Wednesday Morning Lead

International Relations Theory And The “New” Middle East
While much is written about day-to-day developments in the Middle East, Morten Valbjorn of the Project on Middle East Political Science takes a wider view by examining how international relations theory can help clarify an understanding of international relations in a “new” Middle East.

“The Arab uprisings have not only impacted the Arab world but also scholarship about Arab politics. Much of the debate, in particular in the beginning, was about identifying the initial and underlying causes of the unexpected and dramatic events that began in 2011. However, the debate has increasingly also concerned broader questions regarding the implications for a future “new Middle East” and for the future study of Arab politics,” he writes.

Worsening Relations With Russia Hits US Businesses
In another sign of the declining state of relations, Russia has pulled several household chemicals from US companies, such as Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, from shelves, citing safety concerns, in what could become the biggest threat of fallout to date to western marketers, reports Bloomberg.

Procter & Gamble is working with Russian officials to resolve the issue, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Increasing Access To Financial Institutions
If you walk down any street in the US, you are sure to pass two or three banks or financial institutions. However, globally there are an estimated two billion adults who lack access to an account at a formal financial institution. The Brookings Institutions released a report this week on efforts in more than 20 countries that aim to reduce that number.

In the Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion report, valuates access to and usage of affordable financial services by underserved people across 21 countries.


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