Photo by Chris LeBoutillier from Pexels
By Shawn Rostker
The Russian Federation has a history of using energy policy as a coercive tool of foreign policy. This practice dates back to the late 1980’s before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It continued through the early years of the newly formed Russian state as it sought to rebuild from economic ruin. Moscow, in its contemporary form, continues to exercise this practice as it seeks to capitalize on its natural abundance of oil and natural gas reserves. Currently, Russia boasts the world’s largest proven reserves of natural gas with roughly 48 trillion cubic meters. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s most recent figures it is also the world’s number one annual exporter of natural gas at over 210 billion cubic meters. While the playbook may not be new, the Russian state is not the same player that the Soviet Union was. The Soviet Union struggled to implement these tactics effectively due to an incompetent central planning system, disjointed leadership structures, and their failure to adequately maintain technological progress due to a lack of incentive schemes. Over the course of the last twenty years, however, Russia has consolidated its energy industries under state purview, established a vertically-oriented ladder of leadership, provided incentive and opportunity for innovation, and strengthened its economic might through integration into global markets. These characteristics enable Russia to behave more subversively within bilateral partnerships.
Continue reading “Op-Ed: The Strategic Shifts Caused by Nord Stream 2 and What the United States Can Do Moving Forward”
Research has shown that high-quality ECEC lessens the inequality gap between children of disadvantaged and advantaged backgrounds, increasing the income potential and opportunities for upward social mobility for low-income children later in life. Thus, the US should follow in the footsteps of Nordic countries by improving its ECEC system.
By Charlotte Armstrong
Denmark has some of the lowest levels of inequality in the world, while the United States has some of the highest levels of income inequality among industrialized nations. This leads to a variety of detrimental effects on residents of the U.S., including their individual opportunities for upward social mobility. This cycle of inequality begins with children, and the quality of education they are given at an early age.
Continue reading “Show of Hands: Enrollment in Early Education in the United States versus Denmark”
Victor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister, meeting Donald Tusk, former President of the European Council. Image used under Creative Commons License.
By Maxwell Lyster
On March 30, the Hungarian Parliament voted 137 to 53 to give the autocratic, nationalist Prime Minister Victor Orbán the right to rule by decree indefinitely. The proposal was rammed through by his party, the Fidesz, which holds 117 of the 199 seats. While many other nations have given leaders excess power during the global pandemic, Hungary is different in the sense that Orbán can even cancel elections and suspend the enforcement of certain laws at his own discretion. He can also judge who is spreading misleading information and throw them in jail. Orbán has been given near-total control of Hungary for the foreseeable future.
Continue reading “Dictatorship in Hungary Raises Serious Questions about EU and NATO Membership”