Populism in Poland: Implications of the Anti-LGBTQ Campaign

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.

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Too Little, Too Late?

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.

Governing by Grocery: The Food Politics of Russia’s War in Ukraine

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.

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. 

Squid Game, Parasite, and the Increasing Restlessness of Neoliberalism

Globally prominent pieces of South Korean media, such as Squid Game and Parasite, represent a growing discontent with the conditions which have been created and engendered by global neoliberalism. South Korea represents a particularly salient microcosm of this from its historical context as a strategic incubator for American capitalist development and the implications of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis on its 21st-century socioeconomic landscape.

Property Tax in Pursuit of Common Prosperity: A Shift in the Chinese Economic Model

China stands alone among developed economies for its lack of property tax, a status that it has maintained over the years despite being the second largest economy in the world. However, with the nation’s largest real estate giant Evergrande tipping on the edge of a default crisis, the government may finally be compelled to cast off this unique position and to finally impose one.

In early October this year, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislative body, decided to authorize a five-year property tax pilot program in selected cities such as Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Hainan. This economic move is of great significance in regulating China’s real estate sector, but the stakes are high.

Missing From Top of the Agenda During COP26’s First Week

The 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26) has officially begun✝. There are high expectations for the conference, which is expected to be the most important climate meeting since that which produced the 2015 Paris Agreement. Six years later, global progress has left much to be desired, and despite COP’s past successes, there are factors it is not addressing or giving due attention.

Undemocratic States: US-India Viewpoints on Religious Freedom

Religious freedom has been on attack within India for the past decade as rampant discrimination against religious minorities becomes increasingly enshrined within the legal language of the country. Despite the right to freedom of religion being clearly outlined within the 1949 Constitution of India and the country’s accession to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the plight of religious minorities within the country have only reached unparalleled levels.2 Importantly, the lack of geopolitical accountability against the Modi administration and those perpetuating religious violence condones and exacerbates the incredibly pervasive and longstanding religious persecution against Indian minority communities.

The Future of Centrism in a Post-Merkel Germany

On the surface, it would appear that the landscape of German politics is moving further left with the first victory of the center-left party in nearly 20 years. The Green Party’s reentrance to the governing coalition for the second time in their history furthers this sentiment. Still, the nominal change in party leadership conceals a continuity of centrism in German politics. Scholz was primarily popular among Germans due to his similarities to Merkel, despite belonging to the opposition party. Scholz adopted many overt references to Merkel on the campaign trail, including mimicking Merkel’s signature rhombus hand gesture and referencing himself by the female version of Chancellor, Kanzlerin. While previously unpopular among his party, Scholz’ centrist tendencies have positioned him perfectly as Merkel’s true successor. Laschet’s public relations missteps only served to distance himself from the collected, authoritative image of Merkel. In many ways, Merkel’s opposition party saw popular success in styling themselves in her image.

The Quad: An ‘Asian NATO?’

“I don’t think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world would recognize that the universal values advocated by the United States… would serve as the basis for the international order.” [2]

Expressed by Director Yang at the March 2021 US-China Alaska summit, it’s the latest verbal attack on the US-led world order and its liberal values. As China steamrolled into the 21st century, President Xi has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s ‘bide and hide’ strategy for a more assertive approach.