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What’s at Stake in Libya?

The battle for Libya is a complicated affair involving not just the warring parties on the ground, but also a host of regional and global powers vying for regional influence and control of energy resources. And, unless it ends soon, it could sow instability in neighboring countries and trigger more waves of refugees fleeing to Europe. PRINCETON – The ongoing war in Libya is a microcosm of the tragedy that has gripped many Middle...

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Has Australia’s Luck Run Out?

After three decades of surfing on a wave of Chinese demand for its coal and other resources, Australia is now confronting a dual crisis that will eventually come to define the twenty-first century. One way or another, climate change and China's rise will force policymakers everywhere to reckon with trade-offs they have long chosen to ignore. MELBOURNE – By any reasonable standard, Australia is a long way off from most other...

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Brexit’s Stealthy Rationality

The motives and thinking behind Brexit were even less worthy than those behind US President Richard Nixon’s move in 1971 to ditch the Bretton Woods system. But, as with the "Nixon shock," there is a singular underlying historical factor that explains Brexit. ATHENS – At pivotal historical moments, rational political ruptures often are brought about for all the wrong reasons. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit may prove to be...

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Relieving Libya’s Agony

The credibility of all external actors in the Libyan conflict is now at stake. The main domestic players will lower their maximalist pretensions only when their foreign supporters do the same, ending hypocrisy once and for all and making a sincere effort to find room for consensus. MADRID – Over the last decade, Libya has become a failed state, descending from its own Arab Spring into the coldest of winters. The fall of Muammar...

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Violence Against Women Is Blocking Development

Modern development strategies often recognize the pivotal importance of enabling women to fulfill their potential and contribute effectively to their economies. Yet they fail to recognize the need for concerted action to protect women from violence, and uphold the rights of victims. They are thus grossly inadequate. JOHANNESBURG – The single highest barrier to development globally is neither hunger nor disease. It is gender-based...

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The Making of the Digital Revolution

While the public tends to regard venture capital as the shadowy and selective money behind today's overvalued tech startups, VC has actually been at the forefront of innovation for 200 years. Like the American state, it is an essential ingredient of the secret sauce of American capitalism. CAMBRIDGE – What are the roots of the digital revolution? The two books under review here have adopted a distinctive approach to this question....

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China’s Great Leap into Epidemic

The COVID-19 outbreak in China is not the first public-health emergency enabled by the absence of freedom of speech in China, and it is far from the worst. Between 1958 and 1962, the inability to criticize bad policy led to a famine that killed an estimated 36 million Chinese. NEW YORK – Before the world had any knowledge of the new coronavirus that has sparked a global panic a Wuhan-based ophthalmologist, Li Wenliang, noticed...

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The Rich World Must Take Responsibility for Its Carbon Footprint

China and other developing economies are instinctively wary of developed-country proposals to combine domestic carbon prices with “carbon tariffs” imposed on imported goods. But such policies may be the only way for rich-world consumers to take responsibility for their carbon footprint in other countries. LONDON – The climate activist Greta Thunberg has accused developed economies of “creative carbon accounting” because their...

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All Eyes on South Korea

Now that the South Korean blockbuster Parasite has taken home the Oscar for Best Picture, many around the world are eagerly searching for more examples of South Korean coolness. They should look to the South Korean economy, which offers valuable lessons for achieving sustainable, inclusive growth. LONDON – South Korea is all the rage these days. Earlier this month, Parasite, from the South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, won Best...

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The End of the EU’s Brexit Bounce

After years of watching the United Kingdom muddle through a political crisis while enjoying an unprecedented level of unity among themselves, Europeans now must prepare for darker days. Negotiations over the future UK-EU relationship will inevitably divide Europeans and offer fodder to Euroskeptics. BERLIN – After the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, policymakers and political leaders across Europe feared...

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