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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.

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…

Taiwan’s Bad News from the Western Hemisphere

Since the end of the Chinese Civil War, the official “state” of China has been in flux as a result of the One China policy. While Mao Zedong won the Chinese Revolution in 1950, the Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the island of Formosa. Since this time, the country has lived under the One China…

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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…

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