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Highlights from CFR

January 4, 2013


Can America Be Fixed?

Fareed Zakaria

American democracy is more dysfunctional than ever—and it has fewer levers to pull in a globalized economy. The focus in Washington now is on taxing and cutting; it should be on reforming and investing. This time, the pessimists might be right that America is beyond repair. Read More on »

Congress' Fiscal Cliff Deal

The Cliff Is Dead, Long Live the Cliff

Robert Kahn

On Tuesday, Congress passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff, but it avoided hard choices and ensured continued policy uncertainty that will be a drag on the economy. Read More on Macro and Markets »

U.S. Debt Ceiling: Costs and Consequences

A possible congressional showdown over raising the U.S. Treasury Department's borrowing limit in the next few weeks could precipitate an acute financial crisis. Many experts contend the federal debt ceiling is anathema to sound fiscal policy, and that it is unwise to inhibit the government's ability to meet financial obligations that have already been legislated. Read the Backgrounder »

The 112th Congress: Maybe Not the Worst After All

Edward Alden

Was the 112th Congress the worst in United States' history? Its ability to maintain the December 2010 payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits, and Bush-era tax cuts are accomplishments worth acknowledging. Read More on Renewing America »

Inauspicious Politics

Julia E. Sweig

A phone call from Vice President Joe Biden to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—and their longstanding relationship—helped to prevent the U.S. from tumbling over the fiscal cliff. But old-fashioned personal ties between politicians probably won't be sufficient to avert political gridlock. Read the Op-Ed »


U.S. Immigration Reform Will Happen - at Last

Richard N. Haass

The arguments for U.S. immigration reform have been strong for several years. The outcome of November's election and the country's changing demographics have returned immigration reform to the agenda of the nation of immigrants. Read the Op-Ed »

The Harsh Reality for Women in India

Isobel Coleman

A rape case in India has brought attention to the country's long-overlooked mistreatment of women. Continued acceptance of female feticide, female illiteracy, child marriage, and condoned violence against women will hold the country back in the 21st century. Read More on Democracy in Development »


World Outlook in the Upcoming Year

James M. Lindsay

In this interview, CFR's James Lindsay discusses three major foreign policy challenges confronting the United States in 2013: the tumult in the Middle East, rising tensions in East Asia, and the U.S. fiscal cliff. Read the Interview »

Challenges for Global Governance

Richard N. Haass, Michael Fullilove, Jiemian Yang, Igor Yurgens

Four global think tank leaders examine increasingly complex global challenges–such as nuclear proliferation, turmoil in the Middle East, and cyber security–and suggest how the international community should address them. Read the Expert Roundup »

Prospects for the Global Economy

Jeanne Park, Robert Kahn, Mark Thoma, Mark Zandi, Yukon Huang, A. Michael Spence

What is in store for the global economy in 2013? Five experts identify the most important trends, challenges, and opportunities in the upcoming year. Read the Expert Roundup »

Changes and Challenges for China

Adam Segal, Elizabeth C. Economy, Yanzhong Huang, Minxin Pei

In October, China's Eighteenth Communist Party Congress ushered in the country's new generation of leadership. Four experts forecast what to expect from China in 2013 when it comes to cyber policy, foreign policy, political freedom, and healthcare. Read more »

A New Agenda for the G20

Stewart M. Patrick

As the new chair of the Group of Twenty, Russia is soliciting input on the agenda for a meeting in St. Petersburg in September 2013. It will probably seek to continue former chair South Korea's plans for advancing growth in the developing world.  Read More on The Internationalist »

Five Development Innovations to Watch

Isobel Coleman

In May, the West Africa Cable System was launched, providing faster Internet access to ten African countries. Advances in communication technologies—such as cash transfer capabilities—insurance and family planning can help reduce global poverty in 2013. Read More on Democracy in Development »

Africa Is Hooked on Growth

Sebastian Mallaby

Sound economic policies, increased Chinese consumption and investment, and strong commodities prices have fostered unprecedented economic progress in sub-Saharan Africa. Read the Op-Ed »


January 11: Presidential Election, Czech Republic
CFR Resources on: The Czech Republic »

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2013–2014 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship: CFR is seeking applicants for the 2013–2014 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship. The program is only open to applicants who have distinguished credentials in the field of journalism and who have covered international news as a working journalist for print, broadcast, or online media widely available in the United States. The application deadline is March 1, 2013. For application instructions and more information, contact

The Top Global Hot Spots of 2013

CFR's Center for Preventive Action has released the fifth annual Preventive Priorities Survey ranking the international conflicts on which the U.S. government should focus in the year ahead. Read the survey results, and rank them yourself on CFR's Facebook page.


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