In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond | 02/11/16 "What is Europe? Where is it going in this current crisis?" The answers are all here, from what Kaplan describes as the redivision of Europe into two Cold War halves over Russia's involvement in Ukraine, to the enduring importance of historical imperial borders, to Europe's urgent need for structural economic reform--and much more.
The Unprecedented Jihadi Threat in Europe | 01/25/16 "At this very moment, ISIS is recruiting probably 100 people a week from all over the world, including this very country. So it is not a European problem, it is not an Arab issue; it is a global threat and global challenge. That is why I insist on the fact that the threat has to be dealt with at the source, which is basically Syria."
Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped | 01/15/16 Garry Kasparov is an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin's authoritarianism, but he is equally critical of the United States and its allies for their unwillingness to confront Moscow. In this fascinating discussion, he and journalist Robert Kaiser grapple with complex and difficult questions about Russia and the "free world," and what we mean by a moral foreign policy.
Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence | 01/14/16 "Artificial intelligence" is a misnomer, says computer scientist Jerry Kaplan. Machines are not intelligent; their programmers are. What we're seeing is a huge acceleration of automation, which will eliminate all kinds of jobs and create all kinds of unimaginable new ones. This will create a great deal of wealth. But the question is who will get that wealth?
Clip of the Month: José Manuel Barroso on the Challenges of the Refugee Crisis & Xenophobia | 12/22/15 Europe is facing many challenges these days, but the most formidable one is the refugee crisis, says former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. In this clip, Barroso urges Europeans (and Americans) to look past "simplistic, populist answers" like closing the borders. He says governments should strive to use "intelligence and information" to fight the extremism that is fueling this crisis and never forget why refugees want to come to Europe in the first place.
Violence All Around | 12/15/15 What is terrorism, and how is it different from other violence? How does technology affect rates of violence? How and when can nonviolence be effective? John Sifton of Human Rights Watch reflects on these issues and more, including the intersection between nonviolence and Christian Realism, as exemplified by his grandfather, Reinhold Niebuhr.
The State of the European Union: Challenges for the Future | 12/09/15 Yes, says former EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso, the European Union is facing extraordinary challenges. But the EU also possesses extraordinary resilience and resources. Unlike many, Barroso is very optimistic about its future.
Sinai: Egypt's Linchpin, Gaza's Lifeline, Israel's Nightmare | 12/04/15 The Sinai, this crucial land bridge connecting Asia and Africa, has become a haven for transnational crime, fostering arms trafficking, smuggling through the tunnels into Gaza, and Islamic militancy. Courageous Egyptian journalist Mohannad Sabry gives us an inside look at the current situation, both in the Sinai and in Egypt as a whole.
Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Re-emergence of the Taliban and the Arrival of ISIS | 12/01/15 Ahmed Rashid and Barnett Rubin dissect the complicated situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan--a region of many competing terrorist groups--and also comment on ISIS in the Middle East and Europe. ISIS is actually a war within Islam, declares Rashid, and the West's main task should be to help mobilize and unite the Muslim world to fight it.
Perspectives from Inside a Tumultuous Middle East: Syria-Iraq-ISIS-Russia and Iran | 11/23/15 The majority of the Arab World seeks justice, accountability, and democracy, says Beirut-based Rami Khouri. What we are dealing with now is bad governance in the region combined with the terrible consequences of continuous foreign military intervention: American, Russian, European, Iranian, Israeli, and inter-Arab.
Clip of the Month: Rami Khouri on Global Values in the Arab World & Saudi Arabia’s Role | 11/23/15 At a time when the rhetoric from and about the Middle East is given to extremes, it's not often that we have the opportunity to listen to a fair, reasonable, and authoritative voice from the region. In this clip, Rami Khouri, senior fellow at the American University of Beirut's Issam Fares Institute, argues that the majority of the Arab World seeks values like justice, accountability, and democracy. He goes on to give a nuanced take on the role of Saudi Arabia and Wahhabi Islam.
Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers | 11/18/15 Master storyteller, researcher, and traveler Simon Winchester takes us on a fascinating voyage through the Pacific, tying it all together with two ethical questions: Should the Americans and the Chinese have a level playing field? And should we respect the ways of the Pacific ancients?
The Global Refugee Crisis | 11/13/15 How can Christian leaders help Europe cope with the flood of refugees? Renowned Czech theologian Father Tomàš Halik argues that Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, can be an effective mediator between Islam and Europe's secular humanists, as it has many values in common with both.
Clip of the Month: Michael Weiss on the Morality of the American Fight Against ISIS | 10/21/15 Daily Beast senior editor Michael Weiss discusses the complexities of the U.S. fight against ISIS, including how it has fed into a conspiracy theory that Obama wants to "disenfranchise Sunnis," with the help of Iran and Russia.
Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama | 10/19/15 Today, America's ties to Israel are so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way. Ambassador Ross deftly lays out the surprising history of the U.S-Israel relationship. He goes on to answer questions on U.S. policies and the current worrying situation across the Middle East.
ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror | 10/09/15 ISIS is often portrayed as a mysterious force that came out of nowhere. It's nothing of the kind. This grim, unforgettable talk gives us the full, terrifying story, from the initial mistakes made in Iraq to the carnage going on now in Syria.
Pope Francis Among the Wolves: The Inside Story of a Revolution | 10/05/15 Francis is the first pope who wasn't born in a village, says Vatican expert Marco Politi, but in a mega-city with many social-economic levels and faiths. "This explains why when he speaks he doesn't speak only to Catholics, not only to Christians. He speaks beyond religious borders. He speaks to men and women as they are in contemporary society."
NATO in the 21st Century: Addressing New and Urgent Challenges | 10/01/15 NATO is now in its third historical phase, says U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute in this informative, useful talk. "There is now a sense that NATO faces maybe not just one threat, a newly aggressive, newly assertive Russia, but also concerns from the Southeast with ISIS and potentially from instability in the South across the Mediterranean as well."
Clip of the Month: Martin Wolf on the Full Extent of the Eurozone Crisis | 09/28/15 Just how bad was the eurozone crisis? "Financial Times" columnist Martin Wolf, one of the world's most respected and incisive economic commentators, says that it was "unbelievably costly in aggregate" and the crisis-hit countries of Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal have suffered "at least a lost decade." He also provides an update on where these countries are now and what vulnerabilities remain.
Is the Eurozone Crisis Over? | 09/24/15 Economist Martin Wolf lays out the three enormous problems Europe faces today: relations with Russia; a possible Brexit; and the migration crisis. He goes on to analyze Europe's economic situation, declaring that the 2008 crash resulted in well over a lost decade, and the economic and political repercussions will be felt for many more years to come.
The Republic of Conscience | 07/02/15 According to former U.S. Senator Gary Hart, Congress, the military, and even the Supreme Court have fallen victim to special interests and ignored America's founding principles. What can we do about it? "Get angry," he says, in this enlightening and ultimately hopeful talk.
Agenda for the Future: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights | 06/11/15 "Our planet is indivisible. There is no longer such a thing as a small, faraway country. No such thing as an acceptable level of discrimination, against any group." Don't miss this moving speech by UN High Commissioner Al Hussein, which covers all aspects of the universal principles of human rights, including the current refugee crisis.
A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control | 06/08/15 "Social disruptions, public health and economic crises, environmental damage, and personal tragedies, all made possible by the adoption of new technologies, will increase dramatically over the next 20 years," predicts Wendell Wallach--unless we start now and implement checks and balances that will prove him wrong.
Crisis in Yemen: Instability on the Arabian Peninsula | 05/22/15 In this grim, masterful talk Bernard Haykel explains the complex historical background and current realities of the crisis in Yemen. In doing so, he analyzes key foreign players: the Saudis, now with a new king, whose favorite son is playing a major role; the Iranians and their proxy, Hezbollah; and the Americans, whose policy he describes as "catastrophic."
The UN's Efforts in International Development: Relevant or Not? | 05/19/15 Which development initiatives really work? Drawing on his personal and professional experience, the UN's David Malone notes that experts' projects often fail and there are many paths to growth--take India and China, for example. The trend now is to move away from grand schemes. What's important are each group's social preferences.
Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution | 05/11/15 The Middle East needs a double revolution--not just a political one, but a social/sexual one as well, says fiery, courageous feminist Mona Eltahawy. It's time to destroy the oppressive patriarchy of "the trifecta:" the state, the street, and the home. But Arab women don't need "rescuing." Misogyny exists everywhere in varying degrees. Fight it at your own, local level.
Full Planet, Empty Plates | 05/07/15 "We are in transition today from an age of surpluses to an age of scarcity," says Lester Brown. The reasons are manifold: population growth; climate change; water scarcity; a substantial part of the U.S. grain harvest being used for fuel; increased demands because of rising affluence; and a glass ceiling for crop yields.
Clip of the Month: Mona Eltahawy: A Muslim and a Feminist or Islamic Feminism? | 05/06/15 Mona Eltahawy, author of "Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution," says that for change to come for women in the Muslim world, both "secular feminism" and "Islamic feminism" need to be embraced.
The Ethics Police?: The Struggle to Make Human Research Safe | 05/01/15 When it comes to medical research using human beings, who decides what's right? How do the U.S. institutional review boards work? What does "informed consent" mean when you need a law degree to understand the consent forms? How are clinical trails conducted overseas? Dr. Klitzman explores these troubling and complex ethical concerns.
Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World | 04/27/15 In the late 1990s, using humor, irony, and imagination, Popovic and his friends toppled Serbian dictator Milošević. They went on to found CANVAS, which now advises activists in more than 15 countries. Popovic explains that nonviolent struggle is a teachable skill, and that nonviolence is not only the most ethical, but the most successful path to revolution.
The Paradox of Liberation | 04/13/15 Many of the successful campaigns for national liberation after World War II were based on democratic and secular ideals. Michael Walzer asks: What went wrong? Why have states such as India, Israel, and Algeria been unable to reproduce their political culture beyond one or two generations?
Clip of the Month: Michael Walzer on the Radicalism of Early American Secularism | 04/07/15 Michael Walzer, professor emeritus of the Institute for Advanced Study, tells a story about changes to postal law in the 1800s to illustrate the strictness of American secularism, even among religious citizens and politicians.
The Eleventh Hour: The Legacy and the Lessons of World War I | 03/24/15 One hundred years after the First World War, boundaries established after the armistice at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" still shape many of today's conflicts, from ISIS's invasion of Mosul to Boko Haram's kidnapping of schoolgirls. What lessons have we learned from WWI? Just as important, what have we still not learned?
The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East | 03/20/15 In this stirring, information-filled talk on the Kurdish people, David Phillips recounts centuries of abuse and repression against the world's "largest stateless people." But he also illuminates the vitality of today's Kurds, who are "pro-Western and secular" and have proven to be America's most capable regional partners in the fight against ISIS.
Nigeria and the Horror of Boko Haram | 03/09/15 "Like other radical insurgencies, Boko Haram is fueled by poor governance, political marginalization, and its region's deepening impoverishment," says former Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell. "However, it is also shaped by specifically Nigerian circumstances and factors." This talk helps us understand Boko Haram's roots, ideology, and goals.
Patients with Passports: Medical Tourism, Law, and Ethics | 03/02/15 Medical tourism is big business, involving millions of patients who travel abroad to get health care. Some travel to avoid queues and save money. Others seek services that are illegal in their own country, such as abortions and surrogate pregnancies. As Cohen explains, this growing industry opens a Pandora's box of legal and ethical questions.
Clip of the Month: I. Glenn Cohen on the Ethics of Medical Tourism | 02/24/15 Harvard Law professor Glenn Cohen, the author of "Patients With Passports," details some of the moral considerations to keep in mind about traveling to a foreign country to get an organ transplant, including unexpected post-operative regret from the donor.
Ebola and Other Viral Outbreaks: Providing Health Care to the Global Poor in Times of Crisis | 02/18/15 Why were initial responses to the Ebola outbreak so disastrously inadequate? How can dysfunctional health systems--at all levels--be improved, so that this doesn't happen again? Dr. Klitzman of Columbia University and Dr. Karunakara, former international president of MSF, discuss these issues and more, including why doctors treating Ebola should not be called heroes.
Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe | 02/05/15 "Europe has always been a place of conflict and malice and anger and hatred, between classes and between nations. The question now is, can it be contained? I doubt it very much. The period from 1992 to 2008 was an interregnum, and an unnatural one. Europe is returning to itself, and when Europe gets sick, the world gets sick with it."
Clip of the Month: George Friedman on the Essential European Problem | 01/30/15 Stratfor founder and chairman George Friedman says that German reliance on exports and illegal entrepreneurism in Greece and other less affluent European economies, in large part, led to the debt crisis.
The Afghan Challenge | 01/26/15 With a new president in charge, can Afghanistan find a way out of decades of conflict and oppression? What will be the effect of the U.S. troop drawdown? UN Ambassador Zahir Tanin and Afghan expert Barnett Rubin discuss Afghanistan's future.
America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder | 12/10/14 America is not in decline, but it's certainly in retreat, says Stephens, and this is a mistake. He argues that the United States is the ultimate guarantor of a relatively decent, stable, liberal world order, governed by a sense of rules and the knowledge, both among its friends and adversaries, that it has the will and the wherewithal to ensure its interests.
Strategies for Countering Violent Extremists | 12/05/14 Jean-Paul Laborde, executive director of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) discusses the role of the UN in countering terrorism worldwide.
Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy | 12/03/14 Former ambassador Hill has worked on some of the most dangerous and difficult problems in U.S. diplomacy, from the Balkans, to North Korea, to Iraq. In this astute and often funny talk, he gives an inside look at his work as a diplomat, and also discusses the latest crises, from ISIS and Syria, to Ukraine and dealing with Russia.
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East | 11/19/14 Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive faiths. How are groups such as the Mandaeans and Yazidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, and the Copts of Egypt hanging on to their ancient traditions? How can we combat religious hatred?
A Conversation with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff | 11/07/14 In this candid and thoughtful conversation, General Dempsey tackles the difficult questions, from ISIS to Ebola to cyber threats. And throughout, he stresses the importance of ethics, education, and service.
Clip of the Month: General Martin Dempsey on ISIS | 11/06/14 General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describes how the U.S. Military is fighting ISIS in Syria, amidst the brutal civil war.
If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities | 10/29/14 In the face of the most perilous challenges of our time, from terrorism to climate change, nation-states seem paralyzed. Can cities and the mayors who run them do a better job? The answer is yes, says Benjamin Barber, and in fact they are already doing it.
The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--and Have Still to Learn--From the Financial Crisis | 10/23/14 Why did the 2008 financial crisis occur? What should it teach us about modern economies and economics? Martin Wolf does a masterly job of untangling this complex catastrophe and proposes how we can avoid repeating our past mistakes.
Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy | 10/15/14 What are the requirements for a liberal democracy? It's not just voting, says Fukuyama. It needs a distinction between public and private interest; rule of law; and accountability. Although the U.S. started off as a weak, corrupt state, it became a liberal democracy. Yet all political systems are subject to decay, and that's what's happening to the U.S. today.
Foreign Fighters in Syria | 09/29/14 How is ISIS structured? Why are young Muslims from many countries going to Syria to join it? What is the nature and extent of the threat and how can it be overcome? Counterintelligence expert Richard Barrett (formerly with MI5, MI6, and the UN) gives an informative, balanced, and perceptive report. Don't miss it.
Climate Change and the Future of Humanity | 09/19/14 Climate change is already here. The seas are rising, the glaciers are melting, and the atmosphere is warming. How can we work together to set a different course for humanity?
Clip of the Month: Mary Robinson on Climate Change's Effect on Women & the Poor | 09/16/14 Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN special envoy for climate change, says that environmental problems have an outsized effect on women and the poor and that her foundation is working on their behalf.
Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East | 06/23/14 How did the Arab Revolt and Lawrence of Arabia shape the Middle East? And how are Lawrence's actions of a century ago still being felt today?
The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? | 06/09/14 Today we create information in everything that we do, and there is no going back. But instead of seeing this as as a threat, we should seize the opportunity to use it to our advantage, says Patrick Tucker. Big data can improve our lives, offering everything from more informed consumer choices to more accurate and detailed medical data.
The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union | 06/06/14 Serhii Plokhy presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months, which places Ukraine at the center of the drama. And by providing the historical background for what is happening now, he shows that there are many key points linking 1991 to today.
Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings | 06/01/14 It's tempting to see today's Middle East conflicts as the continuation of centuries-old sectarian divisions, but Frederick Wehrey cautions against it. "Sectarianism is really a local institutional governance phenomenon that needs to be addressed through political reform in the Gulf, through ending discrimination, through greater participation in governance."
Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground | 05/20/14 Authoritarian governments try to isolate individuals from one another, but in the age of social media this is impossible to do. Online, people discover that they are not alone. As one blogger put it, "Now I know who my comrades are." The question is, what's next?
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China | 05/19/14 In Chinese, the word for ambition is "wild heart" and for millennia individual aspirations were looked down on, as the group always came first. How China has changed!
Moral Imagination | 05/14/14 David Bromwich draws upon thinkers such as Burke, Lincoln, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to show that it is moral imagination which allows us to judge the right and wrong of actions apart from ourselves, to see the needs of strangers as clearly as the needs of friends. Thus it is essential to governing and to the well-being of the state.
Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the Front Lines | 05/13/14 Journalists have always faced attacks on their freedom to report stories and often on their physical safety as well. Now they face a new threat: digital surveillance. Electronic spying means that journalists cannot protect their sources, and undermines the public's confidence in the media's ability to operate without government interference.
Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East | 04/15/14 What if a group decides democratically that they don't want to be liberal--that they want an "illiberal democracy"? Shadi Hamid argues that repression originally compelled Islamists to moderate their politics. But ironically, democratic openings pushed them back to their original fundamentalism, leaving no space for liberal norms such as women's rights.
Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific | 04/14/14 No wonder the South China Sea is important to China, says Robert Kaplan. It's the Mediterranean of Asia, the center of international commerce, including energy shipments. Plus, if the Chinese control it and thus gain access to the Indian Ocean, China will have a two-ocean navy, transforming it in military terms from a regional power into a world power.
The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE–1492) | 04/10/14 Never at a loss for words, the inimitable, erudite, and very funny Simon Schama free-associates his way through Jewish history: the Old Testament, Jewish dancing masters in 16th century Italy, Passover recipes, the future of Israel--it's all here, and more.
Driving Competitive Advantage through Values-Based Leadership | 04/09/14 "There can be no choice between doing well financially and behaving responsibly in business," declares Barclays Group Chief Executive Antony Jenkins. "The last half-dozen years make it obvious that you cannot have long-term success without behaving responsibly. This has to be integral to how you operate a company."
No Ordinary Men: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, Resisters Against Hitler in Church and State | 03/31/14 Sifton and Stern tell the story of two of the most courageous opponents of the Nazi regime, pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and lawyer Hans von Dohnányi. From the earliest days of Nazism, both men perceived the threats, documented them, and plotted to overthrow Hitler. And they paid with their lives.
The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World | 03/16/14 "By relying so heavily on things like GDP, unemployment, and the suite of statistics that grew up in their wake, we are using a really good 1950s set of tools designed to answer questions of global depression, World War II, and 1950s industrial nation-states that made stuff. We're really good at measuring that world, but we're not living in that world."
The Struggle for Iraq's Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy | 03/10/14 In this bleak and revealing talk, Iraqi lawyer Zaid al-Ali provides an insider's analysis of Iraq's many failures of governance, from creating a constitution to providing Iraqis with jobs, electricity, and most of all safety.
The Global War for Internet Governance | 03/04/14 Who controls the Internet? Internet governance is so technically and institutionally complex that it takes place mostly out of public view. But Internet control points do exist, and they affect civil liberties, national security, and global innovation policy. Laura DeNardis explains the inner workings of online governance and discusses its future.
The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution | 02/25/14 The courageous Gianni Picco played a central role in negotiating the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, met with Saddam Hussein to bring an end to the Iran-Iraq War, and traveled to both Beirut and Tehran to rescue 11 hostages and 91 other prisoners. How did he do it? By treating adversaries as individuals, not just government representatives.
By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World | 02/18/14 As China's urban middle class expands, China's government--and private companies--are traveling the globe in pursuit of fuel, ores, water, and farmland. And the government has all kinds of tools to bring to bear, from public diplomacy and backroom deals, to low-cost financing and low-cost labor. How is this quest changing the world, including China itself?
The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the 21st Century | 02/10/14 Sochi, Snowden, and Syria--these are just a few of the issues complicating the U.S.-Russian relationship, says Georgetown's Angela Stent in this dynamic and informed talk. But, because of Russia's strategic location, nuclear arsenal, and presence in the UN, it's a partnership worth working on.
The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters | 02/02/14 Thanks to fracking and the unlikely characters who made this revolution happen, the United States is now the biggest energy producer in the world. The fracking bonanza is here to stay, argues Gregory Zuckerman, and the environmental hazards can be overcome. Our best course is to work with the industry to improve safety standards.
The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism | 01/28/14 Jordanian diplomat and scholar Marwan Muasher surveys the situation across the Arab world. He sees reasons for optimism in the long run, particularly in Tunisia, and makes a passionate call for pluralism, which he says is essential for democracy and prosperity.
The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present | 12/18/13 Democracy is petty, trivial, and short-termist, says David Runciman. But having survived world wars and financial shocks over the last 100 years, it's also the most flexible and successful system of government the world has ever seen. These qualities make democracy quite susceptible to crises, but also able to navigate through them.
Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late | 12/17/13 The threat of a nuclear nightmare is still real, says Joe Cirincione. With unsecured stockpiles in Russia, the ever-present threat of terrorists getting hold of a bomb, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran, America and the world need to pay attention to this potentially catastrophic issue.
Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy | 12/13/13 Why did Japan recklessly attack the United States in 1941, launching a war that most of the nation's leaders knew they were almost certain to lose? Why did they go ahead, despite heated internal debates? Get the inside story from a Japanese perspective.
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel | 11/27/13 Speaking just after the November 23 nuclear deal with Iran, Ari Shavit is skeptical: "The question is: Is it an act of creating the time to wake up and see what's there; or is it a process of deluding ourselves one last time, which will be the very last time?" He also discusses his homeland, Israel--its history, its deep-rooted problems, and its vibrancy.
The Constitution Project: Task Force Report on Detainee Treatment | 11/27/13 In many instances, U.S. forces used interrogation techniques which constitute torture; the nation's most senior officials bear ultimate responsibility; and there is no evidence that torture produced significant information of value. These are the unanimous conclusions of the task force on detainee treatment, as discussed here by two of its members.
Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism | 11/26/13 Journalists sorely need more expertise in the topics they report on, such as business, education and geopolitics, says Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard. For unless they know their subject area well, they are vulnerable to their sources and their reporting may be skewed or incomplete.
Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them | 11/06/13 How do human beings make moral decisions? Sometimes we go with our emotions and "think fast" and sometimes we use reason and "think slow." Neuroscientist Joshua Greene's research shows that for problems within small groups, its best to think fast. But for global problems between larger groups, we need to learn to think slow.
Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change | 10/30/13 "America has strayed pretty far from the pioneer spirit captured by Willa Cather and the movie 'Shane,'" says Nobel Prize-winner Edmund Phelps. What happened? Phelps argues that since the 1960s, there has been a resurgence of certain traditional and anti-modern values. This has resulted in "a new corporatism," which stifles innovation.
The Men Who United the States | 10/24/13 Simon Winchester tells of the men--some famous, but most of them forgotten--who united America. They did it through geological surveys and maps, canals, railways, highways, telegraph, and radio, and their stories are both fascinating and surprising.
Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War | 10/09/13 We should break free of the cliché that World War I was futile, argues Max Hastings. "Germany in 1914, as ruled by the Kaiser and his generals and ministers, represented a malign force whose triumph had to be frustrated."
The Road to War: Presidential Commitments Honored and Betrayed | 10/04/13 The last declaration of war authorized by Congress was World War II, yet the U.S. has been entangled in many wars since. Why have presidents been allowed to sidestep Congress for the last 70 years? The U.S. should have an agreed-upon set of guidelines for going to war, says Marvin Kalb. It should not be left up to presidents to decide.
Strategy: A History | 10/04/13 Creating a successful strategy is not just a question of being cleverer than your opponent. Sir Lawrence Freedman lays out some cardinal rules: think about how you are going to endure; have empathy with those whom you want to work with you, but also those who might oppose you; and be able to form coalitions.
Year Zero: A History of 1945 | 10/01/13 Ian Buruma makes a compelling case that many of the modern triumphs, such as the European Union, the United Nations, and Japanese pacifism, as well as some of the world's unresolved conflicts in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, all took root in 1945, that fateful year of retribution, revenge, suffering, and healing.
Immigration Reform: Truths, Myths, and Politics | 09/26/13 The great wave of illegal immigration to the United States is over, says Edward Schumacher-Matos. Our real challenge now is what to do with those 11–12 million people who are here illegally but who are part of our communities--and this is not only a legal issue but an ethical one.
Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God | 09/23/13 Created and armed by Iran, Hezbollah's reach stretches around the world, including inside the United States. Matthew Levitt traces its terrifying activities and discusses how Iran/Hezbollah might retaliate in response to a U.S. strike on Syria.
Ten Billion | 09/15/13 Stephen Emmott's short, bold manifesto asks the world to wake up and recognize that not only are the problems we face increasingly interconnected--including energy, climate, food, and water--but that the connection is us.
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America | 06/17/13 Since the late 1970s, says George Packer, we've been living in a new era. The structures that supported ordinary Americans' ambitions, from government to business to schools, have stopped working on their behalf. Instead, people felt they were on their own. Some have thrived greatly and others have been left behind, with a rising sense of panic.
Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era | 06/11/13 Joseph Nye asks: "If the United States starts out the 20th century as a second-tier power and it ends up the 20th century as the world's only superpower, did it matter who was president? Would it all have occurred or turned out the same way anyway, or did individual leaders make a big difference?"
Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order | 06/06/13 We have been guilty of overreaching abroad and underachieving at home, says Richard Haass, and these sins are really two sides of the national security coin. After all, "our capacity to act abroad is obviously directly limited and affected by the capacities we have created here at home, whether the capacities are military or economic or human."
Legal Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of National Security | 05/31/13 "In the post-9/11 world, the job of being the senior legal authority for the Department of Defense is the perfect storm collision of law, national security, and politics," says Jeh Johnson. He describes 13-14-hour days working on such thorny issues as "Don't Ask Don't Tell," Guantanamo, and weightiest of all, the conflict with al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God | 05/20/13 What does it mean to have frequent conversations with God, as so many evangelicals say they do? Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann spent over 10 years as an active member of evangelical churches in different parts of the U.S., and uses her personal experiences, interviews, and scientific training to report on the evangelical faith.
Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight | 05/16/13 Victims of trafficking are both young and old, male and female. They can be found working in factories, fields, brothels, private homes, and innumerable other settings. They may be hidden behind walls or seen in plain view. How can trafficking be stopped?
Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st Century | 05/16/13 In this in-depth, erudite talk, George Weigel discusses the historic shift taking place in the Catholic church; the character of the new mode of Catholicism that is coming into being; his personal impressions of the new pope; and the flourishing church in Africa.
The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences | 05/01/13 "A divided past is only part of the human story. It may be the one that makes the headlines, but, arguably, it's not the only one and it's probably not the most important one either," says David Cannadine. "Human relations are extremely messy. They are not primarily Manichean at all, but they are about blending, borrowing, interacting, and interconnecting."
WSJ Ideas Calendar Features Sir David Cannadine's Talk | 04/19/13 Sir David Cannadine's Carnegie Council talk, "The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences," was featured in the "Wall Street Journal" Ideas Calendar.
The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2013) | 04/17/13 Andrew Bacevich argues that militarism now permeates U.S. society. These attitudes emerged in the decades after the Vietnam War, and are at odds both with U.S. interests and with its founding traditions.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism | 04/16/13 Very soon, "smart" technologies and "big data" will allow us to make sophisticated interventions in everyday life. Technology will create incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will this affect society, once political and moral dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency?
Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles | 04/15/13 Which countries will be the next big thing? Most follow a four-point cycle, says Sharma: "You have economic crisis. They carry out economic reforms. After they carry out economic reforms, some sort of boom takes place. Then complacency sets in, and then you get back to having a crisis." So beware! Economic development is extremely hard to sustain.
The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations | 03/21/13 Ian Morris demonstrates that social development can be measured across thousands of years. Based on past trends, what can we expect in the future? For one thing, the pace of change has accelerated. Morris predicts that the 21st century is going to be a "race between shifts in the balance of power, a transformation of humanity, and catastrophe."
Public Affairs: Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice | 03/15/13 In this inspiring talk about her extraordinary life so far, Mary Robinson tells us of her early years and how she became president of Ireland, even though the odds were 100-1; her work as a champion of human rights, especially those of women; and about her current work as president of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice.
Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State | 03/08/13 Economic growth is driven by successive processes of trial and error: research and invention and then experiments in exploiting the new economic space opened by innovation. Today, however, with the state frozen as an economic actor and access to public equity markets only open to a minority, the innovation economy is stalled. Warburg Pincus's William Janeway discusses how to get this vital economic sector moving again.
Behind the Headlines--After the Israeli Elections: A New Chapter or More of the Same? | 02/25/13 Why were the recent Israeli elections results so different from expectations? Why were the main issues domestic ones, with little attention paid to Iran or the Palestinian situation? For answers to these questions and more, look to Yoram Peri's expert analysis of the complexities of Israeli politics and concerns.
Public Affairs: China's Search for Security | 02/19/13 In this masterly and comprehensive talk, Andrew Nathan looks at the world from Beijing's viewpoint and sees a very challenging environment for China. He identifies four rings of security concerns: inside China's territory; its 24 surrounding countries; six regional systems; and the rest of the world.
The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World | 02/12/13 As more people become prosperous and interstate conflicts diminish, there is a convergence between East and West, says Kishore Mahbubani. Now we have to change our mindset accordingly and act as one united world on issues such as climate change. One important step is to reform the UN.
After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead | 02/04/13 Alan S. Blinder, Princeton professor, "Wall Street Journal" columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, explains how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we can do from here.
The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate | 01/31/13 With a breadth and depth of knowledge spanning not only current geopolitics but centuries of history, Robert Kaplan shows us the crucial importance of geography in shaping our destinies. Geography still matters, and always will.
Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons | 01/24/13 What if everything we believe about nuclear weapons is wrong? "Reexamine the facts and you'll see that the arguments for nuclear weapons aren't powerful; they're preposterous. They are an unpersuasive collection of wishful thinking held together by nothing more than fear and rationalization."
A Fragile New Burma | 01/17/13 Back from a recent fact-finding trip to Burma, veteran Asia correspondent Barbara Crossette reports on the complex situation there. People have high hopes for more openness and prosperity, yet there is a total lack of infrastructure, several serious religious ethnic conflicts, and some simmering doubts about the leadership capabilities of icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
Of Africa | 01/14/13 In this masterful talk, Nobel-Prize winner Wole Soyinka focuses on Nigeria and Mali. Mali must be taken back, he declares. "To permit an enclave of extreme, violent fundamentalism [in Mali] is letting the door wide open to fundamentalist violence, not merely in Nigeria, but throughout West Africa."
The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics | 12/14/12 In the Cold War, the path to nuclear war always led through Moscow and Washington. In the second nuclear age the triggers to nuclear war are in Tel Aviv, Islamabad, Pyongyang, and in the future possibly Tehran, and possibly in other places too, because you can start a nuclear war even if you don't have nuclear weapons.
Why Tolerate Religion? | 12/13/12 Why do Western democracies single out religion for preferential treatment? For example, why can a Sikh boy carry a dagger to school while other children cannot? Is this morally and legally justifiable?
Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion | 12/12/12 "Talibanistan" is the nickname for the embattled territory from Kandahar in Afghanistan to Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Two experts explode some of the myths about Afghanistan and discuss the U.S. presence there, both past and future.
On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines--and Future | 11/30/12 Drawing on over 30 years of experience of reporting on Saudi Arabia, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Karen Elliott House takes us behind the scenes in this secretive Kingdom--a country ruled by a coterie of princes with an average age of 77, where 60 percent of the population is under the age of 20.
Exit the Colonel: The Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution | 11/27/12 The real story of the Libyan Revolution began not with the Arab Spring, but in 2003, when anti-Qaddafi sanctions were lifted. Former U.S. diplomat Ethan Chorin was posted to Libya in 2004 and was in Benghazi when Ambassador Stevens was killed. He gives an insider's perspective on this complex tale.
America in the 21st Century: A View from America | 11/27/12 "Why is it that the political system today seems so gridlocked? Why is the issue of brinkmanship in America so incredibly debilitating and so very real? Is there something which has always been the case in U.S. history or is there something else going on today which is fueling this problem and making this age of brinkmanship so pernicious?"
Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad | 10/23/12 David W. Lesch has traveled to Syria repeatedly since 1989 and met President Bashar al-Assad several times in the mid-2000s. He discusses the conflict in the influential Middle Eastern nation, why an American intervention is a dangerous idea, and why Assad has cracked down so absolutely.
Public Affairs: America in the 21st Century: A View from Asia | 10/16/12 The good, the bad, and the ugly: distinguished Singaporean Kishore Mahbubani politely but firmly tells Americans how Asians see them, and warns, "the world that is coming is a world outside your comfort zones."
From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia | 10/02/12 Pankaj Mishra explores the little-known history of the first generation of Asian intellectuals, such as China's Liang Qichao and the Persian political activist al-Afghani, and discusses how their ideas influenced Asia's postcolonial state-building programs.
Public Affairs: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion | 09/26/12 "Haidt is one of the smartest and most creative psychologists alive, and his newest book, "The Righteous Mind," is a tour de force--a brave, brilliant and eloquent exploration of the most important issues of our time. It will challenge the way you think about liberals and conservatives, atheism and religion, good and evil."--Paul Bloom, Yale University.
Balancing Security and Civil Liberties in the Post-9/11 Era | 09/24/12 How do you balance security and civil rights when protecting New York City, America's most enduring terrorist target? NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly discusses the controversial "stop and frisk" law, the role of technology and police stationed overseas, and publicly announces the expansion of video recording of post-arrest statements.
Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750 | 09/20/12 In this astute analysis, Westad explains China's international relations over the last 250 years from a Chinese perspective, providing valuable insights into its current and future course.
America in the 21st Century: A View from the Arab World | 09/17/12 The key is still the Arab-Israeli conflict, says Muasher. "The U.S. is not going to be able to regain its credibility in the region if it tells the Arab public that 'If you are Egyptians or Tunisians or Syrians or Libyans yearning for freedom, we are with you, but if you are Palestinians yearning for freedom, it's complicated.'"
The Arab Spring: Unfinished Business | 07/02/12 What should we make of Egypt's new president? What should the United States do in Syria? What is the future of the Palestine-Israel conflict? International Crisis Group's Robert Malley tries to make sense of a confusing time in the Middle East and North Africa.
How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life | 06/18/12 Our obsession with amassing ever more wealth is actually robbing us of the good life, argue Robert and Edward Skidelsky. They identify seven basic needs that together make up the good life and lay out some radical social proposals to achieve them.
