failed state

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pages: 222 words: 75,561

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier

air freight, Asian financial crisis, Bob Geldof, British Empire, business cycle, Doha Development Round, failed state, falling living standards, income inequality, mass immigration, out of africa, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

Some sort of reform is much more likely to be initiated in postconflict states than in other failing states, but many of these incipient reforms will fail because it is harder to sustain any continuous course of change. This suggests that there is an important difference between postconflict situations and other failing states. Recall the depressing statistic that the expected time before a failing state achieves decisive change is fifty-nine years. The normal condition for a failing state is to be stuck, as bad policies and governance are highly persistent. Postconflict situations are the major exception: they are failing states, but change is relatively easy. This suggests that our policy interventions to help failing states need to differentiate between types of situations, treating postconflict situations as major opportunities.

This suggests that our policy interventions to help failing states need to differentiate between types of situations, treating postconflict situations as major opportunities. I will have more to say on that in Part 4. The Costs of Neglect: Why It Matters for G8 Policy The typical failing state is going to go on failing for a long time. Does it matter? The whole topic of failing states is fashionable because people have an uneasy sense that it probably does matter. After 9/11 the U.S. aid budget was increased by 50 percent, and the main impetus for it was the perceived need to fix failing states. In Part 4 you will see how, ironically, this is what aid is not going to do. But can we get beyond that inchoate sense that failing states are a problem? Can we actually quantify the costs of a failing state? Remember, I have defined a failing state in terms of its bad policies and governance. The core of the cost is what results from these policy and governance failings for the economy of the country itself and for its neighbors.

In this case, fortunately, we got results that were surprisingly robust. The costs of a failing state build up year by year. The growth rate of the failing state is very sharply reduced—indeed, it is likely to be in absolute decline. And the growth of neighbors is also sharply reduced. Since failing states take such a long time to turn around, these costs continue way into the future. Economists routinely convert flows of future costs into a single number, which they term a “discounted present value.” We estimated that the cost of a single failing state over its entire history of failure, to itself and its neighbors, is around $100 billion. This is our lower-bound estimate of what a sustained turnaround is worth. It is a mesmerizingly large number, but then, the phenomenon we are considering is indeed dramatic: a world without failing states would be a transformed world.


pages: 391 words: 102,301

Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety by Gideon Rachman

Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, price stability, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sinatra Doctrine, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, zero-sum game

The same cautious hands-off approach applied to Yemen, whose role as a new base for al-Qaeda was highlighted after a failed attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. The problem was all the more alarming because the list of potential “failed states” seemed only to be growing, particularly in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Some of the nations on the watch list were big countries of obvious strategic importance. The U.S. Defense Department caused massive offense in Mexico with a leaked assessment that America’s southern neighbor was in danger of becoming a failed state.16 If the implication was that Mexico might turn into Afghanistan or Somalia, that was clearly absurd. Yet if a failure to control territory and to exert the rule of law is one important mark of a failed state, Mexico clearly fit the description. Drug-related violence was rampant across the country in 2008 and 2009, fed, the Mexicans complained, by gun exports from the United States and by America’s appetite for drugs.

Obama’s decision to expand the war in Afghanistan may succeed in stabilizing the country, but the prospect for the next decade is that globally, the zone of international anarchy and danger referred to collectively as “failed states” is still likely to expand. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that because of Iraq and Afghanistan, and with government spending out of control, America’s appetite for further bloody and expensive foreign military engagements is severely diminished. It is true that U.S. military intervention overseas has sometimes helped to cause state failure rather than remedy it. Cambodia in the 1970s is an obvious example, and Iraq may yet repeat this sorry pattern. Nevertheless, some of the most rigorous studies of failed states have concluded that foreign military interventions are often critical to turning the situation around. Paul Collier is a bearded, left-wing Oxford professor, not a neoconservative, but he has concluded that in saving failed states, “military intervention, properly constrained, has an essential role, providing both the security and the accountability of government to citizens that are essential to development.”8 America has unrivaled military resources, and yet the country is clearly wary of further entanglements overseas.

By 2009, the Democratic Republic of Congo was the location for the largest ever UN peacekeeping operation—but the country continues to slide backward. The peacekeeping deficit means that, over the next decade, more parts of the world are likely to join the list of failed states and fall into disrepair and despair. A second reason why the number of failed states is likely to rise is that the rapid global economic growth that preceded the crash of 2008 is unlikely to resume for some years. The prospect that globalization would offer jobs and opportunity to some of the poorest people in the world was the best hope of combating the root causes of state failure. There is a close connection between poverty and war in “failed states.” Basically, the poorer a country is, the more likely it is to degenerate into civil war. Perhaps the most dispiriting aspect of the struggle to turn around Afghanistan is that “success” would entail making the country look and feel more like neighboring Pakistan: richer, with a stronger central government, an army that could fight without foreign help, and a functioning civil society and private sector.


What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

banking crisis, British Empire, Doomsday Clock, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, informal economy, liberation theology, mass immigration, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

Did Betty Friedan say, “Let’s have women’s rights,” and all of a sudden we had women’s rights? No. It’s a long struggle. That’s what education is. In Failed States, you point out that often critics of the system are denounced for being negative and never having anything positive to put forth. You address that criticism with some specific suggestions about solutions.49 Very unoriginal suggestions that just happen to be supported by a large majority of people in the United States. I think they’re good suggestions. They would change the country significantly. There is nothing radical about them, but they’re off the agenda. That’s part of the serious collapse of democratic institutions. Let me just read some of your suggestions in Failed States: accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court, sign and carry forward the Kyoto Protocols, let the United Nations take the lead in international crises, rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror, keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter, give up the Security Council veto.

.,” Washington Post, 17 September 2005. 5 For a discussion of the millennium goals, see Chomsky, Failed States, p. 4. 6 Ibid., pp. 79–82, 94–95. 7 Joel Brinkley, “In Word Feud with ‘Hitler,’ ‘Satan’ Draws Line in Sand,” New York Times, 20 May 2006; Pablo Bachelet, “Chavez Throws More Barbs at Bush: Democrats Object,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 22 September 2006. 8 Cooper, “Iran Who?” 9 Ewen MacAskill, “US Seen as a Bigger Threat to Peace than Iran, Worldwide Poll Suggests,” Guardian (London), 15 June 2006. 10 Andy Webb-Vidal, “Jubilation in the Barrios as Chavez Returns in Triumph,” Financial Times (London), 15 April 2002. 11 Guy Dinmore and Isabel Gorst, “Bush to Seal Strategic Link with Kazakh Leader,” Financial Times (London), 29 September 2006. 12 For more discussion, see Chomsky, Failed States, p. 137. See polling by Latinobarómetro, December 2006.

Argentineans are now ridding themselves of the IMF, thanks in part to the fact that Venezuela helped them buy out their debt.23 That’s the real world. It’s different if you’re eating in elegant restaurants, meeting your rich friends, and reading the editorials in the Wall Street Journal. In Hegemony or Survival, you say that there is a “severe democracy deficit” in the United States.24 I’ve discussed this in more detail in a later book, Failed States, running extensively through public opinion studies and actual policy.25 There is an enormous gap between public opinion and policy. In 2005, for example, right after the federal budget was announced, the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which also studies domestic issues, did an extensive poll on what people thought the budget ought to be. It turned out to be the inverse of the actual budget: where federal funding was going up, an overwhelming majority wanted it to go down.


State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century by Francis Fukuyama

Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, centre right, corporate governance, demand response, Doha Development Round, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Hernando de Soto, information asymmetry, liberal world order, Live Aid, Nick Leeson, Pareto efficiency, Potemkin village, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

In this chapter, I address this set of interrelated problems. Since the end of the Cold War, weak or failing states have arguably become the single most important problem for international order (Crocker 2003). Weak or failing states commit human rights abuses, provoke humanitarian disasters, drive 92 weak states and international legitimacy 93 massive waves of immigration, and attack their neighbors. Since September 11, it also has been clear that they shelter international terrorists who can do significant damage to the United States and other developed countries. During the period from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to September 11, 2001, the vast majority of international crises centered around weak or failing states. These included Somalia, Haiti, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, and East Timor.

The MCA may stimulate countries well on the road to reform, but it will do little for failed states and the world’s more troubled countries. The other external source for creating demand for institutions is the political power exercised directly by countries or consortia of countries as occupation authorities or through a strong direct relationship with the local government. This is what we label “nation-building.” An occupation authority obviously has much more direct leverage over the local country than does an external lender or aid agency working through conditionality. On the other hand, most nation-builders soon find that their ability to shape the local society is very limited as well. Moreover, most countries in need of nation-building are failed states or other types of postconflict societies with far 38 state-building more severe governance problems than the average recipient of a conditional loan.

The September 11 attacks highlighted a different sort of problem. The failed state of Afghanistan was so weak that it could in effect be hijacked by a non-state actor, the terrorist organization al-Qaida, and serve as a base of global terrorist operations. The attacks drove home the ways in which violence had become democratized: The possibility of combining radical Islamism with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) suddenly meant that events going on in distant, chaotic parts of the globe could matter intensely to the United States and other rich and powerful countries. Traditional forms of deterrence or containment would not work against this type of nonstate actor, so security concerns demanded reaching inside of states and changing their regime to prevent future threats from arising. The failed state problem that was seen previously as largely a humanitarian or human rights issue suddenly took on a major security dimension.


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

We often wait to act until the specter of the label “failed state” is stamped on a country’s image. But the signs of a state being in failure appear far in advance. In Pakistan, Musharraf’s 1999 coup was viewed as an effort to clean up corruption, but in fact his reign provided only a veneer of stability over a state in a continuous process of failure. Musharraf was not the antidote to state failure in Pakistan; he accelerated it. In the process, Pakistan, like so many other failing states, has lost the technical, fiscal, and even moral authority to run itself. Failed states create the worst kind of terrorism. By far the largest number of martial casualties results not from wars between countries, but rather from civil wars within dozens of failed states. In the 1980s and ’90s, two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s forty-three countries suffered from civil war—and the toll in lives from displacement and disease was far greater than the deaths during fighting itself.

In the 1980s and ’90s, two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s forty-three countries suffered from civil war—and the toll in lives from displacement and disease was far greater than the deaths during fighting itself. In failing states the leading killers are not tanks or guided missiles but AK-47s, available for as little as ten dollars on some street corners in Mexico, Central America, the Andean region of South America, central and sub-Saharan Africa, southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and southern and Southeast Asia. Violence is the new war; the killing comes from within. Since most of these failing states were never actually successful states, why do we pretend that they can be restored to some ideal of statehood? Is statehood itself the problem? Why is central government the metric of effective governance? Western nations now define such failing places as greater threats to their security than the mass armies of Asia’s rising powers, but they have little in the way of a strategy to deal with them.

Since then the bar of civility has risen from merely the “capacity to govern” (League of Nations) to “peace-loving nations” (United Nations) to the Copenhagen criteria of democracy, human rights, and free markets (European Union). Yet today many countries still remain a long way from meeting even the League of Nations’ most basic standard of a century ago. The only way most failed states will ever meet the standards of civilization is if we abandon the quest for sovereignty in favor of hybrid statehood. Across the world’s failing states, the weak need protection from militias and floods equally—delivering human security cannot wait for government “capacity building.” The foot soldiers of humanitarianism constantly relocate from Haiti to Afghanistan to Indonesia to confront the worst disasters, for which there is no strategy, only improvisation. After the Indonesian tsunami of 2004, the first aid to arrive in the remote Banda Aceh province came on planes and vans operated by Dutch logistics multinational TNT.


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How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks

airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, different worldview, disruptive innovation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Turing test, unemployed young men, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks

To trace these changes, it’s worth thinking briefly about where states come from, and what they do.1 And just as we sometimes end up trying to make sense of war by emphasizing those things that are not war—chess, rugby, homicide, riots, economic competition, trade sanctions—perhaps the best way to understand states is to start by thinking about what we call “failed states.”2 In the years since the end of the Cold War, the international community—and the community of international lawyers—has become increasingly preoccupied with “failed states.”3 Successful states control defined territories and populations, conduct diplomatic relations with other states, monopolize legitimate violence within their territories, and succeed in providing adequate social goods to their populations. Failed states, their dark mirror image, lose control over the means of violence, and cannot create peace or stability for their populations or control their territories.4 Recent examples of failed states are familiar to us all, from the total collapse of state institutions in Somalia and the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia to the varied crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Rwanda, Haiti, Congo, and Sierra Leone.

Failed states, their dark mirror image, lose control over the means of violence, and cannot create peace or stability for their populations or control their territories.4 Recent examples of failed states are familiar to us all, from the total collapse of state institutions in Somalia and the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia to the varied crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Rwanda, Haiti, Congo, and Sierra Leone. One notch up the food chain from failed states are the numerous “weak” or “failing” states, which together constitute much of sub-Saharan Africa (consider Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Mali, Burundi, Mozambique, Liberia, and Angola, to name but a few of the most notorious), significant chunks of Central Asia, and parts of Latin America and South Asia. Failed states make it even harder to keep war in a box. They can become breeding grounds for extremism and insurgencies, or staging points for organized terrorist groups. Failed states cannot enter into or abide by treaties; they cannot participate in the increasingly dense network of international trade or environmental or human rights agreements and institutions; they cannot enforce contracts between their citizens and foreigners or protect settled property interests.

By definition, the international order cannot be considered a failed state on a global scale, because there never existed a global state that could fall apart. But is it so silly to analogize the international order to a failed state? True, there never was a global state that existed, so it seems odd to speak of the international community as a failed state. But much the same could be said of many failed states on the national level. That is: most so-called failed states were never really states in the first place, at least not in anything more than a strictly technical sense. Afghanistan was never a fully functioning modern state; neither was Congo, or Sierra Leone, or Syria, or Iraq, or Somalia, or most of the dozens of states that have been characterized in the past decades as failed or failing. With their boundaries often drawn by colonial and imperial powers, these faux states made for tidy maps and had seats at the United Nations and an international juridical personality, but they rarely possessed the attributes of robust states in other than a purely formal legal sense.8 From their inception, such states rarely exercised anything approaching a monopoly on violence within their territories; to a significant extent, their borders were unmanageably porous, and the reach of government authority either barely extended beyond their capital cities and a handful of other urban centers or extended only in predatory form.


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Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, butter production in bangladesh, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

“Last Mile,” Wikipedia, accessed June 19, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_mile. 38. T. C. Sottek, “Google Now Offers Google Earth, Picasa, and Chrome in Syria,” Verge, May 24, 2012, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/24/3041459/google-earth-picasa-chrome-syria. 39. Monk School of Global Affairs, Internet Filtering in a Failed State: The Case of Netsweeper in Somalia (Toronto: University of Toronto, February 2014), accessed September 30, 2014, https://citizenlab.org/2014/02/internet-filtering-failed-state-case-netsweeper-somalia/; Monk School of Global Affairs, O Pakistan, We Stand on Guard for Thee: An Analysis of Canada-Based Netsweeper’s Role in Pakistan’s Censorship Regime (Toronto: University of Toronto, June 2014), accessed September 30, 2014, https://citizenlab.org/2013/06/o-pakistan/. 40. Kate Crawford et al., “Seven Principles for Big Data and Resilience Projects,” iRevolution, September 23, 2013, accessed September 30, 2014, http://irevolution.net/2013/09/23/principles-for-big-data-and-resilience/. 41.

See also cyberespionage Estrada, Joseph, 127 Ethiopia, 215 Euromaidan protests (Ukraine), 114–15 Europe, political parties in, defending internet freedom, 166 European Union, 98 export controls, 252 extremism, resilience of, 131 extremist groups, 216–17, 219, 220 Facebook: xiii–xiv, 8, 9, 122; facilitating clan formation, 173, 174; governments requesting data from, 26; used as recruiting tool, 216–17 failed states, 72, 80–84, 94, 159; data from, 110–11; technology use in, 134 failing states, 80–84, 94 fair-trade coffee movement, 49–50 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 39 Femen network (Ukraine), 86 feudalism, 63–64 filter bubble, 202 financial markets, bots in, 34 Finfisher, 201 Firefox, 64 firms, rise of, 6 FISA. See Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Flame (virus), 40 Flemish, self-governance and, 145 Flickr, 9 foreign affairs, device networks and, 249 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 24 foreign policy, technology policy and, 8 fourth wave, 51 Freegate, 30 Free Syria Army, 62 Frischmann, Brett, 243 FrontlineSMS, 101–2, 119 Fukuda, Hareaki, 253 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, 177 Fukuyama, Francis, 12, 52, 129 Gauss (virus), 40 gender politics, 76–77 geographic information systems, 48 geolocation, xiii–xiv Georgia, 238 Gibbon, Edward, 232 GIS.

Like the slums of Haiti, the slums of Nigeria are also difficult for the government to see and serve. Dictators and Dirty Networks Digital networks can expose connections that political boundaries do not. Two-thirds of the world’s population lives in countries without fully functional governments. Or more accurately, they live in communities not served by states with real governments. They live in refugee camps, breakaway republics, corporate-run free economic zones, gated communities, failed states, autonomous regions, rebel enclaves, or walled slums. Modern pirates dominate their fishing waters, and complex humanitarian disasters disrupt local institutions regularly. Organizing people to solve problems in such places is especially tough. In many of these places, rogue generals, drug lords, or religious thugs who report to no one (not on this earth, anyway) lead governments. Not having a recognizable government makes it tough to collaborate with neighbors on solving shared problems.


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

A series of dramatic, innovative nation-building experiments rescued the Iraq mission from complete failure, but in the process, the military overcompensated. The Pentagon became fixated on soft power as the answer for security problems such as terrorism and insurgency. Military commanders threw billions of dollars at quasi-development schemes in the hopes that a combination of aid money and armed social work would get at the root causes of violence in failing states. And top policymakers launched an initiative to refashion government around the tasks of state building. The short-term lessons drawn from Iraq took on a life of their own, as policymakers and practitioners looked to repeat the experiment on an equally grand scale in Afghanistan. In a debate with Vice President Al Gore in 2000, the Republican presidential candidate, George W. Bush, outlined his vision of the U.S. military policy: “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building,” he said.

Weeks after the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, conservative writer Max Boot made a provocative argument in favor of a new kind of American imperialism. “Afghanistan and other troubled lands today cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets,” he wrote.13 Implicit in that clever shorthand was a critique: The United States lacked a talented class of colonial administrators capable of refashioning failed states and preparing the local inhabitants for eventual self-rule. At first glance, it looks as if Boot’s post-9/11 wish has been fulfilled—and that the United States is finally creating the twenty-first-century equivalent of the British Empire’s Colonial Service. Over the 2000–2010 decade, a new class of nation builders has emerged: staffing Provincial Reconstruction Teams in cities in Iraq; constructing roads in rural Afghanistan; or training Kalashnikov-toting soldiers in Timbuktu.

The military was grasping for a new way to describe this mission: It was something other than war—more a hybrid of police work and development. They settled on the term “stability operations” to describe this kind of approach. The Pentagon’s embrace of this new strategy can be charted out in a series of official documents. One week before the STAR-TIDES demonstration at the Pentagon, in October 2008, the U.S. Army released Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations. The manual provided the military with a blueprint for rebuilding failed states. And it stated the obvious: Nation building requires a lot of “soft power” and the full participation of the civilian agencies of government if it is to succeed. According to the manual, the United States faced a new era in which “the greatest threats to national security will not come from emerging ambitious states, but from nations unable or unwilling to meet the basic needs and aspirations of their people.”


Hopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate personhood, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, invisible hand, liberation theology, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, nuremberg principles, one-state solution, open borders, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

Yossi Beilin, Mehiro shel Ihud (Tel Aviv: Revivim, 1985), 42, 147; the primary source for Israeli cabinet records under the Labor coalition, 1967–77. Dayan’s analogy, Gorenberg, Accidental Empire, 81–2. For more on these matters, see Failed States, chap. 5; my Middle East Illusions (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), chap. 6. Herald cited by James Bradley, The Imperial Cruise (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2009), 63. 36. Sometimes called a “one-state solution,” though there clearly are two groups, each entitled to respect for their own cultural mix, language, and identity. 37. See Failed States, 193ff. 38. For an illustration, see economist Sever Plocker (“A Thorn in the World’s Side,” Yediot, November 3, 1999; http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3798761,00.html), describing with despair how he must cancel a lecture in Oxford because the anti-Israel atmosphere there is so extreme that he would be treated as a leper.

