Apartheid’s legacy of mistrust and prejudice has prevented South Africa from establishing a truly stable multiracial democracy. But increasing contact among the races and the emergence of a black middle class offer hope of reducing the role of race in national politics.
See more in South Africa; Apartheid; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity
Across the globe, the lessons from affirmative action programs are clear: they can occasionally help in the economic sphere, produce mixed results in improving social cohesion, and are an unmitigated disaster when it comes to politics.
See more in United States; Malaysia; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity
The civil war in Syria will soon enter its fifth year, with no end in sight. On January 20, Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to discuss the conflict in this exclusive interview.
See more in Syria; Presidents and Chiefs of State
The U.S. intervention in Libya was a complete failure. Libya has not only failed to evolve into a democracy; it has devolved into a failed state. Violent deaths there have increased, and the country now serves as a safe haven for terrorists.
See more in United States; Libya; Humanitarian Intervention
To deter Chinese expansionism, the United States must deny China the ability to control the air and sea around the “first island chain”—Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan—and offset the PLA’s efforts to destabilize the region’s military balance.
See more in United States; China; Preparedness
ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.
See more in United States; Iraq; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
Ten years from now, the CIA’s primary mission will be covert action; the NSA will move away from collecting personal data; and traditional espionage—the use of spies to gather human intelligence—will become less valuable than open-source intelligence.
See more in United States; Intelligence
Solar power has been declared a winner before, only to flounder. But these days it is expanding faster than any other power source, with momentum that has become unstoppable. The potential benefits—both economic and environmental—could be profound.
See more in United States; Renewable Energy
When it comes to energy, new technologies can upend the status quo almost overnight, surprising everyone. And just as the shale revolution, unleashed by fracking, has largely triggered the current oil upheaval, so progress in improving batteries could roil geopolitics and business in major ways.
See more in United States; Renewable Energy
The U.S. electrical grid has hardly changed since the 1880s, and its reliability, effectiveness, and affordability are increasingly being brought into question. To prevent disaster, regulators must abandon outdated electrical architecture and redesign the grid.
See more in United States; Energy Policy
International donors have many compelling causes to choose from, but reducing energy poverty—a plight afflicting over two billion people—should rank among the very top. The poor need energy to alleviating all their other problems, from poor health to unemployment to instability.
See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Asia and Pacific; Energy Policy
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vaunted “stability” has turned into spoliation. The methods he used to fix the corrupt, dysfunctional post-Soviet state have produced yet another corrupt, dysfunctional state—and unfortunately, there is no end to it in sight.
See more in Russia and Central Asia; Presidents and Chiefs of State
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
How many authors could title their book simply World Order without sounding utterly presumptuous?
See more in United States; Grand Strategy
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
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
Both Max Boot (“More Small Wars,” November/December 2014) and Rick Brennan (“Withdrawal Symptoms,” November/December 2014) provide insight into what the United States did wrong at an operational level in Iraq.
See more in United States; Iraq; Intelligence
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
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
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