Foreign Policy

This magazine covers global politics and economics in its articles, essays and feature stories.

Articles from No. 173, July-August

A Return to Yeomanry: Break out Your Mulching Fork: Jeffersonian Farmers Are Back!
Yeomanry--small-scale production centered on a self-sufficient family unit--has been the dream of all manner of social philosophers from Thomas Jefferson to Pope Leo XIII. But until recently, real-life yeomen could be and were dismissed--often violently....
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Asia's Rise: Don't Believe the Hype about the Decline of America and the Dawn of a New Asian Age. It Will Be Many Decades before China, India, and the Rest of the Region Take over the World, If They Ever Do
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Power Is Shifting from West to East." Not really. Dine on a steady diet of books like The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East or When China Rules the World, and it's easy to think that...
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Barack Von Metternich: Obama's Foreign Policy Makes Him the Surprising Heir to a Certain Austrian Prince
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] To some, Barack Obama might seem like a modern-day JFK, FDR, or Lincoln. But when it comes to foreign policy, his roots go a little further back: to Prince Klemens yon Metternich, foreign minister of the Austrian Empire from...
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Benoit Mandelbrot: With the Financial Crisis Sparking Renewed Interest in His Ideas, the Godfather of Chaos Theory Looks Back on a Life of Turbulence
I had a very eventful early life. My father's business in Poland failed during the Great Depression. After we moved to Paris, we had to move again when World War II started, and we settled in a very remote area of France, the equivalent of Appalachia....
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Blame Game: Why Do States Fail, and Who's Helping Out?
Few states fail by chance. Accidents of geography and history play a certain part, but so do corruption and mismanagement. Why, for instance, has Zimbabwe's annual GDP growth plummeted from 14 percent to at least negative 5 percent during Robert Mugabe's...
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Danger Ahead
While problem countries such as Zimbabwe and Sudan have been mainstays on the top of the index for years, 2008 found several newcomers moving closer to failure. These countries--call them "failing" rather than failed--could be headed for disaster in...
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Disorder in the Ranks: A Different Take on Just What Makes a "Failing" State
The label "failed" remains a powerful way to describe those states that no longer serve their people. That harsh term sharpens the attention of policymakers and helps single out countries that should be of utmost concern. The threat of such state failure...
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European Earth Observation Satellites
European space technology is producing practical results that bolster EU policymakers' ability to deal with global challenges, including weather-related natural disasters and the impact of climate change. MetOp--Improved Weather Forecasting. Launched...
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European Space Exploration: Science and Robotics
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Current European space robotic exploration missions are studying various aspects of the solar system, from investigating comets to helping understand the origins of the universe, and from asteroid fly-bys to preparing for...
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European Space Policy: Actors, Objectives and Processes
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For nearly half a century, Europe has been actively involved in developing space technology through national and European programs. The European Space Agency (ESA), an intergovernmental agency, was launched in 1975 to promote...
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From Healing the Sick to Infecting the Healthy to Fomenting Conflict, There Doesn't Seem to Be Much That Water Can't Do. Test Your Knowledge with Eight Questions on Humanity's Favorite Liquid
1 In the past 60 years, how many times have countries engaged in violence over water disputes? a) 37 b) 88 c) 145 2 What percentage of the world's population depends on water sourced from the Tibetan plateau? a) 12 percent b) 24 percent...
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Global Positioning: EGNOS and Galileo
Europe has followed a two-step approach to develop its own global navigation satellite system. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)--the forerunner to Galileo--was developed by ESA in partnership with the EU and EUROCONTROL,...
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GMES: Global Monitoring for Environment and Security
Launched in 1998, GMES is an EU-led initiative that combines satellites in earth orbit with ground, air, and sea-based measuring instruments to provide data to support the needs of policymakers and citizens. Initially developed as a scientific project,...
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Good Riddance: Why Macho Had to Go
Generalizing about the differences between men and women is about as rewarding as sticking your arm into a blender. The issue is just too rife with controversy, contradictory data, deep-seated emotion, sundry fears, and political agendas of all kinds....
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In Praise of Rejects: Today's Failed Study Could Lead to Tomorrow's Smart Policy-If We Let It
Everyone likes to read about research that succeeds. But sometimes it can be more useful to know what fails. Nowhere is this more true than in the social sciences, which the policy community often turns to for answers on how the world works. The trouble...
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In Their Own Words
Morgan Tsvangirai Prime Minister of Zimbabwe On his Movement for Democratic Change coming into the government: "It is obvious the level of economic degeneration that just hit us in the face when we went into government. There was a sense of euphoria,...
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Minilateralism: The Magic Number to Get Real International Action
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Never say never. Because of the global economic crisis, habits that seemed unalterable are suddenly being altered. Americans are now saving more and consuming less. Financial institutions are no longer betting the house on...
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Nowhere Man: Why Ban Ki-Moon Is the World's Most Dangerous Korean
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For such a seemingly crucial position, the secretary-generalship of the United Nations has historically had a rather low bar for success. Kurt Waldheim? In his memoir, A Dangerous Place, Daniel Patrick Moynihan recounted that...