Yolande Knell, Heba Saleh, and Roula Khalaf, Financial Times Special Report on Egypt, December 17, 2009. On the timid gestures about democracy in Egypt under Bush, see Failed States. 35. Associated Press, January 5, 2010. 36. Douglas Little, “Cold War and Covert Action,” Middle East Journal, Winter 1990. NSC 5801/1, January 24, 1958. See also Salim Yaqub, “Imperious Doctrines: U.S.-Arab Relations from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush,” Diplomatic History 26, no. 4 (Fall 2002) and his Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2004). 37. For sources, and further discussion of U.S. support for Arab tyrannies and the (understood) consequences, see Hegemony or Survival, chaps. 3, 8 and Failed States, chap. 5. Also Gardner, Last Chance, and many other sources. 38. Ibid. 29, xix. Fawaz Gerges, Journey of the Jihadist (Orlando: Harcourt Press, 2006), 210ff.

NATO expansion, see chap. 12 below. 37. Alan Nairn, Nation, September 27, 1999. 38. Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, December 2, 2008 (Hebrew). Dennis Ross, The Missing Peace (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004). See Norman Finkelstein, Dennis Ross and the Peace Process (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2007); Failed States, 183–4. 39. Quoted in Jeff Zeleny, New York Times, November 27, 2008. 40. “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2008. 41. For a sample of polls, see Failed States, 225. For more extensive review, Vicente Navarro, Why the United States Does Not Have a National Health Program (Amityville, NY: Baywood, 1992); Dangerous to Your Health (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1993); The Politics of Health Policy (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1994), 210ff. 42.


Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq by Francis Fukuyama

Berlin Wall, business climate, colonial rule, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gunnar Myrdal, informal economy, land reform, microcredit, open economy, unemployed young men

• 1 • • Francis Fukuyama The frequency and intensity of U.S. and international nation-building efforts have increased since the end of the Cold War, which, as Michael Ignatieff has pointed out, left a band of weak or failed states stretching from North Africa through the Balkans and the Middle East to South Asia.1 In addition, parts of sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean have been the loci of state failure in recent decades. These failures have produced refugees, human rights abuses, inter- and intrastate wars, drug and human trafficking, and other problems that crossed international borders. And after September 11, 2001, it became clear that weak or failed states could sponsor terrorism that threatened the core security interests of the world’s sole superpower, the United States. Although conventional military power was sufficient for some purposes, such as expelling Serbian military forces from Kosovo or defeating Saddam Hussein’s army, the underlying problems caused by failed states or weak governance could only be solved through long-term efforts by outside powers to rebuild indigenous state institutions.

Although conventional military power was sufficient for some purposes, such as expelling Serbian military forces from Kosovo or defeating Saddam Hussein’s army, the underlying problems caused by failed states or weak governance could only be solved through long-term efforts by outside powers to rebuild indigenous state institutions. Security problems in earlier times centered around strong states that could maintain a monopoly of force over their own territory, but many post–Cold War crises involved an internal absence of state power that necessitated outside intervention and long-term receivership by the international community. Thus the ability of outside powers to provide governance and control the internal behavior of failed or weak states has become a key component of their national power. As the chapters by David Ekbladh, Francis X.

(In the Japanese case, the political system was democratized without forcing abdication of the Emperor, a decision of MacArthur’s that eased the postwar transition but made the break with the prewar past much less clear than in Germany.) And in both countries, the Allied occupations eventually got around to promoting economic reconstruction, once the Soviets had finished stripping their occupation zones of equipment as war reparations. But in both cases, what went on under the rubric of nation-building looked quite different from more recent efforts in such failed states as Somalia, East Timor, or Afghanistan, where the state itself had ceased to exist. Reconstruction versus Development Nation-building encompasses two different types of activities, reconstruction and development. Although the distinction between the two is often blurred, it was always present to nation-builders of earlier generations dealing with post-conflict situations. The official title of the World Bank is, after all, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and most of its early activity fell under the first heading.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

If state control relies on the perception of total command of events, every incident that undermines that perception—every misstep captured by camera phone, every lie debunked with outside information—plants seeds of doubt that encourage opposition and dissident elements in the population, and that could develop into widespread instability. There may be only a handful of failed states in the world today, but they offer an intriguing model for how connectivity can operate in a power vacuum. Indeed, telecommunications seems to be just about the only industry that can thrive in a failed state. In Somalia, telecommunications companies have come to fill many of the gaps that decades of war and failed government have created, providing information, financial services and even electricity. In the future, as the flood of inexpensive smart phones reaches users in failed states, citizens will find ways to do even more. Phones will help to enable the education, health care, security and commercial opportunities that the citizens’ governments cannot provide.

Mobile technology will also give much-needed intellectual, social and entertainment outlets for populations who have been psychologically traumatized by their environment. Connectivity alone cannot revert a failed state, but it can drastically improve the situation for its citizens. As we’ll discuss later, new methods to help communities handle conflict and post-conflict challenges—developments like virtual institution building and skilled labor databases in the diaspora—will emerge to accelerate local recovery. In power vacuums, though, opportunists take control, and in these cases connectivity will be an equally powerful weapon in their hands. Newly connected citizens in failed states will have all the vulnerabilities of undeletable data, but none of the security that could insulate them from those risks. Warlords, extortionists, pirates and criminals will—if they’re smart enough—find ways to consolidate their own power at the expense of other people’s data.

., 2012, 4.1 elections, Venezuela electricity Emergency Information Service empathy encryption, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.1 Ennahda party entertainment Equatorial Guinea Ericsson, 3.1, 3.2 Eritrea Estonia, 3.1, 6.1 Ethiopia Etisalat Etisalat Misr European Commission European Union, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 evolution, 3.1, con.1 exiles expectations gap explosive-ordnance-disposal (EOD) robots extortionists Facebook, itr.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2 data safeguarded by facial-recognition software, 2.1, 2.2, 6.1, con.1 failed states FARC Farmer, Paul FBI, 2.1, 5.1 Ferrari, Bruno fiber-optic cables, itr.1, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 filtering, 2.1, 3.1 financial blockades fingerprinting Finland Fixing Failed States (Lockhart and Ghani), 7.1n Flame virus, 3.1, 3.2 Food and Drug Administration food prices foreign aid forgetfulness Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Foster-Miller 4G, 7.1, 7.2 France, 6.1, 7.1, nts.1 Freakonomics (Levitt and Dubner), 2.1 Fred freedom of assembly free expression free information French Data Network Fukushima nuclear crisis, n gacaca, 249–50 Gadhafi, Muammar, 4.1, 4.2, 7.1 Gallic Wars “Gangnam Style,” 24n Gates, Robert Gaza General Motors genocide virtual genome sequencing geography Georgia (country) Georgia (state) Germany gesture-recognition technology Ghana Ghani, Ashraf, n GiveWell globalization, 1.1, 3.1 Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Goldsmith, Jack, n Google, itr.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3n, 163, 5.1, 7.1 Chinese cyber attacks on, itr.1, 3.1, 3.2 data safeguarded by driverless cars of Project Glass in tweet-by-phone service of Google App Engine Google Earth Google Ideas Google Map Maker Google Maps, 6.1, nts.1 Google+ Google Voice GPS, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 GPS data Great Firewall of China, 3.1, 3.2 GreatNonprofits Green Revolution GuideStar hackers, 2.1, 2.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 Hackers’ Conference, n hacktivists Hague, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2 haircuts Haiti, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Haiti After the Earthquake (Farmer), 7.1 Hama, Syria Hamas, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 Han Chinese handheld mobile devices Hanseatic League haptic technology, 1.1, 2.1n, 203–4 harassment, 6.1, 6.2 hard-drive crashes hawala, 69 Hayden, Michael V.


Interventions by Noam Chomsky

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, cuban missile crisis, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, old-boy network, Ralph Nader, Thorstein Veblen, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, éminence grise

He also added material expanding what was in the original drafts— background, and other information. As a book, Interventions has benefited from these additions. It is important to note that during the period that Chomsky wrote the essays in this book—2002 to 2007—he also wrote several major works: Hegemony or Survival (which held ground for weeks on the New York Times bestseller list after Hugo Chávez praised it during a speech before the United Nations in 2006), Failed States and Perilous Power (with Gilbert Achcar and Stephen Shalom), all of which discuss many of the ideas contained in Interventions in greater detail. In composing op-eds, Chomsky is taking advantage of the fact that our society is still one of the freest in the world: openings still exist to challenge the White House, the Pentagon, and the corporations enriched by them. Chomsky believes that the freedom to challenge power is not just an opportunity, it’s a responsibility, and he takes advantage of the op-ed form to do just that.

One way is to try to alleviate the threats by paying some attention to legitimate grievances, and by agreeing to become a civilized member of a world community, with some respect for world order and its institutions. The other way is to construct even more awesome instruments of destruction and domination, so that any perceived challenge, however remote, can be crushed—provoking new and greater challenges. NOTES 1. Postwar intelligence assessments revealed that the increase was well beyond what had been anticipated. See my Failed States (2006), page 18ff., and the classified National Intelligence Estimate, reported by Mark Mazzetti, “Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat,” in the New York Times, September 24, 2006. In the March/April 2007 issue of Mother Jones, terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank discussed their recent study showing that “the Iraq War has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.” 2.

The plan calls for Israel to take over the regions within the wall, to dismember the shrinking fragments left to Palestinians, and to imprison the fragments by taking over the Jordan Valley. It was supported by the Bush administration, and praised as “moderate” in Western commentary—perhaps too moderate, the U.S.-Israel determined after their invasion of Lebanon in July 2006. 2. Sometimes Washington has gone out of its way to humiliate Israel, with no reaction from the lobby. For one striking example in 2005, see Failed States, page 189. Uri Avnery argues that U.S. orders blocked Israel’s plans for the 2006 Lebanon war, planned well in advance, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert conceded in March 2007. Avnery, “Olmert’s Truth,” March 10, 2007, see http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/. See also note 1 to “Dilemmas of Dominance” on page 48. 3. These numbers, incidentally, are mostly meaningless, because they do not take into account the projected borders of the settlements, mostly state secrets, or the huge infrastructure projects—superhighways for Israelis from which Palestinians are barred, with very wide borders; the Israeli checkpoints and other devices to make life impossible for Palestinians, etc.


pages: 217 words: 61,407

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short by David Archibald

Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, sceptred isle, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

The errant nuclear power of the moment is Iran, which has a large, well-funded uranium-enrichment program and a stated intention of annihilating Israel with nuclear weapons. But whatever the fate of the Iranian bomb-making effort, there is already another nation that is also heading toward failed-state status while still upping the bomb-making rate of its nuclear weapons program. This is Pakistan, “the land of the pure.” Pakistan is in one of the world’s poorer countries, with a literacy rate of 55 percent and a population growth rate of 1.7 percent per annum. Yet it is believed to have an arsenal of approximately one hundred completed nuclear weapons and is accelerating its bomb-making program. Pakistan is a failed state in waiting. When it does fail, what will be the fate of all those nuclear bombs? This situation is not going to end well. A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PRIMER Let’s step back a minute to review some basic facts about nuclear weapons.

As for world peace, the artificial nations created by the British and the French in the Middle East after World War I will devolve to their tribal components. That part of the world at least may go back to the Stone Age–condition of 30 percent of adult males dying violent deaths. Very few Middle Eastern countries produce all of their food requirements. Who will pay to keep them fed when grain becomes scarce and expensive? Added into that mix are the nuclear weapons of Pakistan (a future failed state) and the ones that Iran is intent on making. China is a more formidable threat. A recent Pentagon report described China’s claim to the South China Sea as “enigmatic.” It is nothing of the sort. The claim is China’s way of grabbing its neighbors’ traditional fishing grounds and asserting hegemony in the region. China has become nasty and aggressive. It is the schoolyard bully who wants to pick a fight in order to get respect.

In the meantime, the miracle of compound interest—on the population, not on Yemen’s nonexistent wealth—is making the problem much worse. There is no doubt about what the end will be. There is one part of Yemen that could be very useful to any party wishing to project power in the region. The Socotra Islands off the northeast tip of Somalia were first captured by the Portuguese in 1506 and not incorporated into Yemen until 1967. When Yemen becomes a completely failed state, control of these islands will be up for grabs. There are two countries with the wherewithal and strategic interest to capture them. China’s contribution to the anti-piracy patrol off Somalia includes a landing ship, which, together with support vessels, could take Socotra at any time, unless the Chinese were interdicted. But the Chinese might have competition. The Socotra Islands are 3,000 kilometers closer to the Middle East than the United States’ B-52 base at Diego Garcia in the southern half of the Indian Ocean, and in the longer term they would be a much more secure base than Djibouti, on mainland Africa at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.


pages: 592 words: 161,798

The Future of War by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Glasses, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, long peace, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

ISBN 978-1-61039-305-8 (HC) ISBN 978-1-61039-306-5 (EB) E3-20170928-JV-PC CONTENTS COVER TITLE PAGE COPYRIGHT DEDICATION INTRODUCTION PART ONE 1 Decisive Battle 2 Indecisive Battle 3 The House of Strife 4 Victory Through Cruelty 5 Failures of Peace 6 Total War 7 The Balance of Terror 8 Stuck in the Nuclear Age 9 A Surprise Peace PART TWO 10 A Science of War 11 Counting the Dead 12 Democracy and War 13 New Wars and Failed States 14 Ancient Hatreds and Mineral Curses 15 Intervention 16 Counter-Insurgency to Counter-Terrorism 17 From Counter-Terrorism to Counter-Insurgency 18 The Role of Barbarism 19 Cure Not Prevention PART THREE 20 Hybrid Wars 21 Cyberwar 22 Robots and Drones 23 Mega-Cities and Climate Change 24 Coming Wars 25 The Future of the Future of War ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR ALSO BY LAWRENCE FREEDMAN BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTES INDEX For Sir Michael Howard Teacher, Mentor, Friend INTRODUCTION My trade is courage and atrocities.

The combination of a winner-take-all parochial approach to politics with opportunities to compete for control of central state authority represents a powder keg for political crisis.24 Almost as the theory of the democratic peace was propounded, states becoming democracies experienced conflicts and inner violence. In this way the question of democratisation became linked with the other great issue of the 1990s—the apparent surge in the number of civil wars. [ 13 ] New Wars and Failed States A state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. MAX WEBER, Politics as a Vocation, December 19181 We noted in Chapter 5 the aftershocks of the First World War as old states suffered upheavals and new states were created. Something similar happened after the Second World War, in some cases with the same countries.

In June 1992 UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali produced a report, An Agenda for Peace, which among many issues addressed the problems of ‘post-conflict peace-building’, seeking ‘action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict.’30 The next year, in arguing for new forms of UN trusteeship to support states that clearly could not cope, Gerald Helman and Steven Ratner opened their article with a dramatic warning: From Haiti in the Western Hemisphere to the remnants of Yugoslavia in Europe, from Somalia, Sudan, and Liberia in Africa to Cambodia in Southeast Asia, a disturbing new phenomenon is emerging: the failed nation-state, utterly incapable of sustaining itself as a member of the international community.… As those states descend into violence and anarchy—imperiling their own citizens and threatening their neighbors through refugee flows, political instability, and random warfare—it is becoming clear that something must be done.… Although alleviating the developing world’s suffering has long been a major task, saving failed states will prove a new—and in many ways different—challenge.31 Others came to write of ‘collapsed states’,32 ‘troubled states’, ‘fragile states’, ‘states-at-risk’, or just ‘weak states’. Fine distinctions might be made between these conditions, but the basic idea remained that some states were a danger to themselves and their neighbours and needed to be put into an international equivalent of intensive care.


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The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate

active measures, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, hive mind, index fund, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero day, zero-sum game

For examples of other fragile state rankings, see Daniel Kaufmann and Aart Kraay, “Worldwide Governance Indicators Project,” World Bank, accessed 13 June 2018, http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/#home; Arch Puddington and Tyler Roylance, “Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy,” Freedom in the World Report 17, Freedom House, https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2017; Human Development Report 2016, United Nations Development Programme, http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI; “States of Fragility Reports,” The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), last updated 2016, www.oecd.org/dac/conflict-fragility-resilience/listofstateoffragilityreports.htm; “Corruption Perception Index,” Transparency International, 21 February 2018, www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview. For examples of scholarship, see Robert I. Rotberg, “Failed States, Collapsed States, Weak States: Causes and Indicators,” in State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror (Cambridge, MA: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), 1–25; Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart, Fixing Failed States: a Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009); Jean-Germain Gros, “Towards a Taxonomy of Failed States in the New World Order: Decaying Somalia, Liberia, Rwanda and Haiti,” Third World Quarterly 17, no. 3 (1996): 455–72. 7. Top and bottom ranked states: J. J. Messner et al., Fragile States Index 2017–Annual Report (Washington, DC: Fund for Peace, 14 May 2017), http://fundforpeace.org/fsi/2017/05/14/fragile-states-index-2017-annual-report. 8.

President Ronald Reagan brands the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and authorizes the largest military buildup since that of the Second World War. Tom Clancy is writing The Hunt for Red October, and the United States and the USSR nearly start a nuclear war over a NATO exercise in Germany called “Able Archer.” At the height of this Cold War frenzy, Olson points to a different future. Brushing aside the US-USSR conflict, he predicts that the future will descend into Islamic terrorism, ethnic conflict, failed states, and a global insurgency against the West. All of this was unfathomable back then. Unlike his peers, he spoke fluent Farsi and had spent the 1970s traveling in Afghanistan and Iran. What he saw that his contemporaries missed was a “parallel international system” festering dangerously.13 Olson was lambasted as a kook. As he now recalls, “The Blob ate my lunch, and then ate me.” The Blob is the groupthink of the Washington consensus.

In a democracy, legitimacy is conferred by the people’s consent to be governed—hence the importance of elections. People owe their obedience to the government in exchange for social services like security, justice, education, and health care. If the population is dissatisfied, it can fire the government and elect new leaders. Political scientists call this dynamic the “social contract” between ruler and ruled. COINistas think you can forge a new social contract in failed states if you provide people with better social services, literally building a nation out of dust. One COINista even called it “armed social work” (which angered social workers everywhere).9 As a result, the United States blew billions in Iraq and Afghanistan building schools, roads, hospitals—a state. But this never succeeds because—spoiler alert—populations are not bribable. Individuals can be bribed, but not communities.


pages: 850 words: 224,533

The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World by Oona A. Hathaway, Scott J. Shapiro

9 dash line, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, bank run, Bartolomé de las Casas, battle of ideas, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, failed state, humanitarian revolution, index card, long peace, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, spice trade, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, zero-sum game

Similar examples are easy to find: al Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Tehrik-i-Taliban in Pakistan, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Jabhat al Nusrah in Syria, the Houthi in Yemen.33 Though not all failed states breed terrorism and not all terrorism originates in failed states, weak and failed states are a significant source of terrorist threats. States that control their territory suppress violent groups, usually through ordinary law enforcement—police, rather than the military. In states that cannot control their territory, by contrast, violence tends to grow, with no organized force to contain or counter it. By removing predators from the international ecosystem, then, the outlawry of war has effectively enabled the survival of the weakest. Those weak states sometimes become failed states. And those failed states too often become breeding grounds for internal conflict and terrorism. THE PRIZE AND ITS PRICE The Peace Pact and the United Nations Charter embodied grand promises: the promise of a world free of interstate war; the promise of self-determination, where states could afford to be weak without the fear of conquest; the promise of free trade and right-sized states; and the promise of international cooperation and global governance.

In the Old World Order, where war was legal, a sovereign nation that did not have well-functioning state institutions was at risk of losing territory to a sovereign nation that did. In the New World Order, military aggression is illegal, allowing even weak states to survive. But a world in which weak states can survive is also a world in which weak states can become failed states. Failed states all too often collapse into civil war and humanitarian catastrophe, and they serve as breeding grounds for insurgencies and terrorism. The decline of interstate war and territorial aggression precipitated by the New World Order has thus led to a corresponding increase in failed states and intrastate war. That, too, is the result of changes set in motion by the Peace Pact of 1928. • • • Historians and international relation theorists have traditionally referred to the modern international order as the “Westphalian order.” It is named after Westphalia, the northwestern region of Germany in which two peace treaties were signed concluding the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), the bloodiest of the European religious wars, which, by most estimates, killed a third of the German population.22 According to these scholars, the Westphalian peace treaties instituted the modern order of sovereign states.

