Transplant Tourism: Taking the Heart out of Organ Donation

A shortage of organ donors, high medical procedure costs, and increasingly long transplant waitlists has led to the rise in medical tourism, which can include the purchase of black market organs and operations abroad. These practices often prey on refugees or the impoverished, who may feel that selling an organ can provide them with the financial means for a better quality of life. While theoretically this market has developed to meet a clear demand, exploitation of vulnerable populations is rampant, making it a challenging and complex system to address.

Election Spotlight: Mongolia (June 24)

Mongolia, sandwiched between two authoritarian neighbors, has been hailed as an “oasis of democracy.” After reforming from a Soviet-style regime in 1990, however, the country now faces a crossroads over the challenges of balancing efficient leadership with democratic values. At stake in its parliamentary election on June 24 is whether reform is needed to break political deadlock in the capital Ulaanbaatar.

Survival Mode: Understanding How Iran’s Militant Foreign Policy Prevents Attack

Many countries link their foreign policy and military strategy, though few are as interwoven as Iran’s. Informed by their fatalistic worldview and under constant threat from Western adversaries, their unique blend of foreign and military policy has successfully guarded against aggression, prevented regime change, and built powerful regional partnerships. Often misconstrued as antagonistic power plays, Iranian sabre rattling instead seeks to legitimize its deterrent capabilities and highlight Western weaknesses, especially political and diplomatic constraints.

Opening the Gates for Gender Representation in Politics

“Obama Health Care Speech to Joint Session of Congress” by Lawrence Jacksonis licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.  Today, 51% of the population in the United States is female, but women  represent only 23.7% of elected officials in Congress.  Even in the year 2020, the state of Vermont has never sent a woman to Congress.  But … Continue reading Opening the Gates for Gender Representation in Politics

Voting in a Post-Pandemic World: What is the Future of Democracy?

Much of the world has come to a standstill in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, now the question is whether democracy will also come to a grinding halt. In response, electoral systems are evaluating whether internet voting, or iVoting, is a viable alternative to traditional in-person polling places.  Several major elections around the world … Continue reading Voting in a Post-Pandemic World: What is the Future of Democracy?

Culinary Diplomacy and Cultural Soft Power: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Fork

This Photo by English Stuff ESL is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC As many of us have been in quarantine or social distancing situations for months, we may find ourselves missing our favorite local restaurants. Small businesses, particularly in the food industry, have always provided opportunities for immigrants. Though immigrants make up only 13.5% of the … Continue reading Culinary Diplomacy and Cultural Soft Power: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Fork

Kim Jong-Un Has Health Problems. What Could That Mean for Succession?

Picture: Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un (left), with his sister Kim Yo-Jong Over the last few weeks, intelligence reports suggested that Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, had been absent from official duties. Notably, Kim was missing from public celebrations of his late grandfather Kim Il-sung’s birthday, a major national holiday, and raising speculation about … Continue reading Kim Jong-Un Has Health Problems. What Could That Mean for Succession?