Glasses on a pile of books

Best of the fortnight - 30 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 

The Greek migrant shipwreck is another preventable tragedy at the borders of Europe. Gemma Bird for The Conversation 

It’s make or break time for Nagorno-Karabakh’s future. Olesya Vartanyan for openDemocracy 

Deadly Greece shipwreck makes case against ‘floating prisons’ even starker. Tigs Louis-Puttick for openDemocracy 

Germany charts its course in unstable geopolitical waters. Suzanne Loftus for Responsible Statecraft 

Russia and Ukraine 

Failed Wagner Group coup leaves Putin humiliated and Belarus dictator Lukashenko more secure – for now. Natalya Chernyshova for The Conversation 

Putin seriously weakened by Wagner Group mutiny – but it was a missed opportunity for Ukraine too. Stefan Wolff and Tetyana Malyarenko for The Conversation 

Ukraine war: aborted Wagner Group rebellion shows how Putin’s attempt to unify Russian forces has failed to quell factional rivalries. Tracey German for The Conversation 

Berlin airlift and Ukraine war: the importance of symbols during conflicts. Jan Ruzicka and Gerald Hughes for The Conversation 

The UN must step up to avoid a nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine. Taras Bilous for openDemocracy 

How locals are leading the recovery in Ukraine’s flooded region. Britta Ellwanger for openDemocracy 

We shouldn’t be cheering for state collapse in Russia. Branko Marcetic for Responsible Statecraft 

Podcast: Independent Thinking: Wagner’s war inside Ukraine. Chatham House


UN report calls on U.S. government to close Guantanamo Bay. Blaise Malley for Responsible Statecraft 

Weaponizing leaks: The Chinese “spy base” in Cuba. William LeoGrande for Responsible Statecraft 

A world without hegemons. William Minter for Responsible Statecraft 

Close India relations reflect bipartisan consensus in US politics. Leslie Vinjamuri for Chatham House 

Latin America 

Fifty years after the Uruguay coup, why so few people have been brought to justice for dictatorship crimes. Francesca Lessa for The Conversation 

The Guatemalan Counterinsurgency Never Ended. Will Freeman for Foreign Affairs 

President Raisi Visits Latin America. Elliott Abrams for Council on Foreign Relations 


‘Mr. X’ would not approve of China containment. Daniel Larison for Responsible Statecraft 

What Is Putin Worth to China? Michael Schuman for The Atlantic 

America, China, and the Virtue of Low Expectations. Ryan Hass for Foreign Affairs 

China Is Ready for a World of Disorder. Mark Leonard for Foreign Affairs 


North Korea: fears of a new famine after three years of COVID isolation and harsh repression. Sojin Lim for The Conversation 

US-India ties look rosy, but beware of over-militarization. Sarang Shidore for Responsible Statecraft 

How to intervene symbolically: The CSTO in Kazakhstan. Alexander Libman, Igor Davidzon, and Rheea Saggar for Chatham House 

Can India Become a Green Superpower? Arunabha Ghosh for Foreign Affairs 

Middle East 

Iranian protesters remain defiant in the face of violent and brutal regime oppression. Afshin Shahi for The Conversation 

What Is the Iran Nuclear Deal? Kali Robinson for Council on Foreign Relations 

The Taliban have launched an impressive new war on drugs. The Economist 


Syrians trapped in Sudan turning to smugglers to escape. Leon Spring and Raed Al Halabi for openDemocracy 

What next for Wagner’s African empire? The Economist 

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