Figure 6 shows the average number of failed states per year for nearly two centuries. The information comes from the Polity IV project dataset, which follows all major independent states in the world from the early 1800s through 2014. Political scientists use it to assess the characteristics of state governments—whether democratic or authoritarian or somewhere in between. Among the information it captures is “complete collapse of central political authority” (that is, “state failure or ‘interregnum’ ” so complete that there is no government to assess). The test is stringent—probably too stringent.30 Governments that are very weak or possess control over some, but not all, of its territory do not count as “failed.” (According to Polity, Iraq was not a failed state in 2014, but was in 2003.) Thus the startling numbers in the figure likely understate the number of failed states in recent decades.


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America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama

affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Internet Archive, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

If this is true, it implies that we are facing a huge crisis of missing sovereignty. It is fine to argue that an ideal global order should be based on a system of states, states which coherently make and enforce rules and have the capacity to deal with other states on a relatively equal basis. But we have no idea how to get most weak or failing states to meet these conditions. We can promote political development, good governance, and democracy at the margin, but for the foreseeable future there will remain a large core of states that simply do not fit the traditional sovereignty model. In dealing with failed states like Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Afghanistan, we have pretended that external actors, from the European Union to the United States to the World Bank, are overseeing a transitional arrangement before the return of full sovereignty to these places. But the prospects for actually doing so lie far down the road.

That world is characterized by American hegemony and a global anti-American backlash, complete with inchoate forms of "soft" balancing; a shift in the locus of action away from nation-states toward non-state actors and other transnational forces; an accompanying dis- Principles and Prudence integration of sovereignty both as a normative principle and as an empirical reality; and the emergence of a band of weak and failed states that are the source of most global problems. In light of this emerging external environment, the United States needs to define an approach to foreign policy that is not captured by any of these existing positions. This approach begins from certain neoconservative premises: first, that U.S. policy and the international community more broadly need to concern themselves with what goes on inside other countries, not just their external behavior, as realists would have it; and second, that power—specifically American power—is often necessary to bring about moral purposes.

What we need, in other words, is a more realistic Wilsonianism that better matches means to ends in dealing with other societies. Realistic Wilsonianism differs from classical realism by taking seriously as an object of U.S. foreign policy what goes on inside states. To say that nation-building or democracy promotion is hard is not to say that it is impossible or that it should be scrupulously avoided. Indeed, weak or failed states are one of the biggest sources of global disorder today, and it is simply impossible, for reasons relating both to security and to morality, for the world's Principles and Prudence sole superpower to walk away from them. Neither realists nor neoconservatives have paid sufficient attention to the problem of development over the years, nor have they focused on parts of the world like Africa or Latin America where development is most problematic (except, of course, when countries in these regions became security threats).


pages: 329 words: 102,469

Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West by Timothy Garton Ash

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, clean water, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Peace of Westphalia, postnationalism / post nation state, Project for a New American Century, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey

There is also an extreme “old European” position: that nations can use force only in self-defense against an actual armed attack, according to a strict interpretation of Article 51 of the 1945 United Nations Charter, or with explicit authorization from the U.N. Security Council. This is equally untenable. It is inadequate for the new security risks of the early twenty-first century, in which convergences of international terrorism, rogue or failed states, and weapons of mass destruction create threats unlike those of a conventional Wehrmacht massing at the frontiers of the Third Reich or nuclear missiles in Red Army silos. Al-Qaeda, based in the failed state of Afghanistan, demonstrated that. It is also, so to speak, morally outdated in the face of an emerging Western consensus on the need to prevent regimes or dominant ethnic groups from committing genocide against people living inside the frontiers of the same state. European states intervened in Kosovo, together with the United States, to stop Slobodan Miloševi perpetrating “another Bosnia” against the mainly Muslim Albanian Kosovars, although they had no explicit authorization from the U.N.

In the twentieth century, we spent most of our time worrying about states that were too strong: the “Big Brother” regimes. There are still quite a few of them—in Burma, in North Korea, in several parts of Africa, and, in some respects, still the Chinese communist party-state. In the early twenty-first century, however, we spend as much time worrying about states that are too weak. It’s in failed states, such as Somalia and Rwanda, that people are murdered in large numbers just because of their ethnicity. It’s in failed states, such as Afghanistan, that militant extremists and international terrorists find a congenial home. Then there’s the danger of dictators, extremists, or terrorists getting hold of the weapons of mass destruction which, thanks to the Western-led arms industry and arms trade, are ever more deadly and ever more widely available. In a breathtaking example of American “can-do” idealism, a former American ambassador, Mark Palmer, has proposed a campaign by the world’s democracies to get rid of the world’s last forty-four dictators over the next twenty years.

He went to Ground Zero, where Mayor Giuliani was himself drawing inspiration from Churchill’s conduct during the Blitz; he received his first standing ovation in Congress (“thank you for comin’, friend”); he dashed around the world, covering more than 40,000 air miles, having fifty-four meetings with other leaders in the course of eight weeks, trying to help the U.S. to respond wisely to the challenge.79 Britain had once again appointed itself Athens to America’s Rome. As the Bush administration’s agenda moved from destroying al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to regime change in Iraq, Blair stuck to his strategic choice. He genuinely seemed to believe that the combination of terrorism, rogue or failed states, and weapons of mass destruction was the great new challenge of our time—comparable, in scale if not in kind, to fascism in the 1930s or Soviet communism in the 1950s. But he also argued that Britain must “remain the closest ally of the United States”80 to try to prevent Washington from overreacting, to bring it back to multilateralism, and to broaden its agenda to include, for example, a peace process between Israel and Palestine.


The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, end world poverty, European colonialism, failed state, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Live Aid, microcredit, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, publication bias, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

The Bank announced “a joint government/ multi-donor Interim Cooperation Framework (Cadre de Coopération Intérimaire, or CCI).55 In July 2004, the CCI believed that Haiti was now “primed to tackle many urgent and medium term development needs.56The Economist in June 2005 quoted people a little closer to reality, such as diplomats stationed in Port-au-Prince, as saying that Haiti was on the verge of being a “failed state.” Foreign Policy magazine in August 2005 classified Haiti as a failed state, ranking it as more dysfunctional than the likes of Afghanistan, North Korea, and Zimbabwe.57 The long years of military intervention have failed to produce anything constructive in Haiti. As far as promoting democracy, one study on the historical record of American nation-building says that it doesn’t usually work. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholars Minxin Pei and Sara Kasper analyzed sixteen American nation-building efforts over the past century.58 Only four were democracies ten years after the U.S. military left—Japan and Germany after resounding defeat and occupation in World War II, and tiny Grenada(1983) and Panama (1989).

Weinstein, “Autonomous Recovery and International Intervention in Comparative Perspective,” Center for Global Development Working Paper no. 57, April 2005. 3.James Fearon and David Laitin, “Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States,” International Security 28, no. 4 (Spring 2004): 5–43. 4.Sebastian Mallaby, “The Reluctant Imperialist: Terrorism, Failed States, the Case for American Empire,” Foreign Affairs 81, no. 2 (March/April 2002); Chester Crocker, “Engaging Failing States,” Foreign Affairs 84, no. 5 September/October 2003); Stuart Eizenstat, John Edward Porter, and Jeremy Weinstein, “Rebuilding Weak States,” Foreign Affairs 84, no. 1 (January/February 2005); Stephen D. Krasner and Carlos Pascual, “Addressing State Failure,” Foreign Affairs 84, no. 4 (July/August 2005); Stephen Ellis, “How to Rebuild Africa,” Foreign Affairs 84, no. 5 (September/October 2005). 5.Krasner and Pascual, “Addressing State Failure.” 6.Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire, New York: The Penguin Press, 2004, p. 198. 7.D.

An Englishman observed at the time, “The present government seems to consider the poverty and ignorance of the people as the best safeguards of the security and permanence of their own property and power.67 The illiteracy and powerlessness of the majority of the population had condemned Haiti to underdevelopment long before the Duvaliers and the IMF arrived, and it still does today. The IMF giving Haiti credit after credit did nothing to address the centuries-old political roots of macroeconomic instability, not to mention the country’s underdevelopment. The International Financial Institutions Get Taken Again One test of how donor agencies deal with government is to see how they respond to some of the worst cases. Haiti is not the only failed state getting IMF credits. Another notorious case is Mobutu’s Zaire. The IMF gave Mobutu eleven bailout loans during his tenure. It was not that his thefts were a secret. The IMF had sent a German banker named Erwin Blumenthal to the Central Bank of Zaire in 1978–1979. He carefully documented how much Mobutu was stealing, and reported back to the IMF and the World Bank. Mobutu could use thuggery as well as bribery: In the late 1970s, a Zairean army unit attacked an uncooperative resident representative of the IMF and the World Bank.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

The same is now happening with the ASEAN Economic Community of Southeast Asia and the pan-Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, where economies are opening at their own pace to protect their comparative advantages and boost employment. The infrastructural and market integration under way within regions today makes them far more significant building blocks of global order than nations. Importantly, the geographies not knitting themselves together into collective functional zones—the Near East and Central Asia—are also generally where one finds the most failed states. Mega-regions are not monolithic blocs but what scholars call “composite empires,” informal and transactional rather than formal and institutionalized. They feature nominal central authority but substantial autonomy for various provinces within. The Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires were geographically vast, militarily dominant, and economically wealthy, but they were also highly unequal, politically devolved, and culturally fractured.

Zaatari in northern Jordan houses over 100,000 Syrians, making it the fourth-largest city in the country. The World Food Programme head remarked, “We don’t look at Zaatari as a camp anymore, but as a municipality or a town.”5 The space in between the region’s civilizational anchors—Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran—is now up for grabs. Iraqi nationalism is meaningless, and Syria is an artificial failed state. Given its sectarian diversity and rugged topography, it is destined to devolve further, with Damascus and Aleppo remaining autonomous commercial hubs. The entire region is experiencing Lebanonization: sectarian towns at various distances from more multiethnic capitals. The Middle East, it has long been argued, is but a collection of “tribes with flags.” Today tribes such as the Kurds that have no state have far more meaningful nationalism than Jordanians or Lebanese who do.

A 2013 report declared that Cleveland is “Balkanized,” describing it as “cut off from the global flow of people and ideas.”1 In Buffalo, once-bustling factory buildings producing Otis elevators and Wonder bread are now hollow, rotting carcasses. Experts predict a much wider wave of municipal bankruptcies across the Rust Belt of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, and even some New England cities that are losing talent, business, and investment to Boston. For a large empire such as America, failing cities are its own version of failing states. While many blame outsourcing to low-wage car plants in China as the cause of Detroit’s decline, the Motor City has a counterpart in China as well: Dongguan. Dubbed one of the “Four Little Tigers” in China’s southern Guangdong province, Dongguan specialized in electronics manufacturing, ranking only second to Shenzhen in total trade volume.2 But the 2008 financial crisis crushed its exports as well: Factories closed, and workers vacated.


pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

It was a Cold War strategy that might be charitably described as shortsighted, and certainly appeared contradictory: a United States supposedly committed to principles of secular government helped oust a regime attempting to establish just that, albeit undemocratically. Soviet restraint in the United States struggle for Vietnam was not rewarded with American moderation in Afghanistan, even when it must have been obvious to some policy makers in Washington that a forced withdrawal of Soviet troops would leave Afghanistan a destabilized, faction-ridden, failed state flooded with armaments at a time when Islamic terrorism was on the rise. Soon the factions that had been somewhat united during the anti-Soviet campaign were in conflict, with warlords controlling fiefdoms far from the devastated capital and more than 3 million refugees encamped on the Pakistan side of the border. The United States, of course, was not the only factor in the struggle for Afghanistan.

Whether the Muslim-Christian clashes are an isolated event or a signal of more serious problems is not yet clear. As Figure 9-2 shows, the Islamic Front loops into the Horn of Africa, coinciding very roughly with the border between mainly Muslim Eritrea and dominantly Christian Ethiopia before dividing the latter into a Muslim east (Ogaden) and a Christian west. The Muslim east is the historic home of the Somali people living on the Ethiopian side of the border with the failed state of Somalia that, as the map indicates, is virtually 100 percent Muslim. Ethiopia's Christianized core area, centered on the capital of Adis Abeba, lies in the highlands, a natural fortress that has protected the country in the past and from where the founding emperor, Menelik, extended its power over the encircling plains. In the process Ethiopia's Christian rulers gained con-trol over the Ogaden with its Muslim Somali population and its leading city, Harer (Fig. 9-2).

Clan allegiances and divisions, not invented boundaries, dominated life. Somali pastoralists drove their herds across the borders in pursuit of seasonal rains as they had for centuries, and in Somalia they fought among themselves over influence and dominance. The approximate position of the Islamic Front in Ethiopia is of less concern that its extension along the Somali-Kenya border, because Somalia has been a failed state for decades and it is there, rather than in Muslim Ethiopia, that the greatest potential for terrorist activity exists. In early 2005, Somalia remained a state divided into three parts; Somaliland, the former British FROM TERRORISM TO INSURGENCY 185 GAMBIA ^^^ 99% ;j^GgiNEA ;: f GUINEA-V ^v85S^>-'A BISSAU ^^y'^*5*> mTN- 45% SIERRA' "fc »^^ "I " 'GHANA LEONE ^ ^ J^--5 Torn \ / '' ' «■"""-«':; «t' 46% /->'^ -^- ^3§o9„ l/^ CAMEROON M'^^'-^-'v^ C6TE EQUATORIAL-ccf-' 1 ^^'''''' ^r ^' V' P| T—' ?


pages: 286 words: 82,970

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass

access to a mobile phone, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, central bank independence, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, global pandemic, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, immigration reform, invisible hand, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, open economy, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special drawing rights, Steven Pinker, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

The lectures and subsequent writing did not take place in a vacuum, much less against a backdrop of relative peace and prosperity. To the contrary, 2015 and the first half of 2016 were a time of considerable turbulence and difficulty in the world. The post–World War I order was unraveling in much of the Middle East. Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the growing reach of the Islamic State had put much of the region on edge. Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya all shared many of the characteristics of failing or failed states. Syria in particular emerged as an example of what could go wrong: hundreds of thousands of Syrians had lost their lives and more than half the population had become internally displaced or refugees, in the process threatening to overwhelm not just Syria’s neighbors but Europe as well. In part as a result, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world swelled to more than sixty million.

It is only a slight exaggeration to suggest that the dominant foreign policy challenges confronting the United States and the world for much of the 1990s stemmed from internal conflicts of this variety and from weak rather than strong states.3 Strong states need no definition, but weak states arguably do. What makes a state weak is not an inability to project military power or fight wars beyond its borders so much as its inability to control what takes place within its borders. It is a lack of capacity, one that often leads to large swaths of territory (often termed “ungoverned spaces”) being outside the writ of the government. A failed state is simply the extreme version of a weak state, one in which governmental authority effectively collapses, leading to chaos, the rise of local gangs and militias ruling over parts of the country, or both. The first such example came in Iraq in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait. Rebellions (intifadas in Arabic) against the harsh rule of the central government broke out in the Shia-dominated south and the Kurdish-dominated north of Iraq.

To the contrary, they avoided anything that smacked of nation building, partly out of naïve hopes that Libyans would come together on their own, but more out of a concern about the cost of putting the country back together. The result is a civil conflict that has claimed far more lives and uprooted far more people than even the worse estimates of what Gadhafi might have unleashed. Another result is the existence of not just one but multiple failed states in the territory that was once the country of Libya. Not surprisingly, the Islamic State is making growing use of this largely ungoverned territory. The Syrian case is if anything even more consequential. Indeed, it is as strong an argument as exists that when it comes to foreign policy, what you choose not to do can be every bit as consequential as what you do. Syria in the years since 2011 is the bookend to the 2003 decision to go to war with Iraq.


pages: 547 words: 172,226

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, British Empire, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, invention of movable type, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, working poor

Such lack of order and central authority has been the fate of many African nations in recent decades, partly because the process of political centralization was historically delayed in much of sub-Saharan Africa, but also because the vicious circle of extractive institutions reversed any state centralization that existed, paving the way for state failure. Sierra Leone during her bloody civil war of ten years, from 1991 to 2001, was a typical case of a failed state. It started out as just another country marred by extractive institutions, albeit of a particularly vicious and inefficient type. Countries become failed states not because of their geography or their culture, but because of the legacy of extractive institutions, which concentrate power and wealth in the hands of those controlling the state, opening the way for unrest, strife, and civil war. Extractive institutions also directly contribute to the gradual failing of the state by neglecting investment in the most basic public services, exactly what happened in Sierra Leone.

The Atlantic slave trade repeated the same pattern in Africa, even if starting from less developed conditions than in Southeast Asia and India. Many African states were turned into war machines intent on capturing and selling slaves to Europeans. As conflict between different polities and states grew into continuous warfare, state institutions, which in many cases had not yet achieved much political centralization in any case, crumbled in large parts of Africa, paving the way for persistent extractive institutions and the failed states of today that we will study later. In a few parts of Africa that escaped the slave trade, such as South Africa, Europeans imposed a different set of institutions, this time designed to create a reservoir of cheap labor for their mines and farms. The South African state created a dual economy, preventing 80 percent of the population from taking part in skilled occupations, commercial farming, and entrepreneurship.

Conflict precipitates state failure. So another reason why nations fail today is that their states fail. This, in turn, is a consequence of decades of rule under extractive economic and political institutions. WHO IS THE STATE? The cases of Zimbabwe, Somalia, and Sierra Leone, even if typical of poor countries in Africa, and perhaps even some in Asia, seem rather extreme. Surely Latin American countries do not have failed states? Surely their presidents are not brazen enough to win the lottery? In Colombia, the Andean Mountains gradually merge to the north with a large coastal plain that borders the Caribbean Ocean. Colombians call this the tierra caliente, the “hot country,” as distinct from the Andean world of the tierra fria, the “cold country.” For the last fifty years, Colombia has been regarded by most political scientists and governments as a democracy.


pages: 482 words: 161,169

Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry by Peter Warren Singer

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market friction, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, risk/return, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Indeed, in much of the developing world, the security environment is shaped by the very weakness of the state. Most borders are permeable, with only sporadic and weak control of the flow of people and goods. This blurs the distinction between external and internal security problems.38 These THE RISE failed states are breeding grounds for instability, lawlessness, and ethnic and religious turmoil as well as havens for terrorists and criminal leaders. The major threats of today come not from major states projecting power but from weak or failed states projecting instability. It's no coincidence that such zones bereft of real government were primary refuges for Bin Laden and his ilk in al Qaeda. In sum, many states are less willing and less able to guarantee their own sovereign autonomy. Instead, they have increasingly delegated the task of securing the life and property of their citizens to other organizations, including PMFs.39 The irony is that this new wave is a reversal of the processes by which the modern state originally evolved.

Indeed, within the Wesfs conceptual universe, the idea of democracy is now closely linked to that of privatization.114 In sum, the 1990s saw unprecedented levels of privatization.llD By 1998, the rate of global privatization was roughly doubling each year.11G This "privatization revolution1" went hand in hand with globalization; both trends embraced the notion that comparative advantage and competition maximize efficiency and effectiveness.[ l' In response, many internal elites tended to relinquish their social duties and focus on safeguarding their own economic fiefdoms, furthering the trend towrard outsourcing.1 liS For example, Indonesia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Congo are all failing states that contracted out public tax collection to private firms.L l9 The general result is that the involvement of companies, often foreign, in the provision of public services became even more pronounced around the globe. The recent period has seen the snowballing of such externalization to the point that, in many arenas, the state bureaucracy has been completely displaced. This has been particularly so in the developing world.

If, however, the commander is lacking in prowess, as often as not, he brings about your ruin."'2 Hired guns may serve a client's wishes today, but force the client to honor their wishes tomorrow/3 PMFs argue that as they are companies, this risk is limited, claiming that the "fundamental law of a successful business is that the supplier is only as good as his last contract."'"1 Firms that exploit the trust placed in them by a client would find their future sales growth threatened, and so arguably would be self-directed away from doing this in the first place. In weak or failed states, however, military provider firms are typically the most effective local force, even with their small numbers. Moreover, friction between employer and employee is built into such a relationship and both parties have to look ahead to a time when their contractual relationship comes to an end. Thus, solidarity between hired troops and those who pay them has traditionally been not that strong.711 As a result, the risks of PMFs or their individual employees turning on their clients must be acknowledged.


pages: 131 words: 41,052

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century by Mark Leonard

Berlin Wall, Celtic Tiger, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, global reserve currency, invisible hand, knowledge economy, mass immigration, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, one-China policy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pension reform, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, shareholder value, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus

First, the development of a new ethic of global responsibility. In the last year China has played a key role in North Korea, it has shown itself more willing to take part in discussions about global governance, and has committed a limited number of troops to UN peace-keeping missions. But to be a partner to Europe in the political sphere as well as the economic one, China will have to get involved in a meaningful way in stabilizing failed states, protecting people from genocide, tackling global warming, and preventing the proliferation of WMD. China will also need to shift its thinking on sovereignty. Rather than seeing pooling sovereignty as a threat, it will need to embrace it further if its attempts at fostering regional integration are to take off. There are many things that could stand in the way. The resurgent nationalism of public opinion and the ‘One China’ policy that aims to stop Taiwan from declaring its independence at ‘any price’ are frightening to European observers.

