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Best of the fortnight - 24 February 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

Could survivors help ‘fix’ anti-trafficking? Alex Balch, Allen Kiconco, and Wendy Asquith for openDemocracy

Grave reality of global violence against queer women and non-binary people. Lucy Martirosyan for openDemocracy

UK and Europe

The Nagorno-Karabakh blockade hurts families – even leaders’ families. Siranush Sargsyan for openDemocracy

UK slams ‘protectionist’ Biden. Matt Honeycombe-Foster and Jack Blanchard for Politico

How Qatar used a secret deal to bind itself to the EU Parliament. Eddy Wax and Ana Fota for Politico

The climate refugee crisis is landing on Europe’s shores — and we are far from ready. Ibrahim Özdemir for Politico

Finland’s Turn to the West. Gordon F. Sander for The New York Review of Books

Russia and Ukraine

Russia pulls out of New Start nuclear treaty – we’ve already seen how such agreements have limited aggression against Ukraine. Dan Plesch for The Conversation

Ukraine war: a year on, here’s what life has been like for refugees in the UK. Sara Jones and Natalia Kogut for The Conversation

Ukraine war 12 months on: the role of the Russian media in reporting – and justifying – the conflict. James Rodgers for The Conversation

Ukraine war: what the last 12 months has meant for the ordinary Russian soldier. Jennifer Mathers for The Conversation

How Putin has shrugged off unprecedented economic sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine – for now. Peter Rutland for The Conversation

‘The war is a plot’ - Conspiracies, detachment and confusion in Russia. Anna Matveeva for The Conversation

The environmental scars of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Louise Guillot, Antonia Zimmermann, and Giovanna Coi for Politico

Western sanctions didn’t stop the war. Were they worth it? Barbara Moens and Leonie Kijewski for Politico

Seven ways Russia’s war on Ukraine has changed the world. Chatham House experts


Months of secret planning and the president’s persistence: How Biden finally got to Kyiv. Eli Stokols and Alexander Ward for Politico

The Persistence of Great-Power Politics: What the War in Ukraine Has Revealed About Geopolitical Rivalry. Emma Ashford for Foreign Affairs

Biden’s Military-First Posture in the East Is a Problem. Timothy McLaughlin for The Atlantic

Latin America

Elected politicians have failed in Peru – here’s what must come next. Rafael Barrio de Mendoza for openDemocracy

Women and LGBTQ people caught up in El Salvador’s state of emergency. Dánae Vílchez for openDemocracy

Podcast: Why ‘Made in China’ is becoming ‘Made in Mexico’. The Daily by The New York Times


Xi the Survivor: How Washington Overestimates Chinese Weakness. Christopher Johnson for Foreign Affairs

What China Has Learned From the Ukraine War. Evan A. Feigenbaum and Adam Szubin for Foreign Affairs

When the balloon goes up: Can history teach us anything about growing Sino-American tension? Mark Almond for The Critic


The Taliban are digging an enormous canal. The Economist

The Philippines’ proximity to Taiwan makes it central to Western strategy. The Economist

Podcast: The air of their ways: South Asia’s crippling pollution. The Intelligence from The Economist

Middle East

Turkey-Syria earthquake: Assad blames west as agencies struggle to get aid to his desperate people. Scott Lucas for The Conversation

Turkey-Syria earthquake: the risk of aftershocks and what can be done to protect rescuers. Femke Mulder for The Conversation

West must move faster to prevent a catastrophe in northern Syria. Jamie Dettmer for Politico

Syrian rescue efforts slowed by bureaucracy and regime. Haid Haid for Chatham House

Axis of Convenience: Why Iran’s Partnership With Russia Endures. Dina Esfandiary for Foreign Affairs

The Liberal Israeli Bubble. Tareq Baconi for the London Review of Books

Humanitarian disaster in Syria and Turkey. Independent Thinking by Chatham House


How grassroots democracy has become a xenophobic weapon in South Africa. Luke Sinwell, Terri Maggott, and Trevor Ngwane for openDemocracy

Why aren't child soldiers treated as human trafficking 'survivors'? Benedetta Wasonga for openDemocracy

Podcast: What Climate Change Means for the Horn of Africa, With Michelle Gavin. Michelle Gavin and James M. Lindsay for Council on Foreign Relations

Why South Africa is drifting into the Sino-Russian orbit. The Economist

The Long Shadow of German Colonialism. Thomas Rogers for The New York Review of Books

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