The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future | 06/11/12 Policy expert and scholar Victor Cha lifts the curtain on North Korea, one of the world's most isolated, poorly-understood, and dangerous nations, and explains why he believes that the level of risk has escalated since Kim Jong-il's death.
Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World | 06/07/12 What's a G-zero world? It's when no one takes a global leadership role, when no one is willing to, and no one is capable of doing it--and that's the world we're living in now, according to political scientist Ian Bremmer. So what does this mean for both now and the future?
Exit Interview | 05/29/12 Overall, former president of ABC News David Westin is optimistic about the future of journalism. But it's increasingly up to us, the public, to weigh news reporting, to ask ourselves questions about it, and to reward good journalism with our time and attention.
Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds | 05/18/12 The headlines are full of stories of deep-simmering hatreds and ethnic strife. How about some good news for a change? Historians Meyer and Brysac explore places where diversity is actually working, from Kerala to Queens. What can we learn from these "oases of civility"?
America in the 21st Century: A View from Europe | 05/14/12 It's likely that the U.S. will cease to be the world's largest economic power by not later than the 2020s, predicts Martin Wolf. However--depending on its policy choices--it will probably remain a center of world innovation in research, technology, and business.
Public Affairs: Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power | 05/09/12 ExxonMobil is rather like France, says Steve Coll. It's mostly aligned with the U.S; it's sometimes opposed, but a lot of the time it's just busy keeping track of its own separate system and really doesn't want to be entangled in U.S. power unless it serves ExxonMobil interests.
Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan | 04/24/12 Courageous journalist Ahmed Rashid discusses the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. approaches its scheduled withdrawal in 2014. He goes on to analyze the deepening crisis in Pakistan, which he considers to be even worse.
Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World | 04/20/12 In the wake of the terrorist attacks and wars of the last decade, for many non-Muslims "shari'a" has become both a loaded word and an all-encompassing explanation. But the history and practice of shari'a is actually complex and varied, as Sadakat Kadri discovers.
Human Rights Watch World Report 2012 | 04/17/12 How have governments responded to the recent events in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and other countries such as Bahrain? Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch gives a masterly analysis of international reactions, including those of the U.S., France, India, China, Russia, Turkey, and the Arab League.
No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn | 04/09/12 How do we manage a world where no one power is dominant, and emerging powers have their own views about how to organize political, social, and commercial life?
Finance and the Good Society | 04/03/12 Despite the financial industry's bad reputation in the wake of the financial crisis, finance could be one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems. How can we harness it for the greater good? Robert Shiller has some groundbreaking ideas.
The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources | 03/26/12 As we run out of resources, the human race is at a pivotal point. We have two options: We can continue along the same path, leading to much of the planet becoming uninhabitable. Or we can create an alternative future where we use resources in a much more sustainable and frugal way.
Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government--and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead | 03/19/12 David Rothkopf issues a wake-up call to Americans: We have to drop our knee-jerk, partisan attitudes and ask, "What will produce the kind of society that we want to have?" We also have to stop assuming that U.S. capitalism and U.S. views will be dominant in the future.
The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations | 03/12/12 Is oil a curse? According to Michael Ross, it's not a coincidence that major oil-producing countries have less democracy, fewer opportunities for women, more frequent civil wars, and more volatile economic growth than the rest of the world.
The Emergency State: America's Pursuit of Absolute National Security at All Costs | 03/09/12 David Unger argues that because of national security fears, the U.S. has bypassed its Constitution, creating an "emergency state." The result is excessive military spending, a series of unconstitutional wars, and skewed global trade policies. He also tackles Europe's economic crisis.
Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America | 03/06/12 Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Gabriel Marcia Marquez, Octavio Paz, and many more: Krauze discusses Latin America's intellectual, literary, and political figures who were inspired by revolutionary ideas, and hopes that his book will be "a requiem for the Latin American passionate revolution."
DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops, and You | 03/05/12 If you use a computer or a credit card, watch out! Governments, companies, and individuals are losing billions of dollars a year fighting an ever-morphing, often invisible, and often supersmart new breed of criminal: the hacker.
Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China | 02/28/12 Deng Xiaoping was one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. Scholar Ezra Vogel discusses Deng's life, focusing on his work in opening up China to other countries. Vogel also grapples with the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which was carried out on Deng's orders.
DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops, and You | 02/23/12 If you use a computer or a credit card, watch out! Governments, companies, and individuals are losing billions of dollars a year fighting an ever-morphing, often invisible, and often supersmart new breed of criminal: the hacker.
All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals | 02/10/12 David Scheffer was at the forefront of the efforts leading to criminal tribunals for the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia. His quest has been to "to discover the right formula, in ever-changing international circumstances, to confront monstrous evil and to do so in the courtroom."
Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis | 02/10/12 We are already in Currency War III, says Rickards, who sees four possible outcomes--none of them good--that he calls "the four horsemen of the dollar apocalypse." Here's a tip: keep your eye on gold.
Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live | 02/07/12 Well-known blogger Jeff Jarvis celebrates what he calls the "emerging age of publicness," arguing that anything we have to fear in this new networked world is overwhelmingly outweighed by all the good that will come from it.
How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live | 01/30/12 Well-known blogger Jeff Jarvis celebrates what he calls the "emerging age of publicness," arguing that anything we have to fear in this new networked world is overwhelmingly outweighed by all the good that will come from it.
A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran | 01/27/12 Trita Parsi recounts the previously unknown story of American and Iranian negotiations during Obama's early years as president, and the real reasons for their current stalemate. Contrary to prevailing opinion, Parsi contends that diplomacy has not been fully tried.
Making our Democracy Work: A Judge's View | 01/17/12 The nine unelected justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have the power to strike down laws enacted by elected representatives. Why does the public accept the Court's decisions as legitimate, even when the decisions are highly unpopular? How does the Court help make democracy work?
The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics | 01/05/12 Cynics or realists? Just follow five rules and you can be a successful dictator, say Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith--at least until old age or sickness catch up with you. They go on to argue that these precepts apply to all systems of governance, including U.S. democracy.
Justice for Hedgehogs | 01/05/12 "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Ronald Dworkin argues for one big thing: the unity of value. He asserts that value is what makes sense of how we act as individuals, how we relate to others, and how we construct our lives.
Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science | 12/09/11 In this fascinating talk, theoretical physicist Michael Nielsen describes today's groundbreaking new era, where scientists, mathematicians, and ordinary people worldwide are working together online to solve problems and expand scientific knowledge.
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius | 12/09/11 Looking back at the truly revolutionary rise in global living standards over the last 150 years, what have we learned about economic policies? There are clear lessons about what works and what doesn't, says Sylvia Nasar, author of "A Beautiful Mind."
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution | 12/08/11 How did human beings succeed in creating the ideal of strong, accountable governments that adhere to the rule of law? Francis Fukuyama provides a sweeping account of how today's basic political institutions developed.
Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street | 12/08/11 Why pretend that economics is value free? It's a product of our civilization and riddled with moral judgements, says Sedlacek. By separating economics from ethics we have created a zombie, a monster without a soul. The two have to be put back together.
The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade | 12/07/11 In 2010, global military expenditure was roughly $1.6 trillion--that's $235 for every person on earth. This has profound impacts, from the perpetuation of conflict, to the corrosion of democracy, to massive socioeconomic costs.
Philip Howard on Civility in Everyday Life | 12/06/11 Philip Howard argues that an excess of government regulations and the law has corroded the institutions of authority in our society, with many deleterious effects, and one of the victims of that is our sense of ethics and civility.
They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers | 12/06/11 Child soldiers are a weapons system that is effective, cheap, and complete. How do we counter that? How do we make the use of children a liability? How do we stop people from reverting to using children as the primary weapons system of a conflict?
Behind the Headlines: Pakistan | 12/06/11 With its mix of militants, nuclear weapons, and chronic domestic unrest, Pakistan's problems have implications for the entire world. Prize-winning author and journalist Ahmed Rashid gives a chilling account of the situation in his homeland.
The Good Book: A Humanist Bible | 12/06/11 Philosopher A.C. Grayling has created a non-religious Bible that draws from the wealth of secular literature and philosophy in both Western and Eastern traditions. Whatever your beliefs, you will find food for thought in this wise and witty talk.
The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe | 12/06/11 Author and journalist Peter Godwin was born and raised in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). In this gripping talk he untangles his country's complex and tragic history, and shows us the arc of President Mugabe's brutal career.
I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity | 12/06/11 Born in a Palestinian refugee camp, Dr. Abuelaish has devoted his life to medicine and to reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, even though his three daughters and a niece were killed by Israeli shelling. His personal doctrine is that hate is the wrong response response to war. What's needed is communication, compassion, and understanding.
George F. Kennan: An American Life | 12/02/11 George Kennan was one of the great men of the 20th century, says John Lewis Gaddis. And he was great in multiple dimensions: as the grand strategist of the Cold War; as a historian; and as author of one of the greatest of American diaries.
The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good | 12/01/11 Should economic policies be guided less by economist Adam Smith and more by naturalist Charles Darwin? Robert Frank thinks so, and has some provocative tax reform proposals.
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius | 11/30/11 Looking back at the truly revolutionary rise in global living standards over the last 150 years, what have we learned about economic policies? There are clear lessons about what works and what doesn't, says Sylvia Nasar, author of "A Beautiful Mind."
The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade | 11/29/11 In 2010, global military expenditure was roughly $1.6 trillion--that's $235 for every person on earth. This has profound impacts, from the perpetuation of conflict, to the corrosion of democracy, to massive socioeconomic costs.
George F. Kennan: An American Life | 11/22/11 George Kennan was one of the great men of the 20th century, says John Lewis Gaddis. And he was great in multiple dimensions: as the grand strategist of the Cold War; as a historian; and as author of one of the greatest of American diaries.
But Will the Planet Notice?: How Smart Economics Can Save the World | 11/18/11 You recycle? You turn down plastic and paper? Good. But none of that will save the tuna or stop global warming. If you want to make the planet notice, follow the economics, says Gernot Wagner.
UN Population Fund Report | 11/16/11 Now that the population has reached seven billion, most of the focus is on the numbers. In this report, however, Crossette explores individual stories around the world to shed light on such issues as aging populations, migration, and the desire of women for family planning.
The Darwin Economy: Liberty Competition and the Common Good | 11/16/11 Should economic policies be guided less by economist Adam Smith and more by naturalist Charles Darwin? Robert Frank thinks so, and has some provocative tax reform proposals.
Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order | 11/08/11 The U.S. may no longer be a unipolar power, but the world order it helped create is alive and well. The rise of other nations and the deepening of economic and security interdependence have resulted from the success and expansion of the postwar liberal order, not its breakdown.
The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century | 11/01/11 George Friedman, founder and CEO of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., asks: What's in store during this new century? Which nations will gain and lose power? How will new technologies change the way we live? He has some predictions that may surprise you.
America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare | 11/01/11 From the personal to the corporate to the national, our data is constantly at risk, says Joel Brenner. But it's like gravity; there's not much we can do about it. We just have to learn to live with the situation, stay alert, and limit potential damage.
But Will the Planet Notice? How Smart Economics Can Save the World | 10/31/11 You recycle? You turn down plastic and paper? Good. But none of that will save the tuna or stop global warming. If you want to make the planet notice, follow the economics, says Gernot Wagner.
Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order | 10/25/11 The U.S. may no longer be a unipolar power, but the world order it helped create is alive and well. The rise of other nations and the deepening of economic and security interdependence have resulted from the success and expansion of the postwar liberal order, not its breakdown.
The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad | 10/14/11 U.S. Foreign Service officer John Schmidt explains how the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and various jihadist groups came about, and how it all began to unravel after 9/11.
The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad | 10/03/11 U.S. Foreign Service officer John Schmidt explains how the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and various jihadist groups came about, and how it all began to unravel after 9/11.
Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy | 09/18/11 Former Canadian High Commissioner to India David Malone gives a comprehensive survey of contemporary Indian foreign policy. He begins by focusing on India's geography, history, and capability, and covers relations with the U.S., China, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back | 09/15/11 What can America do as it faces four major challenges--globalization, the revolution in information technology, chronic deficits, and its energy consumption?
That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back | 09/14/11 What can America do as it faces four major challenges--globalization, the revolution in information technology, chronic deficits, and its energy consumption?
The Evolution of God | 08/31/11 Robert Wright's astute analysis uses game theory: a religion that sees itself in a zero-sum relationship with outsiders will prove exclusionist and violent, while a religion that sees itself in a non-zero-sum relationship will adjust its theology accordingly. What does this mean for the future?
Henry Kaufman on Civility in the Financial Sector | 08/24/11 What is the underlying source of the current financial turmoil? It is not lack of technological knowledge about how to structure and to trade securities. It stems mainly from behavioral and ethical shortcomings, from regulatory failures, and from historical amnesia, says Henry Kaufman.
What is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism | 08/17/11 Drawing on neuroscience, Jack Fuller explains why the information overload of contemporary life makes us dramatically more receptive to sensational news, while rendering the objective voice of standard journalism ineffective.
The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World | 08/03/11 In the next 20 years, 75 to 80 percent of the world's population will have the same standard of living as today's advanced countries. What will this extraordinary set of pressures on natural resources and the environment mean for the planet?
Charles Osgood on Civility in the Media | 07/20/11 In every sector of American society, civility has declined, according to recent polls--from vicious political rhetoric to attacks in the blogosphere and lack of personal decency. How can the media play a positive role in restoring civility?
Higher Education in the Middle East: America's Legacy | 07/13/11 For generations, American universities have been educating students in the Middle East. President of Lebanese American University Joseph Jabbra makes an impassioned case for the American values that students absorb in these institutions, such as tolerance, philanthropy and service.
The World Ahead: Conflict or Cooperation? | 07/06/11 After the Cold War, Fukuyama, Huntington, and Mearsheimer each presented a bold vision of what the driving forces of world politics would be. Yet all have proved to be out of step with recent U.S. foreign policy. Is there a fourth vision for the world ahead?
Steve Forbes on Civility in Corporate America | 07/05/11 Economic uncertainty is a source of incivility, declares Forbes. He touches on education, politics, history, free markets, and the establishment of a new gold standard so people can be certain that the money in their pockets has some real value.
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives | 07/05/11 For two years, Levy was given an opportunity to observe Google's operations, development, culture, and advertising model from within the infrastructure, with full managerial cooperation. What did he find?
One Nation Under Surveillance: A New Social Contract to Defend Freedom Without Sacrificing Liberty | 06/29/11 The boundaries between public and private are crumbling fast, often with the active or passive consent of those whose privacy is breached. What limits, if any, should be placed on a government's efforts to spy on its citizens in the name of national security?
The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas | 06/22/11 Free market capitalism, Western culture, democracy—the ideas that shaped 20th century world politics and underpinned U.S. foreign policy—have lost a good deal of their strength. Authority is now more contested and power more diffused. How should the U.S. meet these challenges?
What Is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism | 06/16/11 Drawing on neuroscience, Jack Fuller explains why the information overload of contemporary life makes us dramatically more receptive to sensational news, while rendering the objective voice of standard journalism ineffective.
John Brademas and Mickey Edwards: Civility in Politics | 06/10/11 Two distinguished former politicians, one Democrat and one Republican, agree on concrete proposals for improving U.S. politics. They include campaign finance reform; abolishing gerrymandering; and encouraging our brightest young people to enter public service.
How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle | 06/08/11 Pax Americana is a good thing, declares Gideon Rose. The problem is that even when the U.S. wins militarily, it often botches dealing with war's aftermath because it fails to define its political objectives.
The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom | 06/07/11 Amid the euphoria about the power of the Internet and social media, Morozov sounds a note of caution. He reminds us that these tools can also entrench dictators, threaten dissidents, and make it harder--not easier--to promote democracy.
WAR | 06/03/11 In this thoughtful and very personal talk, Sebastian Junger ponders what attracts young men to war, the difference between friendship and brotherhood, the question of when nations should intervene, and lastly, the issue of his own mortality.
Awakening Islam: Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia | 06/02/11 Stephane Lacroix gives a penetrating account of the political and religious dynamics of Saudi Arabia, one of the most opaque of Muslim countries and the birthplace of Osama bin Laden.
The Unfinished Global Revolution: The Pursuit of a New International Politics | 06/01/11 Is the world ready to embrace more powerful international institutions and the values needed to underpin a truly globalist agenda—the rule of law, human rights, and opportunity for all?
How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance | 05/25/11 We're living in a multi-polar, multi-civilizational world, says Parag Khanna, and the old rules no longer apply. Increasingly, states, international organizations, NGOs, and corporations must work in partnerships and find ways to strengthen mutual accountability.
The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World | 05/20/11 In the next 20 years, 75 to 80 percent of the world's population will have the same standard of living as today's advanced countries. What will this extraordinary set of pressures on natural resources and the environment mean for the planet?
The Future of Power | 05/18/11 "In the information age, the mark of a great power is not just whose army wins, but also whose story wins," says Joseph Nye. This talk includes his thoughts on China, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, and more.
Obama's Foreign Policy: What Matters and What Doesn't for America's Future? | 05/17/11 Elections and campaigns are about options. Governing is about constraints. For Obama--and every president--what happens when foreign policy options meet foreign policy constraints?
The Next Decade: Where We've Been...and Where We're Going | 05/11/11 The challenge of the next decade is not American power, says George Friedman. It is the preservation of the republic through a management of the international system that faces the fact that, intended or not, we're an empire. So long as we refuse to face that, we can't be effective.
Beirut, Damascus, Tehran, and Tel Aviv: The Moment of Reckoning is Near | 04/27/11 As powerful regional forces confront each other over the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, a day of reckoning is inevitable. Will there be a compromise or will the struggle be settled on the battlefield of Lebanon, Syria, Iran, or Israel?
