Op-Ed

The Promise of South African Democracy

Evan Lieberman, Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa Project Syndicate

Although South Africans' increasing frustration with their government is borne out in public polling, critics who describe the country as a failed state completely miss the mark. Considering where South Africa started in 1994, its progress has been nothing short of remarkable.

Here’s what Western leaders need to remember about Zelensky’s emotional appeals

Roger Petersen Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The war in Ukraine is fought with bullets, bombs, and rockets—and also with images and words. At the center of this conflict, President Volodymyr Zelensky has strategically deployed the latter to trigger emotions among his fellow Ukrainians, Russian foes, and Western supporters.

Ukraine Presents a Moral Crisis, Not Just a Military One

David Miliband The New York Times

Miliband, a distinguished MIT Political Science alumnus and former Center for International Studies fellow, pens a powerful guest essay: "With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the military balance of power in Europe is up for grabs. The moral balance is also at stake. The West needs to show that it can live up to its values — as well as defend itself."

Underplaying the China threat

Kunal Singh Hindustan Times

The Ladakh border crisis became public in early May 2020. Since then, despite many claims to the contrary, the Narendra Modi-led government has consistently refused to accept that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is squatting on territories that India considers its own or are disputed.

Private Eyes in the Sky

Erik Lin-Greenberg and Theo Milonopoulos Foreign Affairs

How Commercial Satellites Are Transforming Intelligence

The Miracle and Tragedy of the 2020 U.S. Election

Nathaniel Persily Charles Stewart III The Journal of Democracy

The 2020 election was both a miracle and a tragedy. In the midst of a pandemic posing unprecedented challenges, local and state administrators pulled off a safe, secure, and professional election. This article discusses metrics of success in the adaptations that took place—record-high turnout, widespread voter satisfaction, a doubling of mail voting without a concomitant increase in problems often associated with absentee ballots, and the recruitment of hundreds of thousands of new poll workers. However, a competing narrative of a “stolen election” led to a historically deep chasm between partisans in their trust of the election process and outcome.

Now is the time to prepare for the next election emergency

Michael Caudell-Feagan and Charles Stewart III The Hill

The 2020 election has rightly been judged as well-managed, despite the enormous challenges posed by casting and counting millions of votes in the midst of a deadly pandemic and national lockdown. Election officials nationwide provided access to early voting and mail-in ballots and managed to keep poll workers and voters safe during an intense election with record turnout.  They did a remarkable job but the outcome could have been much, much different.

Europe can defend itself

Barry Posen The International Institute for Strategic Studies

Could Europe dispense with the services of the US military? And could it cope on its own with Russia’s querulous foreign policy and revived military? Barry Posen argues that Europe is better placed to defend itself militarily than many, including the IISS, have portrayed it to be.