Topics

Economics

Snapshot,
Seth Kaplan

Life in Nigeria's largest city is changing for the better, offering a potential lesson for struggling states looking to stage a turnaround: mayors and city councils are more likely to embrace positive change than legislatures and presidents -- and far more quickly and effectively.

Snapshot,
Tarek Osman

As Arab governments become increasingly authoritarian, the region's middle classes will confront a choice: cast their lot with the ruling elites or stand up to the government and risk their social and economic standing. 

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan

Most economists agree that the global economy is stagnating and that governments need to stimulate growth, but lowering interest rates still further could spur a damaging cycle of booms and busts. Instead, central banks should hand consumers cash directly.

Environment

Postscript,
Carter Roberts

Earth Overshoot Day is the date on which humanity’s demand for natural resources exceeds the earth’s ability to renew them in a year. Last year, we hit that mark on August 20. This year, it comes one day earlier. For the remainder of 2014, in other words, we will be living beyond our planet’s means.

Snapshot,
Pete Ogden

Thanks to a newly proposed pollution rule, the United States is finally on its way toward meeting its Copenhagen emission reduction commitments. The move comes at the perfect time: At the end of next year, global leaders will convene in Paris to conclude the next major round of climate negotiations.

Snapshot,
Sulmaan Khan

On the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau, one sometimes hears a strange chattering -- an excited buzz that seems to emanate from the earth itself. Anyone who stops to look for the source will quickly realize that the ground is marked by a series of holes, from which small, shy creatures are likely to be watching. The labyrinthine burrows made by these mammals, called pikas, provide them security. But they also ensure China's water supply. Here's what their plight says about Chinese conservation efforts.

Security

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
John J. Mearsheimer

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Kenneth M. Pollack

Washington’s current efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria will not break the stalemate. The only way to restore peace without committing U.S. troops is to build a new Syrian army capable of defeating both the Assad regime and the extremists. 

Review Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Paul Kennedy

Lawrence Freedman’s massive, ambitious new book, Strategy, offers a personal take on an important term, one so overused that it has become almost meaningless.

Law & Institutions

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
John J. Mearsheimer

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

The United Arab Emirates has recently said and done all the right things to prove that it wants a stronger partnership with NATO. It is clear what NATO might want from the deal: help combating terrorism, funding military operations, and protecting regional sea-lanes, energy supply routes, and cybernetworks. It is less clear, however, what the UAE hopes to gain.

Snapshot,
Surupa Gupta and Sumit Ganguly

India's farmers hold enormous sway over New Delhi's policymaking. Narendra Modi may have come to power as a free-market reformer, but the fear of being portrayed as anti-farmer has led him to block a trademark WTO deal that India had previously approved. 

Politics & Society

Snapshot,
Seth Kaplan

Life in Nigeria's largest city is changing for the better, offering a potential lesson for struggling states looking to stage a turnaround: mayors and city councils are more likely to embrace positive change than legislatures and presidents -- and far more quickly and effectively.

Snapshot,
Nimmi Gowrinathan

Reports that women have formed their own brigade within the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have confounded experts -- and worried them. For many, the idea of women as violent extremists seems paradoxical. Why should women want to join a political struggle that so blatantly oppresses them?

Snapshot,
Henri J. Barkey

Geography and realpolitik have been cruel to the Kurds. Divided among four countries, they have been easy prey for anyone willing to engage in mischief and machinations in the region -- and engage the United States has.

U.S. Policy

Comment, SEPT/OCT 2014
Michael Tomasky

Divisions among Democrats exist just like they do among Republicans, but have largely festered beneath the surface for lack of a spokesperson to challenge the party’s economic elites. In Elizabeth Warren, grassroots Democrats may have found their champion.

Comment, SEPT/OCT 2014
Byron York

A loose confederation of conservative thinkers and politicians is developing a new strategy for reaching out to the American middle class. These reformers could save the Republican Party -- if only they could win over their fellow conservatives.

Comment, SEPT/OCT 2014
Gideon Rose and Jonathan Tepperman

American politics today are a mess, and since the distraction and paralysis of the world’s hegemon has such obvious global significance, we decided to turn our focus inward, exploring the sources and contours of the American malaise.