Promises to Keep

Crafting Better Development Goals

Bjorn Lomborg
A boy plays in a bucket while waiting for his mother to fetch water from a nearby hand pump to bathe him, Chennai, December 30, 2013.
A boy plays in a bucket while waiting for his mother to fetch water from a nearby hand pump to bathe him, Chennai, December 30, 2013. (Babu / Courtesy Reuters )
The Millennium Development Goals are due to expire at the end of 2015, and debate has turned to what should come next, with hundreds of new targets already proposed. Governments need to focus carefully and decide which goals offer the greatest returns on investment.

Hidden Assets

Dag Detter and Stefan Fölster
Most governments know much about their debt but little about their assets. If central governments managed their assets better, they could generate annual returns of roughly $3 trillion.

Misrule of the Few

Pavlos Eleftheriadis
Since the early 1990s, a handful of oligarchs has dominated Greece’s economy and politics. So long as these elites have a vested interest in keeping things as they are, the country will never fully find its way out of crisis.

Gallery: China's Electronic Heroin Problem

In China, wangyin, or Internet addiction, is considered a clinical disorder.
Review Essay
Lawrence D. Freedman

A hundred years after World War I, new accounts of the drama help readers navigate the intricacies of European politics and the political and diplomatic maneuverings that kicked off the war. Yet there is still no consensus on its origins or lessons.

A young girl walks with two bags of cold drinking water in Monrovia, Liberia, October 9, 2005.
Letter From
Javier Alvarez

The Liberian government and international organizations have been most focused on containing Ebola, as they should be. The containment policies, however, have come with unintended economic consequences that need to be addressed to avert an even worse crisis.

Peter D. Feaver and Eric Lorber

As the deadline for reaching a nuclear deal with Iran is pushed once again, observers remain focused on the agreement itself. But the signing would be just the first step on a long road toward ensuring that any accord actually survives. 

A Chinese flag flutters in front of a construction site in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, November 7, 2014.
Matthew Goodman and Ely Ratner

Nearly two centuries after it lost its traditional place at the center of Asian affairs, Beijing has begun giving shape and substance to its renewed leadership on the regional stage.

A man holds a candle with a photograph of one of the missing 43 trainee teachers during a protest in Mexico City, Nov 17.
Ralph H. Espach

The Peña Nieto government seems to be facing its worst crisis yet, one likely to persist as police clash with a small minority of protestors who attack property, set fires, and throw Molotov cocktails. The breadth of the public outrage, however, is uncertain, and the movement has no clearly defined, practical demands.

An ancient Egyptian statue in Madrid, April 15, 2008.
James Cuno

Over the last few decades, governments have increasingly sought to reclaim indigenous artifacts from museums abroad. Yet inappropriate calls for repatriation should be resisted. Encyclopedic museums do more than house artifacts; they also spread cosmopolitan ideas.