Glasses on a pile of books

Best of the fortnight - 8 September 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. After the unexpected passing of Professor Christopher Coker, we have listed some of his recent research here. The LSE have created a dedicated space to share messages in memory of Christopher. 

Christopher Coker

LSE Ideas Podcast on The Rise of the Civilizational State: China, Russia and Islamic Caliphate and the challenge to the liberal world order (2019).

Most recent book: Why War? (Hurst, 2021)

LSE Ideas Strategic Updates: Facing a strategic endgame? The US and the ambiguities of strategic thinking (2021)

UK and Europe 

Poverty in Britain is firmly linked to the country’s mountain of private wealth – Labour must address this growing inequality. Stewart Lansley for The Conversation 

Don’t look there: how politicians divert our attention from climate protesters’ claims. Daniel Garcia-Jaramillo for The Conversation  

Russia and Ukraine 

Ukraine war: two good reasons the world should worry about Russia’s arms purchases from North Korea. Daniel Salisbury for The Conversation 

Ukraine war: the implications of Moscow moving tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Veronika Poniscjakova for The Conversation 

Ukraine war: Australian-made cardboard drones used to attack Russian airfield show how innovation is key to modern warfare. Paul Cureton for The Conversation  

Will Prigozhin's death make any difference to the war in Ukraine? Paul Rogers for openDemocracy 


How Elon Musk is using X to fuel right-wing hate in the US. Chrissy Stroop for openDemocracy 

America’s Digital Achilles’ Heel: The United States’ Reliance on Sensitive Technology Leaves It Vulnerable to Attacks. Erica Lonergan and Jacquelyn Schneider for Foreign Affairs 

Hawks Want Biden To Take The Fight With Russia Global. Daniel Larison for Responsible Statecraft 

Foreign Money Helps These GOP Candidates Pay The Bills. Eli Clifton for Responsible Statecraft  

Latin America 

Ecuador faces economic dilemma after vote to ban oil drilling in the Amazon. Francesc Badia I Dalmases for openDemocracy 

Guatemala's Fragile Democratic Opening. Adriana Beltrán for Responsible Statecraft 


China is switching away from its aggressive ‘wolf warrior’ foreign policy – here’s why. Tom Harper for The Conversation 

The Last Minarets of Yunnan: China’s Hui Muslims in the Cross Hairs of Xi’s New Nationalism. Haiyun Ma and I-wei Jennifer Chang for Foreign Affairs 

The End of China’s Economic Miracle. Adam S. Posen for Foreign Affairs 

Podcast: Upping arms: the new three-way nuclear race. The Intelligence by The Economist 


South Korean president’s anti-communist taunts are opening up deep divisions as country ponders alliance with Japan and US. Kevin Gray for The Conversation 

India has landed on the Moon: here’s what the political and economic gains are. Christopher Newman for The Conversation 

The Perils of a Renewed North Korea-Russia Relationship. Scott A. Snyder for Council on Foreign Relations 

Taiwan Announced a Record Defense Budget: But Is It Enough to Deter China? David Sacks for Council on Foreign Relations  

Thailand’s Turbulence: Implications for the Region and the World. Joshua Kurlantzick for Council on Foreign Relations 

Middle East 

‘My home city was destroyed by war but I will not lose hope’ – how modern warfare turns neighbourhoods into battlefields. Ammar Azzouz for The Conversation 

Iran’s New Patrons: Why China and Russia Are Stepping Up Their Support. Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh for Foreign Affairs 

Podcast: How has Iran changed after Mahsa Amini’s death? Independent Thinking from Chatham House 

Iranian-Saudi deal: They didn't do it for love. Giorgio Cafiero for Responsible Statecraft 


Coup in Gabon: Ali Bongo the eighth west African leader to be ousted by military in two years. Folahanmi Aina for The Conversation 

Wagner Group: what Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death means for stability in Africa. Olumba E. Ezenwa and Idris Mohammed for The Conversation 

The Real Meaning of Niger’s Coup: Will Anger at the West Entrench a New Authoritarian Order? Ebenezer Obadare for Foreign Affairs 

Navigating the regionalization of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict. Abel Abate Demissie for Chatham House 

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash