This week, turmoil and uncertainty continued to grip the globe. As pro-Russian separatists seized town halls in eastern Ukraine, U.S. President Barack Obama completed his "pivot" tour of East Asia aimed at shoring up American allies in the region in the face of China's rise. Even as the Chinese demurred at the designation, the World Bank announced that in 2014 China would surpass the U.S. as the world's largest economy -- a position the U.S. has held since 1872.
To discuss the meaning of these events, The WorldPost spoke with British historian Niall Ferguson and political theorist Francis Fukuyama of "end of history" fame. Both worry that, in the face of Putin's aggression against Ukraine and China's assertion of power in the East China Sea, the U.S. is projecting weakness that will further invite, instead of stem, outright conflict. "Old-fashioned geopolitics is back," they proclaim. French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy talks with former Russian oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky about the prospects of democratic opposition to Putin. Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer argues that the best response to Putin is not military, but a European energy union that would remove the continent's reliance on Russian natural gas. Former NATO commander Wesley Clark declares that Ukrainians "have the stomach for a fight" and that the U.S. should support them. Security experts, including former CIA Director and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, warn of Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine and the U.S.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim sheds some light on developments elsewhere, noting that, for the first time, more Latin Americans were middle class than poor.
Indian central banker Raghuram Rajan warns that, absent global coordination, U.S. Fed policy to raise interest rates would cause turmoil in emerging markets. In an unusual report, Thubten Samphel examines the shock of Chinese tourists in Tibet when they see firsthand how militarized "the happiest place in China" has become.
In an interview with WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens declares fracking "isn't gonna hurt anybody." In another conversation, physician Deepak Chopra and Harvard Medical School professor Rudy Tanzi, who co-authored the book "Super Brain," discuss how a person can change his own biology through actions and experiences.
In an essay titled "China Needs to Lighten Up. America Needs to Tighten Up," WorldPost editor Nathan Gardels and co-publisher Nicolas Berggruen argue for more politics and "robust feedback" in China and "less politics" and more non-partisan deliberation in the U.S. Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner worries that the "app consciousness" will limit life's choices. Finally, Serpentine Gallery co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist publishes his latest handwriting instagram, this time from architect Frank Gehry.
WHO WE ARE
EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost's 10 international editions. Cosima Ungaro is Deputy International Editor at the Huffington Post and Eline Gordts is HuffPost's World Editor.
CORRESPONDENTS: Max Rosenthal in Beirut; Sophia Jones in Cairo; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.
EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .
The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.
Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the "whole mind" way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.
ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council -- as well as regular contributors -- to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.
From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.
The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.
We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.