Make Sense of 2020







The issues we face are important and complex. As with previous years, Make Sense of 2020 provides you with a plurality of perspectives on world issues. It has some of our best articles of the year from contributors who cut across borders, backgrounds and beliefs.

In this edition, we shine the light on issues as diverse as the COVID-19 pandemic and the election of Joe Biden. We look at all regions and have articles on Black Lives Matter, China, the Iran deal and more.

This is an e-book that can be read on smartphone, tablet and desktop in PDF format.


Why a Troop Drawdown in Africa Is Exactly the Wrong Approach — Erika Lafrennie 

Libya Is a Problem for All of Africa — Swaleh Ochieng

Africa’s Mixed Record on Keeping Up With UN Goals — Sylvia Croese

A New Leader in the Wings for Burundi — Filip Reyntjens

Trump’s Treatment of WHO Boss Is a Lesson for Africa — Gatete Nyiringabo Ruhumuliza

Africa Needs Its Own “New Deal” — Betsy G. Henderson


China’s Race for Scientific and Technological Supremacy — Daniel Wagner

Chinese Diaspora Revisits Its Identity and Relationship to Beijing — Brennan Kau 

Indonesia’s Policy Over Travel Leads to Confusion for Eid — Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Black Lives Matter Shines the Spotlight on the Shadow of Slavery — Hans-Georg Betz

China Continues Its Persecution of Uighur Muslims — Ayesha Baloch & Rahima Mahmut

The Importance of the US-South Korea Relationship — Steve Westly & James Bang


Will the US-Taliban Deal Bring Peace to Afghanistan? — Abbas Farasoo & Roh Yakobi

Five Urgent Economic Reforms for India — Atul Singh & Manu Sharma

Missing Bangladeshi Journalist Has Been “Found” — Now He Must Be Freed — Alannah Travers 

Can the US Help Central Asia Reclaim the Silk Road? — Austen Dowell

Why Punjabis in Pakistan Have Abandoned Punjabi — Ishtiaq Ahmed

India’s Police: An Instrument of Injustice — Javeed Ahmad


Putin Is Leaving, But Not Saying Goodbye — Dmitry Belyaev

Switzerland Confronts Its Role in the Slave Trade — Hans-Georg Betz

Armenia and Azerbaijan Clash Again — Rejeanne Lacroix

Big Blow for a Stable Dictatorship: Major Protests Hit Belarus — Anna Romandash

Britain Fails Its Exams — Rupert Hodder

What Is Behind the Rise of Islamophobia in France? — Ali Demirdas


Will the West Lose Guyana to the Chinese? — Ian McCredie

Cubans Feel the Blow of US Sanctions — Elton Smole

Chinese Ambitions for Latin America: What’s the Trade-Off? — German Peinado Delgado & Glenn Ojeda Vega

Why Maximum Pressure on Venezuela Is the Only Way Out — Leonardo Vivas

Hosting Refugees and Migrants Is a Global Public Good — Diego Chaves-González & Olivier Lavinal 

Brazil Rejects Bolsonaro’s Anti-Politics — Karin Schmalz 


Iran Faces Yet Another Undemocratic Election — Biryar Meriwani

Hope Fades for New Talks in Yemen as Battles Intensify — Fernando Carvajal 

Deeper Fragmentation Looms for Libya — Sherif El-Ashmawy

Israel and the UAE: The Myth of Normalizing Abnormalities — Munir A. Saeed

Finding a Cure for Lebanon’s Imperialist Hangover — Hashim Abed

Iran’s Revenge Against Israel Will Be a Long Game — Ian McCredie


Can America’s Progressive Movement Thrive Without Bernie Sanders? — S. Suresh 

What Is Different About George Floyd’s Death? — Ellis Cashmore 

The Rise and Fall of US Democracy — Peter Isackson

Femicide Continues to Plague Mexico — Lester Chavez

Held Together With String, Can America Hold? — Atul Singh

Joe Biden and America’s Second Reconstruction — Gary Grappo


When It Comes to Investing, a Company’s History Is Key — Sunil Asnani

What Stock Market Awaits Gen Z in the 2020s? — Dan Fries

Fintech: Embracing the Digital Age in the Time of Social Distancing — German Peinado Delgado & Glenn Ojeda Vega

Only Losers Pay Taxes: Apple and the Ingenuity of Tax Avoidance — Hans-Georg Betz

What Has COVID-19 Done to Small Businesses? — Vinay Subramanian

Will China’s Digital Currency Revolutionize Global Payments? — Daniel Wagner


The Gig Economy Takeover: Will It Last? — Beau Peters

Will a Struggling Global Economy Survive the Coronavirus? — Atul Singh

COVID-19 Makes Johnson and Trump Reject Thatcher and Reagan — Atul Singh

COVID-19 and Populism: A Bad Combination for Europe’s Banks — Gary Buswell 

The Unintended Economic Impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative — Daniel Wagner 

“Human Work” Is the Key to Ending Income Inequality — Jamie Merisotis


Cyberspace Needs Global Norms — Here’s Where to Start — Sabina Frizell

China’s Influence Dampens International Response to Coronavirus Outbreak — Daniel Wagner

Han and Hindu Nationalism Come Face to Face — Atul Singh, Glenn Carle, & Vikram Sood

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal — Elif Beyza Karaalioglu

25 Years On, The Dayton Peace Agreement Is a Ticking Time Bomb — Emir Hadzikadunic 

Turkey Must Be Held Accountable for Its Abuse of Syria’s Yazidis — Philip Kowalski


Are the Windsors the New Kardashians? — Ellis Cashmore

How Zoom Can Make Videoconferencing More Human-Friendly — William Softky 

Should Schools Rely on Ed Tech? — Criscillia Benford

Sex Abuse Is the Moral Downfall of the Catholic Church — Hans-Georg Betz

Britain’s Commitment to Retaining the Spoils of History — Peter Isackson

Foreign-Language Entertainment Is Having Its Soft-Power Moment — Franthiesco Ballerini 


Canada’s Indigenous Communities Fight to Protect Their Environment — Gary Buswell 

Solving Africa’s Hunger Challenge — Betsy G. Henderson

Plastics Threaten the Himalayan Environment — Satya Prakash Negi

How Will the UAE Cope With Growing Environmental Insecurity? — Kristian Alexander & Giorgio Cafiero 

When Is Hot Too Hot? — Arek Sinanian

We Can Still Win the War on Plastic — Michael K. Dorsey


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