Foreign Affairs

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Can Economists Learn?

Author: Alan S. Blinder

A recent book of essays by top economists suggests that many of the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis were ones that should have been learned long before the meltdown. The problem is that during good times, people forget.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Class and the Classroom

Author: George Scialabba

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

Germany's Real Role in the Ukraine Crisis

Authors: Elizabeth Pond and Hans Kundnani

In his discussion of German foreign policy’s supposed drift eastward, Hans Kundnani (“Leaving the West Behind,” January/February 2015) suggests that Germany has resisted imposing sanctions on Russia over its undeclared war with Ukraine—a sign, in his view, that Germany might once again desert the West in a flirtation with Russia.

See more in Germany; Ukraine; Sanctions

The Man Who Sells Everything

Author: Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos has always been a tinkerer. As a toddler, he tried to dismantle his crib, and in high school, he started his first business—an educational summer camp for middle schoolers.

See more in United States; Entrepreneurship

The Art of the Cell

Author: Marcelo Claure

A native of La Paz, Bolivia, Marcelo Claure graduated from Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1993 with a degree in economics. His first job afterward was with the Bolivian Football Federation.

See more in Global; Economics

She, Robot

Author: Helen Greiner

Born in the United Kingdom, Helen Greiner moved to the United States with her parents when she was five.

See more in United States; Innovation

Africa Calling

Author: Mo Ibrahim

Born in northern Sudan in 1946, Mo Ibrahim received a scholarship to Alexandria University, in Egypt, and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1968.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Entrepreneurship

Much Ventured, Much Gained

Author: Michael Moritz

Born in 1954 in Wales to Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, Michael Moritz attended Howardian High School in Cardiff and studied history at Christ Church, Oxford. After college, he moved to the United States, getting an MBA from Wharton and then working as a reporter for Time.

See more in United States; Entrepreneurship

The Nordic Model

Author: Niklas Zennstrom

A native of Jarfalla, Sweden, Niklas Zennstrom studied business, engineering physics, and computer science at Uppsala University and the University of Michigan. In the mid-1990s, while heading up the Danish division of the Swedish telecommunications firm Tele2, he hired Janus Friis to run customer support, and soon the two of them decided to collaborate as entrepreneurs.

See more in Europe; Innovation

Start-Up Slowdown

Author: Robert Litan

Americans like to think of their country as a cradle of innovation. After all, the United States has produced many of the world’s finest entrepreneurs, from Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford to Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

See more in Global; Innovation

The Anti-Innovators

Author: James Bessen

For much of the last century, the United States led the world in technological innovation—a position it owed in part to well-designed procurement programs at the Defense Department and NASA.

See more in United States; Innovation

The Innovative State

Author: Mariana Mazzucato

The conventional view of what the state should do to foster innovation is simple: it just needs to get out of the way.

See more in Global; Economics

The Calm Before the Storm

Authors: Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton

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

Europe Reborn

Authors: Matthias Matthijs and R. Daniel Kelemen

In 1982, The Economist marked the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union, by featuring a tombstone dedicated to the organization on its cover.

See more in Europe; International Organizations and Alliances

Leaving the West Behind

Author: Hans Kundnani

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was a strategic shock for Germany. Suddenly, Russian aggression threatened the European security order that Germany had taken for granted since the end of the Cold War.

See more in Germany; Politics and Strategy

Under the Sea

Author: Robert Martinage

In recent years, U.S. officials have grown increasingly fearful of a massive cyberattack, one capable of crippling infrastructure and crashing markets.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity