Sunflowers, Symbols, and Nukes: A 2014 Taiwan Primer

Taiwan is the little island that has both disappeared from the political stage and is everywhere present in the everyday lives of people throughout the United States. It is not mentioned in any meaningful way in discussions of policy in the halls of our political institutions or media and it is not discussed as anything other than an afterthought in discussions of the People's Republic of China (PRC). But it is far too easy to dismiss Taiwan without a closer look. While the People's Republic of China has over 60 times the population, it is Taiwan that clocks in with a GDP four times as large per capita, a vibrant multiparty political system, religious and press freedoms that are among the best in Asia, and provisions for national healthcare that place it on par or even ahead of the EU.

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Counting Down: Burma's Race to the Bottom for Human Rights

As someone who has been long-interested in the struggle for the peoples of Burma to earn for themselves the full promise of human rights and real democracy, I waited with the world for the promise of reform and transition. Having been a founder of theUS Campaign for Burma, a deep advocate for the cause of all ethnic nationalities there, and the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to lead her country from the darkness of authoritarian abuse to the brightness of an empowered future, I watched and held my breath in the so-called thaw in Burma. 

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First Ladies, First Principles, and Foundational Documents

In 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, took examples of the dregs of history and aimed for a better ever after. With clarity, power, and consensus, she shepherded the creation and ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The resulting document has become the bedrock for international human rights work around the globe and across cultures.

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