Best Drupal HostingBest Joomla HostingBest Wordpress Hosting

World Policy Journal is proud to share our weekly podcast, World Policy On Air, featuring former Newsweek On Air host David Alpern. Click here to subscribe on iTunes!



THE INDEX — September 2, 2009

Read more

Azubuike Ishiekwene: Sudan Puts Africa in Tight Spot

This was not how Muammar Gaddafi wanted to start his tenure as chair of the African Union. The priority of the Libyan leader was to hit the ground running with his dream to create a United States of Africa. Now, the urgency of Gaddafi’s grand ambition must wait as the continent’s leaders struggle to come to terms with last week’s arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued by the International Criminal Court. For decades, Africa has been plagued by notorious leaders. When one of the continent’s most gifted writers, Chinua Achebe, says in his book that the trouble with Nigeria is squarely that of leadership, he is perhaps speaking not only of his nation, but of Africa as a whole. From Mobutu Seseko to Idi Amin and from Sani Abacha to Robert Mugabe, the continent has had to grapple with leaders who would rather destroy their countries than give up political power. Once in a while, a Julius Nyerere, Joachim Chissano, or Nelson Mandela comes along to renew hope and the promise of a future. But, more often, the continent’s landscape is blighted by tyrants who start off on a promising, even messianic note, and yet end up leaving their countries in the throes of war, disease, and deeper misery than before. That’s the story of al-Bashir, who the continent’s political leaders condoned for six years—because confronting him meant confronting the very demon that haunts many of them. So, what will the African Union do about al-Bashir’s indictment? It has called for a suspension of the sentence. There are muffled concerns about the safety of the civilian population, especially around the Darfur area, and also the fate of the 7,000-strong AU troops that had only in January received UN reinforcement. In a foretaste of the grimmer days ahead, Khartoum kicked out 10 major humanitarian agencies struggling to provide food and water to about 1.5 million people, prompting suggestions of a possible AU emergency meeting to discuss Sudan. But talk is cheap.

Jonathan Power: Obama's Inheritance and the Gitmo Problem

The courtrooms of America sometimes take us by surprise. Last week, Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, the son of the former Liberian president and notorious warlord, Charles Taylor, was sentenced in a Miami court to 97 years in prison for torture. It was the first time that an American court had applied a law passed in 1994 allowing the prosecution of citizens who commit torture overseas. (Taylor was born in the United States, but then moved to Liberia to join his father.)

Is there now one law in America for those who commit torture overseas and those who commit it at home with the authority of government? Perhaps not for much longer. In a recent television interview, President-elect Barack Obama said that his designate for attorney general, Eric Holder, would investigate whether some senior members of the Bush administration should be prosecuted for their part in torture, although he said that his belief was that “what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future.” Also, last week, Obama said that he had given his new appointees to top intelligence positions a clear charge to restore the nation’s stance on human rights. “Under my administration the United States does not torture.” Obama should also have reminded his audience that it was during the presidency of Ronald Reagan that the U.S. helped push for the United Nations to agree to a legally binding treaty against torture, and then propelled Congress to rapidly ratify it. (It is this treaty, mind you, that provides the legal underpinning for the prosecution of Taylor.)



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. 

Intern at World Policy

Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.


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. 


When the Senate Worked for Us:
New book offers untold stories of how activist staffers countered corporate lobbies in the U.S.

MA in International Policy and Development
Middlebury Institute (Monterey, CA): Put theory into practice through client-based coursework. Apply by Feb. 1.

Millennium Project’s State of the Future 19.0: Collective Intelligence on the Future of the World


To learn about the latest in media, programming, and fellowship, subscribe to the World Policy Weekly Newsletter and read through our archives.

World Policy on Facebook