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Project Syndicate

Japan's Territorial Disputes -- With Russia and China

Yuriko Koike | Posted 04.07.2014 | World
Yuriko Koike

For Japanese leaders and citizens, President Vladimir Putin's brutal annexation of Crimea was an unsurprising return to the normal paradigm of Russian history. Indeed, most Japanese regard the move as having been determined by some expansionist gene in Russia's political DNA, rather than by Putin himself or the specifics of the Ukraine crisis. Japan is particularly concerned with Russian expansionism, because it is the only G-7 country that currently has a territorial dispute with Russia, which has occupied its Northern Territories since the waning days of World War II.

Fascism with a Feminist Face

Naomi Wolf | Posted 04.03.2014 | World
Naomi Wolf

Western feminism has made some memorable theoretical mistakes; a major one is the frequent assumption that, if women held the decision-making power in society, they would be "kinder and gentler" (a phrase devised for George H.W. Bush in 1988 to appeal to the female vote). Indeed, so-called "second-wave" feminist theory abounds in assertions that war, racism, love of hierarchy, and general repressiveness belong to "patriarchy"; women's leadership, by contrast, would naturally create a more inclusive, collaborative world. The problem is that it has never worked out that way, as the rise of women to leadership positions in Western Europe's far-right parties should remind us. Leaders such as Marine Le Pen of France's National Front, Pia Kjaersgaard of Denmark's People's Party, and Siv Jensen of Norway's Progress Party reflect the enduring appeal of neofascist movements to many modern women in egalitarian, inclusive liberal democracies.

Putin's Reality Check for Europe

Joschka Fischer | Posted 03.25.2014 | World
Joschka Fischer

Before our eyes, the post-Soviet international system in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia is being overthrown. Nineteenth-century concepts of international order, based on zero-sum balance-of-power considerations and spheres of interest, are threatening to supersede modern norms of national self-determination, the inviolability of borders, the rule of law, and the fundamental principles of democracy. As a result, this upheaval will have a massive impact on Europe and its relations with Russia, for it will determine whether Europeans live by 21st century rules. Those who believe that the West can adapt to Russian behavior, as Putin's Western apologists suggest, risk contributing to further strategic escalation, because a soft approach will merely embolden the Kremlin.

A Stable Ukraine Must Respect Minority Rights

Javier Solana | Posted 03.25.2014 | World
Javier Solana

The first and most pressing issue is to stabilize the government in Kyiv. Ukraine's presidential election on May 25 will be a key moment. The vote must be free and fair, according to democratic standards. Moreover, it is essential that the state respects national minorities' linguistic and cultural rights and promotes social inclusion. European aid should be conditioned on Ukraine's performance in this area.

The Russian Godfather: A View from Poland

Adam Michnik | Posted 03.20.2014 | World
Adam Michnik

In invading, occupying, and finally annexing Crimea, Vladimir Putin pointed Russia's guns at Ukraine and said: your territorial sovereignty or your life. So far, extortion has worked -- and Putin knows it. Indeed, in his speech announcing the annexation of Crimea, Putin spoke his mind: his regime fears no punishment and will do whatever it pleases. Crimea is just the first step toward realizing his dream of revived Russian greatness.

Politics-Proof Economies?

Michael Spence | Posted 03.19.2014 | World
Michael Spence

There is little correlation between a country's relative economic performance in several dimensions and how "functional" its government is. In fact, in the six years since the global financial crisis erupted, the U.S. has outperformed advanced countries in terms of growth, unemployment, productivity, and unit labor costs, despite a record-high level of political polarization at the national level.

Fallen Tiger, Shaken Dragon: China's Corruption Trail

Minxin Pei | Posted 03.19.2014 | World
Minxin Pei

Chinese President Xi Jinping is poised to cage the biggest political "tiger" -- a corrupt top official -- in the history of the People's Republic. But the imminent arrest of former internal security chief Zhou Yongkang reconfirms a profoundly worrisome fact: the Middle Kingdom remains deeply corrupt.

Good Governance Matters in Whether Societies Go Backward or Forward

Kemal Dervis | Posted 03.17.2014 | World
Kemal Dervis

It is the nature of governance that determines whether people deploy their talents and energy in pursuit of innovation, production and job creation, or in rent-seeking and lobbying for political protection. The contrast is starkest in emerging countries, but differences also exist among the advanced economies.

Duties Beyond Borders?

Joseph S. Nye | Posted 03.12.2014 | World
Joseph S. Nye

More than 130,000 people are said to have died in Syria's civil war. United Nations reports of atrocities, Internet images of attacks on civilians, and accounts of suffering refugees rend our hearts. But what is to be done -- and by whom?

The Innovation Enigma

Joseph E. Stiglitz | Posted 03.11.2014 | World
Joseph E. Stiglitz

Around the world, there is enormous enthusiasm for the type of technological innovation symbolized by Silicon Valley, with many attempting to replicate the ingenuity that they regard as America's true comparative advantage. But there is a puzzle: it is difficult to detect the benefits of this innovation in GDP statistics.

Defusing Iran

Project Syndicate | Joschka Fischer | Posted 02.26.2014 | World

BERLIN – On February 18, crucial negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program began in Vienna between Iran and the five permanent members of the Unite...

Reviving Ukraine's Economy

Project Syndicate | Anders Aslund | Posted 02.25.2014 | World

WASHINGTON -- Ukraine has suddenly arrived at a democratic breakthrough. After former President Viktor Yanukovich incited major bloodshed, many of his...

What Africa Needs Above All: The Rule of Law

Dr Mo Ibrahim | Posted 02.19.2014 | World
Dr Mo Ibrahim

"If we are to build grassroots respect for the institutions and processes that constitute democracy," Mo Ibrahim writes for Project Syndicate, "the state must treat its citizens as real citizens, rather than as subjects. We cannot expect loyalty to an unjust regime. The state and its elites must be subject, in theory and in practice, to the same laws that its poorest citizens are."

Nuclear Power Ambivalence: the Fears and the Facts

David Ropeik | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
David Ropeik

Germany's ambivalence about nuclear power, common in many developed countries, is again on display following the decision by Chancellor Merkel and the...

India Signals They Will Be a Dealmaker in Copenhagen & They Will Take Action

Jake Schmidt | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Jake Schmidt

If India does add concrete specifics to its environmental goals and is willing to stand behind them in a meaningful way, then India might just be helpful in getting a strong deal in Copenhagen.