Scribble, Scribble, Scribble | 04/20/11 Prepare to be challenged and entertained! The inimitable Simon Schama discusses American politics, past and present, and gives an impassioned defense of the importance of "the general welfare"--rather than rugged individualism--at the heart of the American Constitution.
Negotiating with Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists | 04/20/11 When, how, and under what conditions should governments talk to terrorists? Can opening a dialogue bring conflicts to a faster resolution?
The Arab Uprisings: The View from Cairo | 04/06/11 As president of the American University of Cairo, Lisa Anderson was a witness to the recent protests in Tahrir Square. In this fascinating talk, she analyzes the upheavals taking place across the Arab world and explains the differences between them.
Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power | 04/06/11 Robert D. Kaplan declares that the Indian Ocean area will be the true nexus of world power and conflict in the coming years and it is here that U.S. foreign policy must concentrate if America is to remain dominant in an ever-changing world.
The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953 | 03/30/11 In a striking reinterpretation of the postwar years, Robert Dallek examines what drove leaders around the globe--Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Mao, de Gaulle, and Truman--to rely on traditional power politics, and points out the lessons we can draw from their mistakes.
Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade without a Name | 03/22/11 Looking back over the last decade, Timothy Garton Ash catalogues the challenges facing the EU--the economy, a united foreign policy, the integration of Muslims--and concludes that despite its problems the union has taken important steps forward.
I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity | 03/18/11 Born in a Palestinian refugee camp, Dr. Abuelaish has devoted his life to medicine and to reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, even though his three daughters and a niece were killed by Israeli shelling. His personal doctrine is that hate is the wrong response response to war. What's needed is communication, compassion, and understanding.
The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being | 03/02/11 How can governments use the latest research on well-being to improve the quality of life for all their citizens? What role can government policy play in creating individual happiness?
How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies | 02/23/11 We need to synthesize the idea that a free-market economy self-corrects and the Keynesian principle that capitalism needs some guidance, says economist Roger Farmer. The goal is to correct the excesses without stifling entrepreneurship and instituting central planning.
Osama bin Laden | 02/16/11 CIA veteran Michael Scheuer believes that the U.S. has consistently underestimated Osama bin Laden; what's more, in terms of al Qaeda and its allies, events in Egypt, Tunisia, and Sudan, and the rumblings in Jordan and Yemen are unalloyed good news.
The Next Decade: Where We've Been...and Where We're Going | 02/03/11 The challenge of the next decade is not American power, says George Friedman. It is the preservation of the republic through a management of the international system that faces the fact that, intended or not, we're an empire. So long as we refuse to face that, we can't be effective.
AMEXICA: War Along the Borderline | 01/28/11 In a horrific account, Ed Vulliamy describes the ultraviolent, nihilistic "narco-traficante" culture of the Mexican-American border, a land of drug addicts and cartels.
Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System | 01/20/11 Barry Eichengreen argues that while the dollar is bound to lose its singular status, the coming changes will be neither sudden nor dire.
Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia | 01/19/11 Michael Korda reveals the extraordinary man behind the myth of Lawrence of Arabia. He discusses T. E. Lawrence's contradictory nature, a born leader who was utterly fearless but remained shy and modest; and a scholar who also invented guerrilla warfare.
Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System | 01/14/11 Barry Eichengreen argues that while the dollar is bound to lose its singular status, the coming changes will be neither sudden nor dire.
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories | 01/12/11 Master raconteur Simon Winchester tells a series of gripping and little-known tales of the Atlantic, the ocean he calls "the inland sea of modern civilization."
The Causes of the Financial Crisis | 01/11/11 The main cause behind the recent financial crisis was the accumulation of hidden risks in the system. This was compounded by the agency problem, which is when the manager (the agent) serves his own interest at the expense of the person he is supposed to represent.
Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War | 01/05/11 It is the time to examine the Washington consensus on national security and why it must change, says Professor Bacevich--and to acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit.
The Caucasus: An Introduction | 01/03/11 Known as "the lands in between," the Caucasus has long been an arena of great-power contact and conflict. The region is often seen as intractable, yet we should discard misleading cliches such as "ancient hatreds" and "frozen conflicts," says Thomas de Waal.
What Technology Wants | 12/15/10 In a brand-new view of technology, co-founder of Wired magazine Kevin Kelly suggests that it is not just a jumble of wires and metal. He argues that technology is actually a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies.
The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line between Christianity and Islam | 12/08/10 More than half of the world's Muslims and Christians live along the tenth parallel in Africa or in Asia. How do these two great intersecting faiths interact?
One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy | 12/01/10 Allison Stanger shows how contractors became an integral part of U.S. foreign policy, often in scandalous ways, but maintains that the problem is not contractors, but the absence of good government. Outsourcing done right is, in fact, indispensable to U.S. interests today.
Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future | 11/08/10 Ian Morris draws on 50,000 years of history, archeology, and the methods of social science, to make sense of when, how, and why the paths of development differed in the East and West—and what this portends for the 21st century.
Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future | 11/04/10 Ian Morris draws on 50,000 years of history, archeology, and the methods of social science, to make sense of when, how, and why the paths of development differed in the East and West--and what this portends for the 21st century.
A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy | 11/01/10 Amar Bhidé takes apart the so-called advances in modern finance, showing how backward-looking, top-down models were used to mass-produce toxic products. He offers tough, simple rules: limit banks and all deposit taking institutions to basic lending and nothing else.
Captive: My Time as a Prisoner of the Taliban | 10/27/10 Journalist and author Jere Van Dyk tells of his decades-long involvement with Afghanistan, and gives a harrowing account of his 2008 kidnapping and imprisonment by the Taliban in the no-man's land between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Facts Are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade Without a Name | 10/22/10 Looking back over the last decade, Timothy Garton Ash catalogues the challenges facing the EU--the economy, a united foreign policy, the integration of Muslims--and concludes that despite its problems the union has taken important steps forward.
Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order | 10/13/10 Reading classical literature teaches us that there are seldom clear answers to real-life dilemmas, says Charles Hill. It gives us the breadth of knowledge to realize that a multitude of factors need to be taken into account.
Self-Determination and Conflict Resolution: From Kosovo to Sudan | 10/06/10 Drawing on the International Court's judgment on the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, Arbour examines the pursuit of self-determination in a range of situations, focusing particular attention on the upcoming referendum in Southern Sudan.
Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order | 10/06/10 Reading classical literature teaches us that there are seldom clear answers to real-life dilemmas, says Charles Hill. It gives us the breadth of knowledge to realize that a multitude of factors need to be taken into account.
The Betrayal of American Prosperity: Free Market Delusions, America's Decline, and How We Must Compete in the Post-Dollar Era | 09/22/10 Clyde Prestowitz argues that the U.S. is rapidly losing the basis of its wealth and power, as well as its freedom of action and independence. If we do not make dramatic changes quickly, we will confront a painful, permanent slide in our standard of living.
Rebuilding War-Torn States: The Challenge of Post-Conflict Economic Reconstruction | 09/15/10 After wars end, what steps should countries take to consolidate peace? Graciana del Castillo identifies five premises that are necessary for war economies to transition into sustainable and productive markets.
Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy | 09/01/10 Raghuram Rajan traces the deepening fault lines in a world overly dependent on the indebted U.S. consumer to power global economic growth, and where the U.S. has growing inequality and a thin social safety net. If these flaws are not fixed, we should be prepared for an even more serious financial crisis.
Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future | 08/25/10 Stephen Kinzer argues that the United States needs to rethink its alliances in the Middle East and focus on strategic relationships with Iran and Turkey rather than Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization | 08/18/10 Everything hinges on water; it is essential to life and to civilization. Will there be enough fresh water for 9 billion of us by 2050? In this talk, journalist Steven Solomon discusses the impending global water crisis.
Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World | 08/12/10 What has been, is, and should be the role of the UN Security Council? Bosco chronicles its history--its successes and its failures--and concludes with some positive suggestions for the future.
Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State | 07/28/10 Garry Wills traces how the atomic bomb transformed our nation down to its deepest constitutional roots, defined the presidency, and redefined the government as a national security state.
Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War | 07/14/10 Washington has squandered the opportunity for a fundamentally new U.S.-Russian relationship after the Cold War, says Stephen Cohen.
Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends on It | 07/07/10 In a witty and astute talk, Zachary Karabell describes and explains what he calls 'superfusion'--how the economies and capital flows of China and the U.S. became inextricably entwined to the point where neither can survive without the other.
The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--and How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity | 06/30/10 What, asks Oxford economist Paul Collier, are realistic and sustainable solutions to correcting the mismanagement of the natural world? Can an international standard be established to resolve the complex issues of unchecked profiteering on the one hand and environmental romanticism on the other?
Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future | 06/22/10 Stephen Kinzer argues that the United States needs to rethink its alliances in the Middle East and focus on strategic relationships with Iran and Turkey rather than Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East | 06/09/10 Bernard Lewis is one of the world's foremost Western scholars on Islam. In this eloquent talk he shares some of his knowledge, and explains how the different world views held by Christians and Muslims can lead to misunderstanding.
The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? | 06/03/10 Ian Bremmer demonstrates the growing challenge that state capitalism will pose for the entire global economy, and what free market nations must do to protect their economies as this new system gains popularity.
Public Affairs Programs Available on C-SPAN A complete list of Carnegie Council public affairs programs that have been recorded by C-SPAN.
Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East | 05/19/10 1.9 million Sunni Muslims have been forced into exile following the Iraq War, says Deborah Amos. What impact is this having on these people's lives, on Iraq, and on the region's delicate balance of power?
Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy | 05/18/10 Raghuram Rajan traces the deepening fault lines in a world overly dependent on the indebted U.S. consumer to power global economic growth, and where the U.S. has growing inequality and a thin social safety net. If these flaws are not fixed, we should be prepared for an even more serious financial crisis.
Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade | 05/12/10 George Packer discusses some of his essays from the period of September 11, 2001 to November 4, 2008; the luxury of being able to write long, in-depth articles for "The New Yorker" magazine; and the uncertain future of print journalism.
The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World | 05/11/10 Ben Wildavsky shows how international competition for the brightest minds is transforming the world of higher education, and why this revolution should be welcomed, not feared.
The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--and How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity | 05/07/10 What, asks Oxford economist Paul Collier, are realistic and sustainable solutions to correcting the mismanagement of the natural world? Can an international standard be established to resolve the complex issues of unchecked profiteering on the one hand and environmental romanticism on the other?
How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes, and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies | 04/30/10 We need to synthesize the idea that a free-market economy is a self-correcting mechanism and the Keynesian principle that capitalism needs some guidance, says UCLA economist Roger Farmer. The goal is to correct the excesses without stifling entrepreneurship and instituting central planning.
Freedom for Sale: Why the World Is Trading Democracy for Security | 04/29/10 From Russia and China to the U.S. and the U.K., many seemingly dissimilar countries have an "unwritten pact," under which, consciously or not, the population trades some of their democratic rights for better living standards and political stability.
The Politics of Happiness: What the Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being | 04/19/10 How can governments use the latest research on well-being to improve the quality of life for all their citizens? What role can government policy play in creating individual happiness?
Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents | 04/15/10 Focusing on Muslims in Europe, Ian Buruma argues that religions (including Islam) and liberal democracies are compatible, despite many peoples' fears. Democracy allows space for religion as long as believers obey their society's laws.
How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace | 04/13/10 Diplomatic engagement with rivals, far from being appeasement, is critical to rapprochement between adversaries, says Charles Kupchan, and diplomacy, not economic interdependence, creates the path to peace.
Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What it Will Mean for Our World | 04/07/10 The real key to bringing economic and political change to the Muslim world is capitalism, says Vali Nasr. Entrepreneurial middle classes the world over have a stake in the system and are more interested in economic success than religious extremism.
Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray--and How to Return to Reality | 03/11/10 Jack Matlock, American ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, corrects a number of pervasive myths about the Cold War, including the belief that it ended with the fall of the Soviet Union and that the U.S. effectively won.
Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century | 03/03/10 Now that U.S. news outlets can instantaneously disseminate information across the world and foreign media have immediate access to the American market, what does press freedom really mean?
The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature | 03/01/10 Timothy Ferris argues that just as the scientific revolution rescued billions from poverty, the Enlightenment values it inspired have swelled the numbers living in free and democratic societies.
The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature | 02/25/10 Timothy Ferris argues that just as the scientific revolution rescued billions from poverty, the Enlightenment values it inspired have swelled the number of persons living in free and democratic societies.
The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 | 02/24/10 How will the enormous projected growth of the U.S. population in the next four decades change the face of America? Will it make the U.S. weaker, or even more diverse and competitive?
Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security--From World War II to the War on Terrorism | 02/18/10 According to historian Julian Zelizer, partisan fighting has always shaped American foreign policy, and the issue of national security has always been part of our domestic conflicts
Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly | 02/03/10 How does a state make a nuclear bomb? How does it hide its weapons program? How do other states detect nuclear proliferation? Michael Gordin addresses important questions about how we think about nuclear weapons past and present.
The Future of Islam | 02/03/10 Is Islam compatible with democracy and human rights? Will religious fundamentalism block the development of modern societies in the Islamic world? Georgetown's John L. Esposito demolishes some common negative stereotypes about Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world.
Obama's Foreign Policy: What Matters and What Doesn't for America's Future | 01/29/10 Elections and campaigns are about options. Governing is about constraints. For Obama--and every president--what happens when foreign policy options meet foreign policy constraints?
Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity | 01/20/10 Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur, Congo, and more--since World War II, genocide has caused more deaths than all wars put together. Goldhagen analyzes how and why genocides start and proposes steps the international community can take to stop them.
The Science of War: Defense Budgeting, Military Technology, Logistics, and Combat Outcomes | 01/13/10 Michael O'Hanlon explains how military modeling and planning are done, taking as examples Desert Storm, the Iraq War, and the decisions to be made now about Afghanistan.
On Compromise and Rotten Compromises | 01/06/10 Compromise can be a political virtue, especially for the sake of peace. When is political compromise acceptable, and when is it fundamentally rotten? What if a rotten compromise is politically necessary? Are there moral limits to acceptable compromise, and what are those limits?
How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities | 12/23/09 The market's failure was not simply a result of greed, mass myopia, or government failure, says John Cassidy, although these were all contributing factors. "I ultimately see this crisis as a crisis of ideas, and misapplied ideas."
Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present | 12/04/09 Should civil resistance be seen as potentially replacing violence completely, or as a phenomenon that operates in conjunction with, and as a modification of, power politics?
Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? | 11/24/09 Political philosopher Michael Sandel turns the Council into a classroom. Using questions such as military service, he engages the audience in a lively debate on what individuals owe society.
The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War | 11/18/09 The "Iliad" is usually seen as a martial epic glorifying war. Yet in fact, says Alexander, Homer was at pains to depict the Trojan war--and war in general--as a pointless catastrophe that blighted all it touched.
Emerging Challenges in a Network World | 11/10/09 In an increasingly interconnected world, soft power and engagement with all the world's players will become increasingly important--and that includes talking to Hamas and the Taliban, says Ancram.
Five to Rule Them All : The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World | 11/02/09 What has been, is, and should be the role of the UN Security Council? Bosco chronicles its history--its successes and its failures—and concludes with some positive suggestions for the future.
This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly | 10/30/09 Financial crises are not random events, say Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. Looking at the the data on boom and bust cycles that have occurred over the past 800 years, a clear pattern emerges. Why can't we learn from history?
Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia | 10/28/09 After spending years in the Kingdom talking to people in all walks of life, Robert Lacey gives us a modern history of the Saudis in their own words, revealing a people attempting to reconcile life under religious law with the demands of a rapidly changing world.
The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future | 10/15/09 Iran, Iraq, Israel, and North Korea--all are rational players, acting in their own self-interest as they perceive it, and with game theory we can predict what they and other players will do next.
Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil | 10/07/09 From Ecuador to Nigeria, in most oil-producing countries oil has not brought any benefits to the poor and has often damaged people's health and ruined the environment, says Peter Maass. As for Iraq, although the war was not "all about oil," oil certainly played an important role.
The Idea of Justice | 10/05/09 The traditional theory of social justice is out of touch with practical realities, says Amartya Sen. Instead he proposes a theory of comparative justice that is applicable to the real world.
Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy | 10/01/09 "Internet culture values speed over accuracy, edge over fairness and balance, and above all, entertainment value above importance and significance. We can be overfed but undernourished in terms of news, and that's what's happening as newspapers scramble to stay in business."
U.S.-Iran Relations After the Iranian Election | 09/23/09 How should the United States proceed in its relations with Iran during this turbulent time—and beyond? Should we launch direct, high-level talks between a U.S. envoy and a significant player, or continue on the same course?
The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State | 09/16/09 In the West the idea of governance by Sharia law is radioactive, says Noah Feldman, yet for many in the Muslim world it represents their aspirations for rule of law. Can Islamic States succeed?
The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East | 09/02/09 Kishore Mahbubani argues that the Western dominance is waning and Asia has adopted many Western best practices, from meritocracy to free-market economics. Therefore it's high time that the West gives up its domination of global institutions, from the IMF to the UN Security Council.
Climate Change and New Security Issues | 08/19/09 H.E. Dr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, discusses how Iceland has successfully reduced its use of oil and coal, and how the fate of nations large and small is being affected by climate change.
The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States, and the Next Revolution | 08/05/09 With the exit of Castro and the entrance of Obama, both the Cuban system and U.S.-Cuba relations could be on the brink of a new era. What will happen next?
North Korea: What Next? | 07/29/09 There are no good options in negotiations with North Korea, says Bush's top advisor on North Korean affairs, Victor Cha. It's always a choice between a bad option and a worse one.
Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation | 07/08/09 Nandan Nilekani argues that India's recent economic boom has triggered tremendous social, political, and cultural change. He discusses India's challenges and advantages, such as its current "demographic dividend"--a large population of working age.
Economics Does Not Lie: A Defense of the Free Market in a Time of Crisis | 07/01/09 In the 20th century, privatization and market capitalism have reconstructed Eastern Europe and lifted 800 million people—in China, Brazil, and India—out of poverty. What can be understood by this increasing embrace of a "free market" around the globe?
Jeffrey McCausland Interviews Thomas Ricks | 06/24/09 Carnegie Council Senior Fellow Jeffrey McCausland talks to Thomas Ricks about his latest book, "The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008."
Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet | 06/10/09 Economist Jeffrey Sachs focuses on the financial crisis, both in the U.S. and worldwide. He concludes that we should look at it as a wakeup call that we were not on a sustainable path, and as an opportunity to invest in the future.
The American Future: A History | 06/01/09 In a dazzling display of learning and verbal virtuosity, Simon Schama takes us from Arlington Cemetery to the contrasts between the Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian worldview; to China and Afghanistan; and to many points in between.
The Powers to Lead | 05/27/09 What qualities make a leader succeed in business or in politics? Joseph Nye contends that modern leadership requires "smart power," which is a judicious situational balance of hard power and soft power.
The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Changing Middle East | 05/20/09 Despite all the bloodshed in its recent history, the Middle East is still a place of warmth, humanity, and generous eccentricity. Within the turmoil there are those still pioneering political and social change. Will they continue wrestling with their region's future--on their own terms?
The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World | 05/19/09 What are the driving emotions behind our cultural differences? How do these varying emotions influence the political, social, and cultural conflicts that roil our world?
The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One | 05/19/09 Have U.S. actions in the "war on terror" blurred the distinction between local and global struggles? How can the U.S. develop strategies that deal with global threats, avoid local conflicts where possible, and win them where necessary?
The Global Deal: Climate Change and the Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity | 05/15/09 Renowned economist Lord Nicholas Stern estimates that it will cost only about 2 percent of global GDP to control climate change at manageable levels by 2050. But we cannot delay. The cost of inaction is far greater and more perilous.
The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-First Century | 05/14/09 Was George W. Bush the true heir of Woodrow Wilson, the architect of liberal internationalism? Was the Iraq War a result of liberal ideas about America's right to promote democracy abroad?
The Crisis of Islamic Civilization | 05/13/09 What caused the decline of Islamic civilization and how can it be revived? Ali A. Allawi lays out key principles that could make it flourish in this age of globalization.
Economic Crisis: A National and International Perspective | 04/29/09 How is globalization affecting the economies of developed and developing nations? What should government, business, and labor do to alleviate the global economic crunch?
God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World | 04/17/09 John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge argues that God is back as part of politics. On the street and in the corridors of power, religion is surging worldwide. Can religion and modernity thrive together? What impact will the world's rise of faith have in this century?
The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing | 04/16/09 A fat tail is an event that seems unlikely to occur, but when it does, it causes havoc--like the global financial crisis. What will the next fat tail be? Will it come from Iran? Russia? China? The U.S.?
From Tolerance to Integration: The Dutch Experience | 04/15/09 Dutch Minister for European Affairs Frans Timmermans argues that tolerance and the attitude of "live and let live" is no longer enough. He notes that our goal must be integration, which means increasing the interactiveness between communities.
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World | 04/15/09 Does the symbiotic relationship between China and America--"Chimerica" as Niall Ferguson calls it--give reason to hope that America's present economic situation will turn out to be not a crash, but a correction?
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa | 04/09/09 In the past 50 years, Africa has received more than $1 trillion in development-related aid. Has it improved Africans' lives? No, says Dambisa Moyo. In fact, aid has made the situation much worse.
Barbara Crossette Interviews Nandan Nilekani | 04/07/09 Journalist Barbara Crossette talks to Indian software entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani about his book, "Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation." Their topics include politics, philanthropy, and India's role in the world.
The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty | 03/23/09 It wouldn't take much to rescue those living in extreme poverty, says philosopher Peter Singer. If the top 90 percent of Americans gave at least 1 percent of their income we could reach the Millennium Development Goals.
Turkey Decoded | 03/19/09 Ambassador Ann Dismorr examines Turkey's troubled relations with the EU, its role in the Middle East, its complex relationship with the U.S., and the reforms initiated by the Justice and Development Party.
Great Powers: America and the World after Bush | 03/18/09 Military geostrategist Thomas P. M. Barnett argues that the 21st century will see the rise of a global middle class for the first time, which is in the U.S. national interest. He says that although we will have to make compromises, we should work to hasten this globalization process.
A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World | 03/17/09 In an informed assessment of the past, present, and future of America's relations with the Muslim world, the CIA's point person on Islam, Emile A. Nakhleh, makes a vigorous case for a renewal of American public diplomacy.
Great Powers: America and the World After Bush | 03/05/09 Military geostrategist Thomas P. M. Barnett argues that the 21st century will see the rise of a global middle class for the first time, which is in the U.S. national interest. He says that although we will have to make compromises, we should work to hasten this globalization process.
A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World (62:26 mins) | 03/05/09 Nakhleh, the CIA's former point person on Islam, argues that the majority of Muslims strongly oppose terrorism and that an engagement with the Muslim world benefits the national interest of the United States.
The United Nations and Gender: Has Anything Gone Right? | 03/03/09 The UN's record on women's issues has been abysmal, declares Stephen Lewis, particularly in dealing with HIV/AIDS. In order to give 52 percent of the world's population the representation they deserve, it's time to create a special UN Women's Agency.
The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet | 02/27/09 In his first-hand account of the brutal Pinochet years and their aftermath, H.E. Mr. Heraldo Muñoz asks, "The agonizing question is: Was Pinochet necessary? Could Chile have reached its present prosperity without him?"
The United Nations and Gender: Has Anything Gone Right? | 02/27/09 The UN's response to women's issues has been abysmal, declares Lewis, particularly in dealing with HIV/AIDS. In order to give 52 percent of the world's population the representation they deserve, it's time to create a special UN Women's Agency.
The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet | 02/24/09 In his first-hand account of the brutal Pinochet years and their aftermath, H.E. Mr. Heraldo Muñoz asks, "The agonizing question is: Was Pinochet necessary? Could Chile have reached its present prosperity without him?"
Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East | 02/20/09 What can the mistakes and missed opportunities of the past teach the new Obama administration about how to go forward with the Arab-Israeli peace process?
The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 | 02/20/09 What's next for Iraq? Thomas Ricks predicts that the U.S. military presence there will continue for at least another five to ten years, and that Iraq will change Obama more than Obama will change Iraq.
Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century | 02/11/09 Once the stuff of science fiction, robotics are already changing the way wars are being fought, says P.W. Singer. How will they affect the politics, economics, laws, and ethics of warfare?
The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, the United States and the Next Revolution | 02/09/09 As Castro finally leaves the stage and a new president arrives in Washington, both the Cuban system and U.S.-Cuba relations could be on the brink of a new era. What will happen next?
Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam | 01/27/09 For Bundy, the ultimate actor in Vietnam was not the military, the secretary of state or of defense, or the national security advisor. It was the president. What does this teach us about other American wars?
Lessons in Leadership from JFK and LBJ for America's Next Commander-in-Chief | 01/15/09 Based on his recently published book "Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam", Gordon Goldstein tells us how important it is for us to understand why and how American presidents take our country to war.
Andrew Carnegie | 01/13/09 Biographer David Nasaw tells the fascinating story of Andrew Carnegie's efforts to stop World War I, and how his failure broke his heart.
A Conversation on NATO | 12/22/08 The post-Cold War NATO has expanded, both in mission and membership. In each instance, problems have arisen with Russia. What are the lessons to be learned from these stresses, and what are NATO's prospects?
Network Power: The Social Dynamics of Globalization | 12/12/08 How can we understand the dynamics of globalization? Author David Singh Grewal explains that the idea of network power supplies a coherent set of terms and concepts, which are applicable to individuals, businesses, and countries alike.
Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other Economic Leaders | 12/11/08 Michael Kinsley and William Easterly discuss Bill Gates's controversial proposal for "creative capitalism," in which big corporations integrate doing good into their way of doing business.
Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East | 12/10/08 The neocons and al-Qaeda have both failed to reach their objectives, says Gilles Kepel. We are now facing one big power in the Middle East: Iran.
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy | 12/09/08 We are harming our children--and almost anyone who creates, enjoys, or sells any art form--with a restrictive copyright system driven by corporate interests. Lessig reveals the solutions to this impasse offered by a collaborative yet profitable "hybrid economy."
Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Economic Leaders | 12/05/08 Kinsley and Easterly discuss Bill Gates's controversial idea he calls "creative capitalism," in which big corporations integrate doing good into their way of doing business.
How East Asians View Democracy | 12/04/08 Nathan and Chu report on surveys in five new democracies (Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Mongolia), one established one (Japan), and two nondemocracies (China and Hong Kong).
The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity | 11/18/08 For 30 years, the economic condition of most Americans has become ever more precarious. To change this requires a cogent ideology and politics of a managed, rather than laissez-faire, brand of capitalism, says Robert Kuttner.
Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East | 11/12/08 How did the modern Middle East come about? Who were the British and Americans who shaped this region, from the 1882 British invasion of Egypt to today's Iraq War?
The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism | 11/11/08 America is facing a profound triple crisis: the economy, the government, and an involvement in endless wars. This threatens all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, says Andrew Bacevich.
Ark of the Liberties: America and the World | 11/04/08 Ted Widmer shows that from its beginnings, the United States, for all its shortfalls, has been by far the world’s greatest advocate for freedom.
God and Race in American Politics: A Short History | 10/29/08 Historian Mark A. Noll argues that the reason Barack Obama's candidacy is such an important matter for the American history of race, religion, and politics goes back to the 1830s. Noll focuses on the political effects of religion intermingling with race from a historical perspective.
The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) | 10/14/08 According to James Traub, although Bush bungled his famous Freedom Agenda—that American liberty is dependent on liberty in other lands—the concept still holds true.
Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict | 10/01/08 Is the Bush Doctrine of aggressive preventive action a justified and legal recourse against threats posed by terrorists and rogue states? Does the United States have the right to defend itself by striking first, or must it wait until an attack is in progress?
Terror and Consent: The Wars for The 21st Century | 09/26/08 The world is in the midst of a great transition from nation states to "market states", says Philip Bobbitt, and consequently almost every widely-held idea we currently have about 21st century terrorism is wrong.
Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century | 09/19/08 The world is in the midst of a great transition from nation states to "market states", says Philip Bobbitt, and consequently almost every widely-held idea we currently have about 21st century terrorism is wrong.
The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq | 09/16/08 There has been a fundamental disconnect between the Bush Administration and the reality in Iraq, says Bing West. But nevertheless, the strongest tribe in Iraq--the U.S. army--managed to turn things around.
Power, Terror, Peace, and War | 09/03/08 "We are creating new and ever more dangerous problems for ourselves simply by doing what it is that we like to do," says Walter Russell Mead, "And the idea that more capitalism necessarily creates more stability in the world is an illusion...." We must get our foreign policy back on track.
State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century | 08/14/08 According to Fukuyama in this 2004 talk, we know less than we think we do about building political institutions, designing constitutions, and bolstering civil society in failed or weak states.
The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century | 08/11/08 In a 2003 talk, international relations authority Charles Kupchan argues that America ignores Europe at its own peril.
1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs: The Election that Changed the Country | 07/18/08 In this 2004 talk, historian James Chace (1931-2004) looks back at the 1912 presidential elections and their effect on U.S. foreign policy.
The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation | 06/23/08 "To be a moderate in the Arab world today," says Jordanian diplomat Marwan Muasher, "is to be a very, very tiny minority." The reason is that all the Arab center's energy has been focused on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Twilight War: The Folly of U.S. Space Dominance | 06/18/08 Except for the U.S. and Israel, every nation favors a treaty to prevent the weaponization of space. China has been pushing the U.S. on this since 1999. What are we waiting for?
Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia | 06/17/08 "There's no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died," sighs Putin. In a funny and frightening talk, Marshall Goldman unravels the tangled links between Putin, Russia's new elites, the petroleum industry, and Russia's resurgence.
Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History | 06/12/08 Special Counsel and Advisor to John F. Kennedy Ted Sorensen recalls his life and times with JFK, including the dramas of desegregation and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia | 06/09/08 "Almost every single important extremist leader is living on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan," says Ahmed Rashid. Compared to this threat, Iraq is a sideshow.
A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East | 05/22/08 Looking back over the last 30 years, historian Sir Lawrence Freedman analyzes the complex politics of the Middle East and shows how America's policy choices in previous crises have led to the current dilemmas
Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy | 05/19/08 Michael Klare, an expert on the politics of energy and resources, discusses how the world's diminishing sources of energy are radically changing the international balance of power.
Breathing the Fire | 05/16/08 Kimberly Dozier, a veteran Middle East journalist who was critically wounded in a Baghdad bomb blast, talks about the difficulties of reporting from Iraq. It's dangerous, it's expensive, and people don't want to hear it.
Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World | 05/06/08 Drawing on his background at the World Bank and as the first post-Taliban finance minister of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani (and co-author Clare Lockhart) develops a comprehensive framework for understanding the problem of state-building. In 2014, Dr. Ghani became president of Afghanistan.
Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood Is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East | 04/29/08 Quil Lawrence tells the story of the Kurds, the only Iraqi ethnic group that want the Americans to stay. Divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria and numbering 25 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without their own nation.
The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order | 04/28/08 Americans ask, "Why do they hate us? Is this country pro or anti-American?" But what Khanna finds as he travels the world is that increasingly, many just don't care about the United States. Countries are going their own way and making multiple alliances.
Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood Is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East | 04/24/08 Quil Lawrence tells the story of the Kurds, the only Iraqi ethnic group that want the Americans to stay. Divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria and numbering 25 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without their own nation.
Empire of Lies: The Truth About China in the Twenty-First Century | 04/15/08 "There are not six million Tibetans in China," says Guy Sorman. "There are one billion." If the many Chinese who are not beneficiaries of economic development could express themselves, they would say the same things as the Tibetans.
The Conscience of a Liberal | 04/11/08 How can we reclaim the relationship between America's government and its citizens? What will it take to achieve a new New Deal?
Torture and Democracy | 04/04/08 In his exhaustive study, Rejali traces the history of torture through the ages. "It's not so much that torture never works," he says. "The point is, works better than what?" There are better alternatives.
Islam in Saudi Arabia's Politics | 03/28/08 Bernard Haykel sheds light on the inner workings of Saudi Arabia, from the relationship between the government and various Islamic groups, to the position of women and the Kingdom's relationship with the U.S.
The International Judge: An Introduction to the Men and Women Who Decide the World's Cases | 03/25/08 Who are the judges that sit on the International Court of Justice; what are the issues and challenges they face; and what is their approach to international law?
Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East | 03/18/08 What are the ideas and movements driving change in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, the Gulf States and the Palestinian territories, and what are the obstacles they confront?
A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report from the Frontlines of Humanity | 03/18/08 "In spite of being stingy, and in spite of being late, and in spite of being half-hearted, we are making progress," says Egeland. But we must respond to all disasters, not just those that hit the headlines.
Uniting Against Terror: Cooperative Nonmilitary Responses to the Global Terrorist Threat | 03/12/08 George Lopez gives an overview of effective, multilateral counter-terrorism measures, and as an illustration, Ambassador McNamara analyzes how Libya went from rogue state to member of the Security Council.
A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report From the Frontlines of Humanity | 03/06/08 "In spite of being stingy, and in spite of being late, and in spite of being half-hearted, we are making progress," says Egeland. But we must respond to all disasters, not just those that hit the headlines.
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed | 02/22/08 After the bloody war of independence, Algerians hoped for a brighter future. Yet an estimated 200,000 people were killed in the 1990s, and today Islamic terrorism is on the rise. What went wrong?
Freedom in Retreat | 02/15/08 Freedom House representatives and Larry Diamond discuss the findings of the FH annual survey, "Freedom in the World 2008," which shines a light on the decline in freedom around the world.
Perspectives on National Reconciliation in Iraq | 02/11/08 Appointed by the Arab League as Special Envoy to Iraq, Mohktar Lamani spent a year in Baghdad's dangerous Red Zone trying to bring about peace between Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians. But his efforts were crippled by sectarian conflict and he resigned in February 2007.
Beyond the National Interest: The Future of UN Peacekeeping and Multilateralism in an Era of U.S. Primacy | 01/24/08 Why do so many UN peacekeeping operations end in mixed results or outright failure? Reasons include the indecisiveness and bad financial management of the UN and the fact that member states almost invariably put national interests first.
The New American Story | 01/23/08 What will it take to make America better and stronger? We can solve such problems as health insurance and our addiction to oil, says Senator Bill Bradley. But first, politicians must tell the American people some hard truths.
Challenges in UN Peacekeeping Operations | 01/18/08 The demand for UN peacekeeping troops has risen at an unprecedented rate, says Guehenno, Under-Secretary General for UN Peacekeeping Operations. This presents enormous challenges, such as mobilizing troops and resources.
Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What It Needs to Do to Recover It | 01/16/08 In 2000, why did both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party turn inwards, rejecting candidates Bradley and McCain who each represented ideals of national greatness? Wolfe explores American history to find out.
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It | 01/08/08 The plight of the bottom billion is often viewed by ordinary citizens in the West as an issue too remote--and too intractable--to be solved. In reality, however, this is far from the truth. What can and should we do to improve the situation?
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It | 01/07/08 Global poverty is falling, but a minority of developing countries are stagnant and diverging from the rest of mankind, says Collier, which is a danger to global stability. He identifies four poverty traps and in this talk focuses on one of them--resource riches.
