›May 20, 2015 // By Schuyler Null
In a commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today, President Obama said “climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country.”
›May 12, 2015 // By Richard Cincotta
Among the few bright spots in the 2015 Freedom in the World Report, the brightest may be Tunisia, which for the first time was assessed as “free” – Freedom House’s highest “freedom status” and for many political scientists the definitive indication of a liberal democracy. Tunisia is the only North African state to have been assessed as free since Freedom House began its worldwide assessment of political rights and civil liberties in 1972, and only the second Arab-majority state since Lebanon was rated free from 1974 to 1976.
›April 13, 2015 // By Lauren Herzer
Depending on how closely you pay attention to the OECD, you may have picked up on a subtle but meaningful change in this year’s States of Fragility report. Whereas previous reports were titled Fragile States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has shifted its framing to focus less on states and more on conditions, less on the binary status of a “fragile state” and more on fragility as a universal condition that can impede development in all countries.
›April 2, 2015 // By Wilson Center Staff
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Yemen has collapsed – again. A country that has split and been pulled together before, has the youngest and fastest growing population in the region, is running low on oil and water, and possesses a “personalist” government rather than stable institutions, was on the top of every expert’s list as the fragile state most likely to fail next.
In a headline-making article in the journal PNAS, Colin P. Kelley et al. write there is evidence that the ongoing conflict in Syria, which has killed at least 200,000, was triggered by climate change. Severe drought from 2007 to 2010 caused a massive rural-to-urban demographic shift which exacerbated pre-existing sociopolitical tensions in Syrian cities already inundated with Iraqi refugees.
The past decade has brought ground-shaking changes to global energy markets. The unconventional fuel boom has unexpectedly reduced U.S. dependence on oil imports, while in the Asia-Pacific region, energy-constrained nations are increasingly reliant on foreign sources to meet their soaring demand. With the U.S. slated to export liquid natural gas (LNG) to Asia as early as 2017, a new energy era has come.
This year’s World Water Day is taking on a broader theme than years past: sustainable development. The theme makes sense as two major international processes – the drafting of the Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals, and the most anticipated UN Climate Summit in years – are taking place in 2015. Decisions made over the next nine months will play a huge role in relationships between nations and global development priorities going forward.
›March 9, 2015 // By Schuyler Null
“Political demography is a discipline whose time has come,” said Rob Odell of the National Intelligence Council at a gathering of demographers and researchers in New Orleans. “You can sense this inherent dissatisfaction” with a lot of analytical and predictive tools in international relations, he said, and “political demography provides policymakers a way to think about long-term trends.”
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- War Leaves Two-Thirds of Yemen without Water Access: Oxfam | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
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