This would not necessarily have to replace the Security Council and General Assembly, but the forum for regional organizations would be the best place to deal with the two most pressing issues on the global agenda: development and peace-keeping.10 Our experience with the European Union has shown that the way to construct a new order will not be to start with a grand constitutional design but to create an interest in working together on the pressing problems. By forming a series of overlapping clubs to deal with trade, nuclear proliferation, economic development, global diseases, and propping up failing states, it might one day be possible to bring them together into a single framework.11 As the momentum for regional organization picks up, great powers like the United States will inevitably be sucked into the process of integration. They might be able to slow the process, but they won’t be able to stop it. By opposing it they will harm themselves by provoking regional clubs to organise against them.

These are the things we Europeans must rigorously push for at the international level as the 21st century unfolds.’ 7Giegerich, Bastian, and William Wallace (2004), ‘Not Such a Soft Power: The External Deployment of European Forces’, Survival, 46, pp. 163–82. 8Gourlay, Catriona (19 October 2003), ‘Operations update: Past, Present and Future’, ISIS Europe, European Security Review. 9This phrase comes from former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt’s speech to the Ivan Bloch Commemorative Conference on the Future of War, St Petersburg, Russia (25 February 1999). 10These figures come from a speech given by UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw entitled ‘Failed and Failing States’ at the European Research Institute, University of Birmingham (6 September 2002). 11Carl Bildt made this point well in his Financial Times article ‘We must build states and not nations’ (16 January 2004). 12Everts, Steven et al. (2004), European Way of War, London, Centre for European Reform. 13Everts et al., (2004). 14Ibid. 15Lieven, Anatol, (April 2001), ‘Soldiers Before Missiles: Meeting the Challenge from the World’s Streets’, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, vol. 1, no. 4. 16Freedman in Everts et al. 2004. 17O’Hanlon in Everts et al. 2004. 18Ibid. 19These commitments were made at the Helsinki and Gothenburg Summits.


pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

Without antennae, we grope helplessly from one crisis to the next. We need to fundamentally revamp our foreign policy strategy and organization. We cannot achieve national security strictly through military outlays. Instead, we need international partnerships and goodwill, and greater stability in today’s fragile and failing states. We need to use development assistance to promote global stability. Finally, we need to reorganize government so that the deeper challenges to our stability—extreme poverty, failed states, environmental threats—can be addressed with knowledge and capacity. THE LIMITS OF MILITARY POWER Figure 12.1 shows an astounding fact. U.S. military spending in 2006 was nearly equal to the military spending of the rest of the world combined. By now, after large increases in the U.S. budget in fiscal years 2007–8, it’s very likely that U.S. military spending now exceeds the rest of the world’s.

The current Bush administration wrongly accused UNFPA of aiding China in coercive measures and cut off all U.S. funding for UNFPA. The U.S. State Department investigated and in 2002 recommended that funding be restored, but it did not succeed in overturning a White House political move. Narrow politics prevailed over America’s foreign policy interests. U.S. policy neglect is especially surprising in view of our concerns over the threats of failed states. The youth bulge of high-fertility countries—measured as the share of youth (aged fifteen to twenty-four) in the entire adult population (aged fifteen and above)—should be a matter of national concern. The evidence, summarized in powerful reports by Population Action International (PAI) and by the demographer Henrik Urdal, is that a youth bulge significantly raises the likelihood of civil conflict, presumably by raising the ratio of those who would engage in violence relative to those who would mediate disputes.

Public and Private Capital Even when technologies are invented by the private sector, the use of new technologies usually depends on public-sector investments as well. For example, cars require roads, electrical machinery requires a reliable power grid, and imported medicines in the poorest countries require public-sector hospitals and clinics. If the government is not holding up its end of the deal by making the needed public investments, then the private sector will not be able to make profitable private investments in new technologies. Thus, a failed state, or a bankrupt government that can’t pay for public investments, or a wildly corrupt government, will result in a technologically stagnant private sector as well. Adaptation to Local Ecology Many technologies work right out of the box, irrespective of the local physical environment. Many, however, require significant adaptation to local biophysical conditions. Agronomic practices, public health methodologies, construction methods and materials, and infrastructure design all must adapt international practices to local conditions.


pages: 165 words: 47,405

Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

British Empire, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Westphalian system

He traces it back to early U.S. history, specifically to John Quincy Adams, who laid out the grand strategy for the conquest of the continent. The centerpiece of his argument is a famous letter that Adams wrote in 1818 justifying Andrew Jackson’s conquest of Florida during the First Seminole War.1 Gaddis cites Adams’s argument that it was necessary to attack the Florida area in order to protect American security because the area was a “failed state”—he actually uses the phrase—a kind of a power vacuum which threatened the United States. But if you examine the actual scholarship, it’s quite interesting. Gaddis certainly knows that the scholarly books he cites point out that Andrew Jackson’s invasion of Florida had absolutely nothing to do with security. It was a matter of expansion, a bid to take over the Spanish settlements. And the only threats were “lawless” Indians and runaway slaves.

Then most of them go back home, and continue with their lives. Health care is a different issue. You can’t get it with one demonstration. You have to have a functioning democratic society, with popular associations, unions, and political groups working on it all the time. That’s the way you organize people to get health care. But that’s what’s lacking. The United States is basically what’s called a “failed state.” It has formal democratic institutions, but they barely function. So it doesn’t matter that approximately three fourths of the population think we ought to have some kind of government-funded health care system. It doesn’t even matter if a large majority regards health care as a moral value. When commentators rave about moral values, they’re talking about banning gay marriage, not the idea that everyone should have decent health care.

In Brazil, where there are vibrant popular movements, people were able to elect a president, Lula, from their own ranks. Maybe they don’t like everything Lula’s doing, but he’s an impressive figure, a former steelworker. I don’t think he ever went to college. And they were able to elect him president. That’s inconceivable in the United States. Here you vote for one or another rich boy from Yale. That’s because we don’t have popular organizations, and they do. Or take Haiti. Haiti is considered a “failed state,” but in 1990 Haiti had a democratic election of the kind we can only dream of. It’s an extremely poor country, and people in the hills and the slums actually got together and elected their own candidate. And the election just shocked the daylights out of everyone, which is why in 1991, there was a military coup, supported by the United States, to crush the democratic government. For us to become as democratic as Haiti doesn’t sound very utopian.


Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, American ideology, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, drone strike, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Powell Memorandum, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

The project was conceived by Tom Engelhardt and Steve Fraser, editors who are themselves historians and writers. Published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, its titles include Hegemony or Survival and Failed States by Noam Chomsky, The Limits of Power and Washington Rules by Andrew Bacevich, Blood and Oil by Michael T. Klare, A Question of Torture by Alfred McCoy, A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn, and Empire’s Workshop by Greg Grandin. For more information about the American Empire Project and for a list of forthcoming titles, please visit americanempireproject.com. Also by Noam Chomsky Hegemony or Survival Failed States Imperial Ambitions What We Say Goes Metropolitan Books Henry Holt and Company, LLC Publishers since 1866 175 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10010 www.henryholt.com Metropolitan Books® and ® are registered trademarks of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

., 24 Tunisia, 44–45, 48–49, 53, 67, 112–13 Turkey, 51, 89–94 human rights violations, 89–92 -Israel relations, 92–94 Kurds, 89–92 Turkmenistan, 17 Twitter, 105, 145 UNASUR, 161 unemployment, 22–23, 38, 66, 76 United Arab Emirates, 8, 15, 49 United Auto Workers, 25 United Nations, 46, 50–52, 115, 162, 163 universal genome, 129 universal grammar, 126–29 universities, 150–53, 165–68 corporatization of, 152, 167–68 sports, 165–66 uprisings, 44–64 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67, 112–13, 168 Egypt, 44–49, 60–64 Libya, 50–54 Vietnam War, 1–3, 15, 31, 64, 97 visual system, 141 voting, 81, 84, 117–18 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 77 Wall Street Journal, 54, 169 Walmart, 9 war, 13–18, 20 crimes, 114–17 Warfalla, 50 Washington, George, 3 Weathermen, 74 Weimar Republic, 25, 27–29 Weisskopf, Victor, 149, 154 welfare, 82–83, 84, 87 Western Sahara, 46 “When Elites Fail” (Chomsky), 22 Wiesel, Elie, 94 WikiLeaks, 99, 107–13 Wilson, Woodrow, 13, 23 Wisconsin, labor demonstrations in, 40–43 Wolf, Martin, 78 Wolff, Richard, 88 women’s rights, 79, 150, 177 World Bank, 47 World Trade Organization, 107 World War II, 5, 7, 56, 57, 115–16 Yemen, 49, 114 Yglesias, Matthew, 59, 63 YouTube, 104 Zaire, 17 Zinn, Howard, 1, 22, 78 About the Authors NOAM CHOMSKY is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts. DAVID BARSAMIAN, director of the award-winning and widely syndicated Alternative Radio (www.alternativeradio.org), is the winner of the Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Fellowship and the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism.


Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination by Adom Getachew

agricultural Revolution, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, failed state, financial independence, Gunnar Myrdal, land reform, land tenure, liberal world order, market fundamentalism, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade

The twelve-­year experiment to raise Ethiopia’s level of civilization through membership had failed and illustrated that Ethiopia “does not possess the The Cou n ter r evolu tiona ry Momen t [ 65 ] necessary qualifications . . . to raise herself by voluntary efforts to the level of other civilized nations.”143 The Italian government explained this failure in two ways. In the first case, Ethiopia was portrayed as a failed state that suffered from a “chronic state of disorder.”144 The absence of effective government denied Ethiopian subjects the protections and rights they ought to have been guaranteed, while the disorder in the country threatened to spill over into neighboring countries. On the question of slavery in particular, it had become clear that abolition would not be realized “unless there is a fundamental change in the conditions of the country which cannot come about so long as government is non-­existent, inchoate and impotent.”145 The Italian government concluded that Ethiopia could not “carry out unaided the thorough reorganization without which it must remain a permanent danger.”146 Setting the stage for its intervention, the Italian memo noted that the League of Nations is “a system of obligations and rights, which are interdependent.

Ethiopia demonstrated “a cynical indifference for her international obligations and the undertakings assumed toward the League of Nations.”148 It was, according to the memorandum, a barbaric nation, one that practiced emasculation, torture, and cannibalism within its borders, and aggression and xenophobia toward its neighbors.149 On this view, Ethiopia rather than Italy was the criminal state under international law. This characterization would have consequences for the war. While its status as a failed state robbed Ethiopia of its claims to rights of membership, its position as an outlaw canceled any obligations Italy or other members of the league might have had to Ethiopia. Through “barbarous custom and archaic laws,” Ethiopia “openly placed herself outside the Covenant of the League and has rendered herself unworthy of the trust placed in her when she was admitted to membership.”150 As the closing paragraph of the memo noted, “it would be contrary to every principle of law and justice to claim that Members of the League are bound to observe the rules of the Covenant in their relations with a State Member which has placed itself outside the Covenant through a breach of its undertakings.”151 The league’s initial response to the Italian memo did not dispute the characterization of Ethiopia or the need for tutelage.

According to Bradley, between 1972 and 1979, 86 percent of Amnesty International’s reports and publications focused on the global south. 157. Rupert Emerson, “The Fate of Human Rights in the Third World,” World Politics 27 (January 1975): 201–­26, 223. 158. Ibid., 225. 159. These arguments became dominant only with the end of the Cold War, reaching their height in the debates about humanitarian intervention during the 1990s. See, for example, Jackson, Quasi-­states; Gerald B. Helman and Steven R. Ratner, “Saving Failed States,” Foreign Policy 89 (Winter 1992): 3–­20. On the persistence of trusteeship, see William Bain, Between Anarchy and Society: Trusteeship and the [ 206 ] notes to ch a pter four Obligations of Power (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003); William Bain, “The Political Theory of Trusteeship and the Twilight of International Equality,” Interna­ tional Relations 17 (March 2003): 59–­77; Ralph Wilde, International Territorial Administration: How Trusteeship and the Civilizing Mission Never Went Away (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). 160.


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21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon-based life, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deglobalization, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, obamacare, pattern recognition, post-work, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

There are parliaments in Tehran, Moscow, Cape Town and New Delhi as well as in London and Paris. When Israelis and Palestinians, Russians and Ukrainians, Kurds and Turks compete for the favours of global public opinion, they all use the same discourse of human rights, state sovereignty and international law. The world may be peppered with various types of ‘failed states’, but it knows only one paradigm for a successful state. Global politics thus follows the Anna Karenina principle: successful states are all alike, but every failed state fails in its own way, by missing this or that ingredient of the dominant political package. The Islamic State has recently stood out in its complete rejection of this package, and in its attempt to establish an entirely different kind of political entity – a universal caliphate. But precisely for this reason it has failed.

Believing that my nation is unique, that it deserves my allegiance, and that I have special obligations towards its members inspires me to care about others and make sacrifices on their behalf. It is a dangerous mistake to imagine that without nationalism we would all be living in a liberal paradise. More likely, we would be living in tribal chaos. Peaceful, prosperous and liberal countries such as Sweden, Germany and Switzerland all enjoy a strong sense of nationalism. The list of countries lacking robust national bonds includes Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo and most other failed states.1 The problem starts when benign patriotism morphs into chauvinistic ultra-nationalism. Instead of believing that my nation is unique – which is true of all nations – I might begin feeling that my nation is supreme, that I owe it my entire loyalty, and that I have no significant obligations to anyone else. This is fertile ground for violent conflicts. For generations the most basic criticism of nationalism was that it led to war.

No matter what awful consequences occasionally result from modernisation, industrialisation or privatisation, capitalist true-believers dismiss them as mere ‘growing pains’, and promise that everything will be made good through a bit more growth. Middle-of-the-road liberal democrats have been more loyal to the secular pursuit of truth and compassion, but even they sometimes abandon it in favour of comforting dogmas. Thus when confronted by the mess of brutal dictatorships and failed states, liberals often put their unquestioning faith in the awesome ritual of general elections. They fight wars and spend billions in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Congo in the firm belief that holding general elections will magically turn these places into sunnier versions of Denmark. This despite repeated failures, and despite the fact that even in places with an established tradition of general elections these rituals occasionally bring to power authoritarian populists, and result in nothing grander than majority dictatorships.


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Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

Cyberspace has become what researchers call a “totally immersive environment,” a phenomenon that cannot be avoided or ignored, increasingly embedded in societies rich and poor, a communications arena that does not discriminate. Connectivity in Africa, for instance, grows at some 2,000 percent a year. While the digital divide remains deep, it’s shrinking fast, and access to cyberspace is growing much faster than good governance over it. Indeed, in many regions rapid connectivity is taking place in a context of chronic underemployment, disease, malnutrition, environmental stress, and failed or failing states. Cyberspace is now an unavoidable reality that wraps our planet in a complex information and communications skin. It shapes our actions and choices and relentlessly drives us all closer together, drives us even towards those whom, all things being equal, we would rather keep at a distance. A shared space, a global commons, the public square writ large. You’ve heard all the ecstatic metaphors used by enthusiasts and your thoughts turn elsewhere.

Regardless of whether and to what extent Jim’ale and Hormuud have ties to al-Shabaab – or, in the past, had ties to al-Qaeda – the case shows the depth and complexity of Somalia’s cellphone system. A country wracked by civil war for over two decades nonetheless has extraordinarily sophisticated and innovative online banking and cellphone services: so sophisticated that the security-obsessed are watching, watching closely. • • • The Somalia case defies conventional wisdom about technical innovation in failed states. Precisely because of Somalia’s chaotic and violent character, along with its people’s adaptive culture of trust and information sharing, an efficient cellphone infrastructure took root and flourished. It also demonstrates how the evolution of cyberspace is highly contingent on local circumstances. How and to what end a cellphone is used in Manhattan or Berlin can be entirely different from how it’s used in Mogadishu or Lagos, or the countless other cities of the global South and East from which the majority of future digital natives will emerge.

ser​vic​e=m​obi​le. 5 The fastest growth rates are occurring among the world’s failed and most fragile states: In the ITU’s 2009 Information Society Statistical Profiles, the ten countries that saw the fastest Internet user growth rates (calculated in terms of compounded annual growth rates) over five years were Afghanistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Albania, Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan, Morocco, and D.R. Congo. Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, and D.R. Congo were ranked as having low human development on the UN’S 2008 Human Development Index, with no available data for Afghanistan, which at the time was ranked seventh on the Fund for Peace’s Failed States Index. The growth rates for Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Vietnam were derived from 2002 to 2007 ITU figures, while 2003 to 2008 figures were used for the rest. The International Telecommunications Union’s Information Society Statistical Profiles are available at: “Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009: Africa,” 2010, http​://​www.​itu.​int​/​ITU​-D​/ic​t​/​materi​al​/​ISSP​09-AF​R​_​fina​l-en.​pdf; “Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009: Europe v.1.01,” 2010, http​://ww​w.it​u.int​/​dms​_​pub​/​itu​-d​/​opb​/​ind​/​D-I​ND-RP​M.E​UR-20​09-R1-P​DF-E.pdf “Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009: Europe,” 2010, http​://www.i​tu.int​/dms​_​pub​/​itu​-d​/​opb​/​ind​/​D-IN​D-RP​M.E​UR-20​09-R1-P​DF-E​.pdf; “Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009: Americas,” 2010, http​://​www.​itu.​int​/​dms​_​pub​/​it​u-d​/​opb​/​ind​/D-IN​D-RP​M.​AM-20​09-E​09-P​DF-E​.pdf; and “Information Society Statistical Profiles 2009: Asia and the Pacific,” 2010, http​://​www.​itu.​int​/​dms​_​pub​/​it​u-d​/​opb​/​ind​/​D-IN​D-RP​M.​AP-2​00​9-R​1-PD​F-E​.pdf.


Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts, Paul Collier

Alvin Roth, anti-communist, centre right, charter city, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, global supply chain, informal economy, Kibera, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rising living standards, risk/return, school choice, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, urban planning, zero-sum game

The other two conflicts that with Syria account for half of all displacement are Afghanistan and Somalia. The origins of their fragility were very different from Syria’s. The surge in Afghani refugees resulted from the American invasion and continuing warfare with the Taliban. But Afghanistan was already a failed state: the insurgent Taliban had recently gained control of most of the country, but were recognized as a government only by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. Violent internal disorder had long been endemic. Somalia has also been a failed state for a generation, prone to organized violence, but with only limited and sporadic international intervention from its neighbours, Ethiopia and Kenya. But while the grand total is dominated by these tail events, with 40–60 societies that are fragile, some risks will always be crystallizing.

Meanwhile, with the advent of so-called ‘new wars’ from the Balkans to sub-Saharan Africa, donor states looked to humanitarianism as a new feature of their foreign policy toolbox, a fig leaf for the unwillingness to engage in more direct military intervention. It is in the twenty-first century that the global order has gradually become a far less auspicious environment for UNHCR to be an effective facilitator of collective action. On the one hand, the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 contributed to a new demand for UNHCR’s humanitarian engagement following military intervention and failed state-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the other, it contributed to a growing fear of Islam across the developed world. Whereas previously Europe had been relaxed about allowing entry to Muslims fleeing Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s, 9/11 unleashed a political toxicity around the admission of Muslim refugees. In the global North, UNHCR has faced a fundamental and growing challenge to the core tenets of the refugee regime.

