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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.

Soft Power Conflicts in the Western Hemisphere

There are many ethical and interests based arguments for why the United States should provide foreign aid to Latin America. Many argue that promoting economic prosperity and stability in the hemisphere benefits U.S. national interests, while others make the moral argument that reducing poverty and misery in the Americas is the right thing to do.…

“Poor Mexico, So Far From God, So Close to the United States”: Trump’s Threat to Mexico is Nothing New

President Donald Trump has come out forcefully against international trade and integration. Although Trump’s opposition to trade is targeted at many countries, the subject of much of Trump’s anti-trade ire has been Mexico. With Trump’s threats to tear up, or at least renegotiate, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), institute a “border adjustment” tax,…

Reasserting Multilateralism and Democracy in the Americas

Democracy and multilateralism are under siege around the world. Global levels of freedom declined annually over the past 11 years and there has been a frightening increase in populism in recent years. On the multilateral front, the Trump administration has vowed to cut funding for international organizations, the United Kingdom is pulling out from the…

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…

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Choosing a Captain in the Storm

As Organization of American States members prepare to select the institution’s general secretary, they need to consider the role that the leader will play in protecting democracy in the Americas.

Monitoring the U.S. Election for Democracy in the Americas

As the United States enters the 2020 election season, politicians on both sides of the aisle should consider inviting election monitors to observe the election. Doing so would allow the United States to more effectively achieve its objectives in the Americas.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro speaking at Florida International University about the future of democracy in the Americas

The Precedent of Inaction

Reporting of Bolivian Election results stopped suddenly sparking protests that eventually led to the ouster of President Evo Morales. However, this crisis may have been averted had the Organization of American States set the precedent of preventing the erosion of democracy.

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.

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