Foreign Affairs

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Iceland's Saga

Author: Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

By all rights, Iceland -- a remote Arctic island inhabited by just 320,000 people -- should be a forgotten backwater. And for most of its history, it was.

See more in Iceland; Economics

Let the People Go

Authors: Michael Clemens and Justin Sandefur

On May 29, 2013, British immigration officers raided the Alternative Tuck Shop, a cafť just down the road from Oxford University's economics department, where South Asian and Middle Eastern employees serve tea, scones, and sandwiches.

See more in United States; Migration

From Shah to Supreme Leader

Author: Laura Secor

There is something irresistible about the story of Iran's last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The pampered, foreign-educated son of a dour autocrat, Mohammad Reza ascended to the Peacock Throne in 1941, at age 21.

See more in Iran; Society and Culture

Command and Combust

Author: Gregory D. Koblentz

Between 1950 and 1980, the United States experienced a reported 32 "broken arrows," the military's term for accidents involving nuclear weapons.

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Art in the Time of Authoritarianism

Author: Victor Perez-Diaz

Seventy-five years after its conclusion, the Spanish Civil War can sometimes seem like a river of blood that led inexorably to the sea of horrors that was World War II.

See more in Spain; Wars and Warfare

Blind Oracle

Author: Richard Katz

In his recent essay "Never Saw It Coming" (November/December 2013), Alan Greenspan makes two central arguments: first, that virtually no one foresaw the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and, second, that irrational "animal spirits" were the root cause.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Reverse the Curse

Authors: Karol Boudreaux, Tiernan Mennen, Larry Diamond, and Jack Mosbacher

Larry Diamond and Jack Mosbacher ("Petroleum to the People," September/October 2013) rightly observe that the coming oil boom in Africa is, paradoxically, a frightening prospect for the continent's poor and marginalized.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Oil

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

Left Out

Author: Henning Meyer

Europe's social democrats hoped that the 2008 economic meltdown would vindicate their politics and strengthen their hand. But they failed to see how badly they had damaged their brand by compromising on core principles during the previous two decades. To find their way forward, they must return to their roots.

See more in Europe; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures

The End of Hypocrisy

Authors: Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore

In the age of leaks, the United States will find it harder to act hypocritically and get away with it -- and so Washington may ultimately be compelled to start practicing what it preaches.

See more in United States; Technology and Foreign Policy

Biology's Brave New World

Author: Laurie Garrett

All the key barriers to the artificial synthesis of viruses and bacteria have been overcome, spawning a dizzying array of perils and promises. But as the scientific community forges ahead, the biosecurity establishment remains behind the curve.

See more in United States; Biotechnology

Keeping Science in the Right Hands

Author: Ronald K. Noble

Ongoing research and discoveries in the life sciences -- the latest and most promising involving synthetic biology -- have led to extraordinary advances that will benefit society.

See more in United States; Biotechnology

Accepting Austerity

Author: Cindy Williams

Instead of hoping that a political miracle will spare the Pentagon from the budget ax, American defense officials need to start preparing for the inevitable. That means bringing personnel costs under control, getting on with strategic planning, and reshaping the forces for today's missions.

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Defense on a Diet

Author: Melvyn P. Leffler

The United States is now in a period of austerity, and after years of huge increases, the defense budget is set to be scaled back.

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Cyberwar and Peace

Author: Thomas Rid

Cyberwar Is Coming!" declared the title of a seminal 1993 article by the RAND Corporation analysts John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, who argued that the nascent Internet would fundamentally transform warfare.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

Never Saw It Coming

Author: Alan Greenspan

The former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve asks how so many experts, including him, failed to see the 2008 financial crisis approaching. An important part of the answer to that question is a very old idea: Keynesian "animal spirits," the irrational elements of decisionmaking that have been left out of economic forecasting for too long.

See more in United States; Financial Crises