However, while the Italian economy was contracting, the Greek economy was in free-fall. Whereas the Italian economy contracted by 11 per cent during 2007–15, the Greek shrank by 25 per cent. Formally, Greece was a normal member of the EU: keen on acquiring all the trappings of that status, it had adopted the euro, joined Schengen, and signed the Dublin Agreement. But in practice Greece was a failing state: corrupt, bankrupt, and poor, with the government having fallen into the hands of a new party of the extreme left. As the Greek economy collapsed, so too did its asylum system. In a little-noticed court case of 2011, an Afghan asylum-seeker had challenged the application of the Dublin Agreement to Greece. He had reached Belgium having been first registered in Greece. Following the Dublin rules, the Belgian and Greek authorities duly arranged his return to Greece, where he faced destitution and homelessness.4 The argument put to the European Court of Human Rights was that Greece was in no position to fulfil its obligations: its government had signed up to something that it could not deliver.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

See also labor movement; wage labor World Bank World People’s Conference on Climate Change World War I World War II Yarborough, William Yeltsin, Boris Yemen Yglesias, Matthew Yifrah, Shimon Yugoslavia Zarif, Javad Zarqawi, Abu Musab al- Zawahiri, Ayman al- Zelikow, Philip Zertal, Idith Zionism Zola, Émile Zughayer, Kemal ALSO BY NOAM CHOMSKY Hegemony or Survival Imperial Ambitions Failed States What We Say Goes Power Systems ABOUT THE AUTHOR NOAM CHOMSKY is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. A professor emeritus of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can sign up for email updates here. THE AMERICAN EMPIRE PROJECT In an era of unprecedented military strength, leaders of the United States, the global hyperpower, have increasingly embraced imperial ambitions.

Miller, and Stephen Van Evera, Nuclear Diplomacy and Crisis Management: An International Security Reader (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press 1990), 304. 47. William Burr, ed., “The October War and U.S. Policy,” National Security Archive, published 7 October 2003, http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB98/. 48. The phrase “super-sudden first strike” was coined by McGeorge Bundy and cited in John Newhouse, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age (New York: Knopf, 1989), 328. 49. Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (New York: Henry Holt, 2006), 3. 9. THE OSLO ACCORDS: THEIR CONTEXT, THEIR CONSEQUENCES   1. See for example David M. Shribman, “At White House, Symbols of a Day of Awe,” Boston Globe, 29 September 1995; Maureen Dowd, “Mideast Accord: The Scene; President’s Tie Tells It All: Trumpets for a Day of Glory,” New York Times, 14 September 1993 (“the jaded were awed”).   2.

The American Empire Project publishes books that question this development, examine the origins of U.S. imperial aspirations, analyze their ramifications at home and abroad, and discuss alternatives to this dangerous trend. The project was conceived by Tom Engelhardt and Steve Fraser, editors who are themselves historians and writers. Published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, its titles include Hegemony or Survival and Failed States by Noam Chomsky, The Limits of Power and Washington Rules by Andrew J. Bacevich, Blood and Oil by Michael T. Klare, Kill Anything That Moves by Nick Turse, A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn, and Empire’s Workshop by Greg Grandin. For more information about the American Empire Project and for a list of forthcoming titles, please visit americanempireproject.com. Thank you for buying this Henry Holt and Company ebook.


pages: 566 words: 144,072

In the Graveyard of Empires: America's War in Afghanistan by Seth G. Jones

business climate, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, invisible hand, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, open borders, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, zero-sum game

Khalilzad, then at the National Security Council and a close confidant of Strmecki, took the acceleration package for Afghanistan to the White House and helped push it forward. It evolved into a Power Point presentation of roughly thirty slides that set U.S. goals for Afghanistan. The document assumed that Afghanistan was a central front in America’s war against terrorism and, as Khalilzad prophetically warned, that a “lack of success—a renewed civil war, a narco-state, a successful Taliban insurgency, or a failed state—would undermine the Coalition’s efforts in the global war on terrorism and could stimulate an increase in Islamist militancy and terrorism.”12 The “accelerating success” concept was approved by the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council on June 18, by the Principals Committee on June 19, and by President Bush on June 20, 2003. Khalilzad then began to work on obtaining additional funding even before he became ambassador to Afghanistan.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the increase in U.S. stability operations in Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, DynCorp broadened its scope to police training and security protection. DynCorp was not alone. With military costs rising and an increased number of operations abroad, the U.S. government began to rely on a growing list of companies—including Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) and Blackwater—to provide such security functions as police training, protective security, convoy protection, border enforcement, and even drug eradication in failing states. For their mission in Afghanistan, DynCorp recruited retired U.S. police officers, as well as some active members of state and local police forces, to serve as the U.S. contingents of civilian police teams. From the beginning, senior U.S. military officials had worried that the INL program was not doing a good job of creating more competent Afghan police, and others were concerned that many of the DynCorp advisers had had little experience training police from a Third World tribal society such as Afghanistan.

Rudyard Kipling, Rudyard Kipling’s Verse: Inclusive Edition, 1885–1926 (New York: Doubleday, 1931), p. 479. 21. Winston S. Churchill, The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, Green, 1901), p. 274. 22. Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 13; Barnett R. Rubin, The Search for Peace in Afghanistan: From Buffer State to Failed State (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 7; Lester Grau, ed., The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1996), p. xix. 23. Ann Scott Tyson, “British Troops, Taliban in a Tug of War over Afghan Province,” Washington Post, March 30, 2008, p. A1. 24. General Tommy Franks, American Soldier (New York: Regan Books, 2004), p. 324. 25.


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Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

Turkish companies, the master construction engineers of the region, are already speedily building both of Kurdistan’s international airports, as well as tunnels, overpasses, and ring roads, while the Kurdistan government protects oil flows to Turkey’s strategic port of Ceyhan. Though Turkey’s powerful military, amassed on Kurdistan’s northern border, still routinely crosses into Kurdistan to snuff out PKK activity, a sovereign Kurdistan would have greater responsibility to rein in such groups than the quasi-independent province of a failed state. The smuggling of fuel, tea, sugar, and drugs has for centuries linked the markets of Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan—with Kurdistan right in the middle. As Turkey’s trade with Iran and Syria grows, Kurdistan would happily continue to play its part as a commercial conduit servicing all four. The famed Hamilton Road along the magnificent Zagros Mountains, built by New Zealand engineer A.M.

And like South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and India, Malaysia quietly assures the United States that it is on the U.S. side while not doing anything to offend China, effectively recusing itself from their rivalry by pledging to remain neutral if “the elephants wrestle.” INDONESIA: LESS IS MORE Indonesia is perpetually under attack by both nature and man. It is prone to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, infectious diseases, financial crises, and ethnic strife—and it is powerless against all of them. It is not a failed state, but it is perpetually at risk of becoming one with the next seismic shift in the earth or in the markets. In early 2007, Jakarta seemed to all but disappear in a torrential flood that displaced much of its population, swept away thousands of homes, and caused mass illness. It is a miracle that Indonesia exists at all, and it will be a greater miracle if it survives in its present form. The Indonesian subsystem of islands is Southeast Asia’s shield to the outside world.

The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations. New York: Harper Perennial, 1964. Chang, Gordon. The Coming Collapse of China. New York: Random House, 2001. Chase, Robert S., Emily Hill, and Paul M. Kennedy, eds. Pivotal States and U.S. Policy: A New Strategy for U.S. Policy in the Developing World. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999. Chomsky, Noam. Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006. Chua, Amy. World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. New York: Doubleday, 2003. Clissold, Tim. Mr. China. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. Cohen, Benjamin J. The Geography of Money. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998. Cohen, Saul. Geography and Politics in a Divided World.


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Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places by Paul Collier

business cycle, dark matter, deskilling, failed state, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, price stability, structural adjustment programs, zero-sum game

Donors are also amazingly bad at enforcing their agreements with governments. So my own judgment is that donor conditionality on economic policies is not the explanation for policy improvement. I would put my money on learning from failure. I reali zed th at if th is critique of electoral competition was right it had huge implications. The whole modern approach to- 48 WARS, GUNS, AND VOTES ward failing states had been based on the premise that they would be rescued by democratic elections. The approach had seemed to be vindicated by the enthusiastic take-up of elections even in the most unpromising circumstances. Afghanistan, among the most backward societies on earth, was able to run an election within months of the expulsion of the Taliban. Iraq, about the most violence-torn place on earth, was able to conduct an election with quite a high turnout.

With Anke Hoeffler I worked on the causes of civil war, on arms races, and on 236 Acknowledgments what makes a country prone to coups d’état—potentially the most sellable work I have ever done, since it is the key fear of presidents in the countries I visit. Our work on coups ended up as a different kind of race: we managed to finish it in the days before Anke gave birth to her first child. I promptly found myself in the same race with Lisa Chauvet, with whom I have worked on elections, on the costs of failing states, and on why reform is so slow. With my female workforce on maternity leave, much of the work on which this book is based has been done with young men. Both Dominic Rohner and Benedikt Goderis left Cambridge to come and work with me. With Dominic I did the disturbing work on political violence in low-income democracies that underpins chapter 1. The work with Benedikt proved so astonishing that it will form my next book: that is why neither the commodity booms nor the impact of China feature here.

In The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000, edited by Benno Ndulu, Steve O’Connell, Robert Bates, Paul Collier, and Chukwuma Soludo, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, 391–418. With Dominic Rohner “Democracy, Development and Conflict.” Journal of the European Economic Association 6, nos. 2–3 (2008): 531–540. With Christopher Adam and Victor Davies “Post-Conflict Monetary Reconstruction.” World Bank Economic Review 22 (2008): 87–112. With Lisa Chauvet “What Are the Preconditions for Policy Turnarounds in Failing States?” Conflict Management and Peace Science (2008). With Lisa Chauvet and Havard Hegre “The Security Challenge in Conflict-Prone Countries.” In Copenhagen Consensus, 2nd edition, edited by B. Lomberg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Research on Which This Book Is Based 243 By other scholars Alberto Alesina and Eliana La Ferrara. “Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance.” Journal of Economic Literature 43, no. 3 (2005): 762–800.


pages: 279 words: 72,659

Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians by Ilan Pappé, Noam Chomsky, Frank Barat

Ayatollah Khomeini, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, desegregation, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, ghettoisation, Islamic Golden Age, New Journalism, one-state solution, price stability, too big to fail

., Targeting Iran (San Francisco: City Lights, 2007), 112. Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly expressed the same position. 65 For brief review of the record, and sources, see Failed States. See further Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (London: Verso, 1996; new edition 2003). For a detailed critical analysis of Israel’s security strategy from the outset, revealing clearly the preference for expansion over security and diplomatic settlement, see Zeev Maoz, Defending the Holy Land (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006). 66 Ethan Bronner, “Gaza War Role Is Political Lift for Ex-Premier,” New York Times, January 8, 2009. 67 See Failed States, 193ff. 68 Gareth Porter, “Israel Rejected Hamas Ceasefire Offer in December,” Inter Press Service, January 9, 2009, www.ipsnews.net/print.asp?

See also CIA; Democratic Party; Republican Party University and College Union University of Bogazici V Versailles W Wall Street Journal Walt, Stephen Waltz, Kenneth Walzer, Michael Washington Institute for Near East Policy Weissman, Keith Weizmann, Chaim White, Haden Wilson, Woodrow Wolfowitz, Paul World Bank World Court World Food Programme World Health Organization World Social Forum World Trade Center Y Ya’alon, Moshe Z Zaitun Zertal, Idith Zimbabwe Zipori Zochrot Zu’ubi, Hanin Zunes, Stephen ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS ILAN PAPPÉ is professor of history at the University of Exeter and is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, A History of Modern Palestine, and The Israel/Palestine Question. NOAM CHOMSKY is Institute Professor (Emeritus) of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Hegemony or Survival and Failed States, and Hopes and Prospects. FRANK BARAT is a human rights activist. He lives in London, UK. He is the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. He has written for the Electronic Intifada, CounterPunch, Zmagazine, the New Inter-nationalist , the Palestine Chronicle, State of Nature, and other Web sites and publications. ALSO FROM HAYMARKET BOOKS Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians, and the U.S.


9-11 by Noam Chomsky

Berlin Wall, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks

Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, 2nd edition (Seven Stories Press, 2002). Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions (South End Press, 1989). Noam Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors, Old and New (South End Press, 2003). Noam Chomsky, Power and Terror, expanded edition (Paradigm, 2011). Noam Chomsky, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order (Seven Stories Press, 1998). Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival (Metropolitan, 2004). Noam Chomsky, Failed States (Metropolitan, 2007). Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, Political Economy of Human Rights (South End Press, 1979). Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar, edited by Stephen R. Shalom, Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice (Paradigm, 2006). John Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (Pluto, 1999, 2001). Alex George, ed., Western State Terrorism (Polity-Black-well, 1991).

In 1961, Chomsky was appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy) at MIT. From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor, a position he held until 2002. Chomsky is the author of numerous influential political works, including Hopes and Prospects (Haymarket Books) Interventions (City Lights/Open Media Series), Failed States (Metropolitan Books), Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (Metropolitan Books), Media Control (Seven Stories Press/Open Media Series), Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media with Ed Herman (Pantheon), Necessary Illusions (South End Press), Understanding Power (New Press), and many other titles. In 1988, Chomsky received the Kyoto Prize in Basic Science, given “to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual development of mankind.”


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of the printing press, iterative process, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour management system, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

These three categories of institutions may exist in different polities independently of one another, and in various combinations. Hence the People’s Republic of China has a strong and well-developed state but a weak rule of law and no democracy. Singapore has a rule of law in addition to a state but very limited democracy. Russia has democratic elections, a state that is good at suppressing dissidence but not so good at delivering services, and a weak rule of law. In many failed states, like Somalia, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the early twenty-first century, the state and rule of law are weak or nonexistent, though the latter two have held democratic elections. By contrast, a politically developed liberal democracy includes all three sets of institutions—the state, rule of law, and procedural accountability—in some kind of balance. A state that is powerful without serious checks is a dictatorship; one that is weak and checked by a multitude of subordinate political forces is ineffective and often unstable.

Successful modernization depends, then, on the parallel development of political institutions alongside economic growth, social change, and ideas; it is not something that can be taken for granted as an inevitable concomitant of the other dimensions of development. Indeed, strong political institutions are often necessary to get economic growth going in the first place. It is precisely their absence that locks failed or fragile states into a cycle of conflict, violence, and poverty. The first and most important institution that fragile or failing states lack is an administratively capable government. Before a state can be constrained by either law or democracy, it needs to exist. This means, in the first instance, the establishment of a centralized executive and a bureaucracy. 3 BUREAUCRACY How study of the state is the study of bureaucracy; recent efforts to measure the quality of government; variance in the quality of government across countries and the need for a historical understanding of these outcomes For many people around the world, the central problem of contemporary politics is how to constrain powerful, overweening or, indeed, tyrannical governments.

As a consequence, much of the discussion of political development has centered in recent years on the institutions of constraint—the rule of law and democratic accountability. But before governments can be constrained, they have to generate the power to actually do things. States, in other words, have to be able to govern. The existence of states able to provide basic public services cannot be taken for granted. Indeed, part of the reason many countries are poor is precisely that they don’t have effective states. This is obvious in failed or failing states including Afghanistan, Haiti, and Somalia, where life is chaotic and insecure. But it is also true in many better-off societies with reasonably good democratic institutions. Take the case of India, which has been a remarkably successful democracy since its creation in 1947. In 1996, the activist and economist Jean Drèze produced a Public Report on Basic Education that surveyed the state of primary education in a number of Indian states.


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The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

In the latter year, more than $4 trillion changed hands across international borders daily.18 The ability to move information around has vastly expanded as well. How many people do you know who don’t own a cellphone? Very few. This answer holds true even in the poorest and most dysfunctional nations. “Somali Mobile Phone Firms Thrive Despite Chaos” was the headline of a 2009 Reuters dispatch from that ravaged country.19 Somalia epitomizes the concept of “failed states,” societies in which citizens lack access to basic services that most of us take for granted. Yet, even there, twenty-first-century mobile telephony is widely available. The expansion of mobile telephony is as surprising for its speed as for its novelty. In 1990, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 people worldwide was 0.2. By 2010 it had exploded to more than 78 subscribers for every 100 persons.20 The International Telecommunications Union reports that in 2012 subscriptions to mobile telephony exceeded the 6 billion mark—equivalent to an astonishing 87 percent of the world’s population.21 And then, of course, there is the Internet.

Even in a world with new rivals and multiple poles of influence—a “post-American world,” as Fareed Zakaria has put it—the United States enjoys unique advantages that reinforce, not diminish, its power.19 Still others fear that changes in the global economy and the way we live have been so radical that neither hegemony nor global rules are even possible anymore. They fear that a form of anarchy—the primeval state of the world system—is once again taking hold. As early as 1994, Robert Kaplan saw anarchy emerging from failed states and ethnic rivalries, the rise of unchecked terrorist and criminal networks, and the vulnerability of an interconnected world to the spread of disease and other catastrophes. An even more dire view is that of political scientist Randall Schweller, who compares changes under way in the world system to the onset, in physics, of the state of entropy, when a system becomes so disorganized that it changes nature in a way that is impossible to reverse.

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals,” October 2006. 6. Edir Macedo, quoted in Tom Phillips, “Solomon’s Temple in Brazil Would Put Christ the Redeemer in the Shade,” Guardian, July 21, 2010. 7. Alexei Barrionuevo, “Fight Nights and Reggae Pack Brazilian Churches,” New York Times, September 15, 2009. 8. Richard Cimino, “Nigeria: Pentecostal Boom—Healing or Reflecting a Failing State?” Religion Watch, March 1, 2010. 9. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population,” December 2011. 10. Ibid. 11. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “Faith on the Move: The Religious Affiliation of International Migrants,” March 2012. 12. Larry Rohter, “As Pope Heads to Brazil, a Rival Theology Persists,” New York Times, May 7, 2007. 13.


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The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World by Jay Bahadur

collective bargaining, failed state, private military company, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning

I asked Boyah why the Americans had let them escape once they had left the safety of their hostages on board the Nori. “Because that was the agreement,” Boyah said. But I already knew the real reason, at least from the US point of view: the Americans would not have known what to do with Boyah and his men if they had captured them. According to international law—to the extent that international law has any meaning in an utterly failed state—the Americans were not even supposed to be in Somali territorial waters. Their hands were tied, and they let the pirates go. The Golden Nori was one of the first major commercial vessels hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, before the international community had truly become cognizant of the problem. During this period, foreign navies tended to give pirates a slap on the wrist: their weapons and boats were impounded or destroyed, and they were released.

In some nations, such as the United Kingdom, arrested pirates would even be within their rights to claim asylum (the UK Foreign Office has voiced concerns that the pirates may face the Islamic punishments of beheading or amputation should they be returned to Somalia).1 Although in rare instances national pride has prevailed over fiscal sense—Boyah’s six unfortunate compatriots, for instance, as well as five pirates turned over to Dutch courts by the Danish navy in January 2009—prosecuting pirates through Western institutions is not a feasible long-term solution. So labyrinthine is the legal maze that many foreign navies have opted simply to release suspects after confiscating their weapons and destroying their ships, thereby drawing attacks from media outlets. Such criticism is not entirely fair. Pirates operating out of a failed state are unprecedented in modern times, and the existing international legal machinery is simply not suited to handle them. International law, fortunately, is continually being reinvented as needs dictate, and in no case is this fact better demonstrated than in the legal dilemma posed by the Somali pirates. * * * Since ancient Rome, pirates have been labelled as hostis humani generis—“enemies of all mankind”—and piracy has been considered a crime of universal jurisdiction, giving states the right to arrest and prosecute suspected offenders outside national boundaries, such as the high seas.

The resolution decreed that states authorized by Somalia’s figurehead Transitional Federal Government (TFG)—a collection of former warlords and self-styled moderate Islamists controlling a few checkpoints in Mogadishu—would be allowed, for a period of six months, to enter the territorial waters of Somalia and use “all necessary means” to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.3 The token permission of the TFG was allegedly granted through a letter delivered to the Security Council by the UN permanent representative to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdullah, though this mysterious document was never made public.4 In reality, Resolution 1816 merely legitimized the status quo, wherein foreign navies routinely violated Somali waters when necessity demanded (on occasion, states have sought the TFG’s explicit permission, as when French forces pursued Boyah’s gang inland following the Le Ponant hijacking). Six months later, Resolution 1851 went as far as to authorize the use of ground forces on Somali soil; not surprisingly, no country has volunteered its troops. In a world without failed states, any Somali caught in the act of piracy—whether in international or Somali national waters—would be handed over to the government of Somalia for prosecution. As noted in earlier chapters, many piracy suspects are turned over to the government of Puntland, and occasionally that of Somaliland. Yet, for just cause, international actors doubt the will and capacity of these makeshift governments to seriously prosecute the offenders; furthermore, there is the problem of what to do with suspects originating from southern Somalia, who would undoubtedly go free if returned home.


