Society and Culture

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

Teaching Module

Teaching Module: Child Marriage

Child marriage remains widespread in developing countries, disproportionately affecting girls and endangering their lives and livelihoods. Rooted in cultural tradition and poverty, the practice not only violates human rights laws but also threatens stability and economic development.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Children; Women

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

Must Read

New Yorker: What Will It Cost to Cover China?

Author: Evan Osnos

"Today, the story is at once more accessible and more dangerous. To cover China is to chronicle the world's second-largest economy, a rising superpower, and one-fifth of the world's population. China is so central to our economic lives that journalists have had no choice but to engage China with greater technical analysis and precision."

See more in China; Media and Foreign Policy

Must Read

Wall Street Journal: Latin Migrants Shift Sights From U.S. to Neighbors

Author: Miriam Jordan

"In a noticeable and important shift in global migratory patterns, millions of migrant workers are no longer relying on the U.S. as heavily as they did for better-paying jobs that allowed them to send money home to families in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Instead, they have moved more to developing economies, creating a shift in money transfers out of countries like Chile, Brazil and Malaysia."

See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; Immigration