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Council on Foreign Relations The World This Week
Highlights from CFR

November 9, 2012


Confronting the Fiscal Cliff

Robert Kahn

Policymakers must act swiftly post-election to approve a viable fiscal plan or trigger market volatility and severe damage to the U.S. economy. Read the Expert Brief »

Economic Forecasters Must Heed Political Risk

Sebastian Mallaby

Today's high levels of political uncertainty should be incorporated into economic forecasts. Read the Op-Ed »


A Primer on the Chinese Communist Party

The party is undergoing a pivotal once-in-a-decade power transition that will see its fifth generation of leaders set the agenda for the second-largest economy in the world. This primer explores its origins and power structure. Read the Backgrounder »

Deciphering Beijing's Next Moves

Jerome A. Cohen

China's 18th Communist Party Congress will choose new leaders, but few know much about their selection process or what they are likely to do. Read the Interview »

Dangers and Opportunities for Xi Jinping

Elizabeth Economy

As the Chinese president-elect takes power, he must address his predecessor's shortcomings. Read More on Asia Unbound »


Lessons From Hurricane Sandy

Michael A. Levi

The catastrophic storm that struck the northeastern United States provides lessons on reducing vulnerability, minimizing risks, and increasing global cooperation to mitigate the effects of climate change. Watch the Video »

How Free Are American Elections?

Micah Zenko

Disenfranchised felons, voter irregularities, and other electoral issues indicate a need for a closer look at how U.S. electoral freedoms compare with other countries. Read More on Politics, Power, and Preventive Action »

A Look Back at Obama's First Term

A collection of essays from Foreign Affairs contributors revisits the highlights of President Obama's first term. Read More on »


An Audio Preview of the World Next Week

CFR's James M. Lindsay and Robert McMahon discuss what President Obama's electoral win means for the lame duck Congress; Greece's vote on another austerity package; and California's upcoming auction of carbon pollution allowances. Read Highlights and Listen to the Podcast »

UN PLO Vote Will Change Little

Elliott Abrams

A United Nations vote to grant the Palestine Liberation Organization non-member state observer status would create unnecessary instability. Read More on Pressure Points »

What Legalizing Marijuana Means for Latin America

Shannon K. O'Neil

If referenda to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington stand, they will affect U.S.-Mexico relations and the business models of cartels. Read More on Latin America's Moment »

R&D Is Critical to U.S. Competitiveness

For decades, the U.S. government and private sector have spent more than any other nation on research and development. But that advantage is eroding as other nations increase public and private investments at a faster rate, causing the global U.S. share of this critical investment to decline. Read the Backgrounder »

An Innovative Way to Provide Insurance to the Poor

Isobel Coleman

Financial institutions have shown little interest in creating insurance products to meet the needs of the world's poor, yet one company is rapidly expanding microinsurance throughout Africa, parts of Asia, and the Caribbean. Read More on Democracy in Development »


November 16 - 21: President Obama to Visit Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar
CFR Resources on: Southeast Asia »

November 19 - 20: President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to Attend ASEAN Summit, Cambodia
CFR Resources on: ASEAN »

View the Calendar »


CFR launched a revamped version of its homepage this week. Visit to view the new layout and browse the latest in-depth resources on international affairs.

Get Post-Election Analysis from CFR

CFR's Transition 2012 project provides resources on the national security and foreign policy implications of the presidential election, including pressing "fiscal cliff" deadlines. Learn More


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