Race in the Modern World

The Problem of the Color Line

Kwame Anthony Appiah
Hindu devotees in Mumbai, August 10, 2012.
Hindu devotees in Mumbai, August 10, 2012. (Danish Siddiqui / Courtesy Reuters)
Nineteenth-century intellectuals saw races as biological and political facts. Their twentieth-century successors rejected both propositions—but identities rooted in the reality or fantasy of shared ancestry remain central in politics, both within and between nations.

People's Court?

Timothy William Waters
For the Palestinian Authority, joining the International Criminal Court is part of a larger effort to internationalize its dispute with Israel. The trend promises plenty of turmoil and trouble in the months and years ahead—for the ICC, for Israel, and for Palestine itself.

Karimov's Crumbling Kleptocracy

Alisher Ilkhamov and Jeff Goldstein
Uzbekistani President Islam Karimov may have won yet another fraudulent election, but challenges to his rule abound.

Goodluck's Run Out

Matt Mossman
Nigeria’s election may have ended with a winner and a loser, but it was more about the process than the candidates. And there, great gains were made.
Netanyahu points to a red line he drew on the graphic of a bomb used to represent Iran's nuclear program.
Amos Yadlin and Avner Golov

Israel and the United States share the same strategic goal: preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The intelligence services of both countries are also largely in agreement on the status of the Iranian program. But they remain deeply divided on what to do about it. Here's how to bring them together.

Brian Warshay

The U.S. electrical grid has hardly changed since the 1880s, and its reliability, effectiveness, and affordability are increasingly being brought into question. To prevent disaster, regulators must abandon outdated electrical architecture and redesign the grid.

Shia Muslim rebels hold up their weapons during a rally against air strikes in Sanaa, March 26, 2015.
Bilal Y. Saab

With the intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s military is trying to kill several birds with one stone: safeguard the country from an immediate military threat, assert its leadership of the Arab world, and redress what it sees as a geopolitical imbalance in the Middle East between itself and Iran.

Mohammad Ali Shabani

In a YouTube address last November, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dropped Tehran’s usual mantra about Iran’s right to enrich and spoke instead of negotiating with dignity. The video went viral in Iran, and the sentiment behind it seems to be paying off in Geneva.

Fritz Schumann

Urban migration has been particularly unkind to the small town of Nagoro, population 35. One woman fights the emptiness by creating life-sized dolls for every inhabitant who either dies or moves away.

A combination of images shows various takes of Osama bin Laden from videos released by the Pentagon, May 7, 2011.
Jennifer R. Williams

Climate change, intellectual property rights, and how to deal with spoiled teenagers. These are some of the more bizarre things that vexed al Qaeda in Osama bin Laden’s final months.