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Foreign Policy


8/7/23: Israel’s Supreme Court Crisis

The news recently has been filled with stories about protests in Israel in response to the government’s recent legislation to curb the power of the Israeli Supreme Court. We’ll discuss the situation in Israel, comparable circumstances in other countries and the current efforts by the U.S. Congress to establish parameters governing Supreme Court Justices.

Here are a couple of relevant articles (there are lots of them):

For July 10: Whither Russia?

Two weeks ago, we chose not to devote the discussion to the previous weekend’s “mutiny” (seems to be the favored term) by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries—we felt there were too few facts about where things stood.

We’ll never know everything we might like to, but things appear to have settled down a bit. So we decided to discuss the topic at next Monday’s meeting.

Potential Discussion Topics

  • Has Putin’s hand been materially weakened? Or is he likely to succeed in purging his worst competition for power and pulling the rest of the military/elites closer to him and emerging stronger than before?
  • Do we think these events will alter the course of the war in Ukraine? How so?
  • What will happen to Prigozhin? Will he last in Belarus, or will he meet with an “unfortunate accident?”
  • And the Wagner mercenaries? Will they join the Russian military forces? Coalesce in Belarus? Stay a quasi-independent mercenary force?

Some Reading

4/3: Demographics and Destiny

We’ll examine how demographics (especially the distribution of ages amongst a population) affects a country’s profile–economic growth, productivity, income distribution, retirement programs, etc. And how countries adapt to differing profiles–from heavily skewed toward older (Monaco and Japan) to those with far more children (more than a dozen countries where the median is less than 18 years old).

Here are some articles thoughtfully provided by Marion (sorry for the late post):

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