Global Challenges

  • Solving the Greek and Russia/Ukrainian crises likely will be at the last minute.

    Greek and Russia/Ukrainian Deals Make for Simultaneous Geopolitical Concerns

    The Euro group meeting today and the heads of state meeting tomorrow cannot resolve the standoff with Greece. The logic of each side demands negotiating until the very last minute as the only way to ensure achieving the most.  Of course, the nature of the brinksmanship exercise risks a miscalculation that sends both into the abyss.  Meanwhile the lack of contagion emboldens the creditors while fresh off the electoral victory and vote of confidence emboldens the new Greek government.  

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  • There are geo-strategic implications of a 'Grexit'

    Looking Beyond the Economic Impact of a Greece-less EMU

    The discussion about Greece and its future in the monetary union, or like Greenspan opined, the lack thereof, has focused on economic issues to the near-exclusion of all else.  This is myopic.  There are important geostrategic interests at stake.

    Historians continue to debate what country lost at Yalta, the territorial settlement at the end of WWII that recognized a Soviet sphere of influence in eastern and central Europe.  Will they one day debate who lost Greece?

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  • Shocks like Ebola should force a refocus on measuring economic growth.

    Can the Ebola Crisis Force a Change in Economic Growth Metrics?

    If ever we wanted a reminder of how global capitalism has got things wrong, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa serves the purpose well. Our assumption that economic growth is essential is not only a feature of markets and politics, it also feeds into our thinking on development goals such as poverty reduction. The hope somehow remains that the relentless pursuit of production and consumption will trickle down to deliver more substantial benefits.

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  • Call it a comeback for the Aral Sea, at least so far.

    Kazakhstan: Measuring the Northern Aral’s Comeback

    The water level continues to rise in the Northern Aral Sea thanks to the Kokaral Dam and 13-kilometer dike at the southern edge of the recovering lake. As the northern part of the Aral Sea, once the world’s fourth-largest lake, continues to expand, the fishing industry is slowly returning as well.

    Thanks to one of the worst manmade environmental disasters in recorded history, the Aral Sea is disappearing. But a small section of the sea in the north is reviving – and fish are returning.

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  • Should Europe collaborate with the US on high-tech innovation?

    What's Wrong with Europe's Silicon Valley?

    Silicon Valley has become a synonym for innovation and, with its ecosystem of super-moneyed venture capitalists, it is world renowned as a hub for new products and software. Europe meanwhile has struggled to produce the likes of Facebook, Amazon or PayPal, or to garner the levels of investment for its startups. But could that be about to change?

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  • Who is hacking whom and will the threats escalate?

    The Threat of International Cyber Hacking

    China and the US are entering a new and troubling phase of cybersecurity. The recent crash of North Korea’s internet network reveals just how inexperienced world leaders are in dealing with cyber conflict. It shows how one reckless act in the cyber realm can quickly devolve into a bigger international crisis. The confusion and ambiguity surrounding this sequence of events has left the US and China entangled in a high profile cybersecurity standoff.

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  • Challenges persist for Muslims in France.

    Paris attacks reveal exclusion of French Muslims

    While nothing excuses the terrorist killings in Paris, the French state can no longer turn a blind eye to the marginalization of Muslims. The French banlieues are becoming a breeding ground for jihadists.

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