Good news and bad news in Liberia

December 29, 2017

Another step forward for democracy in West Africa, but it brings reminders of a brutal civil war.

The Bolshevik putsch, 100 years on

November 8, 2017 13

Lenin and the Bolsheviks took power a century ago. Much blood has flowed under the bridge since then.

Election preview: Japan

October 22, 2017

Prime minister Shinzo Abe is seeking a fresh mandate, and seems unlikely to have much trouble getting it.

Self-determination, here and there

September 28, 2017 1

Catalonia has no chance of getting a credible vote for independence this week. Kurdistan has already got one, but it's not doing it much good.

Kurdistan’s turn

August 22, 2017

Iraq's Kurds say they're pushing forward with a referendum on independence, but the nature of their strategy remains a little unclear.


August 18, 2017 1

Some further thoughts on the moral catastrophe that is Trumpism.

Oh dear, it’s North Korea again

August 14, 2017 3

North Korea is staging its regular return to the headlines. Don't panic.

The war against Arab democracy

July 3, 2017 3

The conflict with Qatar is fundamentally about the possibility of democracy in the Arab world. That's why Saudi and Trumpian autocrats are on the same side.

South Korea turns left

May 10, 2017

South Korea turns its back on ten years of conservative leadership, and a peacemaker takes over just when he's needed.

The Trump plan for Mid-East peace

February 16, 2017

Courtesy of both President Trump and the "facts on the ground", Israel and Palestine seem to be headed for a one-state solution. Is it time to accept that outcome and focus on making it work?