Golden Rule

Why Beijing Is Buying

Alan Greenspan
A sales representative poses behind a 24K gold dragon, December 6, 2011.
A sales representative poses behind a 24K gold dragon, December 6, 2011. (Bobby Yip / Courtesy Reuters)
In today's world of fiat currencies and floating exchange rates, a return to the gold standard seems to be nowhere on anybody’s horizon. Yet gold still has special properties that no other currency can claim -- which is why China is boosting its holdings.
Review Essay

Don't Be a Hero

Jordan Chandler Hirsch
The Egyptian-Israeli peace deal is the one aspect of the Middle Eastern order that has not fallen apart in recent years. But a new book misinterprets Washington's contribution to the agreement.

Australia's Stateswoman

Julia Gillard
The former prime minister of Australia talks to Foreign Affairs about sexism, education, and her country's global role.

Big Trouble in Little China

Scott Harold
The dispute between Hong Kong and Beijing has exposed political and cultural rifts that have been widening for some time.
Capsule Review

Today's Book: Smuggler Nation

Richard Feinberg
Andreas argues that Washington should recognize that contraband capitalism is driven by demand.
Thomas de Waal

Azerbaijan claims to be interested in the Western liberal order. In reality, the country’s elites want to increase their wealth without threatening Azerbaijan’s oligarchic political system.

Modi flies a kite at the 19th International Kite festival in Ahmedabad, January 11, 2009.
Ruchir Sharma

Global investors usually focus on economic data such as GDP growth, employment, and trade. But in today’s trying economic climate, they have started to train their gaze elsewhere: on national political leadership and the prospects for reform.

Graffiti of Gudrun Schyman in Linnégatan, Uppsala, Sweden,  March 4, 2014.
Samantha Eyler

Sweden's Feminist Initiative party aims to put gender issues squarely at the top of Sweden's political agenda. By contrast, many U.S. feminists have turned the personal-is-political mantra of second-wave feminism on its head, taking a marked turn toward lifestyle issues, with a new focus on empowering women within the political and economic frameworks that already exist.

Rory Miller

Thanks to its booming technology sector, Israel has struck many new trade partnerships, including with China and India. So far, however, its thriving trade ties have done little to win support for its often contentious foreign policy. 

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (L) and Abdullah Abdullah (R) during a news conference in Kabul, July 12, 2014.
Jonah Blank

On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani was declared the victor in a contest to determine Afghanistan’s next president. The process has been infuriating. But the end result was the best possible outcome: best for Afghanistan, best for the region, and best for the United States.

A shopping cart full of products in a Walmart in Beijing, February 18, 2014.
Joshua Eisenman

Beijing has become less open to foreign businesses, subjecting them to costly fines, denying their mergers, refusing their applications for licenses, and detaining and deporting their managers. And the market has responded: In August, foreign direct investment into China fell by 14 percent from the previous year, following a 17 percent drop in July.