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World Policy Newsletter, Week of March 6, 2015

Welcome to World Policy’s weekly newsletter, featuring the latest news from across our major platforms—media, programming, and fellowship.

Around the World

After last Friday’s murder of Boris Nemtsov reignited fears of President Vladimir Putin’s tyrannical approach to politics, we revisited Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan’s examination of Russia’s surveillance state. And their revelations, particularly those pertaining to the monitoring of Nemtsov, are chilling. But Nemtsov wasn’t Putin’s only political foe. Garry Kasparov, a world-renowned chess player, is one of the most vocal anti-Putin leaders inside Russia today. In an exclusive interview with World Policy Journal, he explains his motivation to pursue a truer democracy—despite looming fears of retaliation.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu crossed the Atlantic to deliver a speech before Congress on the threat of a nuclear Iran. Alon Ben-Meir, a professor of international relations at New York University and World Policy Institute senior fellow, argues this brash move epitomizes Netanyahu’s brand of political pomposity. In our weekly podcast, Ben-Meir explains the promise of the Arab Peace Initiative and the dangers of a toxic residue that lingers between Israelis and Palestinians.

In the midst of all the political and economic upheaval, we launched “Polarizing Political Economy,” a blog authored by James H. Nolt, a senior fellow at World Policy Institute, which seeks to comprehend capitalism’s chaos, incorporating private power and strategy into the discussion. Tune in each week for postings on the nexus of power and money.

Finally, we welcome President Barack Obama to this week’s episode of World Policy on Air. Paul Brandus, founder of West Wing Reports, provides the White House's take on the week in global affairs. Then, foreign correspondent Simon Speakman Cordall joins us from Tunisia to talk about the rise in radical Islam across northern Africa.

Around the Institute

World Policy Institute is pleased to announce its forthcoming Board trip to Cuba, led by Joseph Cari, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and arranged and accompanied by Lissa Weinmann, World Policy Institute senior fellow and long time director of its Cuba work, including the renowned National Summit on Cuba. Recent steps toward normalization have prompted a reconstituted World Policy Institute Board and Weinmann to travel to Cuba to re-open a once highly effective dialogue with Cuban leaders. They plan to examine the achievements of 55 years of revolutionary society and explore ways to highlight what the U.S. and Cuba can learn from each other.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, we will be devoting time to relevant media and reportage, highlighting some of the larger themes likely to influence future dialogue between the two nations.

But before we head to Cuba, we will be hosting former Mexican President Vicente Fox on Monday March 23, 2015. In this private event, President Fox will share his thoughts on his historic presidency, how it shaped his economic strategy, his ongoing efforts to fight poverty in Mexico, and his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. We will provide a full media report post-event.

A Word on Fellowship

When Lissa Weinmann isn’t planning a Cuba trip, she is exploring the need for an overhaul of our federal nuclear waste policy. In her latest article for The Commons, Vermont’s best weekly newspaper, Weinmann reflects on the democratic input of local communities unprepared for the task of long-term storage. Meanwhile, Erica Dingman’s Arctic in Context blog just reached a major milestone—500,000 unique visitors! In under a year, Dingman’s directorial guidance has expanded the Arctic dialogue to over 50 countries across the globe. Finally, Swadesh Rana has been busy crisscrossing South Asia, attending a variety of high-level security and environmental events—from the Asian Security Conference to the UN Peacekeeping in Middle East Challenges meeting. While attending these events, Rana has also held one-on-one discussions to explore the possibilities of reciprocal collaboration between World Policy Institute and Delhi-based defense related institutes.

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[Cartoon by Miguel Jiron]

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