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Remembrance of Things Past
If journalism is the first draft of history, online journalism can often seem like the shorthand notes--an exciting but unruly mix of up-to-the-second reporting and instant analysis. ForeignPolicy.com certainly features its share of fast-paced news...
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Samizdat in the 21st Century: Russia's New Literature of Crisis
Early last year, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov published a report titled "Putin. Itogi," or "Putin. The Results." It was a well-documented, comprehensive, and absolutely damning critique of the corruption, authoritarianism, and general dysfunction...
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Sex Matters: Low Birthrates Aren't the Result of Economic Growth and Political Stability; They're a Prerequisite
There is a well-known story about how a society stabilizes its population. As a country transitions from poverty to affluence, birthrates plunge--from six or eight children per woman to just about two. Population growth levels off. Prosperity and education,...
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Space Technology: Keeping Europe Competitive, Benefiting Citizens
Space systems and space-based technologies are now a critical part of daily life. From telecommunications to television, from weather forecasting to global financial systems, most key services depend on space to function correctly, and a viable space...
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Tale of Two War Zones
Tale of Two War Zones As global attention shifts from Iraq to Afghanistan, from Bush's war to Obama's war, FOREIGN POLICY reconsiders the inevitable--but deeply flawed--comparisons between these two misunderstood countries. We consulted with war correspondents,...
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The Berlin Fall: Germany's Great Skeptic Looks Back in Scorn on 20 Years of Reunification
On a cold winter morning in late 1989, when a young man approached Gunter Grass at the central train station in Hamburg and accused Germany's most famous living writer of being a "traitor to his fatherland" (Vaterlandsverrater), he was expressing a...
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The Death of Macho: Manly Men Have Been Running the World Forever. but the Great Recession Is Changing All That, and It Will Alter the Course of History
The era of male dominance is coming to an end. seriously. For years, the world has been witnessing a quiet but monumental shift of power from men to women. Today, the Great Recession has turned what was an evolutionary shift into a revolutionary...
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The EU and Space: Reaping the Benefits of Space Exploration and Technology
Forty years ago, the world watched in awe as the first humans stepped foot on the moon. Today, nations routinely rely on space-based technology in areas including communications, navigation, and earth observation. No longer the sole domain of Cold...
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The Failed States Index: It Is a Sobering Time for the World's Most Fragile Countries-Virulent Economic Crisis, Countess Natural Disasters, and Government Collapse. This Year, We Delve Deeper Than Ever into Just What Went Wrong-And Who Is to Blame
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Yemen may not yet be front-page news, but it's being watched intently these days in capitals worldwide: A perfect storm of state failure is now brewing there: disappearing oil and water reserves; a mob of migrants, some allegedly...
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The Fall and Rise and Fall Again of the Baltic States: A Recessionary Tale from Europe's New Basket Cases
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] PORTRAYING THE BALTIC STATES in their current mess requires more than words and numbers. Only an old-fashioned chart, with a sea monster, a whirlpool, or perhaps a skull and crossbones, would begin to do justice to the plight...
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The Great Backlash 1979: What Do Ayatollah Khomeini, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and Deng Xiaoping All Have in Common?
If you want to understand the surge of politicized religion, post-communist globalization, and laissez-faire economics that has defined our modern era, forget 1968. Forget even 1989. It's 1979 that's the most important year of all. A remarkable chapter...
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The Great Recession Has Shattered New York City's Financial District, Which Is Projected to Lose 46,000 Jobs and Up to $70 Billion by 2010. but How Have the World's Other Wall Streets Fared?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Canary Wharf, London Stats: The world's second-biggest financial center has lost 20,000 jobs and suffered $110 billion in write-downs since the start of 2008. Sign of the times: In the go-go years of the real estate...
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The Green Zones: Where Failed States Work
In the cool air-conditioning of the Silverbird Galleria mall in Lagos, Nigeria, it is hard to remember that you are in the 15th-most failed state in the world. The chic coffee shops and designer clothes oddly befit Africa's newest financial hub, where...
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The Last Straw: If You Think These Failed States Look Bad Now, Wait until the Climate Changes
Hopelessly overcrowded, crippled by poverty, teeming with Islamist militancy, careless with its nukes--it sometimes seems as if Pakistan can't get any more terrifying. But forget about the Taliban: The country's troubles today pale compared with what...
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The Whiplash Effect: The Ups and Downs of 2008 Took Their Greatest Toll on the Weakest States
It was only a matter of time before the global financial crisis--now ravishing developed economies hit the world's poorest. In April, the World Bank predicted that 50 million people could be driven into poverty in coming months. But the point of impact...
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This One's for You
First, exciting news: FOREIGN POLICY is the proud winner of its third National Magazine Award for General Excellence, the magazine industry's highest honor. The "Ellie" from the American Society of Magazine Editors caps a remarkable run for FOREIGN...
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Trouble in Tehran: Iran Jumped 11 Ranks in the Failed States Index This Year. What Went Wrong?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When the U.N. Security Council slapped a third round of sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program in March 2008, the country's economy, bolstered by record crude prices, still looked set to roar. Oil revenues had helped Iran...
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