July 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the UK’s handover of Hong Kong to China, under a model called “one country, two systems.” But an unavoidable question will hang over the official commemorations: Is there really anything to celebrate?
The claims for mindfulness are extravagant, with its advocates asserting that it can improve a number of conditions – including anxiety, depression, stress, and even drug addiction – while boosting overall happiness and productivity. Can it really deliver on so many promises?
Through a process of brazen nepotism, Russian President Vladimir Putin has nationalized his country's elites, and consolidated his own power. As the better-known children of Russia’s previous generation of oligarchs have steadily left the country, the offspring of Putin’s cronies have taken their place.
Negotiations with Chinese officials often turn into prolonged fights for every imaginable concession. But the real problem is that, contrary to what many believe, China's authorities do not always keep their promises, with Hong Kong's experience in the 20 years since the British handover being a case in point.
A new triangle of geopolitical emotion has emerged in Europe: Great Britain has ceased feeling superior to France, and France has stopped feeling inferior to Germany. The question is whether this sentimental transformation will ultimately reorder the balance of power in Europe, and possibly the world.
On whose behalf do business associations speak? It’s an increasingly urgent question, because while firms have radically changed how they think about themselves, business associations have yet to catch up, and the resulting lag is making capitalism less legitimate in many countries.
Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong, discusses his memoir First Confession with Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and François Bougon of Le Monde. [Listen to the podcast here.]
Africa is currently experiencing its worst drought since 1945, especially in Southern Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Northern Nigeria. These fragile areas urgently need help in building resilient systems to ensure access to clean, portable water and effective sanitation facilities for all people.
Since concluding a landmark peace agreement with the FARC last year, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has shown visionary leadership in engaging with formerly guerrilla-controlled areas. One example is his government’s commitment to making mobile public libraries available to previously isolated, under-educated communities.
International politics is replete with unresolved territorial disputes, from the South China Sea to South Ossetia. But one such dispute, over Western Sahara, is often overlooked, despite the very real possibility of resolving it.
Europe is at the mercy of a common currency that not only was unnecessary for European integration, but that is actually undermining the EU itself. So what should be done about a currency without a state to back it – or about the 19 European states without a currency that they control?
With more than a million displaced people having found safety within Uganda’s borders, the region’s most willing supporter of refugees is feeling the strain. But a recent UN-backed effort to raise money for the crisis overlooks the fact that Uganda's president instigated many of the conflicts from which the refugees have fled.
US President Donald Trump has announced sweeping cuts to the international aid budget, in order to appease economically frustrated US voters who want their tax money spent at home. But the long-term rewards of supporting medical research in developing countries far outweigh short-term costs.
By comparing today’s Poles to the Holocaust’s Jewish victims, and today’s refugees to the Nazis, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło has demonstrated yet again that the Law and Justice government is composed of people who can only cast themselves as heroes, and are incapable of admitting any fault.
In the 50 years since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the prospects of a “final status” agreement have never looked bleaker. With growing distrust in the Palestinian leadership, it’s time to reconsider the path forward, by making civil liberties a precursor to, rather than the result of, an independent state.
Though Japan’s experience since the early 1990s provides many lessons, policymakers in the rest of the world have failed miserably in heeding them. Time and again, major central banks – especially the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England – have been quick to follow the Bank of Japan's disastrous lead.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has now replaced the 57-year-old Muhammad bin Nayif with his 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, as crown prince, signaling a clear break from a decades-old tradition of building consensus. That implies a return to the absolute monarchy established by Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud.
Faced with rapid cost reductions for clean electricity generation, some commentators suggest that we no longer need the Paris agreement or other policy interventions, because technology alone can solve all problems. But that is a utopian delusion, for three reasons.
While the car-hailing app Uber’s board members and investors have received an outpouring of praise in recent days for forcing CEO Travis Kalanick to resign, they don’t deserve it. On the contrary, while Kalanick did indeed need to go, the move was long overdue – and it was delayed for all the wrong reasons.