Foreign Policy

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

Articles from No. 177, January-February

$123,000,000,000,000
In 2040, the Chinese economy will reach $123 trillion, or nearly three times the economic output of the entire globe in 2000. China's per capita income will hit $85,000, more than double the forecast for the European Union, and also much higher than...
A Double Dip
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 2010, oil demand will resume its upward march. OPEC will respond by increasing supply--but the lag will come too late to keep prices down as emerging-market consumption pushes them up. In the extreme case, resurgent oil...
Africa's New Horror
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Think the only Sudan crisis is in Darfur, or that the horror there is winding down? You're wrong. There's a new Sudan calamity in the making, and it may well come in 2010 with a unilateral declaration of independence by...
After Pharaoh
Of all the crises that threaten to shake Barack Obama's presidency, few are more volatile than the ticking time bomb in Egypt, especially terrifying for the very reason that no one knows when it might explode. Hosni Mubarak, the 81-year-old former...
Big Senders
For as long as people have migrated, their destinations have told us much about the world order. And for the last century that has meant a simple story: a global shift from South to North, Farmers and factory workers have flocked from Latin America...
Crimea and Punishment
Few neighbors are closer to one another than Ukraine and Russia. Both countries are East Slavic and Orthodox in makeup, trace their origins to Kievan Rus a thousand years ago, and belonged together as one state for more than three centuries. Yet cultural...
Eurabian Follies: The Shoddy and Just Plain Wrong Genre That Refuses to Die
By 2050, Europe will be unrecognizable. Instead of romantic cafes, Paris's Boulevard Saint-Germain will be lined with halal butcheries and hookah bars; the street signs in Berlin will be written in Turkish. Schoolchildren from Oslo to Naples will read...
It Didn't Happen: The Dollar Didn't Crash. Tariffs Didn't Come Roaring Back. the World's Growing Economies Didn't Grind to a Halt. and Other Scary Tales That Failed to Come True during the Crisis
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO, the consensus among influential thinkers was that the economic crisis would unleash a wave of geopolitical plagues. Xenophobic outbursts, civil wars, collapsing currencies, protectionism, international...
Limbo World: They Start by Acting like Real Countries, Then Hope to Become Them
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ON MY MOST RECENT VISIT to the Republic of Abkhazia, a country that does not exist, I interviewed the deputy foreign minister, Maxim Gundjia, about the foreign trade his country doesn't have with the real countries that surround...
No Heads Are Better Thah Two: Russia's Double-Headed Eagle Is Not Just a National Emblem. It's a Symbol of the National Schizophrenia
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As Russia teeters between democracy and autocracy, modernity and a return to its Stalinist past, the tentative liberalism represented by President Dmitry Medvedev and the repression represented by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin,...
Nuclear Weapons: President Obama's Pledge to Rid the World of Atomic Bombs Is a Waste of Breath. but Not for the Reasons You Might Imagine
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Nuclear Weapons Are the Greatest Threat to Humankind." No. But you might think so if you listen to world leaders right now. In his first address to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. President Barack Obama warned apocalyptically,...
President Who?
Forget Russia. These days it's Barack Obama who is the proverbial riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. With the U.S. president entering the second and possibly most decisive year of his historic term in office, there are more and more paradoxes...
R.I.P., WTO
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Someday historians may look back on 2010 as the year the global trade system died--or contracted a terminal illness. A pledge by world leaders to complete the Doha round of global trade negotiations this year looks increasingly...
The Carter Syndrome: Barack Obama Might Yet Revolutionize America's Foreign Policy. but If He Can't Reconcile His Inner Thomas Jefferson with His Inner Woodrow Wilson, the 44th President Could End Up like No. 39
Neither a cold-blooded realist nor a bleeding-heart idealist, Barack Obama has a split personality when it comes to foreign policy. So do most U.S. presidents, of course, and the ideas that inspire this one have a long history at the core of the American...
The Elephant in the Room: The Biggest Pain in Asia Isn't the Country You'd Think. Opening Gambit
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Think for a moment about which countries cause the most global consternation. Afghanistan. Iran. Venezuela. North Korea. Pakistan. Perhaps rising China. But India? Surely not. In the popular imagination, the world's largest...
The FP Quiz
Are you a globalization junkie? Then test your knowledge of global trends, economics, and politics with 8 questions about how the world works. 1 What percentage of the world's cell-phone accounts are in developing countries? a) 25 percent ...
The Islamists Are Not Coming: Religious Parties in the Muslim World Are Hardly the Juggernauts They've Been Made out to Be
Do Muslims automatically vote Islamic? That's the concern conjured up by strongmen from Tunis to Tashkent, and plenty of Western experts agree. They point to the political victories of Islamic parties in Egypt, Palestine, and Turkey in recent years...
The New Blood Diamonds Diamonds from African Countries Have Been Funding Guerrilla Wars for Decades. but They're Not the Only Precious Gems with Blood on Their Hands. Here Are Four More Prized Resources That Are Fraught with Conflict
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] RUBIES Location: Burma Product: Burmese rubies are famous for their distinctive dark "pigeon's blood" color. Both the United States and the European Union ban Burmese gems, but outside groups estimate the junta still reaped...
The Pope and the Chancellor: What Does Their Running Battle Tell Us about the Future of European Politics?
In 2005, two unlikely Germans were elected to office, and a defining cultural rift was thrown wide open. First, Germany's ranking Roman Catholic cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger, the former Hitler Youth recruit from Bavaria turned archconservative theologian,...
Tick, Tock: The Bombs Awaiting Barack Obama in 2010
It would, of course, be absurd to claim that the world spits out crises to the rhythms of the U.S. political system. Every year brings its share of flare-ups large and small, from wars and coups to famines and natural disasters. But the cycles of American...
Trading Up
Over the last 130 years, the term "fair trade" has been adopted by everyone from robber barons to yuppies. As a euphemism for protectionism in the 1880s, the term first came into use among Britain's mercantile lords and America's manufacturing titans,...
Welcome to Qaedastan
In 2010, Yemen will celebrate the 20th anniversary of national unification. But it won't be much of a party: This could well be the year Yemen comes apart. Even the brutal 1994 civil war failed to threaten the structural integrity of this country...
What's Spanish for Quagmire? Five Myths That Caused the Failed War Next Door
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Mexico's current government took office on Dec. 1, 2006, but really only assumed power 10 days later, when Felipe Calderon, winner of a close presidential election that his leftist opponent petulantly refused to concede, donned...

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