. During the Olympics, numerous audiences cheer in front of televisions not only because of adrenaline and love for sports but also for national pride. The recent Beijing Winter Olympics was no exception. Chinese nationalism was pushed to a peak whenever a Chinese athlete won a medal or broke a record. While the Chinese audience was generally encouraging to native athletes, their opinions on non-native Chinese athletes were more ambiguous. To boost the performance of the Chinese team in the Olympics, China recruited many foreign-born, ethnically Chinese athletes in its weak disciplines such as skiing, ice hockey, and figure skating. Responses from the Chinese audience to these athletes provide a unique perspective on understanding Chinese nationalism. Among the recruited athletes, the comparison between Eileen Gu, an 18-year-old freestyle skier, and Yi Zhu, a 19-year-old figure skater, is the most interesting.
The signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran Nuclear Deal as it is colloquially known in the United States, are slowly moving toward revival of the ill-fated agreement. Almost 10 years after negotiations began for the JCPOA, lines of communication have been reopened in order to update and adjust the agreement so it may once again enter into force. However, there are significant roadblocks standing in the way of the JCPOA’s revival, and the resolution of these challenges is far from certain.
Ever since the first missiles flew and the first tanks rolled across Ukraine’s borders in late February of 2022, it would be easy to assume that everything not related to repelling the invasion froze in place. For most of the world, the overwhelming majority of media coverage about Europe’s largest country by land area became focused on the movements of troops, the flows of millions of refugees generated by the conflict, and the myriad reports of war crimes being committed primarily by Russian troops throughout the country. Given far less attention, however, are the ways in which the nuts and bolts of statecraft continue to function independent of the largest land war that Europe has seen in decades.
In the aftermath of the Cold War and the wake of globalization, a new type of organized violence emerged. The “new war” blurs the distinctions between traditional warfare, privately organized crime, and large-scale human rights violation, which marks its growing illegitimacy. Kaldor attributed this shift to “the intensification of global interconnectedness – political, economic, military and cultural – and the changing character of political authority.” Under this backdrop, gender plays a key role in shaping “new war” dynamics.
North Korea launched its latest and largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on March 24th, 2022. This signals an alarming escalation of arms accumulation by North Korea since 2017. With the entire world focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February, this turbulent time could be the perfect opportunity for North Korea to resume its long-awaited missile pursuit. This would also mean that the Biden administration will be strained further as it now needs to anticipate and react to both the escalation of the missile crisis in the Korean Peninsula and the threats of the continued massive civilian casualties and nuclear war by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In 2015, the far-right populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) won a majority in the Parliament of Poland under the lead of President Andrzej Duda. The rhetoric of Duda, along with many parliamentary candidates, relied heavily on common populist tropes of anti-immigrant sentiment. The political campaign was largely successful due to racially-based fear of incoming Syrian immigrants. However, Poland’s lack of participation in several EU refugee programs has resulted in a political landscape in which immigration does not capture public fears as it once did in the 2015 elections. In its place, PiS politicians have begun a hateful scapegoat campaign against the Polish LGBTQ community to rally emotions and muster political support from its base.
However, despite the benefits for foreign retailers and Mexican maquilas, working conditions and wages are strongly affected by retailer practices and the exploitation of loosely enforced regulations. Together, the impact of poor working conditions and external pressure on workers highlights human rights concerns throughout the maquila industry and reveals the actual cost of such a unique form of global logistics.
On Wednesday, March 9th, Congress passed a massive spending bill, signed by President Biden on Tuesday, March 15th, averting the government shutdowns that plagued the Trump administration. The 1.5 trillion dollar spending bill has ended months of negotiations and disputes between Democrats and Republicans and has left party leaders on both sides with both wins to celebrate and losses to apologize for to their bases. One of its most newsworthy aspects is the 13.6 billion dollars allocated to aid to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, a follow-up to President Biden’s past promises to help Ukraine in their fight to maintain sovereignty.