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Best of the fortnight - 2 June 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.

UK and Europe

Forget GDP growth, it’s sustainable wellbeing we need to aim for. Robert Costanza for openDemocracy

Kosovo government must take most of the blame for the latest violence, but any long-term solution will require a constructive response from Serbia as well. Stefan Wolff for The Conversation

Ethnic conflict in Kosovo: Cutting the Gordian Knot. Anatol Lieven for Responsible Statecraft

Russia and Ukraine

Despite the war, Russia is still part of Europe – for a lasting peace both sides need to remember that. Anna Matveeva for The Conversation

Moscow drone attacks are a morale booster for Ukraine and a warning for Russia – here’s why. David Hastings Dunn and Stefan Wolff for The Conversation

Ukraine war: what we know so far about reports of battles being fought across the border in Russia. Gavin E.L. Hall for The Conversation

Who are the far-right Russian groups fighting on Ukraine’s side? Andrei Rykov for openDemocracy

Why Putin is forcing occupied Ukrainians to become Russian citizens. Pavlo Lysianskyi for openDemocracy

Putin and the Psychology of Nuclear Brinkmanship. Rose McDermott, Reid Pauly, and Paul Slovic for Foreign Affairs

Podcast: How Russia’s war on Ukraine will change the world, with Serhii Plokhy. World Review from the New Statesman


Women’s secret war: the inside story of how the US military sent female soldiers on covert combat missions to Afghanistan. Jennifer Greenburg for The Conversation

Spying for Human Rights  . Sarah Yager for Foreign Affairs

America’s Best Bet in the Indo-Pacific. Arzan Tarapore for Foreign Affairs

The Russian Red Line Washington Won’t Cross—Yet. Daniel Block for The Atlantic

Latin America

South America’s Minimum Consensus on Democracy is Gone. Will Freeman for Council on Foreign Relations

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera: Asylum Seekers and Migrants in the Western Hemisphere Face Real Threats from Human Trafficking. Ann Norris for Council on Foreign Relations

Fears of Iranian influence in Latin America are way overblown. Eldar Mamedov for Responsible Statecraft


How China is increasing its influence in central Asia as part of global plans to offer an alternative to the west. Stefan Wolff for The Conversation

China’s Post-COVID Recovery and Reopening. Yanzhong Huang for Council on Foreign Relations


Timor-Leste election offers an extraordinary lesson in how to build a stable democracy. Geoffrey Swenson for The Conversation

The true toll of the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border conflict. Jean-Baptiste Gallopin for openDemocracy

Expanding U.S.-India Trade Cooperation Is More Important Than Narrow Dialogues. Inu Manak for Council on Foreign Relations

Turkey’s Growing Foreign Policy Ambitions. Kali Robinson for Council on Foreign Affairs

Turkey: what to expect from Erdoğan, his ultranationalist alliance and their ‘family values’ pledges. Balki Begumhan Bayhan for The Conversation

Middle East

Could Iran’s new nuclear bunker increase the risk of an Israeli attack? Paul Rogers for openDemocracy

Podcast: Pakistan in Crisis, With Sadanand Dhume. The President’s Inbox from Council on Foreign Relations

Palestinians Will Pay for Saving Israeli Democracy. Daniel Kurtzer and Aaron David Miller for Foreign Affairs

Egypt and Iran’s path to rapprochement. Emily Milliken and Giorgio Cafiero

Podcast: Bashar al-Assad’s dark return to the world stage. Today in Focus from The Guardian


Sudan conflict: why a humanitarian truce is proving so hard to secure – and what that means for people on the ground. Nonhlanhla Dube for The Conversation

Podcast: Debtors’ Prism: mounting crises of Africa’s loans. The Intelligence from The Economist

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