The Best of 2014: Foreign Affairs Editors Select Top Content of the Year

December 11, 2014—As 2014 draws to a close, Foreign Affairs takes a look back at the tumultuous year with its ebook, The Best Of 2014. The compilation features analysis on major events and highlights articles on unexpected topics worth rediscovering.

“At Foreign Affairs we’ve published a wealth of strong content in 2014, and we are proud to share twenty of our favorite articles from print and the web. We hope our readers enjoy the collection, and we look forward to seeing what 2015 brings,” says Editor Gideon Rose.

This year’s collection includes a wide range of compelling articles, from scholar Francis Fukuyama’s sobering look at the sources of political rot in Washington to noted realist John Mearsheimer’s provocative article blaming the West for the Ukraine crisis.

Other print magazine highlights in the ebook include:

•    “Capital Punishment,” in which Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University, argues why French economist Thomas Piketty’s book on economic inequality is brilliant but fundamentally flawed;
•    “China’s Imperial President,” CFR Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies Elizabeth C. Economy’s look at how Chinese President Xi Jinping is tightening his grip on power and advancing himself as a transformative leader;
•    “Pitchfork Politics,” in which New America Foundation Fellow Yascha Mounk examines the populist threat to liberal democracy;
•    “The Unraveling,” a comprehensive account of global disorder by CFR President Richard N. Haass;        
•    “The Return of Geopolitics,” by Walter Russell Mead, professor at Bard College and Yale University and “The Illusion of Geopolitics” by Princeton professor G. John Ikenberry.The authors debate whether China, Iran, and Russia are determined to undo the geopolitical settlement that followed the Cold War; and
•    “New World Order,” in which Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and Nobel Prize-winner and CFR Distinguished Visiting Fellow Michael Spence explain that innovators—not providers of cheap labor or ordinary-capital owners—will be the real winners of the future.

The ebook also showcases original content from,including “Meet Pakistan’s Lady Cadets,” filmmaker Aeyliya Husain’s eye-opening account of women in the Pakistan Military Academy, and “Putin’s Brain,” in which Russian analyst Anton Barbashin and the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Hannah Thoburn explore the authoritarian, anti-Western philosophy that drove Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

Web-only articles that also made the 2014 list include:

•    In “The Myth of the Caliphate,” scholar Nick Danforth argues that Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers have misrepresented the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) self-declared caliphate as today’s iteration of a historical institution, but in fact, the caliphate is nebulous and malleable: “a blank slate…that contemporary Islamists are largely making up as they go along;”
•    “Golden Rule,” in which former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan makes a distinct case for why China should convert a part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold;
•    “Bitcoin Goes Boom,” University of Toronto professors Yuri Takhateyev and Mariana Mota Prado’s analysis of the challenges that the digital currency’s explosion poses for governing bodies;
•    In “Foreign Policy à la Modi,” Boston University’s Manjari Chatterjee Miller illustrates the foreign policy prowess of  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the backdrop of a government characterized more by continuity than by change; and
•    “The Poor and the Sick,” by Indiana University law professor Fran Quigley, who maintains that the two deadliest outbreaks of this century—cholera and Ebola—can be traced to one source: poverty.

The Best of 2014 is an annual ebook compiled by Foreign Affairs. It is currently available as a PDF, in the Foreign Affairs iPad app, and on iTunes, Nook and Google Play. The ebook will be available shortly on Kindle as well as print-on-demand through

For more information about the ebook as well as other Foreign Affairs titles, please visit For a short video of Gideon Rose introducing the collection, go to

Media Inquiries:
Andrew Palladino, Foreign Affairs, 212.434.9541


Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations since 1922, is an independent magazine of analysis and commentary on foreign policy and international affairs. In recent biannual surveys, Foreign Affairs has been ranked among the top ten most influential media outlets by the independent research firm Erdos & Morgan.

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