Critical State

Teachers representing the observatory of knowledge, protest against budget cuts for public universities outside the Ministry of Education, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. 

Trust the process: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the politics of patronage in Brazil.

Trust the process: Part I
In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, photo, a Free Syrian Army fighter from Shams al-Shamal heads to the front line in Kobani, Syria. 

Random rules: Part II

Random rules: Part II
Muslims in Nigeria attend Eid prayers at the Kofar Mata prayer ground in Kano Nigeria, Sunday, May 24, 2020. 

Random rules: Part I

Random rules: Part I
Large icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland, Aug. 16, 2019.

Arctic alternatives: Part II

Arctic alternatives: Part II
A CH-47F Chinook helicopter sits nestled in the Alaska Range to offload National Park Service equipment, supplies and personnel on Kahiltna Glacier April 27, 2022. 

Arctic alternatives: Part I

Arctic alternatives: Part I
In this file photo taken Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, a Nigerian soldier patrols in an armored car, during Eid al-Fitr celebrations, in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Outsourced force: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, take a deep dive this week into reasons why a government might choose to outsource its violence.

Outsourced force: Part I
US President Donald Trump, centre left, and the Prince Charles The Prince of Wales, centre right, join other NATO leaders before posing for a formal group photo

Insult to injury: Part II

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into how insults play out in informal settings behind highly formal events. 

Insult to injury: Part II
US President Joe Biden and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right, chat as they gather for a group photo at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday, June 26, 2022. 

Insult to injury: Part I

This week's Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into the function of insults, name-calling and other types of undiplomatic language.

Insult to injury: Part I
In this September 1947 file photo, hundreds of Muslim refugees crowd on top a train leaving New Delhi for Pakistan.

State reformation: Part II

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the power and politics of collective memory when it comes to partitions. "If states told ghost stories, they would tell them of past partitions," Kelsey D. Atherton writes.

State reformation: Part II
Parliament buildings over looks the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oct. 28, 2022. 

State reformation: Part I

This week's Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into what might happen should Ireland and Northern Ireland fall under one government again.

State reformation: Part I
Legionnaires dressed in traditional pioneer outfits and holding hatchets parade during a commemoration ceremony.

When putsch comes to shove: Part II

This week's Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into a modern iteration of an old phenomenon: foreign fighters, trained in one military, brought in by another state to augment their existing combat strength. 

When putsch comes to shove: Part II
Supporters of Capt. Ibrahim Traore parade waving a Russian flag in the streets of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Oct. 2, 2022. 

When putsch comes to shove: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the myth of "coup contagion."

When putsch comes to shove: Part I
An F/A-18 E launches from the deck during flight training ops aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, off the Virginia Coast.

Left unresolved: Part II

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into the beliefs of citizens of Germany and the Netherlands on the use of US nuclear weapons — especially as informed by partisan belief.

Left unresolved: Part II
American military personnel wait to greet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken before he boards a plane to travel to Brussels.

Left unresolved: Part I

This week's Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into new scholarship that examines the broad spectrum of leftist foreign policy ideas.

Left unresolved: Part I
A view of a courtroom inside Rome's tribunal Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, during the first hearing of a trial of involving politicians and businessmen.

The Italian job: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the prosecutor’s office in Rome, Italy. From 1975 to 1991, this office was able to use gatekeeping to shield politicians from corruption charges. When those protections ended, the stable coalition system was overturned.

The Italian job: Part I