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If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities | 10/29/14 Benjamin R. Barber, Joanne J. Myers 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 Martin Wolf 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.

Brazil at a Crossroads: The 2013 Protests and the Upcoming Presidential Elections | 10/23/14 Valeria Guimaraes de Lima e Silva Who will win the Brazilian election on October 26, and which--if either--of the candidates is more likely to fulfill the demands of the protesters who took to the streets in 2013? How much change can either of them offer, given the entrenched political status quo and the economic problems facing the country?

Needs Work: A Troubled U.S.-Russia Relationship | 10/16/14 David C. Speedie "The febrile hyperbole of criticism directed at Russia as a result of the crisis in Ukraine is misdirected and harmful to both Russia and the United States," argues David Speedie.

The Middle East in Crisis: a View from Israel | 10/16/14 Charles D. Freilich, David C. Speedie Chuck Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security adviser, speaks from Tel Aviv on turbulence across the greater Middle East, including the ISIL threat, Iran and the P5+1 negotiations, and prospects for the peace process.

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy | 10/15/14 Francis Fukuyama 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.

The Ottoman Road to War: Mustafa Aksakal on the Ottomans' Fateful Decision | 10/15/14 Mustafa Aksakal, Zach Dorfman Why did the Ottoman Empire side with Germany in World War I? It was a rational decision, given the circumstances at the time, argues Aksakal. But it brought down the empire and violently reshaped the region's borders at horrifying human cost. Indeed, WWI informs national identities even today.

Elite Perceptions of the United States in Europe and Asia | 10/13/14 Xenia Wickett, David C. Speedie An interesting new report finds that political and business leaders in Asia value U.S. hard power while Europeans focus on American values. Both, however, view U.S. business and entrepreneurial spirit more positively than the government. What do these attitudes mean for policymakers and civil society?

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