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Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks

Needless to say, it was rejected. Chalmers placed Haiti’s dilemma in a global context. “We are unable to develop our own models of development and have to get international funding for the neoliberal agenda,” he told me. “It’s a way to show capitalism that we’re willing to work with you, but you’re actually destroying our own economy and agriculture.” Chalmers continued: “Haiti is one of the countries they call a ‘failed state.’ Since 1915, it’s been about how Haiti will please the United States, but there are alternatives to industrial parks. If you invest in agriculture and farming, you’ll have much better and more sustainable results. There is a finite number of people who can work in industrial parks, but millions of jobs are required. For example, we have over 168 species of mangoes in Haiti, but we don’t have the industry that can work on it.

However, since its independence, there had been little development of an understanding of PNG, which was mostly characterized as a poor nation teetering on the edge of collapse despite its abundance of natural resources—a state reliant on outside help and plagued by institutional corruption. Australia’s dumping of asylum seekers on PNG’s poor Manus Island, with justified local anger, strengthened the foreign narrative of a failed state. The new nation’s first prime minister, Michael Somare, was fondly remembered by some young locals as the man who commenced negotiations with Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam in the early 1970s to begin the decolonization process. But he was mostly seen as having delivered few long-lasting projects that had assisted all inhabitants of PNG. He was certainly unpopular in Bougainville, viewed as having contributed to many alleged corrupt, business-as-usual practices that now blighted the state.

The minister for petroleum and energy, William Duma, said that this was “a demonstration of the trust and confidence multinationals around the globe have for PNG … We as a country stand to gain more and we can’t go wrong.”49 Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, officiating at the opening of a Shell office in the capital in February 2012, reassured foreign investors that “despite the perception of political instability, unlike many other countries of the world, PNG has been able to maintain the confidence of the business community.”50 But the governor of PNG’s Gulf Province, Havila Kavo, voiced his concerns, asking why Shell was being welcomed back to the nation after the company had described PNG as a “failed state” a decade earlier. “They [Shell] ripped off the country and left,” he said. “What infrastructure have they left and what positive development have they left before departing? Such companies have no confidence in the country.”51 It seemed that Shell had decided to retract its previously held views in order to participate in PNG’s developing gas industry.52 It was rare that a poor country could resist the charms of a multinational offering substantial investment within its borders.


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Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

active measures, air freight, anti-communist, blood diamonds, business climate, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, Google Hangouts, indoor plumbing, Islamic Golden Age, Kickstarter, land reform, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, WikiLeaks

Airstrike Kills Somali Accused of Links to Al-Qaeda.” 226 bio of their slain leader: Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, “The Strategic Challenge of Somalia’s Al-Shabaab,” Middle East Quarterly (fall 2009), www.meforum.org/2486/somalia-al-shabaab-strategic-challenge#_ftn22. 226 “short-term disruption”: US diplomatic cable 08NAIROBI1363, from Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, US Embassy Nairobi, “Somalia—Ayrow’s Demise,” June 3, 2008, released by WikiLeaks, http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/06/08NAIROBI1363.html. 226 agreement signed in Djibouti: United Nations Security Council Department of Public Information, “Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Welcomes Signing of Djibouti Agreement on Reconciliation by Parties to Somalia Conflict,” UN Security Council press release, September 4, 2008. 227 refused to discuss: Author interview, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, June 2011. 227 “favorite puppet”: Abdirahman “Aynte” Ali, “The Anatomy of al Shabaab,” unpublished paper, June 2010, www.radiodaljir.com/audio/docs/TheAnatomyOfAlShabaab.pdf. 227 indigenous diversity: Ibid., p. 28. 227 sense of empowerment: Ibid., p. 20. 228 diplomatic “visits”: International Crisis Group, “Somalia: To Move Beyond the Failed State,” Africa Report No. 147, December 23, 2008, p. 12. 228 lengthy negotiations: Ibid., pp. 12–13. 228 dismantling of roadblocks: Mark Bradbury, “State-Building, Counterterrorism, and Licensing Humanitarianism in Somalia,” briefing paper, Feinstein International Center, October 2010. 228 “a caricature”: International Crisis Group, “Somalia: To Move Beyond the Failed State,” p. 14. 228 reminiscent of the Taliban: Ibid. 228 “the only organization”: Committee on Foreign Relations, Al Qaeda in Yemen and Somalia: A Ticking Time Bomb, S. Prt. 111-40, p. 16 (2010). 228 “far more popular”: Ali, “The Anatomy of al Shabaab,” p. 37. 229 “Fight on, Champions”: Khaled Wassef (CNET), “Bin Laden Urges Somalis to ‘Fight On,’” CBS.com, March 19, 2009. 23: “If Your Son Does Not Come to Us, He Will Be Killed by the Americans” 230 discovered a US spy drone: US diplomatic cable 07SANAA473, from Chargé d’Affaires Nabeel Khoury, US Embassy Sana’a, “Unmanned USG Aircraft Washes Ashore, Official Media Reports Downed Iranian ‘Spy Plane,’” April 2, 2007, released by WikiLeaks, http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/04/07SANAA473.html.

Now, though, thanks in large part to a backlash against US policy, al Shabab’s ranks were growing and its territory expanding. Sheikh Sharif officially assumed the presidency in Somalia the same month Obama was sworn in, but Sharif could barely lay claim to being the mayor of Mogadishu. He loosely governed a small slice of territory in the capital—with the authority of a city council member surrounded by far more powerful enemies who wanted to kill him. “The idea that Somalia is just a failed state somewhere over there, where people are fighting with one another over heaven knows what, is a construct that we adopt at our peril,” declared Hillary Clinton during her Senate confirmation hearing to become secretary of state. “The internal conflict within the groups in Somalia is just as intense as it’s ever been, only now we have the added ingredient of al-Qaida and terrorists who are looking to take advantage of the chaos.”

Although the speech was focused on the coming surge of US troops in Afghanistan, the president hinted at the ongoing and broadening asymmetric wars his administration was waging behind the scenes. “The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Obama declared. “It will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world. And unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies.” He added: “We’ll have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. Where al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold—whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere—they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships.” A week after his West Point speech, President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. His remarks would win praise from hawkish Republicans for his forceful defense of the projection of US power across the globe and for his assertion that the wars America was waging were “just wars.”


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Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert H. Latiff

Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, cyber-physical system, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, Internet of things, low earth orbit, Nicholas Carr, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, self-driving car, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Wall-E

We watched the first World Trade Center tower burn and saw the second airplane hit. The irony in the simplicity of the attacks was not lost on any of us. Everyone realized on that day that things were going to change, and change they did. This audacious attack, as well as previous attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and on the USS Cole, made it clear that going forward, war was going to be different. Individuals, groups, and failed states, in addition to state sponsors of such troublemakers, now threaten U.S. and allied interests and citizens globally. The intervening years have seen massive increases in research and development and a host of new technologies for war. Since 9/11, the military has experienced the largest sustained increase in funding in its history, exceeding even that of the Reagan defense buildup. The same period also saw breathtaking advances in computers, social media, and biology, with the introduction of smartphones, Facebook and Twitter, and the decoding of the human genome.

The philosopher Michael Walzer says, “Though chivalry is dead and fighting unfree, many professional soldiers remain sensitive (or some of them do) to those limits and restraints that distinguish their life’s work from mere butchery.” The laws of armed conflict have been extraordinarily successful in the past because the conflicts were between states, or so-called rational actors. Unfortunately, today’s threats often come from failed states and armed groups that look upon the West’s adherence to rules of war as ridiculous and capitalize on our ethical stance. The Canadian author and former politician Michael Ignatieff explains that “we in the West start from a universalist ethic based on the ideas of human rights, while our adversaries start from particularist ethics that define the tribe, the nation, or ethnicity as the limit of moral concern.”


Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

Drosophila, failed state, MITM: man-in-the-middle, technological singularity, Vernor Vinge

Braun’s fire drill was under his personal control; he had no trouble suppressing the news there. Meantime, he used his resources in the EUIB and the Indo-European Alliance. Within hours, he was deep into a number of projects: He brought in the best cult expert in the Indo-European intelligence community and set her loose on the evidence. He reached out to the military assets of the Alliance, in Central Africa and all the failed states at the edge of the modern world. There were solid clues about the origin of the July 18 Pseudomimi. Though this research was not bioscientific, Braun’s analysts were very similar to the best at CDD — only smarter, more numerous, with far deeper resources. Even so, they were lucky: over the next three days, they put two and two (and two and two and two…) together. In the end, he had a good idea who was behind the weapons test.

The shifting crystal mists that were Keiko’s image seemed to smile. “In a way, that’s more plausible than what we really are.” The heirs of drug wars past had been in eclipse this last decade; access to “ecstasy and enhancement” was so widespread that competition had done what enforcement could never accomplish. But the drug lords were still rich beyond the dreams of most small countries. The ones lurking in failed states might be crazy enough to do what they three had hinted at today. Günberk said, “The rabbit is manageable, I grant that. Competent for our needs? Much less likely.” “Having second thoughts about our little project, Günberk?” This was Keiko’s real voice. Her tone was light, but Alfred knew she had her own very serious misgivings. “Of course,” said Günberk. He fidgeted for a moment. “Look. Terror via technical surprise is the greatest threat to the survival of the human race.

Five Knights Guardian stood on the library’s east terrace, and a Librarian lurked by the Snake Path. “That’s all they have?” “So far,” said Sheila the shima-ping. “I’m just hoping we aren’t too fragmented.” “Yeah.” That was the virtue and the weakness of the Scoochi worldview. Scooch-a-mout was distributed in bits and pieces. It was customized to the wishes of children, not just in the Great Powers, but also in the failed states at the edge of the world. The Scoochis had so many different creations. The Hacekeans had the notion of knowledge conquering outward, a vision that claimed consistency over everything. And just now that fit their near-total control of the library. The shima-ping bounced up and down on its three feet. Sheila was shouting at the enemy with what must have been an external speaker, since Huynh could feel the loudness all over.


pages: 872 words: 135,196

The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security by Deborah D. Avant

barriers to entry, continuation of politics by other means, corporate social responsibility, failed state, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rolodex, The Nature of the Firm, trade route, transaction costs

Introduction 31 contracting.80 Concomitant with the increase in supply was an increase in the demand for military skills on the private market – from western states that had downsized their militaries, from countries seeking to upgrade and westernize their militaries as a way of demonstrating credentials for entry into western institutions, from rulers of weak or failed states no longer propped up by superpower patrons, and from non-state actors such as private firms, INGOs, and groups of citizens in the territories of weak or failed states. There are those who assume that the turn to PSCs was the obvious, natural, and functional response to the material changes technology brought to warfare and the shift in the balance of power after the Cold War.81 Arguments about the future of defense in the US illustrate this thinking. The United States, as the sole remaining superpower, must accomplish a variety of international ends.

A transnational market for military and security services Private security companies provide military and security services to states, international organizations, INGOs, global corporations, and wealthy individuals. Every multi-lateral peace operation conducted by the UN since 1990 included the presence of PSCs. States that contracted for military services ranged from highly capable states like the US to failing states like Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, global corporations 8 The Market for Force hired PSCs to provide site security and planning, and INGOs working in conflict zones or unstable territories did the same. Since the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States, the war on terrorism has offered even greater opportunities for the private security industry. This is evident not only in Iraq – where PSCs are the second largest member of the “coalition of the willing” – but also in the growing presence of PSCs in the new jobs that accompany the war on terrorism, interrogators and interpreters, for instance.20 The number of private security providers burgeoned during the 1990s.

Civil unrest became a much more common occurrence on the African continent in the first years of the post-Cold War as the strategic interest (from both the west and the east) in Africa evaporated. The supply of foreign and military aid dried up, leaving governments even more cash starved than they had been during the Cold War. Other events in the 1990s such as drought and famine intensified governance problems, resulting in a stream of revolutions, civil insurrections, ethnic strife, and failed states. The World Bank estimates that per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by more than 40 percent between 1965 and 1997 in Democratic Republic of Congo. The civil war began in the fall of 1996. For details on its outbreak see William Thom, “Congo-Zaire’s 1996–1997 Civil War in the Context of Evolving Patterns of Military Conflict in Africa in the Era of Independence,” Journal of Conflict Studies Vol. 19, No. 2 (fall 1999).


pages: 402 words: 98,760

Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George

Admiral Zheng, air freight, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, bank run, cable laying ship, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Costa Concordia, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, global supply chain, Google Earth, intermodal, Jones Act, London Whale, Malacca Straits, Panamax, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Skype, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

For now, he was working for EU-NAVFOR despite belonging to the Royal Air Force, and his job was to talk piracy and counter-piracy. He had a talent for it. Even before we reached his office, he had told me that once he was in the shower when his wife shouted up. ‘Paddy, there’s someone on the phone, he says he’s a pirate?’ They phoned him all the time, because the spokesperson’s number is on the EU-NAVFOR website, and although Somali pirates come from a failed state, they still have smartphones and internet cafés. Pirates can Google. They are known to read up on their crews and hostages, so it becomes dangerous for any information – a family photo of a captain standing in front of a decent house, for example – to be accessible online. A decent house could mean pirates push for a high ransom. Any excuse for a higher ransom. The wing commander’s desk was in a large open-plan office, but he spent much of his time in the operations room, where lines of Finnish, Italian, German and other European military spend hours in front of a giant screen that displays Mercury, an information-sharing programme used by EU-NAVFOR, other coalitions and other interested parties.

On MV Arillah-1, seafarers endured 30 hours inside their citadel while pirates burned ropes and wood near the ventilation grilles of the citadel, trying to choke them out or to death. At his desk, which held a copy of Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton – a Christmas present from his wife, still unread in March – Paddy said, OK, everyone knows the general situation in Somalia. Or they have watched Black Hawk Down, which they think amounts to the same thing. War, chaos, failed state. No meaningful government since 1991. By 2011, the Transitional Federal Government was nominally governing the country, but only as President Hamid Karzai – nicknamed the Mayor of Kabul – was ruling Afghanistan: partly, and with backup. On the TFG’s side was the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), an African Union peacekeeping force that also wages war; and on the other side was Al-Shabab, Somalia’s group of native terrorists, affiliated with Al-Qaeda though without its global ambition.

For Robert Young Pelton, who ran the Somalia Report news agency, pirates emerged originally from the Puntland coastguard. When the national government fell, the coastguard turned pirate ‘in about a day’. A London-based Somalia expert told me modern pirates had never been fishermen or coastguards. He thought they came from inland criminal gangs. It was a protection racket. Mombasa-based Somalis were anyway in the habit of selling illegal fishing licences to foreign operators. You can do that in a failed state when foreigners used to a rule of law know no different. The foreigners, he said, would come and start fishing, ‘and the [Somalis] would make their presence known’. He meant that they demanded money. ‘Then they realized they could make more by pinching the ship.’ Thus the template was formed. ‘We would get a report of a vessel seized, journalists would ring up fishermen and get quotes about foreigners raping the seas and [were told] that Somali fishermen were furious.


pages: 487 words: 147,891

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny

anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, forensic accounting, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile

It is hard to imagine a family less likely to be involved in a political mafia killing from the former Soviet Union. But one of the officers involved in the Utsiev brothers’ case pointed out at the time, “We were suddenly dealing with crime and politics from a part of the world that, to be honest, none of us in the Metropolitan or Surrey police had ever heard of. We knew nothing about the wars, about the crime, and about the politics—we were frankly all at sea.” It was 1994, and the failing state, an unknown concept to most, was visiting Britain for the first time. The post–World War II order began to crumble in the first half of the 1980s. Its dissolution followed no obvious pattern, occurring instead as a series of seemingly disparate events: the spectacular rise of the Japanese car industry; Communist Hungary’s clandestine approach to the International Monetary Fund to explore a possible application for membership; the stagnation of India’s economy; President F.

This was the New Silk Route, a multilane criminal highway that linked the belt with other troubled regions such as Afghanistan and which permitted the swift and easy transfer of people, narcotics, cash, endangered species, and precious hardwood from Asia to Europe and farther to the United States. This clutch of uncertain new states on the southern periphery of the former Russian empire was born as the pace of globalization accelerated. Countries in Western Europe and the Mediterranean proved a powerful magnet for those scrambling to seize power along the New Silk Route. Money translated directly into political power and vice versa. And so those harboring ambition in the failing states needed the New Silk Route for three related transactions: to transfer cash to the sanctity of Western banks and real estate; to sell illicit goods and services into the European Union, the United States, and eastward to Japan; and to buy and sell arms within the former Soviet Union and to export them into the world’s trouble spots. “In ’93–’94 I started working in law enforcement, knowing that globalization was beginning to have an impact on a whole range of issues,” said Jon Winer in his plush office a couple of blocks from the White House.

The architect of the Clinton administration’s organized crime strategy, Winer had spotted these new developments earlier than most. “The paradigm was El Salvador. After the war, people decided to use their arms caches to make money in criminal gangs. And then we saw that the right-wing paramilitaries and left-wing guerrillas began working together! Burglary, carjacking plus kidnapping, car theft…” Winer had stumbled across something that still plagues peace initiatives aiming to stop wars that engulf failed states. When diplomats succeed in bringing the fighting to a halt, they are confronted with a wrecked local economy and a society dominated by testosterone-driven young men who are suddenly unemployed but have grown accustomed to their omnipotence. If you want lasting stability, you have to find useful jobs to occupy them. Otherwise these people find the temptation to retrain themselves as organized criminal units irresistible.


pages: 1,118 words: 309,029

The Wars of Afghanistan by Peter Tomsen

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, drone strike, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

., “New Evidence on the War in Afghanistan,” Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Cold War International History Project Bulletin, no. 14/15 (2003—2004): 226—227, www.coldwar.hu/html/en/publications/b%E9k%E9s-afghanistan.pdf. 23 Steve Coll, The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004), 210. 24 Islamabad 15754, “Afghanistan—Internal Situation,” July 22, 1989, secret/ NODIS, declassified. 25 Ibid. 26 See “The Fund for Peace: Promoting Sustainable Security. Failed States Index 2009,” www.fundforpeace.org/web/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=99&Itemid=140; “Pakistan Recovers in Failed States Index,” June 29, 2009, www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newpaper-daily-english-online//Politics/29-Jun-2009/Pakistan-recovers-in-failed-states-index. By June 2009, Pakistan ranked tenth from the bottom in the Failed States Index, between Guinea and Ivory Coast. 27 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, “Mohammad Najib Replaces Babrak Karmal,” unclassified, 88-DIA-0435-88-5F. 28 “Record of a Conversation of M. S. Gorbachev with President of Afghanistan, General Secretary of the CC PDPA Najibullah, Tashkent, 7 April 1988,” Gorbachev Foundation, Moscow, provided by Anatoly Chernyaev, translated by Gary Goldberg, in Ostermann, ed., “New Evidence on the War in Afghanistan,” 178. 29 A.

Pakistan’s hopeless venture to place Hekmatyar and later the Taliban in Kabul would inflict many more years of inconclusive, bloody warfare on Afghanistan. The continuing Afghan war would also harm Pakistan. An ongoing refugee burden; the blowback of Islamic terrorism, violence, and lawlessness; “the Kalashnikov culture” of guns and violence; narcotics; and international estrangement would push Pakistan lower and lower on the Failed States Index, a list compiled by the Fund for Peace based on twelve indicators of risk.26 In June 2009, Pakistan ranked tenth from the bottom, between Guinea and Ivory Coast. The Soviet Union’s decision to continue propping up the Najib regime after its withdrawal was also a poor investment. The resources wasted in Afghanistan by the USSR between 1989 and the end of 1991, when the Soviet Union finally collapsed, were desperately needed at home.

Eikenberry, Karl W. Eisenhower administration Election Complaints Commission (ECC) Elphinstone, William Emad, Nurullah Encapsulation strategy Energy pipelines, issue of Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act Enlightenment, the Etemadi, Nur Ahmad Ethnic groups See also specific ethnic groups European imperialism, expansion of European Union Fahd al-Saud, King Fahim, Mohammad Failed States Index Faisal al-Saud, King Farid, Ustad Fedotov, Vladimir Finn, Robert Flatin, Bruce Foreign Assistance Act Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), list of (fig.) Fragmentation, avoiding France Franks, Tommy Freeman, Charles French Revolution Friendship treaties Funding oversight, providing Gailani, Hamed Gailani, Salman Gailani, Sayyid Ahmad (table) Gall, Sandy Gamiat Islamiya (extremist group) Gandamak Treaty Gandhi, Indira Gankowskiy, Yuriy Gates, Robert Gaugamela, Battle of Gender issues.


pages: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Airlines rarely inform passengers that military exercises are the reason for late departures, instead citing generic air-traffic controls or inclement weather, even on clear days. But official figures published in 2017 revealed that military activity was responsible for about a quarter of delays. It all adds up to more time stuck inside China’s gleaming (but frustrating) airports. Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy Drop a pin on a map of eastern Africa, and the chances are it will not land on a healthy democracy. Somalia and South Sudan are failed states. Sudan is a dictatorship, as are the police states of Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has ruled uninterrupted since 1986, and has passed a law to remove a constitutional age limit so he can cling on longer. Elections in Tanzania have never ousted the Party of the Revolution; it and its predecessor have governed continuously since independence in 1961. Even Kenya, once the region’s most vibrant and competitive democracy, is struggling.

