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FSI scholars offer expert commentary and convene thought leadership events on contemporary global issues.

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Wondering what's really going on in North Korea or Russia? Or how climate change or the health-care debate could affect your life? On FSI's Medium blog, faculty give context for the latest global issues and help us understand what's likely to happen next. Looking ahead, Stanford students tell us about their research and internships and give a glimpse of tomorrow's global policy landscape.

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Congress, Nord Stream II, and Ukraine

News / November 12, 2019

Congress has long weighed sanctions as a tool to block the Nord Stream II gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Unfortunately, it has mulled the question too long, and time has run out. With some 85% of the pipeline already laid, new congressional sanctions aimed at companies participating in the pipeline’s construction will not stop it. Instead, they will become a new bone of contention between the United States and Europe.

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Shining Light on the Threats to Democracy and Human Rights in Asia

News / November 12, 2019

Around the world, democracy is in retreat. In its Freedom in the World 2019 report, the independent watchdog organization Freedom House records the 13th consecutive year of global declines in political rights and civil liberties.

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The Silent War in Mexico

Commentary / November 8, 2019

A war is raging in Mexico, but silence from newspapers, international organizations, and politicians has prevented most U.S. citizens — and indeed many publics around the globe — from taking notice. The war is not dissimilar from the violent conflicts in the Northern triangle in Central America. The immigration flows from Central America into the United States have, however, provided greater visibility for the plight of countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, polities beset by seemingly intractable wars between governments and drug trafficking criminal gangs.

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Order from Chaos: Five months into Ukrainian President Zelenskiy’s term, there are reasons for optimism and caution

News / November 8, 2019
Editor's Note:  The observations in this article are based on the author’s conversations with Ukrainians, both inside and outside of government, and others in Kyiv during an October 31-November 2, 2019 visit.
 

How do Ukrainians assess the performance and prospects of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, now five months in office, as he tackles the country’s two largest challenges: resolving the war with Russia and implementing economic and anti-corruption reforms? In two words: cautious optimism.

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Pricing the Priceless: Measuring the Value of Healthy Aging

News / November 7, 2019

The world population is aging faster than ever before and governments must confront the increasing burden of healthcare spending on their economies. At a time when the economics of aging is inseparable from the economics of healthcare, successful adaptations to older population age structures necessitate better understanding of the value of medical care.

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SHP's Kathy McDonald named Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins

News / November 6, 2019

Stanford Health Policy’s Kathy McDonald — one of the nation’s leading experts in patient safety and health-care quality — has been named a distinguished professor at Johns Hopkins University, and will soon be leaving the Stanford Cardinal for the Hopkins Blue Jays.

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Lessons from California's Vaccine Exemption Laws

Commentary / November 5, 2019

Stanford Health Policy’s Michelle Mello, a professor of law and professor of medicine, writes in this Annals of Internal Medicine editorial that California’s experience is a cautionary tale about what happens when vaccination exemption laws have holes.

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An Indian nuclear power plant suffered a cyberattack. Here’s what you need to know.

Commentary / November 4, 2019

Authorities don’t seem to understand the real threat from cyber-operations.

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Brett McGurk Recounts the Fight Against ISIS and Considers the Future Of Northern Syria

News / November 1, 2019

Following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the decision by President Donald Trump to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria, there are many questions surrounding the future of the region, which is controlled in part by Al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists, former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk told Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Director Michael McFaul on the World Class podcast.

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Japan and South Korea on the Brink: International Affairs and Trade Relations Experts Elucidate the Conflict between the Two U.S. Allies

News / October 31, 2019

The recent escalation of diplomatic and trade disputes between South Korea and Japan has alarmed numerous observers and is rather confusing to many around the world to whom the two countries seem to have much to lose and little to gain by the deterioration of the bilateral relationship. What underlying forces are driving the conflict? Are these new forces, or the same historical forces coming to a head? How much are factors from the international environment, such as the behavior of the United States, influencing the current escalation?

