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Project Syndicate

How to Fight ISIS, "A Pre-Packaged Franchise of Hate"

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum | Posted 10.05.2014 | World
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

I consider this ideology to be the greatest danger that the world will face in the next decade. Its seeds are growing in Europe, the United States, Asia, and elsewhere. With its twisted religious overtones, this pre-packaged franchise of hate is available for any terrorist group to adopt. It carries the power to mobilize thousands of desperate, vindictive, or angry young people and use them to strike at the foundations of civilization.

The Way Ahead in Hong Kong

Chris Patten | Posted 10.07.2014 | World
Chris Patten

As early as 1993, China's chief negotiator on Hong Kong, Lu Ping, told the newspaper People's Daily, "The [method of universal suffrage] should be reported to [China's Parliament] for the record, whereas the central government's agreement is not necessary. How Hong Kong develops its democracy in the future is completely within the sphere of the autonomy of Hong Kong. The central government will not interfere."

Hong Kong's Democratic Aspirations Not a Threat to China

Chris Patten | Posted 09.13.2014 | World
Chris Patten

Eventually, Hong Kong's people will get what they want, despite China's objections; freedom invariably wins in the end. But China's rulers would take a giant step forward by recognizing that such aspirations are not a threat to the country's well-being. For now, however, China, a great country and a growing power, is handling its economic affairs with more sophistication and a surer touch than it is addressing its political challenges.

America's Late Imperial Paradox

Ian Buruma | Posted 06.09.2014 | World
Ian Buruma

The much-vaunted "liberal order" policed by the U.S. was a product of World War II and the Cold War. Germany and Japan had to be kept down, the Communist powers had to be contained, and the old countries of Europe had to learn to live with one another under unifying pan-national institutions. All of this was made possible by American money and military might. As a result, the Free World, in Western Europe and East Asia, became a US dependency. This cannot go on forever. Indeed, the arrangements are already fraying. But then comes the old imperial paradox. The longer others remain dependent on the U.S., the less capable they will be of taking care of their own affairs, including their security. And, like an authoritarian parent, the U.S. itself, despite its admonitions to its allies to pull their weight, is often loath to let go of its increasingly unruly dependents.

Five Reasons Why the Sky Is Not Falling

Gareth Evans | Posted 07.27.2014 | World
Gareth Evans

BUDAPEST - When it comes to geopolitics, there is always a market for gloom. Business has been booming in this respect lately, with The Economist, Foreign Affairs, and many less exalted journals full of claims that the global order is crumbling, America's ability (and willingness) to save it is in terminal decline, and the prospect of avoiding major conflict in the decade ahead is illusory. Plenty of recent events -- along with the ghosts of 1914 and 1939 -- have boosted the reputations, royalties, and revenues of today's doomsayers. There is Russia's adventurism in Ukraine; China's territorial assertiveness -- and Japan's new push-back nationalism -- in East Asia; continuing catastrophe in Syria and disarray in the wider Middle East; the resurgence of atrocity crimes in South Sudan, Nigeria, and elsewhere in Africa; and anxiety about renewed communal strife in India after Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi's stunning election victory. But, though global political conditions are hardly as good as they could be -- they never are -- there are plenty of grounds for thinking that they are not nearly as bad as so many are claiming. Here are the five most important reasons not to lose as much sleep as some pundits say you should.

Why Changing Japan's Pacifist Constitution Will Promote Peace in Asia

Yuriko Koike | Posted 07.27.2014 | World
Yuriko Koike

In the past week, Abe created for himself considerably more political space to act as a strategic partner, not only to India, but also to Japan's other allies, particularly the United States. Quietly, a panel appointed by Abe's government last week offered a reinterpretation of a key element of Article 9 of Japan's constitution. For the first time since the Pacific War's end in 1945, Japan's Self-Defense Forces would be able to participate in "collective self-defense" -- meaning that Japan could come to the aid of its allies should they come under attack. Of course, China and others in Asia have tried to muddy this change with the alarmist charge of a return to Japanese militarism. But the new interpretation of Article 9 augurs just the opposite: it embeds Japan's military within an alliance system that has been, and will remain, the backbone of Asia's prevailing structure of peace. If properly understood by China, this can foster a greater strategic equilibrium in the region. It is now possible for Asia's greatest powers -- China, India, Japan, and the U.S. -- to form something akin to the concert system that gave Europe a century of almost complete peace in the 19th century.

