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

Snapshot,
Jytte Klausen

Not all Westerners return home from jihad abroad to take part in a violent attack. But many do, and they tend to become involved with extremely dangerous plans.

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.

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,
Peter Wilson

Venezuela's top military officers, longtime allies of Hugo Chávez, have consolidated their power under his embattled successor, Nicolás Maduro, and deepened the cracks in the regime.

Snapshot,
Michael J. Koplow

The official view from Ankara might be sunny -- yet the clouds massing on the country’s border presage a domestic hurricane.

Interview,
Julia Gillard

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

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,
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.