Johns Hopkins University student Victor Aldridge provides commentary on tomorrow’s second round of the Brazilian presidential election.
Maquiladoras, Human Rights, and the Impact of Globalization on the US-Mexico Border
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.
Chinese Nationalism at the Winter Olympics
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.
Government Shutdown Averted: Capitol Hill Priorities Revealed as Spending Bill Makes its Way to The White House, and its Implications for American Vaccine Distribution at Home and Abroad
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.
Caught in the Crossfire: the Costs of the United States’ Rivalry with China
With the United States clearly positioning itself to take a much more active role militarily in East Asia–a proposition that necessarily brings increased attention to Guam’s strategic advantage–it is critical to understand how the United States’ current relationship with Guam exemplifies an unequal framework that denies Guamanians influence over the United States’ military policy that consumes the island’s land and places it in far more direct danger of attack than any location on the mainland.
Abandoning the Color Line for the Revolutionary Line: the Antiracism of the Cuban Independence Movement
When most Americans think of revolution in Cuba, their minds immediately go to the revolution of 1959, which ended with the establishment of the first socialist government in the Americas. The 1959 revolution, however, was hardly the first revolutionary moment to sweep the largest island in the Caribbean. For three decades from the 1860s to 1898, the island was consumed by uprisings against the ruling Spanish government. Although these revolutions were eventually truncated by the arrival of a new imperial power—the United States—they serve as excellent examples of a truly antiracist, anticolonial struggle. These revolutions also serve to broaden our conception of the 1959 revolution by placing its nationalist elements and historical grievances in the proper context of a protracted Cuban struggle for independence.
Redemption for AstraZeneca, the Misunderstood Shot of the Global Vaccine Rollout
When the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine released its initial clinical results, it was hailed as a necessary and game-changing candidate. Compared to the vaccine race’s other “winners”, Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca was widely viewed as an accessible, affordable alternative that required less stringent storage conditions.  Like other leading vaccines, the AstraZeneca shot can drastically reduce severe or fatal cases of Covid-19. 
Today, the global vaccine rollout is well underway. It is also wildly unequal. While the United States and 42 other mostly high-income countries are on track to vaccinate their entire populations within the year, 67 low-income countries have not vaccinated anyone at all. 
Democracy is not to Blame: How Institutions Sink or Float a Country’s Covid-19 Response
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States has stood out for its failure to contain the virus’ spread. Meanwhile, governments in places such as Vietnam and China (after its initial attempts to conceal the existence of the virus) have been noted for the ways in which they have stopped the spread of Covid-19 within their borders. Given that Vietnam and China are both authoritarian countries, and the United States, a democracy, the popular idea has arisen that authoritarian governments are better at adequately preventing the spread of the virus. However, this is false. It is the quality of the institutions that matter, not the type of government.
Evaluating the Biden Appointments: Hawkish or Progressive?
As Joe Biden unexpectedly became the Democratic nominee after his rival, Bernie Sanders, conceded, there was much debate about how Joe Biden would be able to attract voters to his left. Before the Democratic National Convention, many within the Bernie Sanders campaign were able to push Joe Biden to adopt somewhat more progressive stances on healthcare, criminal justice, and environmental policy. Notably absent, however, were any substantial changes to Joe Biden’s foreign policy positions. The statements, advisors, appointments, and policy proposals of the future Biden administration that are currently available indicate that any substantial structural reform or progressive shift in terms of American foreign policy will not occur during the Biden administration.
Un Término Más para el MAS: Luis Arce’s victory in Bolivia Represents a Resounding Victory for Democracy in Latin America
On November 8th, 2020, Luis Arce was sworn in as the third president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.  Before serving as the presidential candidate for the Movimiento al Socialismo party, Arce served as Economic Minister under its previous leader, Evo Morales. During his tenure, he implemented policies that delivered economic growth rates far exceeding other Latin American countries. The Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) noted that during his tenure, Bolivian GDP per capita rose more than 50%- one of the highest in the world.  This radical transformation was in part owed to nationalizations he oversaw: from 2006 to 2019, industries such as telecommunications and mining were nationalized to finance anti-poverty campaigns. These programs also paid astounding dividends, with poverty rates slashed in half from over 60% in 2006 to 35% in 2019.