World Policy Newsletter, Week of January 8th

Around the World

Recent events in Iran and Saudi Arabia show mounting tensions between the two regional powers. Jonathan Cristol argues that these tensions are reflective of a broader decline in Saudi Arabia’s economic and geopolitical situation. And Jonathan Power contends that the incompatibility of Saudi domestic and foreign policy with Western interests should compel the West to cease its military involvement in the region.

Meanwhile, amid a deluge of foreign investment, domestic companies in the Ivory Coast are struggling to survive. Selay Kouassi reports on how these companies are carving out niches for themselves by adapting and catering to local tastes.

Further north, as Alaskan oil exploration continues to make headlines today, Frank Geisel recalls the 1980s oil rush, when no venture seemed too ambitious to the flurry of oil companies looking to claim a piece of Alaska's untapped wealth.

Finally, on this week’s episode of World Policy On Air, Yaffa Fredrick discusses the strategic thinking behind Putin’s foreign and domestic policies in 2015. She explains how the highs and lows of President Vladimir Putin’s leadership illuminate the subtle dynamics of Russia’s oligarchic power structure.


Around the Institute

World Policy Institute is hosting its next World Economic Roundtable on the "Economic and Investment Outlook for 2016." Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research, and Jay Pelosky, principal at J2Z Advisory, will kick off the discussion with their views of the investment outlook for what could be a turbulent year in the global economy and the financial markets. This is a members only event. If you’d like to attend, please consider enrolling in the World Policy Membership Program today. 

The winter issue of World Policy JournalLatin America on Life Support?, is now available! A commodity boom in the 2000s fueled economies across the region, as demand from China coincided with low interest rates, a surge in foreign investment, and abundant credit. In many countries, inequality decreased, and, for the first time, the middle class outnumbered those living in poverty. But, perhaps inevitably, the party ended. The commodity boom went bust, and those countries that did not act responsibly face a financial hangover. From Venezuela ignoring its brain drain to Cuba reforming its economy, this issue of World Policy Journal examines how different Latin American countries are adapting to this economic downcycle.


Fellow Updates

Alon Ben-Meir spoke to FoxNews and Radio Sputnik about the escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

William Hartung will moderate a discussion of Molly McCartney’s new book, “America’s War Machine: Vested Interested, Endless Conflict” at the Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. To attend, RSVP here.

Kavitha Rajagopalan wrote an article for The Atlantic’s Citylab on why informal water sellers are the key to India’s future. She also appeared on MSBNC to discuss developments in the Syrian refugee crisis and Obama’s plan to convene a global summit on refugees.



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[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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