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On GeopoliticsSep 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A damaged EU flag is seen in Brenzone, Italy, on Aug. 14, 2019. 
The Quest for European Unity: No End of History
Europe faces a challenge of identity and international role over the next decade. For nearly 500 years, Europe sat at the center of the international system, its internal competitions rippling out across the globe. But the relative balance of global power and influence has shifted. And rather than being the driving force of global dynamics, Europe is increasingly caught between major powers: the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and now the United States and China. Internally, Europe still strives for the creation of a continental union, though those dreams have been eroded by financial crises, Brexit and a resurgence of nationalism in recent years. Externally, Europe remains fragmented in its foreign policy and prioritization. The shifting patterns of global competition will compel Europe to rethink its internal structures and to come to grips with defining its interests abroad. Otherwise, it will find itself drifting further
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AssessmentsAug 17, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Steam and exhaust rise from a chemical company's coking plant in Oberhausen, Germany, on Jan. 6, 2017.
What the EU Green Deal Means For Governments and Companies
The European Union will increase pressure on private and public companies to reduce their carbon emissions in the coming years, and will also make significant funds available to help member states transition to cleaner energy. The actual implementation of the ambitious policies laid out in Brussels' Green Deal, however, will be slow and uneven due to the bloc's current pandemic-induced economic crisis, insufficient funding, internal political divisions, and limited access to the technologies needed to create more eco-friendly European economies. 
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SnapshotsAug 10, 2020 | 19:52 GMT
Belarus's Anticipated Electoral Crisis Has Only Just Begun
Intensifying protests across Belarus following the disputed Aug. 9 presidential election present a significant threat to President Alexander Lukashenko. Opposition leaders are hoping to shape the initial uproar over the election results into persistent and widespread protest action. This could escalate violence at first, though a prolonged and emboldened protest movement may also eventually break security forces' resolve to crack down on civilians. The international response to the election outcome and subsequent protest violence has also demonstrated a clear divide between the East and West, which could increase the risk for both Russian intervention and European sanctions.
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On GeopoliticsJul 3, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A map of China.
China’s Rise as a Global Power Reaches Its Riskiest Point Yet
China is an empire in the modern sense -- a nation strengthened (but also held hostage) by its long supply chains, compelled to ever greater economic and political intercourse to preserve its interests, and increasingly drawn into the security sphere as well. It uses its economic, political and military leverage to expand its own direct sphere of operations, from the South China Sea to India and across Central Asia into Europe. The more engaged it is internationally, the more dependent it is on maintaining and strengthening those connections, which are critical for Chinese economic growth and, by extension, domestic management of its massive, diverse and economically unequal population. 
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AssessmentsMay 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An aerial photo shows villagers sowing highland barley seeds with agricultural machinery in the fields in Lhasa, the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on April 22, 2020.
COVID-19 Tensions Place Australian Farmers in China's Crosshairs
On May 10, Australian grain producers issued a joint statement warning that China has made a provisional decision to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian barley imports of up to 80.5 percent, effectively shutting down their exports to China. Sources within the Australian government say the timing of these tariffs is linked to the recent uptick in Chinese tensions over COVID-19, though Prime Minister Scott Morrison has publicly since said he does not believe the two are related. China's economic pressure, however, would have to expand beyond barley and the small group of beef slaughterhouses to compel Australia to reconsider its support of U.S. efforts to counter Beijing's rise. If Beijing threatens more sweeping measures against Australian beef exports, or turns to targeting wool exports, Canberra may be prompted to change its approach. But as things stand, barley producers in Australia have other options.
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AssessmentsFeb 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows fanned-out 50, 100, 200 and 500 banknotes of the euro, the currency of the eurozone.
The Eurozone Braces for a Rocky Year
Households, companies and investors alike should brace for a year of lackluster economic growth in the eurozone. The European Commission expects the 19-member currency area to grow by only 1.2 percent this year -- the same rate as 2019, but below the 1.9 percent and 2.5 percent growth seen in 2018 and 2017, respectively. While uncertainty about the future of global trade has taken a toll on Europe's economic climate and manufacturing sector, domestic consumption has nonetheless remained strong due to rising employment and modest increases in wages. The next few months, however, will present multiple sources of geopolitical risk that will continue to stall economic expansion across the eurozone, and could potentially lead to temporary recessions in countries such as Italy.
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SnapshotsFeb 12, 2020 | 23:05 GMT
Lebanon's New Government Steels Itself for Painful Reforms
In Lebanon, there's no rest for the weary. After finally winning a confidence vote on Feb. 11 to formally take office, Lebanon's new government must immediately turn its attention to a very pressing task: implementing cost-cutting measures to unlock external support funds that will be critical if the country is to exit its worst economic crisis in 15 years. Hassan Diab's government overcame popular anger to win a vote of confidence in parliament. Now, it'll face greater fury in trying to solve Lebanon's economic woes.
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AssessmentsJan 31, 2020 | 18:47 GMT
This photo shows a masked vendor and customers of his wares in an alley in Wuhan, China, on January 31, 2020.
Measuring the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak that has killed scores and sickened thousands is set to deliver a significant blow to China's already-weakening economy. Quarantines and travel bans put into place to limit the spread of the illness already have disrupted one of the country's busiest travel and spending periods of the year, the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Jan. 25. The lockdowns have created major supply chain disruptions in Hubei province, the key Chinese transit hub and major manufacturing center for automobiles, fiber optic cable and machinery where the outbreak started. Public transportation, including trains, planes and ferries in and out Hubei -- whose provincial capital, Wuhan, was the epicenter of the outbreak -- have been suspended, with the freedom of movement curtailed for some 60 million people. The disruptions are not limited to the province, however, as business and industrial activities across the nation, already substantially slowed or even suspended
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AssessmentsJan 29, 2020 | 09:00 GMT
This photo shows palm oil fruit after harvest.
In India’s Rift With Malaysia, Palm Oil and Politics Don't Mix
A burgeoning dispute between the world's biggest importer of edible oils and one of the world's biggest suppliers of them is heating up in Southeast Asia. On Jan. 8, India restricted imports of refined palm oil and palm olein. While the trade cuts didn't call out any specific countries, they were intended to hit Malaysia after its leader condemned the Indian government's controversial new policies as being discriminatory against Muslims. As the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) struggles to revive India's sluggish economic growth, it will have all the more incentive to advance the religious and identity-based issues underpinning its Hindu nationalist platform. And as evidenced by its palm oil rift with Malaysia, New Delhi won’t be afraid to leverage its trade market to coerce smaller countries into silence. 
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AssessmentsDec 9, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
Close-up of 500 Argentine peso bills stacked on different value notes.
Argentina's Economic Sins Come Back to Bite
When he takes office on Dec. 10, Argentina's new president, Alberto Fernandez, will quickly find his hands tied, having raised expectations of simultaneously increasing government spending while lowering inflation. But while those campaign promises may have earned Fernandez the seat, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the many other foreign creditors who keep Argentina's lights on won't tolerate such visions of grandeur. Without a long-term program to solve the country's economic crisis, or the cash to make good on its heaping pile of IOUs, Buenos Aires will likely be forced to once again default on a large part of its debt next year, sending the already impoverished country even deeper into a tailspin. 
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