Image: Flickr

By Laura Schroeder

As violence continues in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, more light has been shed on Russia’s presence across the globe over the past decade. In Latin America, Russian efforts to expand its influence to challenge the hegemonic power of the United States have revealed a decades-long reassessment of its strategic interactions in the region. After the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Latin America in the 1990s, Russia has gradually been reengaging with the region, from rekindling former political ties to investing in new partnerships to deftly employing soft power. 

Image: Geoffrey A. Fowler/The Washington Post via Getty Images/Project Syndicate

By Anne-Marie Slaughter and Alberto Rodríguez Alvarez

Canada, Mexico, and the United States have a chance to forge a regional agenda to position North America as a global leader in digital government services. Having already established a solid foundation for cooperation, they must now build on it.

In Ukraine today and in many other conflicts around the world, the digital domain has become a battleground for cyberattacks and information warfare. Even in normal daily life, digital platforms can endanger citizens and democracies by encroaching on individual privacy, manipulating consumer attention, fostering social isolation, and nurturing extremism. But, while not downplaying these harms, we should also remind ourselves of the many good things that today’s new technologies offer.

Image: Project Syndicate/ Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images

Por Laura Chinchilla y María Fernanda Espinosa

El mundo está muy consciente de que la crisis climática es uno de los principales escollos para el desarrollo sostenible. Y, sin embargo, a pesar de las dramáticas pruebas sobre las consecuencias letales del cambio climático, y a pesar de poseer los conocimientos, las tecnologías y los recursos para dar solución al mismo, continuamos en el mismo camino de altas emisiones de carbono que amenaza nuestra supervivencia.

By Chiara Cordelli and Aziz Huq

Texas’s new abortion law subjects women to heightened surveillance and the whims of private parties. If the US Supreme Court upholds the law, it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.

In 1984, the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a lecture on why Roe v. Wade, the Court’s 1973 decision recognizing a constitutional right to abortion, was wrongly decided. The case, she explained, should never have been framed as a matter of privacy or reproductive choice alone: Abortion was at bottom a question of gender equality.

Thirty-seven years later, Texas is proving Ginsburg’s point with its draconian and potentially transformative abortion law. If the Supreme Court upholds the law – it just heard oral arguments on whether to permit two legal challenges to proceed – it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.

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Por Andrés Velasco

Los latinoamericanos tenemos muchos talentos. Uno de ellos es la notable aptitud para gobernarnos mal, como lo ha puesto de manifiesto la pandemia. Seis de los 20 países con más muertes per cápita del mundo a causa del Covid-19 se encuentran en América Latina. Perú encabeza la lista y Brasil ocupa el octavo lugar.

Sin duda que la pobreza, la escasez de camas en los hospitales, y las hacinadas condiciones de vivienda, contribuyeron a la diseminación del virus, pero estos factores por sí solos no explican por qué la región lo ha hecho tan mal. Muchas naciones de Asia y de África padecen de los mismos problemas, pero sufrieron menos muertes per cápita. Incluso países que vacunaron a su población tempranamente, como Chile, –o que al principio de la pandemia parecían exitosos, como Uruguay– han terminado con un desempeño mediocre.

Image: Project Syndicate

By Jeffrey Frankel

Many aspects of cryptocurrencies are baffling, not least the success of a joke like Dogecoin. But El Salvador’s recent adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar is perhaps the strangest and potentially most worrying example of all.

El Salvador this month [September 2021] became the first country to adopt a cryptocurrency – in this case, Bitcoin – as legal tender. I say the first, because others might follow. But they should think twice, because the idea is highly dubious – and likely to be economically dangerous for developing countries in particular.

I will admit that I don’t understand the need for cryptocurrencies at all. Like many economists, I fail to see what problem they solve. They aren’t well designed to fulfill any of the classic functions of money – a unit of account, store of value, or means of payment – because their prices are so extraordinarily volatile. This volatility is not surprising, because cryptocurrencies are backed neither by reserves nor by the reputation of a well-established institution, such as a government or even a private bank or other trusted corporation.

Image: Project Syndicate

By Jorge G. Castañeda

Since the first days of Joe Biden’s presidency, his administration has insisted that the growing number of migrants being apprehended at the US-Mexico border is not a “crisis,” but rather a normal, seasonal spike. US officials have even argued that the controversy was concocted entirely by former President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

While the Biden administration was not totally wrong about Trump, reality has since rebutted its claims. The situation on the border today is indeed a crisis, both for the United States and Mexico. As of late September, some 15,000 migrants and asylum seekers, most of them Haitian, are sheltering from the sun under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. They have brought the migration issue roaring back to the fore.