Towards a New Culture of International Relations: Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual in Multilateral Decision-Making | 01/03/08 What are the immediate challenges being addressed by the 62nd Session of the General Assembly? And how can the UN transform shared values into individual commitment and collective action?
Pakistan: The Struggle Between Politics and Extremism | 12/14/07 Created as a Muslim state 60 years ago this August, Pakistan is in crisis, wrestling with Draconian laws, the conflict between secularism and Islam, and an increasing terrorist threat. Ahmed Rashid, author of "Taliban," analyses the situation.
Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite | 12/07/07 D. Michael Lindsay says that evangelicals have become the new internationalists working at both policy and grassroot levels for more American engagement abroad. How does this affect America and the rest of the world?
The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House | 12/07/07 The Web has shaken up campaigning, says Garrett Graff. Will candidates seize the moment and run the first campaign of the new era, or will they run the last one all over again?
Finance as a Tool of National Security: Update on the Effort to Combat Terror Financing | 11/30/07 Levitt discusses the behind-the-scenes work that Treasury is doing to cut off funds for terrorism, with particular focus on Iran.
The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-Century Power | 11/07/07 Diversity, says Shashi Tharoor, is the very essence and strength of India, the world's largest democracy. Rather than a melting pot, it is more like an Indian "thali," with each dish separate but combining in the mouth to make a harmonious whole.
The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-Century Power | 11/07/07 Diversity, says Shashi Tharoor, is the very essence and strength of India. Rather than a melting pot, it is more like an Indian "thali," with each dish separate but combining in the mouth to make a harmonious whole.
Secularism Confronts Islam | 11/05/07 What we are witnessing in Europe," says Olivier Roy, "is a transformation from an ethnic minority into a faith community. These people want to be considered as citizens and Muslims. They don't consider themselves as a diaspora."
Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race | 11/01/07 Richard Rhodes says that it's time to finish the work that Reagan and Gorbachev began and get rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world. And led by George Shultz, a group of Reagan-era hawks have a step-by-step proposal on how to do it.
God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World | 10/31/07 Walter Russell Mead wittily explains how the individualistic faiths of Britain and America lent themselves so well to the creation of the modern economic and political order.
Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy | 10/17/07 Does labor abuse and outright slavery still exist in the United States? Yes, says author and journalist John Bowe, who travels from Florida to U.S.-owned Saipan to investigate modern global slave labor.
Head and Heart: American Christianities | 10/11/07 Garry Wills says that the U.S. separation of church and state both unleashed evangelical feelings and tempered them with reason and rationality. "Putting together the head and the heart is not easy, but we have been most successful as a country when that has happened."
Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life | 10/10/07 While supercapitalism is working well to enlarge the economy, why, asks Robert Reich, is its influence making democracy less and less effective?
What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism | 10/03/07 If we are to address terrorism successfully, we need to make a more rigorous examination of its causes. Many believe that it springs from poverty and lack of education, yet as Krueger shows, the evidence is all to the contrary.
Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World | 10/02/07 Hugh Pope discusses the past, present, and future of the Turkic world, which stretches from Central Asia to Turkey. His topics include oil, trade, and the question of Turkey and the EU.
Challenges for Change: The Role of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in the Islamic World | 10/02/07 The 57-member OIC has embarked on an ambitious 10-year plan, which includes setting up a 10-billion-dollar fund for poverty alleviation and eventually establishing an independent body on human rights, says Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West | 09/28/07 Mark Lilla notes that "it's not contemporary Islam that's the exception", but, "we are the exception. We live on the other shore from those who see political theology as the only way of life, and we need to drop the illusion that we share a common vocabulary."
Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground | 09/19/07 As a nation's economic power increases it naturally steps up its military power, says Kaplan, since it has more interests to protect. So it is not surprising that we are seeing the military rise of China and to a lesser extent, India. Inevitably, we are moving towards a multipolar world.
What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building | 09/13/07 Feldman, a constitutional expert and Arabic-speaker sent to Iraq by the Bush administration, argues that U.S. intervention in Iraq amounts to a moral promise, and unless asked to leave, we are morally bound to stay until a legitimately elected government can govern effectively.
Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them | 09/12/07 It's inevitable that more and more people will move across borders, says Philippe Legrain, and rather than put obstacles in their way, we should welcome them. They do the jobs we can't or won't do and their diversity enriches us all.
Republic.com 2.0 | 09/07/07 The internet offers us unprecedented access to information. Yet it also allows us to block out diverse ideas, selecting only articles and blogs that reinforce our existing opinions. What does this mean for democracy?
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda | 08/31/07 Dallaire recalls the agony of not being able to take action to halt the Rwandan genocide because he lacked the requisite authority as well as manpower and equipment. In essence, he lacked the support of the international community.
The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations | 08/30/07 Mallaby says he is somewhat pessimistic about the World Bank's chances of survival, pointing out that its loan portfolio has been declining in response to NGO pressures.
Children at War | 08/27/07 The ever-growing number of child soldiers across the globe is one of the world's most under-reported stories. "There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers right now serving as active combatants and another half-million who are serving in armed forces not at war," says Singer.
Inside the Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia | 08/23/07 Veteran Middle East correspondent Thomas Lippman traces the history of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and discusses its current state post 9/11.
Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment | 08/16/07 Environment lawyer James Speth recommends steps towards sustainability ranging from creating a world environmental organization with the power to make treaties with teeth, to encouraging innovative measures at the local level--what he calls "green jazz."
Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq | 08/06/07 Soon after a 2005 visit to Iraq, Larry Diamond, a specialist in democracy development, reflects sadly on how we have allowed the situation "to slip into a state of severe insecurity, stalemate, and economic disarray."
Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe | 07/30/07 Graham Allison, nuclear security expert, gives a sobering assessment on why a nuclear attack on U.S. soil is inevitable unless we take immediate, well-concerted measures.
Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World | 07/26/07 In this 2005 talk, Mahbubani observes that much of the world is disappointed with America's leadership, and yet would like it to take the lead in creating a stable world order. But can America revive the kind of leadership necessary to do this?
The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership | 07/24/07 To prevail in the war on terrorism and other looming geo-strategic crises, says Brzezinski in this 2004 speech, America needs serious allies, not just "coalitions of the willing."
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time | 07/19/07 In this 2005 talk, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the New Millennium Project, proposes ways to end extreme poverty on the entire planet by 2025.
Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden | 07/16/07 Who is bin Laden? What drives him? Peter Bergen is one of the few Westerners who has interviewed bin Laden face to face. In this November 2001 talk, he gives valuable insights into what makes bin Laden tick.
The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005) | 07/10/07 In this 2005 talk, Bacevich argues that military force has increasingly become the preferred instrument of American foreign policy, a process that began not with 9/11, but with the end of the Cold War.
The People's Choice: The French Election of 2007 | 06/27/07 Nicolas Sarkozy is pro-business, a longtime friend of the United States, and the diversity of his new Cabinet is unprecedented. His victory is a turning point for France.
Shades of Gray: Military Commissions and the Rule of Law | 06/20/07 We don't need new laws, says Altenburg. We need to comply with those we already have, and to educate the public about the definition of terms such as "unlawful enemy combatants" and why, if captured, they are not entitled to habeas corpus.
Shades of Gray: Military Commissions and the Rule of Law | 06/20/07 While military commissions may be a useful policy option in the current war against international terrorism, they cannot negate the most fundamental rights in which Americans believe. Is there a viable solution?
Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources | 06/19/07 Norman Pearlstine gives the scoop on Time Inc.'s role in the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame case. He supports creating federal shield laws so that reporters can protect their sources.
Children and Armed Conflict: Sri Lanka, a Case in Point | 06/05/07 There are now 250,000-300,000 child soldiers, deployed in 20 countries across three continents. Allan Rock discusses the UN's efforts to change this, with special reference to Sri Lanka.
After Iraq: The Imperiled American Imperium | 05/30/07 Drawing parallels between today's situation in Iraq and the wars of ancient Greece and Persia, Raymond shows how a great power's hubris can lead to its nemesis.
Confronting Climate Change | 05/23/07 Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton explains climate change and discusses ways to deal with this mounting crisis. A self-described optimist, he believes that we can change our behavior and prevent complete catastrophe.
America Against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked | 05/15/07 Once America was considered the champion of democracy, but now we are seen as a militant hyperpower. Why has the world turned against America and what can we do about it?
The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars | 05/10/07 Hormats compares the fiscal policies made in previous American wars to those of the current administration and argues that today's decisions place America's future at risk.
The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future | 05/03/07 "If we really want to understand the impact of religious nationalism on democratic values, India currently provides a troubling example, and one without which any more general understanding of the phenomenon is dangerously incomplete."
Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life | 04/24/07 In spite of the hatred and frustration on the surface, Palestinian activist and scholar Sari Nusseibeh optimistically believes that deep down there is readiness on the part of both Israelis and Palestinians to make peace.
Oil, Profits, and Peace: Does Business Have a Role in Peacemaking? | 04/12/07 What do Western oil companies need to do to sustain both profits and peace?
The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace | 04/11/07 Ali A. Allawi, until recently a senior minister in the Iraqi government, discusses the Iraq crisis. How did it get to this point, and what will be the longterm repercussions on Iraq and the rest of the world?
China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail its Peaceful Rise | 04/05/07 The more developed and prosperous China becomes, the more threatened its leaders feel. What are the internal issues that create this insecurity?
The Darfur Crisis: Humanitarian Aid in the Balance | 04/04/07 The Darfur crisis is one of the most serious in the world, says Weissman of MSF. But contrary to many reports, it is neither a racial war, nor genocide. "The war in Darfur is better characterized as a very nasty civil war which is in the process of spiraling out of control."
The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy | 03/27/07 T. R. Reid discusses the state of European integration and argues that Americans are not aware of the extent to which the EU has turned into a major global player, especially in trade matters.
Energy Security in the Gulf and the Growing Importance of "the East" | 03/27/07 The panelists discuss newly emerging relationships between the Persian Gulf States and India, two regions with close ties for millennia, and which have increasingly convergent trade and strategic interests.
Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam | 03/12/07 This is a tense time in Pakistan and Afghanistan, says Zahid Hussain. The Pakistan intelligence service and militant Islam are connected, Musharraf is walking a tightrope, and the Taliban is back in force in Afghanistan.
Global Human Rights Leadership: Who Will Fill the Void Left by the United States? | 03/07/07 With Washington's reputation as a leader on human rights gravely damaged by abuses committed in its five-year-old "global war on terror," who will fill the vacuum?
American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion | 03/01/07 Over six million Muslims of different backgrounds live in the United States, and for the most part, says Paul Barrett, they are highly assimilated. But in certain areas this group has very different views of the world, and we need to understand their complexity.
Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World | 02/21/07 How did this momentous meeting between two leaders lay the foundations for today's complex and difficult relationship between the United States and China?
Secretary or General?: The UN Secretary-General in World Politics | 02/12/07 What are the political factors and challenges that will shape the new Secretary-General?
European Energy Security and the Role of Russia | 02/05/07 As demand continues to grow, Gernot Erler asks, can Europe persuade Russia to guarantee its future energy needs?
In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India | 02/01/07 Edward Luce argues that despite problems such as poverty and corruption, India is undergoing an extraordinary transformation, emerging as an economic powerhouse and an important geopolitical force.
Freedom in the World 2007: Is Freedom Under Threat? | 01/30/07 The panelists discuss Freedom House's latest survey which shows that Russia has descended into the ranks of "Not Free" States.
The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World | 01/24/07 "The new paradigm is war amongst the people," says General Smith, "where the strategic objective is to win hearts and minds, and the battle is for the people's will, rather than the destruction of an opponent's forces."
Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present | 01/18/07 What are the roots of America's Middle East involvement today? And what impact did American statesmen, merchants, and missionaries have on the shaping of this region?
Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present | 01/18/07 "Few Americans know of their very rich, centuries-long legacy in the Middle East," says Oren. "It’s a multifaceted heritage of war and statecraft, altruism and beneficence, wild artistic imaginings, and swashbuckling adventure."
Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World | 01/11/07 What steps did the U.S. government take to freeze terrorist assets worldwide, plan the financial reconstruction of Afghanistan, and oversee the development of a new currency in Iraq?
Global Financial Warriors: The Untold Story of International Finance in the Post-9/11 World | 01/11/07 Coordinating global financial policy in the age of terror requires skill, leadership, and cooperation. What steps did the U.S. government take to freeze terrorist assets worldwide, plan the financial reconstruction of Afghanistan, and oversee the development of a new currency in Iraq?
Terrorism, Failed States, and Enlightened National Interest | 12/12/06 If unattended, failed states will become hotbeds of international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, environmental degradation, communicable diseases, and overpopulation. Thus it is in our own-self interest not to turn a blind eye.
Nuclear Proliferation: A Delicate Balance Between Force and Diplomacy | 12/05/06 We are at a nuclear tipping point, says Joseph Cirincione, and the policy decisions the United States makes over the next 3-5 years will decide whether or not we launch another great wave of nuclear proliferation.
The International Struggle over Iraq: Politics in the UN Security Council 1998-2005 | 11/30/06 What role did the UN Security Council play in the international struggles over Iraq?
Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance | 11/20/06 Ian Buruma explores what happens when political Islam collides with a secular Western European nation.
Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance | 11/20/06 Ian Buruma explores what happens when political Islam collides with a secular Western European nation.
Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy | 11/16/06 In Israel's political system, the military was once the servant of civilian politicians. Today, however, Yoram Peri argues, generals lead the way when it comes to foreign and defense policymaking.
The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power | 11/15/06 Why was Kofi Annan's tenure at the UN so controversial? Listen to James Traub's analysis of the troubled relationship between the UN and the world's only superpower.
The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power | 11/15/06 James Traub discusses the troubled relationship between the UN and the world's only superpower.
Economic Justice in an Unfair World: Toward a Level Playing Field | 11/01/06 In a lively session, Ethan Kapstein of INSEAD proposes just what the international community can reasonably do to build a global economy that will be fairer to all.
Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate | 10/31/06 If we want substantial political argument--and without it, true democracy is impossible--both "the red" and "the blue" must recognize shared moral principles, says Ronald Dworkin.
The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future | 10/18/06 Vali Nasr argues that the Shia Crescent—stretching from Lebanon and Syria through the Gulf to Iraq and Iran, finally terminating in Pakistan and India—is gathering strength in the aftermath of Saddam's fall.
The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South | 10/11/06 Professor Philip Jenkins argues that by the year 2025, Africa and Latin America will have the largest number of Christians in the world. According to Jenkins, this is a different kind of Christianity from that which we are used to in the Global North.
The New Faces of Christianity: Bible Believers in the Global South | 10/11/06 Professor Philip Jenkins argues that by the year 2025, Africa and Latin America will have the largest number of Christians in the world. According to Jenkins, this is a different kind of Christianity from that which we are used to in the Global North.
Making Globalization Work | 10/05/06 Economist Joseph Stiglitz offers new thinking about the questions that shape the globalization debate, including a plan to restructure the global financial system, ideas for how countries can grow without degrading the environment, and a framework for free and fair global trade.
The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West | 09/26/06 The twentieth century was by far the bloodiest in all of human history. How can we explain the astonishing scale and intensity of its violence when, thanks to the advances of science and economics, most people were better off than ever before—eating better, growing taller, and living longer?
Faith and Politics: How the "Moral Values" Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together | 09/20/06 Senator John Danforth argues that religious people should engage in politics, but, he notes, "there is a difference between engaging in politics and transforming politics and government into an extension or an enforcer of your religious point of view."
Uberpower: The Imperial Temptation of America | 09/15/06 Josef Joffe assesses the rise of American power since the end of the Cold War from a remarkably sympathetic vantage point.
The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall | 09/12/06 Ian Bremmer describes the political and economic forces that revitalize some states and push others toward collapse. He concludes that political isolation and sanctions often work against their intended results and that globalization is the key to opening closed authoritarian states.
Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network | 09/07/06 "Khan has wreaked havoc on attempts to restrain the spread of nuclear technology," says Gordon Corera. "He has lowered the barriers of entry for the nuclear game. He has irreversibly changed the mechanics of supply and demand, and left a really damaging legacy."
Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the AQ Khan Network | 09/07/06 "Khan has wreaked havoc on attempts to restrain the spread of nuclear technology," says Gordon Corera. "He has lowered the barriers of entry for the nuclear game. He has irreversibly changed the mechanics of supply and demand, and left a really damaging legacy."
New News Out of Africa: Uncovering Africa's Renaissance | 06/21/06 Journalist (and South Africa resident) Hunter-Gault gives a surprisingly optimistic assessment of modern Africa, revealing that there is more to the continent than the bad news of disease, disaster, and despair.
Debate--The United Nations: Still Relevant After All These Years? | 06/12/06 Is the UN "I" for irrelevant, or "I" for indispensable, as Shashi Tharoor would have it? While conceding that the UN is relevant, Ruth Wedgwood argues that "competing multilaterals" should also play a role in solving the world's problems. This witty but deeply serious debate will give both sides of the argument food for thought.
Debate--The United Nations: Still Relevant After All these Years? | 06/12/06 Is the UN "I" for irrelevant, or "I" for indispensable, as Shashi Tharoor would have it? While conceding that the UN is relevant, Ruth Wedgwood argues that "competing multilaterals" should also play a role in solving the world's problems. This witty but always deeply serious debate will give both sides of the argument food for thought.
The Progress of UN Reform | 06/07/06 H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson discusses recent steps forward at the U.N., such as the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Central Emergency Fund, and the Human Rights Council.
The Progress of UN Reform | 06/07/06 H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson discusses recent steps forward, such as the creating of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Central Emergency Fund, and the Human Rights Council.
Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq | 06/06/06 In one of the most detailed analyses yet of the insurgency and America's efforts to smash it, Ahmed Hashim presents a grim view of the violence in Iraq from inside the American camp.
