Political philosophy

World Congress of Families XI meeting, Budapest Congress Center, May 27, 2017, Budapest, Hungary.

Home front: Part II

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the World Congress of Families, an organization that has helped shape and share a reactionary agenda among conservatives across the globe.

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

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol waves a national flag during a ceremony to celebrate Korean Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, at the presidential office square in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. 

Imagining empire: Part II

Critical State
A Russian soldier stands in the foreground of citizens celebrating, waving flags

Autocracies that look like democracies are a threat across the globe

Members of parliament from a top-down view with a podium in the center

The claim that democracy fares better in the West than in Africa is a fallacy

Global Politics
Francis Fukuyama standing outside with his arms crossed.

Francis Fukuyama on 2018, a year in identity politics

Global Politics

2018 saw populist political movements drive leadership crises in France, Germany and the UK. The World asks Francis Fukuyama, author of “The End of History,” to focus on identity politics and ginned up divisions in those countries and here in the US.

Women’s rights activist Wu Rongrong poses with a trophy in this undated picture taken in an unknown location in China, provided by a women's rights group on April 8, 2015.

Facing international condemnation, China releases five detained female activists


Beijing says the international community needs to keep its nose out China’s own affairs. But the Chinese government might be more accommodating than such statements would suggest.

Arianna Mendez and Chris Alvarez in the entryway of Alvarez's home. The couple don't always agree on the US' policy toward Cuba.

One family, two sides: Debating the new US policy on Cuba over dinner

Global Politics

The recently announced thaw between the US and Cuba divides opinions, even within some families of Cuban Americans.

The Cuban flag is displayed during pre-game anthems at exhibition game between members of one of Cuba's most famous baseball teams, Industriale, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The deal between Washington and Havana has baseball fans drooling


Cuba is a goldmine for baseball talent, many fans are excited by the prospect of more Cuban players in the big leagues.

The author's mother celebrates her 93rd birthday in Kenya

This mom let her daughter skip the dishes so she could read Tolstoy


A former New York Times foreign correspondent honors her irrepressible mother, who once ordered a Pakistani commander to keep her youngest daughter safe.