Features

Snapshots

Snapshot,
Eric B. Schnurer

By launching an e-residency program, Estonia is leading the way to a new market—one in which states compete for customers just as businesses do.

Snapshot,
Yoel Guzansky and Sigurd Neubauer

This might be the year that changes everything in the Middle East. The reason: a possible thaw in Saudi Arabian–Iranian relations.

Snapshot,
John Campbell

Americans tend to think of elections as the apex of democracy. But in some cases they are the opposite. In countries with weak democratic cultures and lax rule of law, elections can be destabilizing. Nigeria, which will hold elections next month, is a case in point.

Letters From

Letter From,
Nathaniel Parish Flannery
The wave of antigovernment protests sweeping Mexico was set off by the disappearance and presumed deaths of 43 college students. But the real reasons for people's anger lie deeper.

Letter From,
Anna-Katarina Gravgaard and Mads Nyvold

In the run up to last week's snap election in Greenland, uranium mining was high on the agenda. But economic independence from Denmark, which such mining could bring, seems further off than ever.

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.

Postscripts

Postscript,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

Talk of overturning austerity aside, Greece still needs the last 7.2 billion euro installment of the bailout to cover its financing gap. For the time being, then, the new government will need to abide by the program’s requirements—that is, the very combination of austerity and reform that Syriza has pledged to overturn. This may be enough to break the party.

Postscript,
Michael J. Bustamante

The agreement reached between the Obama administration and the Cuban government is by any measure historic, necessary, and overdue. Yet as the diplomatic rubber hits the road and Cuba continues its precarious transition to a mixed economy, old disputes may take on new forms.

Postscript,
Richard Katz

Abe’s economic revival is hardly going as planned. A consumption tax hike that he introduced in April triggered a recession over the following six months, prompting him to announce the delay of a second planned hike and to vow to dissolve the Japanese parliament.

Reading Lists

Reading List,
Joel D. Barkan

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Kenya.

Reading List,
Charles King

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on the Caucasus.

Reading List,
Cynthia McClintock

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Peruvian politics.

Comments

Comment, Jan/Feb 2015
Mariana Mazzucato

Conventional wisdom says the state can best foster innovation by just getting out of the way. In fact, government has historically served not as a meddler in the private sector but as a key booster of it—and often a daring one, willing to take risks that businesses won’t.

Comment, Jan/Feb 2015
Gideon Rose

Entrepreneurs drive innovation and dynamism, which in turn drive growth. So our lead package explores entrepreneurialism today—what it involves, what it accomplishes, and what can be done to spur and profit from it.

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard K. Betts

After a decade-plus of war, the lessons for the United States are clear: fight fewer, more traditional wars and fight them more decisively. Above all, avoid getting entangled in the politics of chaotic countries.

Essays

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, critics say postcommunist reforms have failed. But the evidence says otherwise. Transition states in Europe and Eurasia have become normal countries -- no worse, and sometimes better, than other states at comparable levels of development.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Elizabeth C. Economy

Xi Jinping’s reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard N. Haass

With U.S. hegemony waning and no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the current international system will likely give way to a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy. The post–Cold War order is unraveling, and it will be missed.

Responses

Response, Jan/Feb 2015
Lawrence J. Korb; Rick Brennan

Korb argues that Iraqi politicians and American generals are to blame for the bungled withdrawal from Iraq. Brennan replies.

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
Michael McFaul; Stephen Sestanovich; John J. Mearsheimer

Responding to Mearsheimer's controversial essay blaming the West for the Ukraine crisis, McFaul and Sestanovich put the blame back on Putin and his ideological extremism, denying that NATO expansion provoked him. Mearsheimer replies.

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
John Delury and Chung-in Moon; Sue Mi Terry

Contrary to what Terry claims, write Delury and Moon, the collapse of North Korea is a frightening prospect, and the sudden reunification of the Korean Peninsula would be disastrous. Terry replies.