Lifesaving Convictions

Dagfinn Høybråten | Posted 07.27.2014 | Impact
Dagfinn Høybråten

Though terrorism is an insidious threat, the biggest risk to Africa's children is disease, which often can be prevented through routine immunization.

The Trials and Triumphs of Aiding Africa

Bill Gates | Posted 07.22.2014 | World
Bill Gates

In the world of venture capital, a success rate of 30 percent is considered a great track record. In the world of international development, critics hold up every misstep as proof that aid is like throwing money down a rat hole. When you're trying to do something as hard as fighting poverty and disease, you will never achieve anything meaningful if you're afraid to make mistakes.

Brazil's Internet Constitution

Pedro Abramovay | Posted 07.06.2014 | World
Pedro Abramovay

SAO PAULO -- Brazil's House of Representatives has passed a genuine Internet "Bill of Rights," which was unanimously approved by the senate and signed into law by President Dilma Rousseff last week -- much to the delight of civil-society advocates. The legislation, widely described as an Internet constitution, seeks to safeguard online freedom of expression and limit government collection and usage of Internet users' metadata. The bill ensures "net neutrality" (meaning that Internet service providers must treat all information and users equally), and subjects global companies, such as Google and Facebook, to Brazilian law and precedent in cases involving its own citizens.

Without Coordination, U.S. Fed Policy Can Hurt Global Growth

Raghuram Rajan | Posted 06.28.2014 | World
Raghuram Rajan

As the world struggles to recover from the global economic crisis, the unconventional monetary policies that many advanced countries adopted in its wake seem to have gained widespread acceptance. In those economies, however, where debt overhangs, policy is uncertain, or the need for structural reform constrains domestic demand, there is a legitimate question as to whether these policies' domestic benefits have offset their damaging spillovers to other economies. The disregard for spillovers could put the global economy on a dangerous path of unconventional monetary tit for tat. To ensure stable and sustainable economic growth, world leaders must re-examine the international rules of the monetary game, with advanced and emerging economies alike adopting more mutually beneficial monetary policies.

The Right Response to Putin: A European Energy Union

Joschka Fischer | Posted 06.28.2014 | World
Joschka Fischer

Dulling Putin's knife and ending the Ukraine crisis peacefully depends largely on the EU. Sanctions will not impress Putin (he and his cronies are isolating Russia economically and financially more effectively than most sanctions could); peaceful yet tangible political steps within Europe will. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has made the right suggestion here: prompt establishment of a European energy union, starting with the market for natural gas and including joint external representation and a common pricing policy. This step, combined with further differentiation among supplier countries and progress toward implementing renewable-energy technologies, would invert the balance of power between the EU (Russia's most important customer for oil and natural gas) and the Kremlin.

Japan's Second Opening

Shinzō Abe | Posted 06.22.2014 | World
Shinzō Abe

U.S. President Barack Obama is visiting Tokyo at a unique moment in my country's history, with Japan's economy moving onto a stable new growth path that will take full advantage of its geographic position. Japan no longer considers itself the "Far" East; rather, we are at the very center of the Pacific Rim, and a neighbor to the world's growth center stretching from Southeast Asia to India.

Japan's Territorial Disputes -- With Russia and China

Yuriko Koike | Posted 06.07.2014 | 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 06.03.2014 | 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 05.25.2014 | 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 05.25.2014 | 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 05.20.2014 | 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 05.19.2014 | 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 05.17.2014 | 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 05.17.2014 | 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 05.12.2014 | 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 05.11.2014 | 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 04.21.2014 | 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."