For more explainers and charts from The Economist, visit economist.com Index A Africa child marriage 84 democracy 40 gay and lesbian rights 73, 74 Guinea 32 mobile phones 175–6 see also individual countries agriculture 121–2 Aguiar, Mark 169 air pollution 143–4 air travel and drones 187–8 flight delays 38–9 Akitu (festival) 233 alcohol beer consumption 105–6 consumption in Britain 48, 101–2 craft breweries 97–8 drink-driving 179–80 wine glasses 101–2 Alexa (voice assistant) 225 Algeria food subsidies 31 gay and lesbian rights 73 All I Want for Christmas Is You (Carey) 243 alphabet 217–18 Alternative for Germany (AfD) 223, 224 Alzheimer’s disease 140 Amazon (company) 225 America see United States and 227–8 Angola 73, 74 animals blood transfusions 139–40 dog meat 91–2 gene drives 153–4 size and velocity 163–4 and water pollution 149–50 wolves 161–2 Arctic 147–8 Argentina gay and lesbian rights 73 lemons 95–6 lithium 17–18 Ariel, Barak 191 Arizona 85 arms trade 19–20 Asia belt and road initiative 117–18 high-net-worth individuals 53 wheat consumption 109–10 see also individual countries Assange, Julian 81–3 asteroids 185–6 augmented reality (AR) 181–2 August 239–40 Australia avocados 89 forests 145 inheritance tax 119 lithium 17, 18 shark attacks 201–2 autonomous vehicles (AVs) 177–8 Autor, David 79 avocados 89–90 B Babylonians 233 Baltimore 99 Bangladesh 156 bank notes 133–4 Bateman, Tim 48 beer consumption 105–6 craft breweries 97–8 Beijing air pollution 143–4 dogs 92 belt and road initiative 117–18 betting 209–10 Bier, Ethan 153 Bils, Mark 169 birds and aircraft 187 guinea fowl 32–3 birth rates Europe 81–3 United States 79–80 black money 133–4 Black Power 34, 35 Blade Runner 208 blood transfusions 139–40 board games 199–200 body cameras 191–2 Boko Haram 5, 15–16 Bolivia 17–18 Bollettieri, Nick 197 bookmakers 209–10 Borra, Cristina 75 Bosnia 221–2 brain computers 167–8 Brazil beer consumption 105, 106 Christmas music 243, 244 end-of-life care 141–2 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 45, 46 shark attacks 202 breweries 97–8 Brexit, and car colours 49–50 brides bride price 5 diamonds 13–14 Britain alcohol consumption 101–2 car colours 49–50 Christmas music 244 cigarette sales 23–4 craft breweries 98 crime 47–8 Easter 238 gay population 70–72 housing material 8 inheritance tax 119 Irish immigration 235 life expectancy 125 manufacturing jobs 131 national identity 223–4 new-year resolutions 234 police body cameras 191 sexual harassment 67, 68, 69 sperm donation 61 see also Scotland Brookings Institution 21 Browning, Martin 75 bubonic plague 157–8 Bush, George W. 119 C cables, undersea 193–4 California and Argentine lemons 95, 96 avocados 90 cameras 191–2 Canada diamonds 13 drones 188 lithium 17 national identity 223–4 capitalism, and birth rates 81–2 Carey, Mariah 243 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 21 cars colours 49–50 self-driving 177–8 Caruana, Fabiano 206 Charles, Kerwin 169 cheetahs 163, 164 chess 205–6 Chetty, Raj 113 Chicago 100 children birth rates 79–80, 81–3 child marriage 84–5 in China 56–7 crime 47–8 and gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 obesity 93–4 Chile gay and lesbian rights 73 lithium 17–18 China air pollution 143–5 arms sales 19–20 avocados 89 beer consumption 105 belt and road initiative 117–18 childhood obesity 93 construction 7 dog meat 91–2 dragon children 56–7 flight delays 38–9 foreign waste 159–60 lithium 17 rice consumption 109–10 Choi, Roy 99 Christian, Cornelius 26 Christianity Easter 237–8 new year 233–4 Christmas 246–7 music 243–5 cigarettes affordability 151–2 black market 23–4 cities, murder rates 44–6 Citizen Kane 207 citrus wars 95–6 civil wars 5 Clarke, Arthur C. 183 Coase, Ronald 127, 128 cocaine 44 cochlear implants 167 Cohen, Jake 203 Colen, Liesbeth 106 colleges, US 113–14 Colombia 45 colours, cars 49–50 commodities 123–4 companies 127–8 computers augmented reality 181–2 brain computers 167–8 emojis 215–16 and languages 225–6 spam e-mail 189–90 Connecticut 85 Connors, Jimmy 197 contracts 127–8 Costa Rica 89 couples career and family perception gap 77–8 housework 75–6 see also marriage cows 149–50 craft breweries 97–8 crime and avocados 89–90 and dog meat 91–2 murder rates 44–6 young Britons 47–8 CRISPR-Cas9 153 Croatia 222 Croato-Serbian 221–2 D Daily-Diamond, Christopher 9–10 Davis, Mark 216 De Beers 13–14 death 141–2 death taxes 119–20 democracy 40–41 Deng Xiaoping 117 Denmark career and family perception gap 78 gender pay gap 135–6 sex reassignment 65 Denver 99 Devon 72 diamonds 13–14, 124 digitally remastering 207–8 Discovery Channel 163–4 diseases 157–8 dog meat 91–2 Dorn, David 79 Dr Strangelove 207 dragon children 56–7 drink see alcohol drink-driving 179–80 driverless cars 177–8 drones and aircraft 187–8 and sharks 201 drugs cocaine trafficking 44 young Britons 48 D’Souza, Kiran 187 E e-mail 189–90 earnings, gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 Easter 237–8 economy and birth rates 79–80, 81–2 and car colours 49–50 and witch-hunting 25–6 education and American rich 113–14 dragon children 56–7 Egal, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim 40–41 Egypt gay and lesbian rights 73 marriage 5 new-year resolutions 233 El Paso 100 El Salvador 44, 45 emojis 215–16 employment gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 and gender perception gap 77–8 job tenure 129–30 in manufacturing 131–2 video games and unemployment 169–70 English language letter names 217–18 Papua New Guinea 219 environment air pollution 143–4 Arctic sea ice 147–8 and food packaging 103–4 waste 159–60 water pollution 149–50 Equatorial Guinea 32 Eritrea 40 Ethiopia 40 Europe craft breweries 97–8 summer holidays 239–40 see also individual countries Everson, Michael 216 exorcism 36–7 F Facebook augmented reality 182 undersea cables 193 FANUC 171, 172 Federer, Roger 197 feminism, and birth rates 81–2 fertility rates see birth rates festivals Christmas 246–7 Christmas music 243–5 new-year 233–4 Feuillet, Catherine 108 films 207–8 firms 127–8 5G 173–4 flight delays 38–9 Florida and Argentine lemons 95 child marriage 85 Foley, William 220 food avocados and crime 89–90 dog meat 91–2 lemons 95–6 wheat consumption 109–10 wheat genome 107–8 food packaging 103–4 food trucks 99–100 football clubs 211–12 football transfers 203–4 forests 145–6, 162 Fountains of Paradise, The (Clarke) 183 fracking 79–80 France career and family perception gap 78 Christmas music 244 exorcism 36–7 gender-inclusive language 229–30 job tenure 130 sex reassignment 66 sexual harassment 68–9 witch-hunting 26, 27 wolves 161–2 G gambling 209–10 games, and unemployment 169–70 Gandhi, Mahatma 155 gang members 34–5 Gantz, Valentino 153 gas 124 gay population 70–72 gay rights, attitudes to 73–4 gender sex reassignment 65–6 see also men; women gender equality and birth rates 81–2 in language 229–30 gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 gene drives 153–4 Genghis Khan 42 genome, wheat 107–8 ger districts 42–3 Germany beer consumption 105 job tenure 130 national identity 223–4 sexual harassment 68, 69 vocational training 132 witch-hunting 26, 27 Ghana 73 gig economy 128, 130 glasses, wine glasses 101–2 Goddard, Ceri 72 Google 193 Graduate, The 207 Greece forests 145 national identity 223–4 sex reassignment 65 smoking ban 152 Gregg, Christine 9–10 grunting 197–8 Guatemala 45 Guinea 32 guinea fowl 32–3 guinea pig 32 Guinea-Bissau 32 Guo Peng 91–2 Guyana 32 H Haiti 5 Hale, Sarah Josepha 242 Hanson, Gordon 79 Hawaii ’Oumuamua 185 porn consumption 63–4 health child obesity 93–4 life expectancy 125–6 plague 157–8 and sanitation 155 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) 53 Hiri Motu 219 holidays Easter 237–8 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 summer holidays 239–40 Thanksgiving 241–2 HoloLens 181–2 homicide 44–6 homosexuality attitudes to 73–4 UK 70–72 Honduras 44, 45 Hong Kong 56 housework 75–6, 77–8 Hudson, Valerie 5 Hungary 223–4 Hurst, Erik 169 I ice 147–8 Ikolo, Prince Anthony 199 India bank notes 133–4 inheritance tax 119 languages 219 rice consumption 109 sand mafia 7 sanitation problems 155–6 Indonesia polygamy and civil war 5 rice consumption 109–10 inheritance taxes 119–20 interest rates 51–2 interpunct 229–30 Ireland aitch 218 forests 145 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 same-sex marriage 73 sex reassignment 65 Italy birth rate 82 end of life care 141–2 forests 145 job tenure 130 life expectancy 126 J Jacob, Nitya 156 Jamaica 45 Japan 141–2 Jighere, Wellington 199 job tenure 129–30 jobs see employment Johnson, Bryan 168 junk mail 189 K Kazakhstan 6 Kearney, Melissa 79–80 Kennedy, John F. 12 Kenya democracy 40 mobile-money systems 176 Kiribati 7 Kleven, Henrik 135–6 knots 9–10 Kohler, Timothy 121 Kyrgyzstan 6 L laces 9–10 Lagos 199 Landais, Camille 135–6 languages and computers 225–6 gender-inclusive 229–30 letter names 217–18 and national identity 223–4 Papua New Guinea 219–20 Serbo-Croatian 221–2 Unicode 215 World Bank writing style 227–8 Latimer, Hugh 246 Leeson, Peter 26 leisure board games in Nigeria 199–200 chess 205–6 gambling 209–10 video games and unemployment 169–70 see also festivals; holidays lemons 95–6 letter names 217–18 Libya 31 life expectancy 125–6 Lincoln, Abraham 242 lithium 17–18 London 71, 72 longevity 125–6 Lozère 161–2 Lucas, George 208 M McEnroe, John 197 McGregor, Andrew 204 machine learning 225–6 Macri, Mauricio 95, 96 Macron, Emmanuel 143 Madagascar 158 Madison, James 242 MagicLeap 182 Maine 216 Malaysia 56 Maldives 7 Mali 31 Malta 65 Manchester United 211–12 manufacturing jobs 131–2 robots 171–2 summer holidays 239 Maori 34–5 marriage child marriage 84–5 polygamy 5–6 same-sex relationships 73–4 see also couples Marteau, Theresa 101–2 Marx, Karl 123 Maryland 85 Massachusetts child marriage 85 Christmas 246 Matfess, Hilary 5, 15 meat dog meat 91–2 packaging 103–4 mega-rich 53 men career and family 77–8 housework 75–6 job tenure 129–30 life expectancy 125 polygamy 5–6 sexual harassment by 67–9 video games and unemployment 169 Mexico avocados 89, 90 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 44, 45 microbreweries 97–8 Microsoft HoloLens 181–2 undersea cables 193 migration, and birth rates 81–3 mining diamonds 13–14 sand 7–8 mobile phones Africa 175–6 5G 173–4 Mocan, Naci 56–7 Mongolia 42–3 Mongrel Mob 34 Monopoly (board game) 199, 200 Monty Python and the Holy Grail 25 Moore, Clement Clarke 247 Moretti, Franco 228 Morocco 7 Moscato, Philippe 36 movies 207–8 Mozambique 73 murder rates 44–6 music, Christmas 243–5 Musk, Elon 168 Myanmar 118 N Nadal, Rafael 197 national identity 223–4 natural gas 124 Netherlands gender 66 national identity 223–4 neurostimulators 167 New Jersey 85 New Mexico 157–8 New York (state), child marriage 85 New York City drink-driving 179–80 food trucks 99–100 New Zealand avocados 89 gang members 34–5 gene drives 154 water pollution 149–50 new-year resolutions 233–4 Neymar 203, 204 Nigeria board games 199–200 Boko Haram 5, 15–16 population 54–5 Nissenbaum, Stephen 247 Northern Ireland 218 Norway Christmas music 243 inheritance tax 119 life expectancy 125, 126 sex reassignment 65 Nucci, Alessandra 36 O obesity 93–4 oceans see seas Odimegwu, Festus 54 O’Reilly, Oliver 9–10 Ortiz de Retez, Yñigo 32 Oster, Emily 25–6 ostriches 163, 164 ’Oumuamua 185–6 P packaging 103–4 Pakistan 5 Palombi, Francis 161 Papua New Guinea languages 219–20 name 32 Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 203 Passover 237 pasta 31 pay, gender pay gap 115–16, 135–6 Peck, Jessica Lynn 179–80 Pennsylvania 85 Peru 90 Pestre, Dominique 228 Pew Research Centre 22 Phelps, Michael 163–4 Philippe, Édouard 230 phishing 189 Phoenix, Arizona 177 Pilgrims 241 plague 157–8 Plastic China 159 police, body cameras 191–2 pollution air pollution 143–4 water pollution 149–50 polygamy 5–6 pornography and Britain’s gay population 70–72 and Hawaii missile alert 63–4 Portugal 145 Puerto Rico 45 punctuation marks 229–30 Q Qatar 19 R ransomware 190 Ravenscroft, George 101 Real Madrid 211 religious observance and birth rates 81–2 and Christmas music 244 remastering 207–8 Reynolds, Andrew 70 Rhodes, Cecil 13 rice 109–10 rich high-net-worth individuals 53 US 113–14 ride-hailing apps and drink-driving 179–80 see also Uber RIWI 73–4 robotaxis 177–8 robots 171–2 Rogers, Dan 240 Romania birth rate 81 life expectancy 125 Romans 233 Romer, Paul 227–8 Ross, Hana 23 Royal United Services Institute 21 Russ, Jacob 26 Russia arms sales 20 beer consumption 105, 106 fertility rate 81 Rwanda 40 S Sahara 31 St Louis 205–6 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 salt, in seas 11–12 same-sex relationships 73–4 San Antonio 100 sand 7–8 sanitation 155–6 Saudi Arabia 19 Scotland, witch-hunting 25–6, 27 Scott, Keith Lamont 191 Scrabble (board game) 199 seas Arctic sea ice 147–8 salty 11–12 undersea cables 193–4 secularism, and birth rates 81–2 Seles, Monica 197 self-driving cars 177–8 Serbia 222 Serbo-Croatian 221–2 Sevilla, Almudena 75 sex reassignment 65–6 sexual harassment 67–9, 230 Sharapova, Maria 197 sharks deterring attacks 201–2 racing humans 163–4 shipping 148 shoelaces 9–10 Silk Road 117–18 Singapore dragon children 56 land reclamation 7, 8 rice consumption 110 single people, housework 75–6 Sinquefeld, Rex 205 smart glasses 181–2 Smith, Adam 127 smoking black market for cigarettes 23–4 efforts to curb 151–2 smuggling 31 Sogaard, Jakob 135–6 Somalia 40 Somaliland 40–41 South Africa childhood obesity 93 diamonds 13 gay and lesbian rights 73 murder rate 45, 46 South Korea arms sales 20 rice consumption 110 South Sudan failed state 40 polygamy 5 space elevators 183–4 spaghetti 31 Spain forests 145 gay and lesbian rights 73 job tenure 130 spam e-mail 189–90 sperm banks 61–2 sport football clubs 211–12 football transfers 203–4 grunting in tennis 197–8 Sri Lanka 118 Star Wars 208 sterilisation 65–6 Strasbourg 26 submarine cables 193–4 Sudan 40 suicide-bombers 15–16 summer holidays 239–40 Sutton Trust 22 Sweden Christmas music 243, 244 gay and lesbian rights 73 homophobia 70 inheritance tax 119 overpayment of taxes 51–2 sex reassignment 65 sexual harassment 67–8 Swinnen, Johan 106 Switzerland sex reassignment 65 witch-hunting 26, 27 T Taiwan dog meat 91 dragon children 56 Tamil Tigers 15 Tanzania 40 taxes death taxes 119–20 Sweden 51–2 taxis robotaxis 177–8 see also ride-hailing apps tennis players, grunting 197–8 terrorism 15–16 Texas 85 Thailand 110 Thanksgiving 241–2 think-tanks 21–2 Tianjin 143–4 toilets 155–6 Tok Pisin 219, 220 transgender people 65–6 Trump, Donald 223 Argentine lemons 95, 96 estate tax 119 and gender pay gap 115 and manufacturing jobs 131, 132 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin 183 Turkey 151 turkeys 33 Turkmenistan 6 U Uber 128 and drink-driving 179–80 Uganda 40 Ulaanbaatar 42–3 Uljarevic, Daliborka 221 undersea cables 193–4 unemployment 169–70 Unicode 215–16 United Arab Emirates and Somaliland 41 weapons purchases 19 United Kingdom see Britain United States and Argentine lemons 95–6 arms sales 19 beer consumption 105 chess 205–6 child marriage 84–5 Christmas 246–7 Christmas music 243, 244 drink-driving 179–80 drones 187–8 end of life care 141–2 estate tax 119 fertility rates 79–80 food trucks 99–100 forests 145 gay and lesbian rights 73 getting rich 113–14 Hawaiian porn consumption 63–4 job tenure 129–30 letter names 218 lithium 17 manufacturing jobs 131–2 murder rate 45, 46 national identity 223–4 new-year resolutions 234 plague 157–8 police body cameras 191–2 polygamy 6 robotaxis 177 robots 171–2 St Patrick’s Day 235–6 sexual harassment 67, 68 sperm banks 61–2 Thanksgiving 241–2 video games and unemployment 169–70 wealth inequality 121 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) see drones V video games 169–70 Vietnam weapons purchases 19 wheat consumption 110 Virginia 85 virtual reality (VR) 181, 182 Visit from St Nicholas, A (Moore) 247 W Wang Yi 117 Warner, Jason 15 wars 5 Washington, George 242 Washington DC, food trucks 99 waste 159–60 water pollution 149–50 wealth getting rich in America 113–14 high-net-worth individuals 53 inequality 120, 121–2 weather, and Christmas music 243–5 Weinstein, Harvey 67, 69 Weryk, Rob 185 wheat consumption 109–10 genome 107–8 Wilson, Riley 79–80 wine glasses 101–2 Winslow, Edward 241 wireless technology 173–4 witch-hunting 25–7 wolves 161–2 women birth rates 79–80, 81–3 bride price 5 career and family 77–8 child marriage 84–5 housework 75–6 job tenure 129–30 life expectancy 125 pay gap 115–16 sexual harassment of 67–9 suicide-bombers 15–16 World Bank 227–8 World Health Organisation (WHO) and smoking 151–2 transsexualism 65 X Xi Jinping 117–18 Y young people crime 47–8 job tenure 129–30 video games and unemployment 169–70 Yu, Han 56–7 Yulin 91 yurts 42–3 Z Zubelli, Rita 239


pages: 174 words: 58,894

London Review of Books by London Review of Books

Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, tulip mania, Wolfgang Streeck

Divided, discredited, bankrupt and without strong allies, the Kurdish leaders must now try to negotiate a new deal with Baghdad that retains at least something of the semi-independent status they previously enjoyed. * Not so long ago , when asked about the future, Baghdadis would commonly reply that ‘Iraq is finished.’ American politicians argued that the country should either be broken up or continue as the loosest of federations. This notion that Iraq is a failed state is now being replaced by growing self-confidence on the part of the Shia majority: the Iraqi state has been reborn, they insist, and belongs to them. There is an outpouring of nationalist celebration in the Iraqi media, even if it is not necessarily an accurate guide to what Iraqis actually think. It was significant that many of the millions of Shia pilgrims taking part in the Arbaeen walk were carrying the Iraqi national red, white and black tricolour as well as their traditional green, black, red and white religious flags.

