Regions

Africa

Snapshot,
Kim Yi Dionne

Fear of the Ebola virus and an out-of-control epidemic have made it easier for governments around the world to focus on security and military responses to public health solutions. Here's why that is a bad thing.

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

Last week’s deadly U.S. strike on Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al Shabab, could be the group’s undoing. Even so, the region is not out of the woods.

Letter From,
David P. Sandgren

Kenya’s first postcolonial middle class is now in its mid-60s, retiring and settling into comfortable grandparenthood. Few would have predicted this outcome, especially for the Gikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, since this generation’s early years were filled with poverty and violence.

Americas

Snapshot,
Alan Greenspan

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.

Snapshot,
Paul K. MacDonald and Joseph M. Parent

The Obama administration's war against ISIS is entirely consistent with its previous efforts to limit U.S. foreign policy entanglements. Indeed, Washington's strategy is cribbed straight from the retrenchment handbook.

Review Essay,
Daniel Falkiner

The new book A Troublesome Inheritance confirms that the basic biological facts of race and human evolution are indisputable. But at certain moments, the book ceases to be a scientific inquiry into race and becomes something far more troubling.

Asia

Interview,
Julia Gillard

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

Snapshot,
Alan Greenspan

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.

Snapshot,
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. 

Europe

Snapshot,
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. 

Snapshot,
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.

Snapshot,
Charles King

The United Kingdom has been saved -- for now. But last week's referendum marks the beginning, not the end, of a debate on the United Kingdom's constitutional order, its party system, its territorial configuration, and its relationship with Europe.

Middle East

Comment,
Daniel Byman and Jeremy Shapiro

ISIS' army has attracted a stream of Western volunteers, but there is no reason to panic about their return home. Some may come back as terrorists, but the danger has been exaggerated, and the United States and the EU know how to handle such problems.

Review Essay,
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. Far from breaking the shackles of religion, history, and geopolitics that had previously ensnared the parties and prevented them from making concessions, the United States played a much more modest role.

Snapshot,
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. 

Russia & FSU

Snapshot,
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.

Letter From,
Balazs Jarabik

Residents of Ukraine are frustrated and anxious. Facing increasing economic hardship, they have little hope that things will get better. Indeed, things couldn’t get much worse.

Snapshot,
James Yan

Few countries in Asia are in a more precarious foreign policy position than the Republic of Azerbaijan. On the western shore of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan lies between two larger, stronger, and unfriendly countries -- Iran and Russia -- and Azerbaijan’s pro-Western bent has done little to endear the country to either neighbor.

Global Commons

Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

The economic potential of the Arctic is undoubtedly considerable, and that has heightened Asian interest in the region. Because these are perilous times for the Arctic environment, though, the exploration (and exploitation) of the area needs to be done sustainably.

Essay, JUL/AUG 2014
Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, and Michael Spence

Machines are substituting for more types of human labor than ever before. This means that the real winners of the future will be neither the providers of cheap labor nor the owners of ordinary capital, but rather those who can innovate and create new products, services, and business models.

Essay, JUL/AUG 2014
Benn Steil

In today’s dollar-dominated financial system, changes in U.S. monetary policy can have immediate and significant global effects, wrecking economies and toppling regimes. As a result, for many countries monetary sovereignty is nothing but a dream.