Topics

Economics

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,
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.

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.

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

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,
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.

Law & Institutions

Snapshot,
Sarah E. Mendelson

With the MDGs coming to an end in 2015, the international community is now close to agreeing to what comes next. And here, there is some good news for those working to end trafficking. In several places, the draft goals explicitly and implicitly address combating human trafficking and ending modern slavery.

Snapshot,
Betcy Jose

As the reaction to the death of al Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane has shown, open condemnation of targeted killings as violations of international law has slowly given way to silence. Here's why.

Snapshot,
Jeremy Shapiro and Riccardo Alcaro

A good high representative can move the EU in the right direction, as long as he or she understands the subtleties of the role. With the support of skilled advisers, Mogherini can do just that, becoming the high representative the EU needs.

Politics & Society

Interview,
Julia Gillard

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

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.

U.S. Policy

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.

Interview,
Julia Gillard

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