Roosevelt Institute | Cornell University

Kenya Fortifies Border with Somalia After a Bloody 2014

By Blake Michael Published March 13, 2015

The conflict between Al-Shabaab and the Kenyan Government has escalated dramatically since 2011. The increase in cross-border attacks, with the Westgate Mall Shooting serving as the most internationally well-known example, has prompted the the construction of a massive wall separating the two.


ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Rise of the Supranational State

By Blake Michael Published February 20, 2015

The rise of Boko Haram and ISIS, coupled with the subsequent failure of the international community to successfully maintain recognized borders, has ushered in an era of quasi-supranational states. The ability of these groups to secure territory within multiple states and create a system of governance has demonstrated the inability of international law to respond to independent militant forces with control of areas in which internationally recognized governments no longer have a monopoly on violence.


Decision 2014: Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay

By Blake Michael Published November 9, 2014

With most Americans focused on the Midterms, it's easy to forget that 2014 is an election year elsewhere in the Americas. This year, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Uruguay hosted presidential elections in an election cycle which could shape the face of Latin American politics over the course of the next half-decade.


Delegate or Disintegrate: Catalonia's Quest for Autonomy

By Blake Michael Published October 24, 2014

The Scottish Referendum held this past September has called into question the economic validity of secession in the globalized world. Catalonia, a region of Spain with a distinct culture and language, may break the mold by means of attempting to secede as an economic powerhouse. The fate of the Spanish nation may very well lie on the decisions made by her national government through the end of the year, with the Catalonian Parliament calling for an independence referendum on November 9th.