COVID-19

Purple State China: China’s Preferences in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election are…Complicated

In 2016, policy-relevant opinion in China favored Donald Trump’s election. In an overly simplistic and partisan assessment, and echoing claims by Trump himself, United States National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina claimed in August that Beijing...

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Malta, Italy, and Mediterranean Migration: A Long History and an Ongoing Issue

In July 2013, the Sunday Telegraph issued a report on the escalating refugee crisis in Malta. In the previous decade, Malta had seen thousands of Africans make their way to the tiny island nation, which lies just over a...

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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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COVID-19 and Authoritarian Regimes: China vs. Russia

The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are certainly the two most prominent authoritarian regimes in the world today, with their quasi-alliance characterized as an “axis of authoritarians” and portrayed as a major threat to the...

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After the 2020 Polish Presidential Elections: The State of Central European Democracies

The original Orbis article, in 2013, focused on how the Euro-zone crisis led to democratic backsliding in the new democracies that emerged in Central Europe, notably in Hungary and Poland. Ambassador Adrian Basora expressed concern that this “could jeopardize...

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Revamping American “Soft Power”: The Case for Centralizing America’s Messages to the World

The threat to American influence from the propaganda and disinformation activities of a range of actors—from powers like the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation to non-state actors like violent extremists—is one of the most pressing challenges...

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COVID-19 and Pandemics: The Greatest National Security Threat of 2020 and Beyond

How should the United States define its national security? At the U.S. Army War College, where I teach, that is one of the first questions we pose to our students. It’s not a simple one. While there is general...

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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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Central Asian Gas Exports to China: Beijing’s Latest Bargaining Chip?

Natural gas supplies to the People’s Republic of China have helped drive Central Asia’s economic growth for the last decade. For no country is this more true than for Turkmenistan: over 90 percent of Turkmenistan’s total exports is natural...

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Double Shock: The Impact of COVID-19 and the Oil Price Collapse on Russia’s Energy Sector

A combination of a collapse in oil prices and the global pandemic has sent shockwaves through the oil industry. Compared to other oil-producing countries, Russia is better prepared to weather this oil price shock. Since 2014, Russia’s economy has...

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