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Letter from the Editor

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the conclusion of the Cold War triggered an unprecedented wave of optimism in the international relations community. Great thinkers in the field touted the transformative nature of democracy and saw multilateralism as a means to end global conflict, freeing up the international community to tackle poverty, hunger, and other issues previously thought intractable.

Recent years, however, have proved that the path to a cooperative, liberal word order is more fraught than expected, if it is possible at all. A great wave of populist sentiment has injected a dose of volatility into the global landscape, bringing with it isolationism, retrenchment, and concerns of authoritarianism. When taken together, these shifts can trigger concern over the worlds’ trajectory. However, when examined at a micro level, it becomes apparent that global sentiment is not a monolith, and each state and region is developing in its own unique manner.

For the Journal’s 19th issue, we explore modern populism across the world. Richard Aidoo looks at the landscape of anti-Chinese populism in the context of Africa’s resource scramble, while Alexander B. Makulilo takes an in depth look at the siren song of populism in Tanzania. Marten Brienen and Carlos de la Torre hone in on populism in Latin America, exploring its early 21st Century evolution and its relationship with democracy respectively.

Additionally, the Journal is proud to publish an interview with Ron Boquier and Raul Castillo, both of whom are active supporters of human rights in Venezuela, a county was a harbinger of recent global populist sentiment. Outgoing editor Joel Martinez speaks with Boquier and Castillo on the roles of the United Nations and United States in helping to advance democratic reform in the country.
We hope you enjoy this issue, and that it may shed some light on current developments in the geopolitical space.

Emily E. Fox,
Editor-in-Chief

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