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The U.S. economy is grinding along, China is slowing, and Europe is stagnant. But the good news in the global economy is that a whole new crop of green shoots is springing up.
Once hidden behind high tariffs, quotas, subsidies, and hundreds of state-owned enterprises, Mexico’s economy is now one of the most open in the world. But the economic dividends of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ambitious economic reform agenda have yet to appear.
South Korea is a rich, technologically advanced, mature democracy with an impressive record of innovation, economic reform, and sound leadership, so to call it an emerging market is a bit of an anachronism. But the country’s chief economic virtue, its openness, also subjects it to greater market volatility and risk than its fully developed counterparts.
Over the last 25 years, Poland has enjoyed peace, a booming economy, and integration with the rest of Europe. Behind that positive story lie smart economic reforms and the bond Poland formed with Europe’s leading economy, Germany.
With an impressive decade behind it and an important election ahead, Turkey’s biggest challenges are in the realm of domestic politics. As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan flirts with authoritarian populism, the country teeters between continued growth and a reversion to the Middle Eastern mean.
Indonesia confronts a host of political challenges, and a crucial election in 2014 will determine whether it delivers on its promise or returns to stagnation. Meanwhile, the nearby Philippines, now an outsourcing powerhouse, has been racing ahead under the stewardship of President Benigno Aquino III.
The Southeast Asian countries that line the Mekong River -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, along with China’s southern Yunnan Province -- are finally fending for themselves, and then some. As trade barriers fall and borders open up, the region’s growth depends on an improving transportation network and overdue political reforms.
During the recent emerging market boom, forecasters assumed that trends would continue indefinitely, ignoring the cyclical nature of both political and economic development. Euphoria overcame sound judgment -- a process that has doomed economic forecasting for as long as experts have been doing it.
International cooperation is increasingly taking place outside formal institutions, as frustrated actors turn to informal groups and ad hoc venues. The resulting clutter may be unsightly, but it’s here to stay -- so the challenge is to make it work as well as possible.
The cliché that China has experienced economic reform but not political reform since the beginning of the Deng Xiaoping era obscures some important truths: China’s leaders have become weaker, its society has fractured, and its people have grown more empowered.
Obamacare’s success will not mean a leap to socialism, nor would its failure mean the end of liberalism. What the ACA really represents is yet another step on the United States' long, halting journey away from the classical liberal capitalist state and toward a peculiarly American version of social democracy.
The Department of Defense is good at anticipating future military needs but not at responding quickly to immediate technological challenges on the battlefield. This is how we tried to get around that problem in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As the recent era of interventionist U.S. state building draws to a close, it is time to acknowledge it was flawed not only in execution, but also in conception. Washington's obsession with weak states was more of a mania than a sound strategic doctrine.
In the 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement entered into force, the agreement has proved to be an economic boon. But if North America is to remain a uniquely competitive region, it will need to build on NAFTA’s success by opening markets beyond its borders.
Although the North American Free Trade Agreement succeeded in liberalizing trade, over the 20 years since the treaty entered into force, it has failed to deepen links between the Canadian, U.S., and Mexican economies. It’s not too late to play catch-up, so policymakers should tear down the remaining barriers to complete economic integration.
Twenty years after the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect, the deal has brought neither the huge gains its proponents promised nor the dramatic losses its adversaries warned of. For Mexico, NAFTA did increase exports, but its impact on spurring economic growth and creating jobs has been less clear-cut.
The president of Mexico speaks with Foreign Affairs about his country’s economy, his term to date, and his plans for the future.
Reviews & Responses
A new book by Paul Collier argues for a global system of coercive quotas on people moving from poorer countries to richer ones. But instead of presenting a convincing case for a moderate middle path, the book offers an egregious collection of empirical and logical errors about immigration’s supposed negative consequences.
Two new books show that the Iranian revolution was not quite a historical rupture. The tensions and energies that animate Iranian society today are not new; they have simply become more visible.
Eric Schlosser’s Command and Control is really two books in one. The first is a techno-thriller, narrating a shocking nuclear accident in gripping detail. The second is more analytic, exploring the challenge at the heart of nuclear command-and-control systems: how to ensure that nuclear weapons are both reliable and safe.
Spain’s surprising cultural richness under General Francisco Franco reflected the reality that for Franco, an opportunistic authoritarian eager to get along with the West, governing Spain meant allowing for limited pluralism and making concessions to a population ever more used to a modicum of wealth and freedom.