Are We Misreading Iran's Nuclear Politics? | 05/17/06 Ms. Haghighatjoo says that Iranian political parties and individuals critical of their government’s handling of the nuclear issue " have joined the debate [and] believe that the ultimate pressure that can change Iran’s nuclear policy will come from within, not from without."
Redefining Politics: Latin American Style | 05/10/06 "The poor, the indigenous, isolated rural communities are easily attracted by radical populists who offer simple solutions to complex problems," says Shapiro. He suggests paths to economic growth; the audience is most interested in the rise of "leftist" politicians across Latin America.
Storm from the East: The Struggle between the Arab World and the Christian West | 05/09/06 In order to understand the Arab mistrust of the United States and of the West in general, says Milton Viorst, we must study the turbulent history of the relations between the Christian and Muslim world, particularly the clashes and betrayals since World War I.
Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West | 05/09/06 In order to understand the Arab mistrust of the United States and of the West in general, says Milton Viorst, we must study the turbulent history of the relations between the Christian and Muslim world, particularly the clashes and betrayals since World War I.
Identity and Violence | 04/26/06 Conflict and violence are sustained by the illusion of a unique identity, overlooking the need for reason and choice in deciding on bonds of class, gender, profession, scientific interests, moral beliefs, and even our shared identity as human beings.
Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America | 04/20/06 In a wide-ranging talk, Professor Philip Jenkins argues that the mid-to-late 1970s were a crucial turning point in religious and political landscapes around the world.
You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir | 04/17/06 Nobel Prize-winning author and activist Wole Soyinka discusses the current crisis in Nigeria where President Obasanjo tries to subvert the constitution and remain in power for a third term. Soyinka also calls for immediate UN intervention in Darfur.
Islamic Challenge | 04/06/06 Based on her interviews with over 300 Muslim leaders in Europe, Jytte Klausen argues that European Muslims are overwhelmingly liberal in outlook. She says that for Muslims in Europe the biggest priority is to build a European Islam, independent of the Islamic countries.
Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development | 04/03/06 Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz details what a trade agreement might look like if based on principles of economic analysis and social justice for the world economy. He points to how less developed countries are currently disadvantaged in the negotiating process.
Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah | 03/30/06 The spread of Islam around the globe has blurred the connection between a religion, a specific society, and a territory, says Roy. This phenomenon is feeding new forms of radicalism.
Globalized Islam | 03/30/06 Roy looks at how Islam is becoming a globalized religion, less linked to culture than many in the West presume. This shift in identity is important to understand if governments are to be effective and just in setting immigration and integration policies, and in combatting terrorists.
Speaking on Global Islam | 03/30/06 Roy looks at how Islam is becoming a globalized religion, less linked to culture than many in the West presume. This shift in identity is important to understand if governments are to be effective and just in setting immigration and integration policies, and in combatting terrorists.
Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa | 03/28/06 Lewis offers his personal, often searing, insider's account of the plight of Africa and Africans with AIDS--and the wealthy world's betrayal.
The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements 1967–1977 | 03/20/06 Gershom Gorenberg discusses the history of the Israeli settlements and examines the roadblocks that continue to frustrate the establishment of peaceful relations with the Palestinians.
The Forgotten War: Afghanistan | 03/14/06 Recent elections mark the last formal step towards democracy in Afghanistan. Yet the past year has seen a steady increase in political violence. What is being done to ensure that democracy and stability take hold?
Public Philosophy: Episodes and Arguments in American Civic Life | 03/08/06 Professor Michael Sandel argues that there is an allergy among liberals to using substantive moral, and even religious arguments in politics. Yet, he notes, "it's often not possible, and in any case not desirable, to separate political argument from moral and religious argument."
Reaching for Power: The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World | 03/06/06 Professor Yitzhak Nakash presents in great detail the history of the Shi'a branch of Islam, including an analysis of the tenuous political process in post-Saddam Iraq.
The Shield and the Cloak: The Security of the Commons | 03/03/06 Gary Hart outlines the fundamental changes that America must grapple with when confronting elusive terrorist threats. The new security regime will require a shield for the homeland as well as a cloak of non-military protections.
Arguing About War (2006) | 02/28/06 For the first time since his classic "Just and Unjust Wars" was published in 1977, Professor Michael Walzer has again collected his most provocative arguments about contemporary military conflicts and the ethical issues they raise.
Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind | 02/22/06 While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the modern military.
The Twelve Religious Tribes of American Politics | 02/15/06 Steven Waldman, founder of the website belief.net.com, presents some surprising conclusions about how beliefs affect voting in the United States.
Cousins and Strangers: America, Britain, and Europe in a New Century | 02/07/06 According to Chris Patten, Europe wants to be a partner to the United States rather than a rival. Meanwhile, America and Europe both need to recognize that they no longer set the global agenda, and that they must work with and through China and India.
American Vertigo | 01/27/06 In his entertaining and sometimes provocative book, celebrated French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy takes a fascinating new look at the country that Americans think they know, investigating issues at the heart of U.S. democracy.
American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville | 01/27/06 In his entertaining and sometimes provocative book, celebrated French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy takes a fascinating new look at the country that Americans think they know, investigating issues at the heart of U.S. democracy.
My Italian Mission: Ethical Dilemmas and Lessons for Today | 01/19/06 Former U.S. Ambassador Richard N. Gardner discusses the delicate balancing act of diplomacy, politics and practicality in Cold War Italy.
My Italian Mission: Ethical Dilemmas & Lessons for Today | 01/19/06 Former U.S. Ambassador Richard N. Gardner discusses the delicate balancing act of diplomacy, politics and practicality in Cold War Italy.
Development Agenda 2006: From Ideas into Action | 01/12/06 The UK ambassador to the UN describes the positive rethinking of development policy that occurred in 2005 and the need to make 2006 the year for action. He touches on the issues of aid, trade, UN reform, harmonization among donor organizations, and the struggle against corruption.
Opus Dei | 12/14/05 Author John Allen debunks some of the myths that surround Opus Dei, the prelature of the Roman Catholic Church that promotes the sanctity of ordinary daily work. Allen also explains Opus Dei's history, goals, and practices.
Opus Dei: The First Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church | 12/14/05 Author John Allen debunks some of the myths that surround Opus Dei, the prelature of the Roman Catholic Church that promotes the sanctity of ordinary daily work. Allen also explains Opus Dei's history, goals, and practices.
Corporate Warriors: The Privatized Military and Iraq | 12/01/05 P. W. Singer examines the Pentagon's policy of contracting private security and logistics firms for tasks ranging from combat to catering in the Iraq War. What are the ethical dilemmas and conflicting incentives of outsourcing a traditional state function to essentially mercenary groups?
Corporate Warriors: The Privatized Military Industry and Iraq | 12/01/05 P. W. Singer examines the Pentagon's policy of contracting private security and logistics firms for tasks ranging from combat to catering in the Iraq War. What are the ethical dilemmas and conflicting incentives of outsourcing a traditional state function to essentially mercenary groups?
Rx for Survival | 11/29/05 Hilts warns that the emergence of new diseases and the resurgence of old ones has put the world on the brink of a global health crisis. Yet we have more than enough technology and funds to bring about a golden age of public health. What's the missing element?
Rx for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge | 11/29/05 Hilts warns that the emergence of new diseases and the resurgence of old ones has put the world on the brink of a global health crisis. Yet we have more than enough technology and funds to bring about a golden age of public health. What's the missing element?
German Immigration Issues | 11/21/05 Germany's Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily addresses the problems of integrating immigrants into German society and talks about the progress made, which includes overhauling the Nationality Act for the first time since 1913 and introducing integration courses for new arrivals.
ILLICIT: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy | 11/09/05 Moises Naim explains that the counterfeit trade is worth 630 billion dollars a year, including fake airplane parts, medicines and even gas stations, and growth in trading people, arms and drugs is equally staggering.
ILLICIT: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats are Hijacking the World Economy | 11/09/05 Moises Naim explains that the counterfeit trade is worth 630 billion dollars a year, including fake airplane parts, medicines and even gas stations, and growth in trading people, arms and drugs is equally staggering.
The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth | 10/27/05 Political economist Benjamin Friedman argues that economic growth is a prerequisite for a liberal, open society. He contends that it encourages tolerance, democracy and generous public support for the poor, while economic stagnation and insecurity result in the very opposite.
Chinese Ambitions and the Future of Asia | 10/19/05 American attention is focused on the "war on terror. " But 20 years from now we may look back and realise that the rise of China and the new Asian dynamics that resulted were actually far more significant, says Kurt Campbell.
America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity | 10/11/05 Princeton Professor Robert Wuthnow asks whether we are willing to do the hard work required to achieve genuine religious diversity and understanding.
The E-Bomb | 10/06/05 "Directed-energy weapons"--lasers, high-powered microwaves, and particle beams--used to be the stuff of science fiction, says J. Douglas Beason. But now they’re a reality, and will transform the nature of warfare.
Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground | 09/27/05 Robert D. Kaplan provides an insider's account of our current involvement in world affairs, as well as painting a vivid picture of how defense policy is implemented at the grassroots level.
Radical Truths of Christian Realism | 09/20/05 Elisabeth Sifton, Reinhold Niebuhr's daughter, reviews her father's legacy and concludes that many of today's Christian leaders are ignoring the radical truths he espoused.
Global Responsibilities: How Multinational Corporations Can Deliver on Human Rights | 09/19/05 Who has the responsibility to alleviate poverty and uphold human rights in a globalized world where corporations often wield more power than nation-states?
Global Responsibilities: How Can Multinational Corporations Deliver on Human Rights? | 09/19/05 Who has the responsibility to alleviate poverty and uphold human rights in a globalized world where corporations often wield more power than nation-states?
The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God | 09/15/05 George Weigel ponders the growing--and to him acutely disturbing--secularity of Europe, which he believes raises urgent questions about the future of democracy worldwide.
Globalization: What's New? | 06/08/05 William Easterly, Joseph Stiglitz, and Michael Weinstein discuss the main features of globalization, asking what is new, what drives the process, how it changes politics, and how it affects global institutions like the UN.
Three Billion New Capitalists | 06/01/05 Economist Clyde Prestowitz believes that the United States is sliding toward economic decline under globalization, arguing that these trends are creating not only increased economic strength in Asia, but also geopolitical power.
Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East | 06/01/05 Economist Clyde Prestowitz believes that the United States is sliding toward economic decline under globalization, arguing that these trends are creating not only increased economic strength in Asia, but also geopolitical power.
Ending Torture and Secret Detention in America's Name | 05/12/05 The abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, and elsewhere, have undermined our standing around the world, say Posner and Hutson.
At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention | 05/04/05 David Rieff tries to bridge the gap between our democratic dreams and the means we use to achieve them in tricky wars of humanitarian purpose.
Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco | 04/27/05 Originally in favor of going to war, Phillips, a former State Department official, discusses the mistakes made because of the lack of a plan for winning the peace.
The World Is Flat | 04/06/05 Globalization, particularly outsourcing, is leveling the playing field around the world, says columnist Thomas Friedman, making India a major player.
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century | 04/06/05 Globalization, particularly outsourcing, is leveling the playing field around the world, says columnist Thomas Friedman, making India a major player.
Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo 500 Years of State Oppression | 03/22/05 Most Latin American countries have not overcome their inheritance from the colonial past: corporatism, state mercantilism, privilege, bottom-up wealth redistribution, and political law. By adopting true market reform under the rule of law, these countries can build prosperous democracies.
The Democracy Advantage: How Democracies Promote Prosperity and Peace | 03/17/05 The authors argue that democracy and development go hand in hand. Therefore, more aid should be given to poor democracies and democratizers than to poor autocracies.
Lightning Out of Lebanon: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil | 03/15/05 "Hezbollah makes Al-Qaeda look like Sunday-schoolers, children, kindergartners" according to an FBI contact interviewed by journalists Diaz and Newman.
The Ethics of Identity | 02/16/05 "Questions of identity, especially various forms of political identity, ethnicity, nationality, and politicized religion, are supposed to be problems for liberalism. So I became interested as well in how one should find a place for these forms of identity while maintaining the basic liberal faith in the importance of individuality."
Bearing Witness to Genocide: Rwanda, Darfur, and the Implications for Future Peacekeeping Operations | 02/11/05 In 1994, General Dallaire was the commander of the UN Assistance Mission to Rwanda and powerless to stop the massacre of 800,000 people, who were slaughtered in 100 days. Yet just as in Rwanda ten years ago, the UN is reluctant to use the word "genocide" to describe Darfur.
Three Challenges for the Human Rights Movement: Darfur, Abu Ghraib, and the Role of the United Nations | 02/03/05 Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, discusses Darfur, Abu Ghraib, and the role of the UN.
Three Challenges for the Human Rights Movement | 02/03/05 Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, discusses the three main challenges that the international human rights movement faces today.
America the Vulnerable: How Our Government is Failing to Protect Us from Terrorism | 01/25/05 Flynn analyzes America's failure to address the reality that terrorism will continue as a form of warfare, and offers a prescription for making our networks more resilient to the inevitability of terrorist attacks.
Indonesian Democracy: New Hope | 01/20/05 The September 2004 election of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gives Theodore Friend reason to be hopeful about the future of Indonesian democracy.
Global Crises, Global Solutions | 01/19/05 According to Lomborg, the $50 billion that will be spent on development assistance over the next four years ought to be focused on realistic goals such as ending malnutrition and communicable diseases—not on reducing global warming.
Exporting America: Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas | 12/02/04 The loss of numerous jobs to outsourcing harms the middle class and presents a grave threat to the U.S. economy, argues Lou Dobbs.
New Perspectives on the Transatlantic Alliance | 11/30/04 Lionel Barber identifies several crucial tests that will determine the future of the transatlantic alliance.
The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror | 11/09/04 Sharansky argues that spreading democracy everywhere is not only possible, but essential to the survival of our civilization.
Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West | 11/08/04 EU-U.S. strategic cooperation is required to tackle the main security challenges of the 21st century.
In Defense of Globalization | 10/28/04 While a leading free trade proponent, professor Jagdish Bhagwati does not advocate total laissez-faire economics. Instead he argues that continued globalization needs to be "managed."
American Power and Empire | 10/19/04 John Judis uncovers troubling parallels between America's foreign policy in the beginning of the 21st century and its imperialist experiments in the 1890s.
Arguing About War (2004) | 10/13/04 Walzer rejects the argument that the invasion of Iraq was justified: "It is only massacre or ethnic cleansing or mass enslavement in progress that justifies marching an army into someone else's country. That is what humanitarian intervention is, and that is not what the Iraq war was."
The Universal Hunger for Liberty: Why the Clash of Civilizations Is Not Inevitable | 10/06/04 Novak insists that concepts of political, economic, and religious liberty can be found in the Qur'an.
Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum | 09/30/04 "Because of the geographic shifts in the production of oil to areas of instability, growing competition for access to that oil, and the militarization of foreign oil policy, we are risking a very high level of violence emerging. We must move swiftly and systematically to develop a post-petroleum economy."
American Power and Human Rights | 09/23/04 The success of the war on terror will ultimately depend on optimal respect for fundamental rights at home and abroad, not on curtailing them in the name of security, says William Schulz of Amnesty International.
The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West | 09/22/04 Kepel argues that Americans have committed a fundamental error in assuming that the followers of Osama bin Laden are waging a war on the American state.
The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace | 09/13/04 Dennis Ross explains why shattering deeply entrenched myths about the Middle East and facing up to reality is a precondition for the success of the Israel-Palestine negotiations.
Gag Rule: On the Stifling of Dissent and the Suppression of Democracy | 06/28/04 Lewis Lapham criticizes the suppression of dissenting voices in the aftermath of September 11th and the complicity of the media in manipulating public opinion on the war against Iraq.
1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs: The Election That Changed the Country | 06/16/04 James Chace looks back at the 1912 presidential elections and their effect on U.S. foreign policy.
The Right Nation: How Conservatism Won | 06/10/04 How did conservatism achieve the extraordinary dominance of American politics it enjoys today? Among other reasons, by being better organized and more in tune with core American values, say John Micklethwait and Adrian Woodridge.
Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America | 05/19/04 Robert Reich is optimistic about John Kerry’s victory in the presidential elections, because his research shows that most Americans adhere to fundamental liberal principles.
The Challenges of Global Migration: An EU View | 05/14/04 Vitorino says that a massive migration from east to west within the EU is unlikely and in any case, an influx of third-country nationals might help the EU to address population aging.
The Press and the War on Terrorism | 05/05/04 Cooper says that the war on terrorism is producing new dangers and new restrictions for the press.
Colossus: The Price of America's Empire | 04/28/04 Ferguson argues that the United States would be better off embracing, rather than denying, its imperial destiny.
Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003 | 04/21/04 Itamar Rabinovich discusses the current Palestinian-Israeli "war of attrition" following the failure of Camp David and the Oslo Process.
A New World Order | 04/15/04 Slaughter describes a vision of a world order where international institutions are embedded in an increasingly dense web of networks spanning the globe.
Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics | 04/13/04 Joseph Nye's concept of "soft power" has become part of the international relations lexicon. In this 2004 book talk, he argues that hard power alone cannot deal with terrorism successfully. We must use a combination of hard and soft power.
Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies | 04/08/04 Buruma points out that the hatred animating Islamic radicals conforms to the classic counter-Enlightenment vision of Western society as rootless, timid, and soulless.
Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy | 03/18/04 Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon discuss Mexico’s extraordinary democratic transformation.
Where is the Lone Ranger When We Need Him? America’s Search for a Post-Conflict Stability Force | 03/10/04 Perito argues the need for creating a new U.S. force that is trained to assist with post-conflict operations in places like the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century | 03/04/04 Malone points out that disagreements among the Permanent Five Security Council members have been confined to just three issues since the end of the Cold War: Israel-Palestine, Kosovo, and Iraq.