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Evidence of Russia-Linked Influence Operations in Africa

Blog / October 30, 2019

Russia’s global strategy for reasserting itself as a geopolitical superpower has led to an increased presence in Africa, where it has broadened efforts to shape the continent’s politics and pursue new economic opportunities to allay the effects of sanctions.

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It's Time To Get U.S. Nukes Out Of Turkey

Commentary / October 30, 2019

U.S.-Turkish relations have plunged to a new nadir. In the past month, a senior Republican senator has suggested suspending Turkey’s membership in the NATO alliance, while the secretary of state implied a readiness to use military force against America’s wayward ally.

In these circumstances, U.S. nuclear weapons have no business in Turkey. It is time to bring them home.

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CrashCourse: The Prevention and Treatment of Concussions

Blog / October 29, 2019

In its 46-year history, SPICE, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), has collaborated with numerous Stanford-affiliated organizations on educational programs. One of the most meaningful and significant collaborations has been with TeachAids, an award-winning global leader in designing, producing, and distributing research-based health education.

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Quid Pro Quos, Bureaucrats and Duty

Commentary / October 28, 2019

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On China’s Dramatic Health Care System Improvements – and Its Tortuous Road Ahead

News / October 28, 2019

Creating a high-quality universal health care system is an immense challenge anywhere, let alone in a country as large and diverse as China. But equal access to care will become ever more important as China converges on higher incomes, slower economic growth, population aging, and dependence on a skilled workforce to approach OECD living standards.

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What You Need To Know About Ukraine: On the World Class Podcast, Three Experts Weigh In

News / October 24, 2019

The situation between the United States and Ukraine is complex. Three experts on Ukraine recently joined the World Class podcast to break down what you need to know. What happened on the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky? Who are Ukraine’s former prosecutors general and how have they impacted the current situation? And what really happened between former Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine? We’ve got you covered.

On the Trump-Zelensky phone call:

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The Pitfalls of Outsourcing Public Welfare & Healthcare

News / October 22, 2019

When it comes to rooting out wasteful spending in federal entitlement programs, attention has long focused on preventing beneficiaries from gaming the system. A new Stanford study identifies a fresh cause for concern: the for-profit companies that the U.S. government increasingly tasks with providing benefits to Americans who are often poor, elderly or both.

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Global Warming and Extreme Heat Harming Pregnant Women

News / October 21, 2019

Global warming and more days of extreme heat are exacerbating the health risks of pregnancy, particularly among African-American women, according to new Stanford-led research.

 
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Video: David M. Lampton on U.S.-China Relations

Commentary / October 18, 2019
Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow David M. Lampton, an expert on Chinese politics and U.S.-China relations, joins World Affairs host and Hoover Institution Visiting Fellow Markos Kounalakis in a conversation about the growing rivalry between the world's two global powers and how we might evaluate the more than forty years of Sino-American engagement since Nixon went to Beijing in 1972.
 
Why has engagement weakened so precipitously in the last several years?
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Hong Kong in Turmoil: Former Chief Secretary and Scholars Discuss the Protests in Hong Kong

News / October 18, 2019

On October 1st, with a massive National Day parade down Chang’an Avenue in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China celebrated the 70th anniversary of its establishment in 1949. Like a split-screen T.V., however, on the other side of the border in Hong Kong, black-clad protesters wearing gas masks and goggles undertook one of the most violent protests in Hong Kong SAR since the 1997 handover.

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Historian Timothy Garton Ash Discusses What Went Wrong In Post-Communist Europe and What We Can Do About It

News / October 18, 2019

Nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, historian Timothy Garton Ash spoke at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies about the long-term consequences of the revolutions and transitions that followed the end of Communist rule in countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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Hal Sonnenfeldt, Hard-nosed Realism, and U.S.-Russian Arms Control

Commentary / October 17, 2019

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