Editorial

  • It is commonly assumed that our national security depends only on our capacity to project military power beyond our borders and has little to do with how we organize the internal business of the country. The nation’s armed strength and its “soft power” are necessary components of security, but they are not—and cannot be—the whole […]

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Feature

  • In BriefAmong forward-thinking members of the defense and intelligence establishments, “national security” is being reconsidered and redefined: Security depends as much on the commitment of civilians and communities as it does on the actions of soldiers and battalions. Peace and security are beyond the reach of armed forces and …

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  • In BriefAmerica stands at a historic inflection point. The economic engine that carried our nation out of World War II, to then outperform the Soviets, is incapable of meeting the challenge of the twenty-first century. While the United States and some other Western economies are in the throes of a rare and disruptive debt crisis, […]

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  • In BriefThe number of people with improved access to safe drinking water is growing. According to UNICEF, since 1990, an additional 1.8 billion people are using an improved source of drinking water. Yet many people are living with water scarcity, particularly in Africa. The solutions highlighted here are just a few of the possible responses. …

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Perspectives

On the Ground

Solutions in History

Envision the Future

  • The old security, defined by the Cold War, was based on containment of communism. It was almost always described in military terms—the size of the defense budget, the range of nuclear missiles, the numbers of planes, ships, and tanks. And during that period, that definition made some sense. But even during the Cold War, those […]

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Interview

Media Review

  • How big is your house or apartment? What (and how much) do you eat? How much bling do you wear? How many times have you paid for sex? Slavery Footprint’s survey asks you these questions—and many others—to determine how many slaves worldwide work for you. The results are shocking. The average score for survey respondents […]

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  • Early in 2000, the Institute for Policy Studies, where I work, hosted a regrouping session for the veterans of the Battle in Seattle—the massive, mostly peaceful protest that disrupted the World Trade Organization’s 1999 Ministerial Conference. The “battle” was the anticorporate globalization movement’s coming-of-age. Representatives of labor, …

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  • Clay Shirky popularized the notion of “cognitive surplus,” the idea that in modern life people have hours of free time to engage in extracurricular activity, provided they can break away from the television. Shirky was thinking about how this notion applies to the Internet, where web users can devote their time to crowdsourcing activities that …

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Noteworthy

  • When Denmark announced it was implementing the world’s first fat tax on fast food, the question became, Will other countries adopt the same measure and will it strike a blow against obesity? The fat tax aims to reduce the rate of obesity-related disease, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease, by curbing the consumption of […]

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  • Rebecca Onie describes her mission as “bringing Google to life” for low-income people in need of services. Her Boston-based organization Health Leads recruits thousands of college students to assist low-income people in identifying and obtaining essential, non-medical services, such as food assistance, child care, job training, and fuel. The …

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  • When a natural disaster strikes in the West, farmers can turn to their insurance companies for aid. In the developing world, where the dangers are often more acute, and risk of failure grim, there is no such safety net. Despite the explosion of interest by Western firms in microfinance schemes, the idea of insuring the […]

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