World affairs by topic

World affairs includes the following topic areas. Please click the links to access lists of publications by topic:


  • Coronavirus is believed to have originated in a ‘wet market’ selling wild animals in the city of Wuhan in China. This has provoked debate about the relationship between unsanitary conditions in some markets and the spread of diseases from animals to humans. The article summarises international efforts to regulate live animal markets, particularly those in Asia and Africa.

View all briefings on Africa


  • The 2020 US election has been conducted during the coronavirus pandemic. At the start of the year, the candidates’ presidential campaigns had to be halted as many US states issued lockdown orders. Since June, the candidates have taken different approaches to appealing to voters. Donald Trump has tried to emulate his successful 2016 campaign while Joe Biden has been more cautious in his campaigning.

  • 16 September 2020 marks 400 years since the Mayflower set sail on its famous voyage to America. This article tells the story of that voyage, using information from Mayflower 400 UK, the commemorative project marking the anniversary around the UK.

View all briefings on Americas

Asia and Oceania

View all briefings on Asia and Oceania


View all briefings on defence


View all briefings on Europe


View all briefings on institutions

International law

View all briefings on international law

Middle East

View all briefings on Middle East