Society and Culture

Must Read

FT: A Bullingdon Bust-Up That Masks a Real Welfare Problem

Author: Gideon Rachman

"The enlargement of the EU and the free movement of people are both fine ideas. But, taken together, they have changed the nature of the union. A pragmatic pro-European should acknowledge that, when circumstances alter, democratic systems adapt. Changes to the welfare rules – allowing countries more scope to give priority to their own citizens – would make it easier to win the more important argument for open borders."

See more in Europe; Society and Culture

Must Read

Journal of Democracy: Breaking the News: The Role of State-Run Media

Authors: Christopher Walker and Robert W. Orttung

"Aside from outliers such as Cuba, North Korea, and Turkmenistan, today's authoritarian regimes do not seek total domination of all the means of mass communication. What they want instead is what we might call "effective media control"—enough for them to convey their strength and puff up their claims to legitimacy while undermining potential alternatives. Such state dominance—whether exerted through overtly state-run or merely state-pliable media outlets—enables regimes to put progovernment narratives front and center while using the power of editorial omission to limit systematic criticism of official policies and actions."

See more in Global; Media and Foreign Policy

Must Read

NYT: Germany Adds Lessons in Islam to Better Blend Its Melting Pot

Author: Alison Smale

"For the first time, German public schools are offering classes in Islam to primary school students using state-trained teachers and specially written textbooks, as officials try to better integrate the nation's large Muslim minority and counter the growing influence of radical religious thinking. The classes offered in Hesse State are part of a growing consensus that Germany, after decades of neglect, should do more to acknowledge and serve its Muslim population if it is to foster social harmony, overcome its aging demographics, and head off a potential domestic security threat."

See more in Germany; Religion

Primary Sources

President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies: Liberty and Security in a Changing World

The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released this report on December 18, 2013. The document details forty-six recommendations for protecting national security and foreign policy interests while continuing to value privacy, civil liberties, and the public's trust.



See more in United States; Privacy; Intelligence

Op-Ed

On Immigration, Look to the States

Authors: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz
Los Angeles Times

Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz argue that the United States must adopt a more humane policy regarding illegal immigrants. They argue that top-down approaches such as sanctions, border security, and punishments are not effective. Instead, they propose a shift to a bottom-up reform based on state competition.

See more in United States; Immigration

Primary Sources

Open Letter to President Obama and Congress from U.S. Technology Companies

Several U.S. technology companies, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL, published an open letter to the government in newspapers on December 9, 2013. The letter requests an end bulk collection of user data, including email, address books, and video chats, and lists accountability and transparency principles the companies support.

See more in United States; Privacy; Organization of Government

Audio

Ending the Practice of Child Marriage

Speaker: Rachel B. Vogelstein

Rachel Vogelstein, CFR's fellow for women and foreign policy, and Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service, discuss ending the practice of child marriage at the American Academy of Religion 2013 Annual Meeting, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative.

See more in Global; Women; Religion

Foreign Affairs Article

A Kinder, Gentler Immigration Policy

Authors: Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz

Even if immigration reform managed to get through congress, it would do little to stem illegal immigration or improve the plight of the undocumented. So policymakers should shift their focus to a more humane, bottom-up approach: letting states compete for illegal immigrants.

See more in United States; Immigration