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Women on Top in the World’s Democracies

US President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that four Democratic congresswomen of color – Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib – should “go back” to their countries was another reminder of his blatant racism and sexism. (Three of them were born in..

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How Can Developing Countries Pay for the SDGs? Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

With objectives as far-reaching as ending poverty in all its forms and delivering quality education to all by 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are highly ambitious – much more ambitious than their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals. Whether or not the world achieves them..

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Can Europe Become a Global Player?

The last five years have not been kind to the European Union’s foreign-policy prospects. A new great-power competition is shunting aside the international rules-based order, and aspects of globalization – from trade to the Internet – are being used to divide rather than unite countries...

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Post-American Networks Monday, July 22nd, 2019

In today’s world, access to global networks is a critical source of power, but the resulting interdependence can also generate vulnerability. The power flows from centrality: being a hub that connects all (or most) other nodes. The threat of denying access to such hubs can be a powerful sanction..

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The US Needs to Talk About China

Of all the changes in US foreign policy President Donald Trump’s administration has made, the most consequential is the adoption of a confrontational stance toward China. Replacing a decades-old policy of engagement, Trump’s approach has not only resulted in an economic cold war between the..

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Lunar Narratives: Landing on the Moon, Politics and the Cold War Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Anniversaries are occasions to distort records. The intoxicated recounting of the past faces a record in need of correction. Couples long married hide their differences before guests. Creases are covered; the make-up is applied generously. Defects become virtues, if, indeed they were ever there to..

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Are Central Banks Losing Their Big Bet? Saturday, July 20th, 2019

In recent years, central banks have made a large policy wager. They bet that the protracted use of unconventional and experimental measures would provide an effective bridge to more comprehensive measures that would generate high inclusive growth and minimize the risk of financial instability. But..

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Are Moonshots Still Possible? Friday, July 19th, 2019

I cannot look at the Moon without being reminded of July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the first human footprints on its dusty surface. Then a young astronomer at the University of Cambridge, where the English astronomer Fred Hoyle was the top professor, I joined hundreds of..

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Our Kind of Diplomat

Our Man, the American journalist George Packer’s new 600-page biography of Richard Holbrooke, is a masterful book, not just for what it says about the late US diplomat himself, but also for how it portrays the evolution of US diplomacy more broadly. Of Holbrooke, Packer tells us that he..

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Manus, Nauru and an Australian Detention Legacy Thursday, July 18th, 2019

It could be called a gulag mentality, though it finds form in different ways. In the defunct Soviet Union, it was definitive of life: millions incarcerated, garrisons of forced labour, instruments of the proletarian paradise fouled. Gulag literature suggested another society, estranged and removed..

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From Moon Walk to Space Wars

Fifty years after astronauts first walked on the Moon, space wars have gone from Hollywood fantasy to looming threat. Not content with possessing enough nuclear weapons to wipe out all life on Earth many times over, major powers are rapidly militarizing space. Given the world’s increasing..

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Donald Trump, the Democrat Squad and Failed Impeachment Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Twitter has become policy. It is platform, direction and determination. It has served one particular person well, a hazy mechanism to fog up the lenses of law makers. When President Donald Trump needs an air-wave filling distraction, a bilious splurge of interest in the blogosphere, he is always..

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The Age of Cynical Voters

We all know that politicians are cunning and cynical, but could the same now be said for the electorate? Many of those who voted for US President Donald Trump did so knowing that he is a habitual liar with suspicious ties to Russia, just as the rank and file of the Conservatives in the United..

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The Fork Is Mightier than the Wall Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

The word “migration” conjures images of war, natural disaster, and severe economic distress. All are important reasons why people seek refuge far from home. But the single most powerful driver of migration may well be food – or, rather, the lack of it. As of 2017, some 821 million people..

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The Exploitation Time Bomb

Since reducing inequality became an official goal of the international community, income disparities have widened. This trend, typically blamed on trade liberalization and technological advances that have weakened the bargaining power of labor vis-à-vis capital, has generated a political backlash..

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WHO IS CHINA TO APPOINT NEXT THE DALAI LAMA ? Monday, July 15th, 2019

Taking the world view for granted and with least regard for the views of the Buddhists across the world and with characteristic audacious and arrogant approach, Government of China has now said that the next the Dalai Lama must be approved by the Chinese government and selection should take place..

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A Test Match with the Taliban

At the recent World Cup cricket tournament in England, a plucky Afghan team composed mainly of former refugees gave a surprisingly good account of themselves, including in matches against their neighbors, India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of two other Afghan teams – the..

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The UN’s Free Speech Problem Sunday, July 14th, 2019

Anyone willing to consult the international law book on the subject of free speech will find it heavy with protections for free speech. The UN Declaration of Human Rights features, in its preamble, the ideal that “human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and..

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The West’s Arrested Social Development Thursday, November 21st, 2019

After three decades of worsening economic inequality, advanced-country populations are angry, and they are taking their grievances to the ballot box or the streets. But..

Humans Can Survive Underwater Thursday, November 21st, 2019

How the IMF Can Battle Gradual Irrelevance Tuesday, November 19th, 2019