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World Policy Newsletter, Week of March 20, 2015

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


Around the World


Terror struck in the heart of Tunisia, the nation known as the birthplace of the Arab Spring. With 23 victims, tourists from across Europe and Asia, killed at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, Simon Speakman Cordall examines why so many young North Africans are choosing jihad. And in an exclusive interview with David Alpern, host of World Policy on Air, Speakman Cordall delves into the phenomenon as it’s playing out now in Tunisia.

Meanwhile, in Israel this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured another electoral victory on the back of a pledge to scrap any idea of a separate Palestinian state, promptly reversing himself once the votes were tallied. Taking a satirical prism to the kaleidoscope of Israeli politics, Dr. Alon Ben-Meir imagines a meeting between right wing leaders Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and Naftali Bennett, as they parse the details of a new coalition government.

And as Netanyahu basks in his victory, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense William Beecher argues that while last week’s Republican letter to Tehran may have been lacking in tact, it could still yield positive results.

Then Konrad Putzier explores Putin’s mysterious 11-day disappearance from the public eye and argues Putin’s absence shows just how far the personality cult around the Russian leader has progressed.

Finally in this week’s episode of World Policy on Air, David Alpern sits down with Josse de Voogd, a Dutch electoral geographer, to discuss the rise of right wing parties across Europe. Together they dissect some alarming isolationist and anti-immigration trends emerging throughout the continent.

Around the Institute

This Monday March 23, 2015, we will be hosting former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox. 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.

And if you haven’t already picked up a copy of the Spring issue of World Policy Journal, go online now. We explore The Unknowns—from looming environmental disasters to our next big global security threat to the next generation of tax havens few have yet discovered.

From the Fellows

Alon Ben-Meir examines Benjamin Netanyahu’s duplicity and demagoguery in his weekly Huffington Post column.

Jim Nolt, in his latest blog for Polarizing Political Economy, explains the predictability of booms and busts in the economic cycle.

Todd Lester’s Lanchonete, which celebrates São Paulo’s ubiquitous lunch counters and invites groups of artists to participate in their development, holds a special event this week, exploring the nexus of food, sustainability, art, and leisure.

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[Lead photo courtesy of The Atlantic Monthly]

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Around WPI

Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa 

This paper, “Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging the Narratives of the War on Terror,” examines the history of Islamic movements in Africa's Sahel region to contextualize current conflicts.

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

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Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 

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