Mentorship is one of the pillars on which FPRI stands. The Institute prides itself in providing training to its interns – mostly college students, but some high school students as well – in research and policy analysis, editorial and verbal skills, and in the field of international relations broadly.  From time to time, we are proud to showcase exceptional work produced by FPRI interns – in the form of blog posts, E-Notes, infographics, or even podcasts and E-books; hence, the establishment of this page – Interns’ Corner – on the FPRI website. FPRI interns have gone on to hold key posts in the US government, including first US Ambassador to Kosovo, Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the State Department, Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Strategic Advisor to the Commander of Cyber Command, even Undersecretary of Defense. Also, as of this writing, one FPRI senior fellow, one FPRI Fox Junior Fellow, and one Harvey Sicherman Scholar at FPRI are all former interns.

Estonia’s Digital Solutions to COVID-19

 According to Johns Hopkins University, Estonia’s novel coronavirus numbers have generally stayed similar to those of its neighbors in the ...

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Fake News, Real Censorship: A New Bill Threatens Freedom of Speech in Kyrgyzstan

Wearing face masks stamped with a bright red X, demonstrators marched down Bishkek’s Freedom Boulevard on June 29 in protest of a bill regulating disinformation in Kyrgyzstan. The legislation, widely viewed as an attempt to curb freedom of speech,...

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Populism in American Elections: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

When a political movement becomes interwoven into an individual’s self-identity, said individual is unable to criticize that political movement without implicitly criticizing themselves. Conversely, to maintain the belief that individuals and the political movement that they are ingrained within...

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Great Power Competition and the Scramble for Africa

From November 1884 to February 1885, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck convened 13 European powers and the United States to coordinate “commercial activity” in Africa and emerged with the General Act. Never explicitly stating colonialism, but connotating colonial principles,...

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Russia’s Political Influence in Bulgaria

Speaking on July 11, 2019, at an international conference in Batumi, Georgia, European Council President Donald Tusk declared, “The collapse of the Soviet Union was a blessing . . . to the whole of Central and Eastern Europe.” Bulgaria,...

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Israel, Lebanon, and Failed Natural Gas Negotiations

Over the past decade, there has been a gas revolution in the Eastern Mediterranean, where discoveries of large offshore gas deposits have set up some of the littoral states—notably Israel, Egyp,t and perhaps Cyprus—as potential significant players in the...

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Returning Home: Evaluating Statelessness among Former Jihadists

When addressing the case of Hoda Muthana, an American-born former ISIS member, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated, “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. . . . She’s...

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Diplomacy and Dividends: Who Really Controls the Wagner Group?

Many expected the diplomatic relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States to fray when U.S. forces killed hundreds of Russians assaulting a U.S.-held Syrian outpost in early 2018. Yet, the Kremlin quickly distanced itself from the Russian...

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The Battle for Artificial Intelligence Supremacy: Corporations or Countries?

The artificial intelligence race has kept the world watching in rapt attention. Will the People’s Republic of China beat the United States of America? If so, what are the implications? Kai-fu Lee, a former executive at Apple, SGI, Microsoft,...

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Modi’s Grand Strategy in Kashmir?

In early August 2019, Kashmir, a region contested by India and Pakistan, had its decades-long special status revoked. When Kashmir was integrated in 1947, India gave it a certain degree of autonomy, going so far as to allow it...

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The Role of the Director of National Intelligence as ‘Head’ of the Intelligence Community

In recent weeks, there has been controversy over who President Donald Trump would nominate as the next Director of National Intelligence (DNI) after the resignation of Dan Coats. This discussion makes it an appropriate time to ask some questions:...

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The Hashemite Kingdom’s Multiple Futures

Under the watchful eye of King Abdullah II, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan emerged from the 2011 Arab Spring with its regime intact. However, that is not to say it has escaped the last eight years unscathed. The devolution...

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Israeli Democracy Still Haunted by the Ghosts of Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein

As Israel prepares for its second election this year, there is one party that deserves extra attention—despite its relatively small size. Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) is a secular party; its leadership and platform are rooted in the ideology of...

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The Future of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces

Facing the existential threat of the then-rapidly expanding Islamic State in 2014, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki officially established the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to assist in the defense of Iraq. Ayatollah Sistani, a prominent Shia cleric, called...

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Failaq al-Khamis and Prospects for Peace in Syria

As the battle lines in the Syrian Civil War continue to harden, some opposition forces and communities have chosen to reconcile with the Assad regime rather than prolong a conflict that they cannot win. With Russian assistance, the Assad...

