Topics

Economics

Snapshot,
Alexander Lebedev and Vladislav Inozemtsev

The world needs a new international convention to combat corruption -- a global epidemic that erodes government institutions, fuels unrest, and increasingly threatens the stability of the West.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, critics say postcommunist reforms have failed. But the evidence says otherwise. Transition states in Europe and Eurasia have become normal countries -- no worse, and sometimes better, than other states at comparable levels of development.

Snapshot,
Eric Lorber and Elizabeth Rosenberg

U.S. policymakers are considering giving global companies a choice: stop providing long-term financing and energy assistance to major Russian companies or be kicked out of the U.S. financial system. Such measures resemble the sanctions the United States placed on Iran a couple of years ago. But Iran was a different problem. And treating Russia the same way would be a mistake.

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, Nov/Dec 2014
Peter Tomsen

More than 13 years after 9/11, the Afghan war is far from over, even if Washington insists that the U.S. role in it will soon come to an end. Three recent books help explain why, and what Washington needs to do next to protect the gains that have been made.

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard K. Betts

After a decade-plus of war, the lessons for the United States are clear: fight fewer, more traditional wars and fight them more decisively. Above all, avoid getting entangled in the politics of chaotic countries.

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
John Delury and Chung-in Moon; Sue Mi Terry

Contrary to what Terry claims, write Delury and Moon, the collapse of North Korea is a frightening prospect, and the sudden reunification of the Korean Peninsula would be disastrous. Terry replies.

Law & Institutions

Snapshot,
Lauren Carasik

Companies are increasingly using international arbitration tribunals for disputes involving extractive industries in the developing world. By circumventing the state’s domestic laws, this system of dispute resolution grants policymaking control to foreign tribunals, undercutting a state’s right to regulate labor, keep its citizens healthy, and protect its environment.

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.

Politics & Society

Snapshot,
Intissar Fakir and Maati Monjib

Arab Spring–driven reforms might have seemed inconsequential when they were introduced in 2011. But they may be changing Morocco’s political system more than anticipated.

Snapshot,
Brian Klaas and Marcel Dirsus

On October 26, Tunisians will finally have a real and unrestricted choice at the polls. Other transitioning regimes in the Middle East and the world should take note: Democracy is not about exclusion, but about giving people a genuine choice—even, or especially, when it’s an uncomfortable one.

Snapshot,
Alexander Lebedev and Vladislav Inozemtsev

The world needs a new international convention to combat corruption -- a global epidemic that erodes government institutions, fuels unrest, and increasingly threatens the stability of the West.

U.S. Policy

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Peter Tomsen

More than 13 years after 9/11, the Afghan war is far from over, even if Washington insists that the U.S. role in it will soon come to an end. Three recent books help explain why, and what Washington needs to do next to protect the gains that have been made.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Elizabeth C. Economy

Xi Jinping’s reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2014
Richard N. Haass

With U.S. hegemony waning and no successor waiting to pick up the baton, the current international system will likely give way to a larger number of power centers acting with increasing autonomy. The post–Cold War order is unraveling, and it will be missed.