Glasses on a pile of books

Best of the fortnight - 11 August 2023

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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

An expanded BRICS could reset world politics but picking new members isn’t straightforward. Bhaso Ndzendze and Siphamandla Zondi for The Conversation

United Nations wants to resurrect a global disarmament mechanism last used in the 1980s. Eloisa Romani and Zahraa Kapasi for The Conversation

UK and Europe

‘Performative cruelty’: the hostile architecture of the UK government’s migrant barge. Irit Katz for The Conversation

Erdogan’s Post-Western Turkey. Asli Aydintasbas and Jeremy Shapiro for Foreign Affairs

Macron knows that Europe needs to stand on its own two feet. Artin DerSimonian for Responsible Statecraft

Russia and Ukraine

Why Crimean Tatar fighters are playing an increasing role in resistance to Russian occupation. Gerald Hughes for The Conversation

Ukraine war: after two months of slow progress the long-awaited counteroffensive is picking up speed. Why has it taken so long? Christopher Morris for The Conversation

Why Russia’s nuclear energy company Rosatom has avoided sanctions. Kateryna Farbar for openDemocracy

Why New Technology Hasn’t Revolutionized Warfare in Ukraine. Stephen Biddle for Foreign Affairs

Podcast: Life in Kyiv. London Review of Books Podcast


Biden’s answer to Mexican border crisis might slow crossings but is not winning support. Dafydd Townley for The Conversation

Podcast: The Times of Joe Biden. These Times

Donald Trump charges: how they could affect the future of the Republican party. Richard Hargy for The Conversation

Podcast: From Lincoln to Trump: What happened to the Republican Party. These Times

The AUKUS Wager. Charles Edel for Foreign Affairs

Latin America

A community is fighting to stop gold mining firms polluting Ecuador’s rivers. Francesc Badia I Dalmases and Andrés Bernal Sánchez for openDemocracy

Young people’s anger fuels far-right populist as Argentina’s election nears. Juan Elman for openDemocracy

Here’s why Brazil is a major holdout against BRICS expansion. Andre Pagliarini for Responsible Statecraft


The Right Way for America and China to Cooperate on Climate. Kelly Sims Gallagher for Foreign Affairs 

Diplomacy Watch: China looms large at Ukraine ‘peace summit’. Connor Echols for Responsible Statecraft

Podcast: How China views Ukraine. Independent Thinking by Chatham House

Beijing briefing: China goes for growth in Global South. Yu Jie for Chatham House


Indian women’s struggle against sexual violence has had little support from the men in power. Severyna Magill for The Conversation

Can India Bring Russia and Ukraine to the Table? Happymon Jacob for Foreign Affairs

Middle East

The World Has No Choice But to Work With the Taliban. Graeme Smith and Ibraheem Bahiss for Foreign Affairs

Is the Middle East’s Makeover a Mirage? Joost Hiltermann for Foreign Affairs

Iran’s hardliners crack down at home, seek détente abroad. Daniel Brumberg for Responsible Statecraft

UAE-Iran islands dispute complicates regional diplomacy. Giorgio Cafiero for Responsible Statecraft


Niger coup: west African union has pledged to intervene – but some members support the plotters. Olumba E. Ezenwa for The Conversation

Russia-Africa summit: Putin offers unconvincing giveaways in a desperate bid to make up for killing the Ukraine grain deal. Stefan Wolff for The Conversation

The Niger Coup Could Threaten the Entire Sahel. Mariel Ferragamo for Council on Foreign Relations

Sudan’s next stop: Regional proxy war? Alex de Waal for Responsible Statecraft

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