Stories written by Barry Mirkin

Family Planning in the Philippines: Stalled Again

With the landslide victory of the tough talking city mayor of Davao City, Roberto Duterte to the Presidency of the Philippines in May 2016, news reports of the South-East Asian country have been dominated by the President's often controversial statements and policies, especially toward those involved in the illegal drug trade. One such notable event, which slipped below the radar was the granting of a second temporary restraining order in 2016 by the country's Supreme Court on the distribution of most contraceptives.

Failing States: Many Problems, Few Solutions

Regardless of whether they are called fragile, failed, or failing states, scores of countries around the globe are plagued by overwhelming problems with few solutions in sight. Moreover, the instability and dire straits of these countries are spilling across national borders, destabilizing neighboring countries and regions, while posing enormous challenges for international organizations and donors.

Decline Before Fall of Berlin Wall

As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the famous Berlin Wall leading to the reunification of the country and the end of the cold war, a little noted event occurred nearly two decades before the fall that ushered in a trend having profound consequences for the future of Germany as well as for Europe:  German births declined below deaths.