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Russian Neo-Imperialism in Ukraine and Greece

The modern imperialist motives of the Russian Federation are often integrated into the notion that Russia is a revisionist power that behaves in line with its traditional national security interests. However, this argument oversimplifies the Kremlin’s foreign policy strategy...

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The Kurdish Struggle for Autonomy from the 1970s to the Present

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump called himself a “big fan of the Kurds” and also defended Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against them, remarking "Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy, 'oh he’s using gas!’”...

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An Assessment of Russia’s Military Presence in Latin America

The domestic and foreign relations of Latin American countries often do not garner much attention from the U.S. government or media until an exceptionally noticeable crisis occurs. As a result, the Russian Federation’s growing presence in this region has...

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Moscow’s Hand in Libya

Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), has charged Tripoli to topple Fayez al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister ...

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Russia’s Repatriation of ISIS Members

On March 25, the Kurdish-led and American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) transferred three Russian orphans, aged five to seven, to a Russian government delegation in northeast Syria. The transfer marked the beginning of the repatriation process for children of...

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The Case of The Gambia: A Template for Democratic Transition?

On December 1, 2016, Adama Barrow took the small West African country of The Gambia by surprise when he won the country’s presidential election, and became the nation’s third president in over 51 years. Largely as a result of...

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International Scientific Organizations and Israel’s Relations with the Arab World

Secretive interactions between Israeli and Arab officials, such as a group of Emirati military officials reportedly traveling to Israel to observe its operations of American-made F-35 fighter jets in July 2018, are small indications of the depth of the...

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Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign: The Hidden Motives of a Modern-Day Mao

Throughout history, leaders in China have often resorted to implementing anti-corruption campaigns. Though these campaigns are a means of curbing extreme levels of corruption, they are also an effective method of pursuing political goals. The latest leader to utilize...

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U.S.-Canadian Environmental Diplomacy in the 1920s

When farmer J.H. Stroh lodged an official complaint on behalf of his orchard farm in Stevens County, Washington, in 1926, his grievance painted a grim picture: damage to crops, livestock, and even metal fencing, all of which threatened his...

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How Russia and the U.S. Factor into Syria: A Briefing Report

Five years into a geopolitically convoluted and logistically complex civil war in Syria, there appears to be no end in sight. Not only are numerous regional groups engaged in this conflict, but also the issue is further complicated by...

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Opposition Candidates in the 2018 Russian Presidential Election: A Primer

On March 18, Russia will hold its presidential election. The outcome is not in doubt: current President Vladimir Putin will be elected to a fourth term. Opposition candidates readily admit as much: one of Putin’s putative rivals in the...

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American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump: A Report

On January 23, Hal Brands, the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, gave a talk regarding his...

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Understanding the North Korean Threat with Lt. Gen. (Ret) In-Bum Chun: A Report

Since the Cold War, few crises have put so many Americans on edge as the escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump continue to send mixed signals of...

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Built to Last: Coalition Formation and German-Russian Relations after the Election

Two words capture a broad swathe of U.S. and European political concerns over the past twelve months: elections and Russia. However, in a year when it seemed that every election threatened potentially dire consequences for American interests, the European...

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The Maple Leaf Mujahideen: The Rise of the Canadian Jihadi Movement

Though seldom mentioned in the same breath as prolific Western jihadi producers such as France, Germany, and Belgium, Canada has a long and often overlooked history of producing jihadists. From the “Millennium Bomber” and the “Toronto 18” to the...

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Al-Qaeda and ISIS: Assessing the Threat—and Containing It

Since 9/11, scholars and citizens across the United States have heralded jihadi terrorist groups as the single greatest threat to American national security. Mendelsohn however, argued that this assessment is not only hyperbolic, but it also fundamentally mischaracterizes the...

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What is Geopolitics?

Robert Strausz-Hupé, the founder of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, was a leading exponent of the field of geopolitics, a political framework that supports the examination of international affairs in the context of culture, history, and geography, in addition...

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Resetting the Reset: Looking Back at the Cycle of U.S.-Russia Relations

Since the early 1990s, the U.S.-Russia relationship has faced a series of ebbs and flows amid numerous attempts to build a better rapport. The reasons behind the failure to create a positive relationship have been the subject of much...

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Will the Post-Mortem Begin in Poland?

