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    Adam Ratzlaff

    Staff Writer

    Adam is a staff writer at Charged Affairsis and a PhD student in International Relations at Florida International University. He holds an MA from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and a BA from Tulane University. Ratzlaff predominantly writes about inter-American politics, development, and democratization. Follow Adam on Twitter @adam_ratzlaff.

A President for All Americans?

Despite Donald Trump’s electoral win, many of the foreign policy positions put forward by his administration, and while on the campaign trail, are not only antithetical to those enshrined in American policy since the end of World War II, but also out of sync with the American public. These issues may in part account for the…

China’s Keynesian Foreign Policy

China’s impressive economic growth since the turn of the millennium has been accompanied by its expansion onto the international stage. A lot of attention has been given to China’s increased assertiveness within Asia, particularly as it relates to the traditional territorial disputes in the South China Sea. However, an equally important element of China’s increased…

Brazil’s Next Twenty Years of Austerity

Since the turn of the millennium, Brazil has made impressive strides in reducing poverty and inequality and in boosting access to public services. However, Brazil remains one of the most unequal countries on the planet, both in terms of distribution of wealth as well as access to public services. The national government has implemented a…

Will Latin America’s “Populist Hangover” Last?

In a recent Foreign Affairs article, Shannon O’Neil claimed that Latin America is experiencing a “populist hangover.” Many of the region’s populist leaders, particularly those on the Left, have lost power—either voted out or impeached—or have seen their popularity collapse in recent years. From the election of Mauricio Macri in Argentina to the impeachment of…

“It is Essential that America’s Word Be Good”

During the first 2016 U.S. presidential debate, Hillary Clinton claimed that “it is essential that America’s word be good,” in response to presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s foreign policy claims regarding our allies and treaties. While there has been discussion of how presidential candidates have made statements that may threaten U.S. national security and relations with…

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Extending the Fig Branch

If the next U.S, president is going to successfully repair relations with Latin America, they are going to need to look for innovative approaches to doing so. This will require an all of government approach and inspiration may come from unlikely sources.

Tariffs Won’t Stop Chinese Influence in Latin America

Sen. Rick Scott claims that tariffs on China can combat rising Chinese influence in Latin America but this would only serve to increase Chinese influence in the Americas.
Sede de Unasur Quito Ecuador building

El Mercado Institucional: Multilateral Forum Shopping in Latin America

In the Americas, the multitude of regional organizations allow states to bypass the limitations of each organization and weakens the effectiveness of regional institutions. Rather than creating new organizations, the region should fix existing institutions.

The Hemispheric Community and Slow-Motion Coups

Bolivian President Evo Morales has steadily undermined his nation’s democratic institutions, leading Andres Oppenheimer and others to claim that a “slow motion coup” is occurring in the country. The Andean nation has seen a number of challenges to liberal democratic practice since Morales first came to power in 2006. Perhaps the most pervasive challenge has…

A Step in the Right Direction? Trump’s “Aid” to Central America

Although the Trump administration pays little attention to the Americas outside of U.S. concerns with the “Troika of Tyranny,” the administration is taking a stance against immigration from the region into the United States and at combatting Chinese influence in the region. On December 18, 2018, President Trump announced a $5.8 billion aid package to…

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