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Best of the fortnight - 10 February 2023

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This week, Guest Editor Louis Newstead has scoured the internet for IR-related content that might interest you. Here he brings you the past fortnight's best readings and podcasts to keep you up to date with what's happening around the world.

Global Issues

 QAnon is spreading outside the US – a conspiracy theory expert explains what that could mean. Robert M. Dover for The Conversation

Podcast: Borders & Belonging: The migrants that the West doesn’t talk about. Maggie Prezyna, Obert Hodzi, and Ben Mulvey for openDemocracy

World economy is fracturing, not deglobalizing. Neil Shearing for Chatham House

Fighting Climate Change Was Costly. Now It’s Profitable. Emma Marris for The Atlantic

UK and Europe

Levelling up: how UK freeports risk harbouring international crime. Paul Michael Gilmour for The Conversation

UK slides in corruption perception index after series of political scandals. Daniel Hough for The Conversation

Death and solidarity in the ‘graveyard’ at the Belarus-Poland border. Bogumila Hall for openDemocracy

How climate justice and police violence are inextricably linked. William Jones for openDemocracy

France and Germany go it alone as EU summit prepares to tackle fightback against US. Suzanne Lynch, Barbara Moens, and Samuel Stolton for Politico

Don’t neglect the Union. Owen Polley for The Critic

Russia and Ukraine

Ukraine war: casualty counts from either side can be potent weapons and shouldn’t always be believed. Lily Hamourtziadou for The Conversation

Ukraine war: attitudes to women in the military are changing as thousands serve on front lines. Jennifer Mathers and Anna Kvit for The Conversation

Ukraine war: Kyiv summit with EU will bring the two sides closer, but fast-track membership is unlikely. Stefan Wolff for The Conversation

Trans people are caught in the war in Ukraine. Kateryna Semchuk for openDemocracy

Ukraine in Our Future. Timothy Garton Ash for The New York Review of Books

Out of Alignment: What the War in Ukraine Has Revealed About Non-Western Powers. Shivshankar Menon for Foreign Affairs

Ukraine’s Coming Electricity Crisis. Thomas Popik for Foreign Affairs


State of the Union: ‘bipartisan’ Biden’s landmark speech sounds like a campaign launch for 2024. Dafydd Townley for The Conversation

State of the Union has lessons for transatlantic unity. Daniel W. Drezner, Leslie Vinjamuri, James Nixey, and Sanam Vakil for Chatham House

What China’s Surveillance Balloon Says About U.S.-China Relations. David Sacks for Council on Foreign Relations

Podcast: A Chinese Balloon and a Diplomatic Showdown. The Daily by the New York Times

Latin America

Now Bolsonaro is gone, human rights must be top of Brazil’s agenda. Eugenia Lopez Uribe for openDemocracy

Brazil breaks new ground in the global fight against fake news. Mac Margolis and Robert Muggah for openDemocracy

Brazil at the Crossroads. Vanessa Barbara for The New York Review of Books


China is extending its dealings with the Taliban as it increases its superpower status. Jose Caballero for The Conversation

Why so many of the world’s students want to go to Chinese universities. Jasvir Nachatar Singh for openDemocracy

China to EU: Drop calls for Ukraine’s ‘complete victory’. Stuart Lau for Politico

Podcast: Inside China’s global propaganda machine – with Joshua Kurlantzick. World Review from The New Statesman

China Hasn’t Given Up on the Belt and Road. Matt Schrader and J. Michael Cole for Foreign Affairs


Myanmar: two years after the military seized power the country is mired in a bloody civil war – but there are grounds for optimism. Oliver Springate-Baginski and Win Myo Thu for The Conversation

Podcast: Independent Thinking: Myanmar, the coup two years on. Bronwen Maddox, Sebastian Strangio, and Ali Fowle for Chatham House

America Needs to Reassure Japan and South Korea. Katrin Fraser Katz, Christopher Johnstone, and Victor Cha for Foreign Affairs

What’s at Stake in Pakistan’s Power Crisis. Noah Berman for Council on Foreign Relations

Middle East

Turkey-Syria earthquake: how disaster diplomacy can bring warring countries together to save lives. Ilan Kelman for The Conversation

Despite the Taliban’s pledge to eradicate opium, the poppy trade still flourishes in Afghanistan. Daniel Simms for The Conversation

Afghanistan: single women and widows are struggling to find their next meal under Taliban restrictions. Nitya Rao for The Conversation

Podcast: As Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, is a third intifada coming? World Review from The New Statesman

Iran’s Hard-Liners Are Winning. Vali Nasr for Foreign Affairs

The Unbearable Plight of Syrians. Kim Ghattas for The Atlantic

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