Foreign Policy Research Institute

“A nation must think before it acts.” —Robert Strausz-Hupé

Geopoliticus: The FPRI Blog

Would jihad's new generation kill off al-Qaeda's global leader Ayman al-Zawahiri?

Posted by Clint Watts
April 20, 2014 - 9:31pm

In November of 1989, a car passed through a street in Peshawar, Pakistan only to be demolished by a roadside bomb.  Inside, the single most inspirational figure of the Afghanistan jihad, Abdallah Azzam, lay dead along with two of his sons.  The most effective jihadi prostelytizer of his era, Azzam inspired thousands to come and... Read more... Tags: Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda, ISIS

Is Azerbaijan Likely to Have Its Own Maidan?

Posted by Michael Noonan
April 18, 2014 - 4:53pm

Game On: Southeast Asian Cooperation in the South China Sea?

Posted by Felix K. Chang
April 13, 2014 - 7:47pm

It is easy for a serviceman stationed on one of the tiny islands that comprise the Spratly group in the South China Sea to feel lonely.  But sometime in early June, the Philippines hopes to send 40 of its naval personnel to visit their Vietnamese counterparts on Southwest Cay for a day of beach volleyball, food, and music.  Even so, the history that the two sides share over the island was not so amiable.  South Vietnam slyly seized the island from the Philippines in 1975 and then communist... Read more... Tags: South China Sea, Spratly Islands, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, James Shoal, Scarborough Shoal, Second Thomas Shoal, Southwest Cay

Recent Elections in Central Europe

Posted by Maia Otarashvili
April 11, 2014 - 11:43am

By Alexandra Wiktorek Sarlo

Two recent elections in the neighboring central European states of Hungary and Slovakia point to different trends in the region’s politics. Slovakia’s presidential election appears to be a healthy step towards further consolidation of democracy, as voters stood against allowing a single party to dominate their government. Meanwhile, Hungary’s parliamentary... Read more... Tags: Hungary, Slovakia, democratic transitions, democratic erosion

Field Notes: Reading Lolita in Kurdistan

Posted by David Danelo
April 2, 2014 - 4:58pm

            Two European-looking young men are sitting in the back of the minibus, which I boarded at a sprawling open-air taxi market in Erbil, Iraq. Slender and projecting exotic Western cool, Asin has thin, curly slick black hair and sports a lock of unshaven fuzz on his chin. He is tucked into the back right corner and is reading a Persian translation of Lolita. Sitting next to him, Ako, his traveling companion, looks absentmindedly out the window. With light hazel eyes and... Read more... Tags: Kurdistan, iraq, Field Notes, Field Research