Quantcast

May/June 2011

Last month I read a New York Times article explaining how the world’s leading geophysicists and geologists are beginning to realize how little they really know about the tectonic plates colliding beneath the earth’s surface. New and deadly faults blindsided the scientific world when they wreaked havoc in New Zealand and Haiti in the past two years, and the destructive power of the known fault buried off Japan’s coast had been vastly underestimated until last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. ... Read More

The Future of North Korea

North Korea remains painfully backward as its neighbors experience booming economies. But the Kim family dynasty’s grip on the country is loosening. That's why China and others in East Asia are planning for a North Korean future that involves painful and possibly chaotic change—and why the US needs to as well.

The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Past, Pakistan’s Future

To those familiar with Pakistan’s history and politics, it's little surprise that Osama bin Laden turned up there. As more than half a century of problems show, the country faces a deep identity crisis it must soon address if it hopes to survive.

Fatal Attraction: China's Strengthening Partnership with North Korea

The alliance between Beijing and Pyongyang has always been dysfunctional, but increasing Chinese clout in North Korea clouds the prospect of successful change in this failed state.

Obama Abroad: Ambitious Realism

Critics frequently complain that President Obama lacks a coherent approach to foreign policy and that he extemporizes issue by issue. A former under secretary of state in the Clinton administration takes a closer look at the president’s response to major issues, however, and discovers a sound strategy that deftly mixes high ambition, caution, and pragmatism.

Democracy in Egypt: Applying the Tocqueville Standard

Tocqueville judged a democracy by two key criteria: whether political parties served the essential interests of the entire population and whether citizens appreciated private property. Even in the middle of its Arab spring, Egypt has a long way to go on both counts.

Ups and Downs: The Making of a Hegemon

It's good to be the hegemon. But Ian Morris's Why the West Rules—for Now, a tour d’horizon of 200,000 years of civilization, ought to give any great power pause.

One for All, All for One: The Euro in Crisis

For more than six decades, Europe sought stability and peace through economic unity. Turns out, eurozone unity also means sharing the financial pain of the most reckless members. This unexpected consequence has caused murmuring in the European congregation. Can more determined oversight save the Union?

Lost in the Levant: Lebanon Reappraised

In The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, Beirut Daily Star editor Michael Young offers a timely and beautifully written accounting of Lebanon's struggle for stability amid political and religious diversity and extremism.