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 | 03/01/04 Coll spotlights the interactions among the CIA, Pakistani intelligence (ISI), Saudi intelligence, and other hidden networks (particularly al Qaeda and its affiliates) decades before 9/11/01.
Universal Democracy? Prospects for a World Transformed | 02/26/04 Diamond insists that the United States and the international community have a moral obligation, as well as a political opportunity, to encourage, foster, and promote the global spread of democracy more systematically and effectively than at any point in the past thirty years.
Afghanistan: Between Hope and Abyss | 02/24/04 Since the time of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, much of the Afghan population has endured enormous hardship. Dr. Reinhard Eroes, the founder of Children's Aid Afghanistan, discusses the current issues and challenges in humanitarian assistance.
Challenges to the UN | 02/19/04 Sir Kieran Prendergast gives a progress report on the panel appointed by Kofi Annan to recommend changes that would enable the UN to respond more effectively to peace and security challenges—broadly interpreted to include threats of poverty, hunger, and disease.
Of Paradise and Power: America vs. Europe in the New World Order (With a New Afterword) | 02/04/04 The widening military gap between Europe and the United States has an unavoidable effect, says Robert Kagan. "It is a natural human phenomenon that if you have more power, you are more likely to use it. When you have less power, you are less likely to use it, and also less likely to consider it a legitimate activity."
The Lesser Evil: Hard Choices in a War on Terror | 01/23/04 Ignatieff says that while the battle against terrorism may sometimes require infringing international norms on the use of force, we must constantly guard against slipping from the lesser evil to the greater.
The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia | 01/21/04 Is Khordorovsky a captialist or a criminal, and what does his case teach us about Putin's Russia?
Freedom on Fire: Human Rights Wars and America's Response | 11/20/03 Shattuck says that the forces unleashed against us on 9/11 were the very forces of disintegration that he witnessed in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Haiti, and are most powerfully evident in the Middle East. He also gives insight into how the Clinton administration's human rights policies evolved.
Nehru: The Invention of India | 11/13/03 Shashi Tharoor assesses the legacy of Nehru, the man who "through his writings, his speeches, his leadership,...invented India in an extraordinary way."
The Roaring Nineties: A New History of the World's Most Prosperous Decade | 11/05/03 Looking back at the economy of the 1990s, Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz draws a lesson for the present: “We must restore the balance between the public and private sector if we are to resume the robust growth that is part of our potential, and make globalization work not only for us but for all the world.”
Fear's Empire: War, Terrorism, and Democracy in an Age of Interdependence | 10/21/03 Benjamin Barber urges the United States to curb its militaristic impulses in favor of working for "global comity" within the framework of universal rights and law.
PLAN B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble | 10/15/03 An in-depth look at human damage to the natural environment and the social and technological possibilities for remedying such degradation.
The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century | 10/02/03 According to economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the radicalism of the current administration’s political agenda, from its Social Security plans to its anti-environmental policies, is throwing the country into a deep crisis.
Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and Lessons for Global Power | 09/16/03 Niall Ferguson examines the rise and demise of the British world order and its lessons for the United States.
Why Societies Need Dissent | 09/11/03 Based on research of group polarization, Cass Sunstein makes a convincing case that societies function better if they allow dissent.
Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions | 06/10/03 Clyde Prestowitz sees American unilateralism, rooted in the claim to exceptionalism, as the main reason behind the growing anti-American sentiments around the world.
At War with Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World | 06/04/03 The world’s remaining superpower has failed to grasp the importance of its global leadership responsibilities, argues Michael Hirsch. Assuming a leadership position within a multilateral international system will serve best both American and the world’s security interests.
The Future of Political Islam | 05/22/03 Fuller predicts that although unlikely to disappear altogether, radical Islamist groups will eventually learn to compromise as more modest groups spring up to compete with them.
The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the United States | 05/14/03 Our interests with China are peace, prosperity, and mutual exchange between two great countries and civilizations with openness for business, for students, for the professions. It is also in our interests that there be political liberalization, but it is not America’s business to bring this about.
The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations | 05/01/03 Rabbi Jonathan Sacks hopes that mankind can develop a doctrine of peaceful coexistence grounded in religious texts common to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
The Piratization of Russia: Russian Reform Goes Awry | 04/30/03 How did a small group of Russian oligarchs manage to amass incredible fortunes in the short period following the end of the Cold War? Marshall Goldman explains the peculiarities of the post-Soviet economic and political space that opened the way for the rise of the oligarchs.
Unilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy | 04/24/03 How is U.S. unilateralism in foreign policy perceived from abroad? This panel of international affairs experts presents a range foreign perspectives and discusses the challenges the U.S faces by adopting a "go it alone" policy.
Scholars Renew Attempts to Explain Islamic Fundamentalism | 04/22/03 A 2003 review of the literature on Islamic fundamentalism.
Terror and Liberalism | 04/15/03 Paul Berman discusses the common ideological underpinnings of totalitarian movements, from fascism and communism to the radical Islamist movement. He observes that in every case it is liberal naïveté that allows totalitarianism to progress.
American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy | 04/09/03 A sole superpower in the aftermath of the Cold War pursuing an increasingly militarized foreign policy, America is no longer shy about its imperial ambitions, says Andrew Bacevich.
Challenges for the U.S.--Threats and Opportunities on the Korean Peninsula | 04/01/03 Donald Gregg sees North Korea’s recent confessions to kidnapping Japanese citizens and reviving its nuclear program as “evidence that Kim Jong Il is trying to remove some of the obstacles of the past.” Gregg, who favors U.S.-North Korea dialogue, said he fears that a “perfect storm” is brewing on the Korean peninsula.
Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First Century Iran | 03/18/03 The national struggle underway in modern Iran is indicative of the theological debates in the Middle East today. At the heart of the turmoils in the region is not a clash between civilizations but "a clash of Islam against Islam," argue Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons.
The War Over Iraq: Why Saddam Must Go . . . and Why America Must Lead | 03/05/03 William Kristol and Lawrence Kaplan argue that a successful nation-building effort in Iraq will not only be a catalyst for change in the Middle East but also serve as proof that there is a compatibility between American interests and ideals.
Of Paradise and Power: America vs. Europe in the New World Order | 02/04/03 The widening military gap between Europe and the United States has an unavoidable effect, says Robert Kagan. "It is a natural human phenomenon that if you have more power, you are more likely to use it. When you have less power, you are less likely to use it, and also less likely to consider it a legitimate activity."
Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water | 12/12/02 Many developing countries are now privatizing their water industry, and as a result many poor people cannot afford clean water, says Barlow. "Leaving water in the hands of private companies—which are driven by commercial concerns and are not accountable to anyone—is socially and environmentally immoral."
The Mobilization of Shame: A World View of Human Rights | 11/20/02 "We are on the wrong side of history," says Father Robert F. Drinan regarding the U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court.
Johannesburg: Achievements and Challenges | 11/12/02 Larger United Nations' goals such as eliminating poverty and addressing health issues are inextricably linked to environmental concerns, says Nitin Desai.
Global Poverty and U.S. Foreign Policy | 11/06/02 Markets alone will not solve the problems of Africa and other poor parts of the world, says economist Jeffrey Sachs. "Markets will not stop mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, nor can they stop, or even diminish, the transmission of HIV/AIDS."
One World: The Ethics of Globalization | 10/29/02 If we agree with the notion of a global community, then we must extend our concepts of justice, fairness, and equity beyond national borders by supporting measures to decrease global warming and to increase foreign aid, argues Professor Peter Singer.
The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention | 10/16/02 Humanitarian intervention does not "belong in the shadows" because it has the moral urgency of self-defense, which puts it ahead of preventive war, say Walzer and Maass.
First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power | 10/09/02 The U.S. has always been an expansionist power, but between 1891-1909, it was exceptionally so, says Zimmerman. Five individuals in particular helped to drive the U.S. government in this direction: Theodore Roosevelt; naval strategist Alfred T. Mahan; Senator Henry Cabot Lodge; Secretary of State John Hay; and corporate lawyer turned colonial administrator Elihu Root.
A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis | 10/02/02 Humanitaniarism is losing its traditional function of relief provision and is increasingly used for political purposes, often with disastrous consequences, warns David Rief.
From a Reporter's Notebook: Afghanistan One Year Later: The Struggle for the Soul of a Nation | 09/25/02 Afghanistan is less stable today than it was six months ago because of U.S. reluctance to provide security outside Kabul and the international community's failure to deliver the full amount of the reconstruction aid it promised, says Ahmed Rashid.
Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India | 09/24/02 Why are some cities in India rife with ethnic conflict whereas others are not? According to Varshney, a city's proneness to violence is directly linked to its level of civic integration.
The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the International System | 06/25/02 Afghanistan is "hard to rule" for the same reason it's hard to conquer: it does not have many resources, the settlements are far apart, and there is not much water, contends Barnett Rubin.
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power | 06/03/02 The United States has a long but largely uncelebrated history of fighting "small wars," and "if the past is a prologue of what is to come, small wars will be the main occupation of the American military for the foreseeable future," says Max Boot.
Globalization and Its Discontents | 05/15/02 There will be a strong backlash against globalization unless the international institutions that govern it become more democratic, says Stiglitz.
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution | 05/10/02 "We need to steer technology towards aims that are clearly therapeutic and away from ones that involve essentially human redesign, trying to improve our human species . . . . That was tried at great cost over the past couple of centuries and rejected as costly and ineffective."
Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam | 05/07/02 The communications revolution of the late 20th century made Muslims around the world aware that they were part of a global community, a development that helped to "globalize" the idea of jihad, says John Esposito.
Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam | 04/17/02 Today, Islamist movements in the Middle East are fragmented, according to Gilles Kepel, and no longer have the capacity to mobilize different social groups simultaneously as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Yet they remain dangerous because they believe jihad is "the other superpower."
The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity | 04/17/02 Christian influence on world events is less likely to originate in the United States or Europe than in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where a version of Pentecostalism has been spreading, says Philip Jenkins.
Al-Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East | 04/15/02 The Qatar-based television network Al-Jazeera has been a hugely positive force in the Middle East, according to Mohammed el-Nawawy and Adel Iskander Farag, because it has put pressure on authoritarian Arab regimes and helped to promote freedom of expression.
A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide | 04/11/02 Why did the United States largely ignore the Rwandan genocide and yet devote endless time to the contemporaneous Bosnian crisis? According to Samantha Power, the reason is "politics, politics, politics."
What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response | 03/26/02 In this learned talk given just six months after 9/11, Lewis explains that in the Middle East there are two prevailing opinions about why the Islamic world now lags behind the West. One is that it has failed to keep up with modernity. The other is almost the exact opposite: it has become too much "like the infidels" and abandoned its own traditions and faith.
Human Rights and the Campaign Against Terrorism | 03/14/02 Governments around the world are wrong to use the war on terrorism as an excuse to disregard human rights principles, says Kenneth Roth. "The war on terror must also be seen as a war on behalf of human rights if, in the long term, this campaign is going to be successful."
Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline | 03/11/02 "The nature of modern academic life is inimical to creative public intellectual activity," says Richard A. Posner. In his view, today academic public intellectuals serve only an entertainment function and a solidarity function, but they rarely influence policy.
The Paradox of American Power: Why the World's Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone | 03/06/02 Joseph Nye argues that U.S. leaders must create a framework that preserves American values congruent with those of other people in the world. "If you're going to play three-dimensional chess by looking at only one board, you're going to lose," he says.
Countering Terrorism: Is the UN Playing Its Proper Role? | 02/27/02 What is the role of the UN in countering the threat of terrorism? Sir Jeremy Greenstock discusses the newly founded Counter-Terrorism Committee and the challenges in designing a collective response to terrorism.
Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace | 02/13/02 The use of precision-guided weapons is a "revolution in military affairs," claims Edward Luttwak. They immediately shifted the focus in warfare from "hitting something" to "knowing what to hit" -- thus to military and cultural intelligence.
Multilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ambivalent Engagement | 02/05/02 After analyzing a number of specific global policy issues, Forman and Patrick advise that when dealing with transnational challenges, "unilateralism is neither wise nor sustainable."
Afghanistan: The Challenges of Post-Conflict Assistance | 02/04/02 The international community should look to Rwanda for lessons in post-conflict assistance that apply to Afghanistan, argues Johnson. Also, profound knowledge of local conditions is a necessary precondition for a successful involvement.
Rethinking Europe's Future | 01/31/02 With the end of the Cold War Europe is once again at a great historical watershed, says David Calleo in this discussion of the history and current state of the European Union. He argues that "Maastricht implies a future where the world is plural, rather than unipolar" and urges the U.S. to pay more attention to developments across the Atlantic.
Can Asians Think? Understanding the Divide Between East and West | 01/24/02 The world is nearing the end of a 500-year cycle of Western-dominated history that began with European colonization, says Mahbubani. The end of the Cold War "unfroze" historical forces, but most Americans remain unaware that major changes are imminent.
The Graves Are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe and Power in the Heart of Africa | 01/15/02 Tyrannical leaders in modern-day Africa create and stoke ethnic conflict so they can "divide and rule," according to Bill Berkeley. The absence of legitimate institutions and justice has allowed these leaders and their "mafia culture" to rise to a position of preeminence, he says.
Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos | 01/10/02 The teachings of ancient Greek, Roman and Chinese philosophers are relevant in today's foreign policy environment because every current and future challenge to civilization has some parallel in the ancient past.
Behind the Headlines: Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Rise of Militant Islam | 12/17/01 Central Asia will remain precariously unstable until the repressive governments are forced to reform, asserts Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid. There is reason for optimism, he says, but also a need for vigilance -- especially as the U.S. war on Afghanistan has further embittered Islamic extremists.
The Secret Strength of American Foreign Policy | 12/12/01 Many have accused the United States of being negligent in the area of foreign policy, yet, according to Walter Russell Mead, almost no other country has had more success in international affairs over the last 225 years.
Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing | 12/05/01 The Chinese government sees itself as the caretaker of the entire "cosmic order" in China and views democracy as a destabilizing force that would cause widespread suffering and chaos, says Ian Buruma. He explains why this view is a myth that will ultimately backfire on the Chinese Communist Party.
Sectarian Violence in India: The Story of the One Riot | 11/28/01 In this talk, Shashi Tharoor discusses his latest novel, based on a series of religious riots in India in the late 1980s and addressing issues of communal tension in that country.
In the Wake of September 11: Human Security and Human Development in the 21st Century | 11/19/01 The "real lesson of September the 11th was that states don't have the right to fail," asserts Brown. The international community should place priority on addressing the three principal reasons for state failure--democracy deficits, failing educational systems, and stagnant economies.
The European Union's Foreign Policy: Making a Difference in the World | 11/14/01 Chris Patten explains Europe's role in the 21st century and why a multilateralist approach is needed to address "the dark side of globalization."
Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry | 11/02/01 Human rights scholar Michael Ignatieff happened to be in Kabul when the Taliban came to power. He has never forgotten his conversations with Afghan women during that time, who, he says, "taught me more about human rights than I have ever learned before or since." In this talk, Ignatieff discusses the poor human rights records in many Islamic countries and possible remedies.
America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests? | 10/29/01 Fifty years ago, the entire Middle East used to admire the United States, viewing it as an island of progressivism in a Europe-centric world. Today there are no major political groups in the Arab world that are pro-American. What went wrong? Gerges examines the trajectory of recent U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East for some answers.
Israel and Palestine: Coexistence? | 10/03/01 If Oslo is dead, asks Alain Epp Weaver, then what lies beyond it?
The European Response to Terrorism | 09/26/01 How should the European Union respond to the threat of terrorism? Ambassador De Ruyt presents several concrete measures agreed upon by the member states.
The UN and the Global Fight Against HIV/AIDS: Myth and Reality | 09/20/01 Will the "new war" on terrorism usurp resources that might otherwise have gone to causes such as the global fight on AIDS? UN official Louise Fréchette presents the case for spending $7-10 billion per year on a global AIDS prevention campaign.
Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict | 05/22/01 Competition for control of resources has been the root of many conflicts since the end of the Cold War, argues Klare. The view that resources are vital to national security means that governments will be more willing to solve resource problems by the use of force.
From War to Peace: Altered Strategic Landscapes in the Twentieth Century | 04/11/01 What will the future look like? Can we use history as a guide? Kennedy describes how the international political landscape changed after World War I, World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union--and how it may change again in the 21st century.
Power Plays: How Energy Fuels World Politics | 01/31/01 The politics of low prices in the oil market won't disappear, says Morse. "There are too many forces—too many temptations—to engage in market share wars. Just because we're now in a world of high prices doesn't mean that they will last forever."
Six Nightmares: Real Threats in a Dangerous World and How America Can Meet Them | 01/21/01 Anthony Lake argues that the United States cannot afford to be lax about its security in a world plagued by episodes of high terrorism and political instability. He examines six scenarios that threaten America's safety and recommends steps to prevent them.
Impact and Repercussions: U.S. Military Aid to Colombia | 12/04/00 The current war in Colombia has been raging for at least four decades, but civil conflict has been present in Colombia at least since the time of colonization. Economic inequalities, political marginalization, a lack of a viable national development model, and the absence of the rule of law are some of the key underlying causes that have led to the now seemingly uncontrollable violence that has engulfed this country at the northern tip of South America.
History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s | 11/17/00 "The leaders of Western Europe share a direct responsibility for much of what went wrong in the Eastern half of the continent through the 1990s," argues Timothy Garton Ash.
France and Globalization | 10/26/00 Former French prime minister Alain Juppé asserts that France's reputation for outspoken anti-globalism "no longer matches any reality," but qualifies this assertion, noting that the French define globalization as primarily "cooperation and partnership"--from joining with other countries to fight crime and environmental pollution to collaborating internationally on medical research.