China’s Authoritarianism Facilitated Its Economic Victory Over COVID-19

Despite being the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, China’s swift and strict response to the pandemic allegedly led to a 2.3 percent increase in GDP in the year 2020, reports NPR. The pandemic posed a unique challenge for the communist government, but not an unmanageable one. Leaning into authoritarian tactics, the Chinese government  was able to fight the virus while simultaneously building back its economy.

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Mexican Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion

Mexico’s Supreme Court has passed a historic adjudication allowing pregnant women to decide their own reproductive destiny without having to face criminal prosecution. According to Jacobin, the court deemed it was unconstitutional for the state of Coahuila to penalize women for performing a voluntary abortion, an action that previously could have led to up to 3 years in prison.

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Dean’s Welcome Celebrates a New Year for the School of Diplomacy

On September 10, the School of Diplomacy hosted its annual Dean’s Welcome event in celebration of the new school year. Held on campus, the lunch event was a great opportunity for faculty members and students to socialize. The excitement was palpable during one of the first in-person events hosted by the Diplomacy School since the COVID-19 pandemic caused the University’s in-person closure in March 2020.

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FOCUS on Afghanistan: Women

Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country, many questions have arisen regarding women’s rights in the country. The Taliban announced that they would lead an inclusive government where women would work “shoulder to shoulder” with men, promising to govern differently than before, says Al Jazeera.

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FOCUS on Afghanistan: The Taliban

On Tuesday, September 21, the Taliban requested to address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and nominated Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, according to Reuters. This was one of many strategic efforts by the Taliban as it continues to woo world leaders in a bid for recognition as the official political authority in Afghanistan. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were the only countries that recognized the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

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Egypt and Israel Seek to Reduce Tensions Through Bilateral Summit

The recent visit to Egypt by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on September 13 marks a key point in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli struggle. This is especially noteworthy after the conflict in the Gaza Strip last May between Israel and Hamas.

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Mass Migrations are on the Horizon if Politicians Keep Ignoring Climate Change

Conflicts and instability have been driving forces for migration across the world for decades, but now global leaders must worry about climate change before it is too late. Forced migration is often exhibited in areas of conflict where refugees and asylum-seekers hope to flee persecution, yet The International Red Cross estimates that there are currently more environmental refugees than political refugees.

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Booster Shots Unethically Exacerbate Global Vaccine Inequity

It has been one year, six months, and a little over a week since March 13, 2020: the day that the flu-like illness called “coronavirus” suddenly brought the lives of every American to a screeching halt. The country waited nearly a full year for vaccines to become available yet, months after a nationwide vaccination campaign began, the crisis has morphed into a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” as The Guardian writes. Now, in light of the Delta variant and a slight waning immunity to COVID-19, there is talk of a third booster shot. 

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“Commemorating 9/11”: A Discussion on Counterterrorism and Diplomacy

20 years after the events of September 11, 2001 shook the nation, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations welcomed three experts to speak on the tragedy’s impact on diplomacy, the United States military, and counterterrorism. The three panelists invited were Ambassador Joseph Westphal, former acting Secretary of the Army in 2001 and ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Rear Admiral Douglas Fears, a former presidential advisor on counterterrorism, and Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Price, former director of West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.

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