"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."
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.
"In contrast to some of the more avowedly Sunni Islamist groups among the opposition, who see in Syria the opportunity to establish an Islamic state as part of a broader regional caliphate, the Shia fighting in this conflict don't appear to approach it as part of a broader Shia project."
"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."
Author: Julia E. Sweig Council on Foreign Relations
As Bill de Blasio takes office in New York, Julia Sweig reflects on inequality, urban poverty, and the idea that government policy can provide solutions to ingrained problems when the market falls short.
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.
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.
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.
The World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency works to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) into developing countries and produces a report on investors' perceptions of political risk as they affect FDI, as well as the role of the political risk insurance industry in mitigating these risks.
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.
CFR Senior Fellow Joshua Kurlantzick leads a conversation on Myanmar's transition to democracy and the rise of inter-religious violence in the country, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Authors: Jagdish N. 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.
"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."
"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."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »