Where do little children come from?’ This is an embarrassing question,” admitted Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Best, he thought, was to hope your kid doesn’t ask it. But if the question does come up, Rousseau advised in 1762, answer it “with the greatest plainness, without mystery or confusion.”
See more in Global; Education
Discussions about the fate of Africa have long had a cyclical quality. That is especially the case when it comes to the question of how to explain the region’s persistent underdevelopment. At times, the dominant view has stressed the importance of centuries of exploitation by outsiders, from the distant past all the way to the present.
See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Development
In a series of speeches he delivered shortly after taking office in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping cast corruption as not merely a significant problem for his country but an existential threat. Endemic corruption, he warned, could lead to “the collapse of the [Chinese Communist] Party and the downfall of the state.”
See more in China; Corruption and Bribery
housands of years ago, agriculture began as a highly site-specific activity. The first farmers were gardeners who nurtured individual plants, and they sought out the microclimates and patches of soil that favored those plants. But as farmers acquired scientific knowledge and mechanical expertise, they enlarged their plots, using standardized approaches—plowing the soil, spreading animal manure as fertilizer, rotating the crops from year to year—to boost crop yields.
See more in Global; Agricultural Policy
One of the most fruitful ideas to emerge from twentieth-century social theory is Max Weber’s notion of the “iron cage” of purposive rationality.
See more in United States; Education
Most explanations of economic growth focus on conditions or incentives at the global or national level.
See more in Global; Economic Development
Even as protests spread across the Middle East in early 2011, the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria appeared immune from the upheaval.
See more in Global; Fragile or Failed States
Stephen Weissman should be congratulated for his excellent research on the CIA’s involvement in Congo’s internal politics immediately after independence (“What Really Happened in Congo,” July/August 2014).
See more in Congo, Democratic Republic of; Development
Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall came down, a sense of missed opportunity hangs over the countries that once lay to its east.
See more in Europe; Development
The United Nations has always had lots of targets, goals, and declarations.
See more in Global; Development
Ever since the late 1970s, when China began the process of reforming and opening up its economy, Western observers have struggled to make sense of the country’s rise and to predict the future path of Chinese society and politics.
See more in China; Economic Development
Charles Kupchan explores the normative dimensions of hegemony, examining the geopolitical, socioeconomic, cultural, and commercial logics that inform orders across four great powers: the Ottoman Empire, Imperial China, Great Britain, and the United States.
See more in Asia and Pacific; Emerging Markets
Every year, wealthy countries spend billions of dollars to help the world's poor, paying for cows, goats, seeds, beans, textbooks, business training, microloans, and much more.
See more in Global; Poverty
Twenty years ago, in 100 days of slaughter between April and July 1994, an estimated one million Rwandan men, women, and children were killed by their fellow citizens.
See more in Rwanda; Women
The idea that we live in an increasingly interconnected and turbulent world is something of a cliché -- yet true and important nevertheless.
See more in Global; Emerging Markets
Just over a year ago, as President Enrique Peña Nieto started his administration, the domestic and international press were touting "Mexico's moment" and the rise of "the Aztec tiger."
See more in Mexico; Emerging Markets
South Korea's development over the last half century has been nothing short of spectacular. Fifty years ago, the country was poorer than Bolivia and Mozambique; today, it is richer than New Zealand and Spain, with a per capita income of almost $23,000.
See more in South Korea; Emerging Markets
Anyone who knows Polish history cannot help but marvel at the country's emergence from the ashes of its traumatic past.
See more in Poland; Emerging Markets
For much of last year, Turkey's economy seemed almost on top of the world. In May, as huge construction projects moved ahead, Ankara paid off its remaining debt to the International Monetary Fund, ending what seemed to many Turks a long history of humiliation.
See more in Turkey; Emerging Markets
As recently as 2008, the economies of Southeast Asia received roughly less than half as much foreign direct investment as China did. Four years later, in 2012, they pulled to within spitting distance ($111 billion versus $121 billion).
See more in Philippines; Emerging Markets