Among the many places where observers might have expected to hear the death knells of liberal democracy, Poland can’t have been high on the list. Yet, a number of developments in that country’s foreign policy and international outlook...

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U.S.-China Relations: An Uncertain Balance

Professor deLisle began his presentation on what he referred to as one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships by discussing China’s growth over the last fifty years. While China is not yet on equal footing with the United...

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In Search of a Trump Doctrine

The Trump Doctrine—a core of fundamental foreign policy beliefs—has so far proved elusive, said Dom Tierney in his opening talk to FPRI interns. In searching for the Trump Doctrine, Dr. Tierney categorized Trump’s beliefs into three distinct “baskets.” The...

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Cyber Insecurity

Mr. Lawrence Husick began his talk on the admittedly complicated issue of cyber insecurity with a primer on the technological basics of cyber threats. Cyber threats can be executed with a variety of tools including, but not limited to,...

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The Iraq Wars: An Enduring Puzzle

Dr. Samuel Helfont, started his lecture by highlighting how odd it is that Iraq has been such a central part of U.S. foreign policy for over 25 years. Iraq on the surface, according to Helfont, is not a particularly...

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Why the Korean War Erupted

Although the purpose of this conference was to understand why America goes to war, it is more important in the case of the Korean War, Waldron argued, to understand why Korea and China entered the war. The Communist Party...

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What Should Be the Role of Democracy Promotion in American Foreign Policy?

On June 19, the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) hosted a BookTalk on “Does Democracy Matter?,” a recently published collection of essays edited by Adrian Basora, Agnieszka Marczyk, and Maia Otarashvili. The panel featured Ambassador Basora and Nikolas Gvosdev,...

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Bulgaria’s Presidential Election: Uncertainty Looms

Bulgaria is a parliamentary representative republic, in which the president, elected by Bulgarian citizens, serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President of Bulgaria is also responsible for determining and implementing the country’s...

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Primer on the Alawites in Syria

The Syrian conflict has captured the attention of the world. Currently, at least 470,000 Syrians have been killed, and 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. Additionally, more than 11 million people (almost half of Syria’s pre-war population...

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The Foreign Policy Views of Donald Trump

The foreign policy views of the Republican nominee Donald Trump have been called dangerous, treasonous, confused – and that’s just ...

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Moldova’s Presidential Election: Europe vs. Russia

The upcoming presidential elections in Moldova will determine whether the country further integrates with the European Union or develops a closer relationship with Russia....

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Transnistria Primer

Transnistria, or the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), exists unsure of its place in the world. To its west, across the Dniester River, lies the breakaway region’s parent state, Moldova, and, beyond that, European Union (EU) member Romania. To the...

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Tsai Ing-wen’s Presidential Platform

. Tsai must be pragmatic and diplomatic in order to get the results she hopes to achieve. Taking office in a tense political atmosphere, the new president must maintain the status quo with China if she hopes to initiate...

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The Presidential Candidates on Democracy Promotion in the Middle East

The past two presidents have been deeply engaged in promoting democracy in the Middle East. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Middle East emerged as a key region of strategic interest for the United States,...

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Where Does Tunisia Go from Here?

The revolution in Tunisia has arguably been by far the most successful of the Arab Spring movements to date. Longtime president Zine El Abadine Ben Ali has been deposed, a new Constitution has been implemented, and the big-tent, secular...

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Understanding Why People Flock to the Islamic State

Approaching the Islamic State On August 12, two teens from Mississippi were apprehended on their way to join the Islamic ...

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A Quick Guide to the Foreign Policy Views of the Democratic Presidential Candidates

As of this writing, five Democrats are running for their party’s nomination for President of the United States: Hillary Clinton, ...

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Israel and the Arab Gulf States: Strategic Relationships

This infographic was created to illustrate the strategic relationship between Israel and the Arab Gulf States, categorizing and explaining the major areas ...

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A Quick Guide to the Foreign Policy Views of the Republican Presidential Candidates

At a Glance As of this writing, sixteen candidates are formally running for the nomination of the Republican Party for ...

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Reforming the Israeli Electoral System: What’s Needed? What’s Possible?

Over a month and a half has passed since the March 17th Israeli parliamentary elections decisively granted Netanyahu’s Likud party ...

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Do Israelis Think Left and Vote Right?

It is expected that on January 22, when Israelis go to the polls, the merged Likud-Yisrael Beitenu party will secure ...

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