In a series of calls and emails over the first few days of my visit, the country manager gave me the slip, making various excuses as to why he hadn’t been around to speak to me. Finally I arranged to meet him in the lobby of my hotel: we were to go for dinner at a restaurant close to the magnificent Arch of Marcus Aurelius. As we sat at a table outside, making small talk and waiting for the call to prayer to end the day’s fast, it occurred to me that the company couldn’t have made a more inappropriate match than this one between the country manager and the failed state of Libya. A dapper, American-educated corporate droid, he was a prisoner of management speak: he had ‘reached out to’ employees, he told me; they hadn’t ‘embraced the new reality’. He didn’t seem able to adjust to the fact that he was operating in a warzone, dealing with people who were suffering, many of whom had demonstrated great loyalty to a company that abandoned them at the first sign of trouble.


pages: 354 words: 110,570

Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright, Bradley Hope

Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, failed state, family office, forensic accounting, Frank Gehry, high net worth, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund

The United States for decades had been concerned that corruption would undermine free-market capitalism, making it harder for American firms to compete internationally. And then there were fears that kleptocracy—the word is from the Greek and means “rule by thieves”—would lead to a less stable world order, in which failed states like Afghanistan and Syria harbor terrorists. “Corruption leads to lack of confidence in government. Lack of confidence in government leads to failed states. And failed states lead to terror and national security issues,” was how Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet, chief of the FBI’s Public Corruption Section, put it when announcing the international corruption squads. Corrupt foreign leaders and officials had an Achilles’ heel—they relied on the U.S. financial system to transfer cash and had a penchant for acquiring real estate in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

One way of solving these problems is to develop new forms of genetically engineered biofuels (algae that produce basic hydrocarbons including octane, for example), but so far these ideas mostly exist in research laboratories rather than inside your gas tank. Nevertheless, expect to see next-generation biofuel “factories” both in marine environments and on land. Californification According to some observers, California is a failed state. It is dysfunctional. Its budget is bust. Its schools are failing. It has gridlocked traffic, failing infrastructure and overcrowded prisons. It’s short of water too. All of this is true. But looking at things differently, California is a model for the future, not only for America, but also for the global economy. Economically, demographically, culturally and technologically, California is on the cutting edge.

the condensed idea Reinventing our wheels timeline 1769 First self-propelled mechanical vehicle 1885 Karl Benz invents the modern motorcar 1960s Personal jetpack technology becomes a reality 2004 China unveils a high-speed magnetic levitation train 2016 35 percent of cars now hybrids 2022 Self-driving cars start to appear in China and India 2039 High-speed rail networks link Europe with North Africa 2036 Solar-powered planes widely used in Africa and Australia 15 Extra-legal & feral slums According to a UN estimate, 1 in 7 people worldwide now live in slums and in many cases these slums, which are not regulated or sanctioned by law, are set to become major cities in the near future. Meanwhile, some urban areas have become so lawless that authorities have all but given up on removing criminal gangs and have fallen back on a policy of geographical containment instead. There has been a lot of comment and concern about failed states and feral children of late, so it should come as no surprise that feral cities are set to become a future threat to organized society and civil order. “If the young men are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” African proverb An article by Peter Liotta and James Miskel in World Policy Journal (US), for instance, makes the point that Mogadishu, in Somalia, could be the model for future cities in many parts of the world in the sense of creating a series of “nontraditional” security threats.


Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil by Nicholas Shaxson

Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hernando de Soto, income per capita, inflation targeting, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Gabon’s oil is slowly running out, and it nurses not a cushion of savings but, instead, unpayable debts. The list of trouble goes on. Oil and gas pay for the intelligence services and armies that keep the boiling anger at arm’s length. It is no coincidence that Africa’s four longestserving leaders all come from these conflicted oil zones.13 Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, one of the few western academics to have studied these issues in depth, calls sub-Saharan Africa’s oil nations successful failed states: countries with strong leaders backed by sophisticated state-owned oil and gas companies and other islands of competence, surrounded by unusually tormented societies and AIDS-ravaged millions who shoulder the burdens of their states’ failures. “The contrast between the heightened expectations 4 The New Gulf of oil producers and their populations, on the one hand, and the dire impact of oil dependence on development, on the other,” he wrote, “is one of the most dispiriting tales of postcolonial hope gone astray.”14 The forgotten hinterlands and turbulent seas of invisible Africans that have emerged around the glittering shopping malls and yacht marinas in Lagos, Libreville, or Luanda should worry us all, because of the presence, in the vicinity of all this anger, of great wealth that circulates in unpredictable ways.

It was a terrible time: Angola was for some time described as “the single worst place on earth for a child to be born”; with more than a quarter of Angolan children born not expected to make it to their fifth birthday.34 Angola’s oil-backed borrowing was a more sophisticated, bettercontrolled version of the debt tools that French interests used to control the leaders of André Milongo’s Congo-Brazzaville. Angola during its civil war became a wealthier, grander, more sophisticated version of the Congolese “successful failed state,” the two-speed nation where the apparatus of government was stripped down to little more than its sovereign, extractive core, leaving the rest to wither. The war was, in the words of the Angolan activist Rafael Marques, “a war of poor people against miserable people,” conducted while the rulers lived in fabulous luxury. While the fighting 183 P o i s o n e d We l l s killed many hundreds of thousands in the countryside, the financial instability fostered by the oil-backed loans savagely worsened already desperate living standards everywhere.

“The notion of the competitiveness of countries, on the model of the competitiveness of companies, is nonsense,” wrote the Financial Times commentator Martin Wolf.19 Think about it this way. If a company cannot compete, it goes bankrupt and a better one takes its place; this weeds out bad firms and is a 228 Conclusion source of capitalism’s dynamism. But if a country cannot “compete,” you get a failed state. “I have never heard a coherent argument for tax competition,” said Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. “You might as well talk about environmental competition.” High taxes or low taxes? I recoil from the idea that competition from tax havens—which Christensen rightly calls “invitations to crime”—should trump what voters want. There are already perfectly good mechanisms for keeping governments on their toes, such as interest rates and inflation: if a government screws up, its currency will fall and the bond markets (and inflation) will punish it.


Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

But then other rebels arose to fight these new rulers, starting a conflict that continues to fester at the time of this book’s writing. 115 CH A PTER F I VE Neighboring countries—Angola, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe—sent their troops to Congo with designs on its vast mineral wealth. Neither are we in the world’s rich countries immune to the global aftershocks of civil war, which can emerge in terrifying ways. Failed states can provide a lawless sanctuary for international organized crime and terrorist groups that profit from the illicit trades in arms, drugs, and rare minerals, like diamonds. Conflict zones in Afghanistan and Colombia serve as bases for major international drug narcotraficantes. Al-Qaeda operatives set up shop in Sudan and Sierra Leone during the 1990s and more recently in Somalia. States destroyed by terror and violence beget further suffering.

RCPS is an economically sensible means of providing a bridge to a more stable political environment, and can help create the conditions where Africans themselves want to invest in their own countries’ futures. Violence in all its forms—from witch killing to warfare—is partially a product of Africa’s economic desperation and volatility. Once they get started, civil conflicts can last for many years, even decades. They’ve claimed millions of lives and created failed-state havens for international criminals and terrorists. The civil wars in Liberia and Congo became cancers for whole regions. And witch killings—just one poignant illustration of violent crime borne of economic hardship—show no sign of disappearing in Tanzania. Before picking up the pieces from another humanitarian catastrophe, or burying another elderly “witch,” why not try to use some basic economics to stop the violence before it starts?


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

The CIA today counts some fifty countries that have “stateless zones,” where the local government has lost all effectiveness or simply given up. Falling behind in the new world of technology could make it harder for these zones to come back, as well as potentially add to their number. Describes one U.S.-government-funded report, “Extreme losers in the information revolution could become ‘failed states.’ Such failed states could become breeding grounds for terrorists, who could threaten vital U.S. interests.” A government’s inability to control its territory and provide what its people want or need then opens up a vacuum. And politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Warrior groups move into such vacuums and seize local control, a scenario played out again and again with groups like the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Tamil Tigers.

Much of war is no longer battles between equally matched state armies in open fields, but rather “irregular warfare,” that amalgam of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, peace, stability, and support operations. None of these, as professor of strategy Jeffrey Record notes, “are part of the traditional U.S. military repertoire of capabilities.” (Record made this argument in the U.S. Army’s journal, in an article titled “Why the Strong Lose.”) Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or some future failed state, it is reasonable to predict that the U.S. military will find itself embroiled in a fair number of insurgencies in the years ahead. As Army War College expert Steven Metz writes, “During the Cold War, insurgent success in China, Vietnam, Algeria, and Cuba spawned emulators. While not all of them succeeded, they did try. That is likely to happen again. By failing to prepare for counterinsurgency in Iraq and by failing to avoid it, the United States has increased the chances of facing it again in the near future.”

As retired major general Barry McCaffrey describes, Peters is “simply one of the most creative and stimulating writers on national security we have produced in the post-WWII era.” Peters is also quite a force in the field of fiction, having written eight political thrillers. His first novel was a cold war spy story set in the former West Germany. His subsequent novels have gone on to include more contemporary settings of terrorism and failed states, and he’s built up quite a sizable fan base among military readers. As if this wasn’t enough, Peters also writes a series of historical detective novels set in the Civil War under the pseudonym Owen Parry. It is perhaps because of this breadth of experience, analysis, and imagination that Peters is an apt resource for understanding where war, and its future causes, is headed, and not just because his latest book is titled Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the Twenty-first Century.


pages: 352 words: 80,030

The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan

active measures, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, cashless society, clean water, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Nelson Mandela, purchasing power parity, ransomware, Rubik’s Cube, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

According to some estimates, more than $220bn of loans was issued to governments in Latin America and the Caribbean over the last fifteen years.97 This does not include a recent $5bn loan to cash-strapped, oil-rich and dysfunctional Venezuela, where annual inflation reached over 24,000 per cent in June 2018.98 When Venezuela needs emergency funding to stay afloat, it turns to China for support – partly because there is no one else to turn to.99 Bailing out a failed state says a lot about how keen Beijing is to get what it needs – around 700,000 barrels of oil per day, in the case of Venezuela’s shipments to China.100 * China has been very active in South America since the publication of a policy paper in 2008 that noted the ‘abundant resources’ of the region, but also observed that Latin America and the Caribbean were at ‘a similar stage of development’, and shared similar challenges and difficulties.

In a remarkable essay published in July 2018 entitled ‘Our current fears and our expectations’ (我们当下的恐惧与期待), Xu Zhangrun, a leading professor at Tsinghua University, issued a challenge for the country’s direction of travel – and to its leadership. Civil society had not evolved for decades, Xu wrote, leading to a lack of political maturity of its citizens that was not just unfortunate but regressive. Huge financial resources had been built up from the ‘blood and sweat of the workers’, only for this to be spent on supporting failed states like North Korea and Venezuela and making enormous investments in other countries – and giving aid to states in the Middle East that are ‘literally oozing with riches.’ What China needs, he said, is ‘a clear vision for the nation’s future’.173 Dissent is not easy in states where control of the media and even of private correspondence is carefully regulated. Statements like Xu’s are unusual, both in terms of the content but also in terms of the expression of such forceful opinions.


pages: 304 words: 85,291

Cities: The First 6,000 Years by Monica L. Smith

clean water, diversified portfolio, failed state, financial innovation, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, South China Sea, telemarketer, the built environment, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Cities allow the scope for aspirational consumption of all kinds and the exercise of multiple identities through kinship, friendship, work, leisure, and play. Cities continue to grow regardless of the types of nations in which they are found. Mumbai and New Delhi, both in democratic India, are projected to be the world’s biggest cities by 2050 with nearly forty million inhabitants each. But cities in “failed states” also are set to grow: Kinshasa, located in the perpetually dysfunctional Democratic Republic of the Congo, had half a million people in 1960, a population of ten million now, and is projected to have thirty-five million people by 2050. The fact that nations don’t tend to matter for city growth is an important insight into ancient cities, too. Although we often think of ancient states and empires as holistic and well organized, that’s really just because of the successful propaganda of ancient rulers who also wanted their own subjects to believe that.

See ancient Egypt electricity, 232 electric scooters, 141 Ellis, Steven, 167 Emerald Buddha (Bangkok), 168 Enannatum, 61 engineering, 205–11 Enlil, 31 entertainment, 162–64, 233 entrepreneurship, 194–201 Epic of Gilgamesh, 247 ethnic differences, 244–45 “ethnic” neighborhoods, 169 Euphrates River, 85 evolution, 9, 91–92 eyes eye beads, 78–79 idols at Tell Brak, 66, 77–79 “walls as the eyes of a city,” 194, 242 watchfulness as an urban characteristic, 79 “failed states,” 260 Fall of the Magician, The (Pieter van der Heyden), 202 farmers’ markets, 199 fashion, 176–79, 259 feedback loop, 8, 163–64 Feroz Shah Tughluq, 238 “Fertile Crescent,” 84, 85 field walking, 59–62 first cities, 75–87 Fiske, Neil, 196–97 flooding, 48, 49, 85, 131, 139, 256 “flow,” 33–40, 86, 221–22 food, 167–69, 222, 234–36 food waste, 156–57 Forrier, Pietro, 32 Fox, Richard, 11 “Fragile Crescent,” 85–86, 90, 255 Fujiwara, waterways, 136–37 future tense, 93, 94, 99 Gandy, Matthew, 138 Ganges River, 27, 228, 254 Gate of the Unclean Women, 31 gates (gateways), 123–27, 215–16 German Oriental Society, 82 Ghost Festivals, 158 Gift, The (Mauss), 104 gift exchange, 103–4 Giza Plateau, 209–10 Göbekli Tepe, 69–71, 77, 117, 120, 213, 249 graffiti, 4, 162 “grammar,” 92–93 Grand Canal, 108, 147 Grand Palace (Bangkok), 168 Grand Trunk Road, 147 Granovetter, Mark, 98 grave markers, 196 Great Baths of Mohenjo Daro, 131–32 Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 205–7, 250 Great Stink of London, 139 Greece, ancient.


pages: 335 words: 82,528

A Theory of the Drone by Gregoire Chamayou

drone strike, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, moral hazard, Necker cube, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, private military company, RAND corporation, telepresence, Yom Kippur War

As the theorists of manhunting remind us, “borders are among the greatest allies” that a fugitive can have.2 Out in the countryside, English common law used to authorize “the hunting of ravenous prey, such as badgers and foxes, in another man’s land, because destroying such creatures is said to be profitable to the Public.”3 That is the kind of right that the United States today would like to claim in the case of human prey worldwide.4 As Paul Wolfowitz has put it, we need “to deny them sanctuaries.”5 What is emerging is the idea of an invasive power based not so much on the rights of conquest as on the rights of pursuit: a right of universal intrusion or encroachment that would authorize charging after the prey wherever it found refuge, thereby trampling underfoot the principal of territorial integrity classically attached to state sovereignty. According to such a concept, the sovereignty of other states becomes a contingent matter. Full enjoyment of that sovereignty is recognized only if those states take imperial tracking to heart. If they do not—“failed” states cannot, “rogue” states will not—their territories can legitimately be violated by a hunter-state. The drone counters the terrestrial forms of territorial sovereignty, founded upon the enclosure of land, with the continuity of the air above. In doing so, it extends the great historical promises of aerial power. As Douhet puts it, the aerial weapon, unaffected by harsh landscapes, “moves freely through a third dimension.”6 It draws its own lines in the sky.

See distinction dishonor, 98–99 distance, 255n13 killing and, 115–16 tele-technologies and, 247–54n8 See also proximity distinction, 137–38, 162, 169, 198, 199 between civilians and combatants, 261–62n2 between combatants and noncombatants, 142–47 between weapons and combatants, 210 Doctrine of Right (Kant), 196–97 Dos Gringos, 99 Dougherty, Norma Jeane, 25, 26 Douhet, Giulio, 52, 53 Dresden, 140, 141 drone cameras, 247n1 drone operators, 92, 102 ability to discriminate among targets, 137–38, 142–47 awarding of military medals to, 102 compartmentalization and, 120–21, 123–24 courage and, 103 empathy and, 108 feeling of duality and, 120–21 guilt felt by, 109–10, 113 insensitivity of, 107–8, 113 invisibility of, 118 invulnerability of, 130 as mirror image of suicide bombers, 89 ocular proximity and, 255–56n22 perceptual proximity and, 117–18 physical distance and, 115–18, 138–39, 156, 255–56n22, 262n10 psychic vulnerability of, 104–5, 106–13 PTSD and, 103, 106–13 references to video games by, 107–8 sensitivity of, 108, 113 soldiers’ scorn for, 106–7 stress and, 103, 106–13 suffering of, 106–13 transition from war to peace and, 119–20 traumas of, 106–13 drones amateur, 78 among other modes of war, 231n14 as analogous to bulletproof vests, 169–70 characteristics of, 16 comparison to video games, 107–8 costs of, 13–14, 188–89, 231n14, 232–33n5 as counterproductive, 190 definition of, 11 demilitarization of, 78 development of, 231n14 difference from cruise missiles, 232n3 domestic market for, 203 economics of, 232–33n5 effects of, 44–45, 117 as ethical precision devices, 140–49 as eye of God, 37–38 genealogy of, 16 homemade, 78 human, 78–79 as humanitarian weapons, 17 kamikazes and, 83–89 kinds of, 11 law enforcement and (see also law enforcement), 168–69 as low-cost, 77–78 origin of, 16 outfitted with non-lethal weapons, 203 politico-strategic vulnerabilities of, 75–76 populations subjected to (see also civilians; collateral damage), 44–45 precision of, 56–57 psychopathologies of the, 106–13 relaunch of American production in the 1980s, 28 as revolution in sighting, 38 self-preservation and (see also self-preservation), 84 surveillance and, 235n21 technical and budgetary barriers to development of, 231n14 technical vulnerabilities of, 75–76 as technology substituting for strategy, 65–66 use of, 13–14 use of the word “drone,” 26 as virtuous, 100–101 vulnerabilities of, 73–79 as weapons of postcolonial violence, 94–95 See also specific kinds of drones drone-states, 15, 18 drone strikes as counterproductive, 70–71 international law and, 167–73 law enforcement and, 168, 171 legal framework for, 167–73 personal, 47 dronization, 100, 181, 184, 188–89, 194, 214–15, 221 Dunlap, Charles, 62, 70 duty, 199 dystopias, 213 economic decision-making theory, 188–89, 190–91 effects-based operations, 34 Egypt, 27 Ehrenreich, Barbara, 193–94 electronic communications, interpretation of, 41 Ellis, Al, 28 El-Sarraj, Eyad, 88 Elshtain, Jean Bethke, 129–30, 260n7 emasculation, 100 emotional involvement, 254–55n12 See also empathy; specific emotions empathy, 108, 261n15, 273–74n31 enemies, 15, 114 body as battlefield, 56–58 conceptions of, 68–69 dispensability of, 155 figurative reduction of, 114, 119 as guilty party, 160 inaccessibility of, 52–53 as node in a social network, 34 recognition of, 144–45 right to kill, 198 right to life of, 198 subjectlessness of, 206 See also combatants Engels, Friedrich, 221 English common law, 53 ESPN, 40 ethics, 189, 261n15 drones as ethical precision devices, 140–49 See also military ethics; military ethos; morality; necroethics Etzioni, Amitai, 190–91, 200 euphemization, 147–48 Everett, Bart, 83 evil, 68, 69 cumulativeness of lesser evils, 190 logic of the lesser evil, 139, 146 execution, 35, 62, 103–4, 169, 255n17 See also assassination explosions, perimeter of, 141 Exum, Andrew McDonald, 64 Eyeborgs, 44 “The eye of God” (Horapollo), 36, 37 F-16 planes, 29 failed states, 53 Farocki, Harun, 114, 247n1, 247n2 fascism, robots and, 205 fear, 242–43n1 See also emotional involvement Federal Aviation Administration, 203 fighter pilots, 99, 115, 214 resistance to dronization, 100 fighter planes, dronization of, 214 fighting. See combat filming, 39–41 fog of war, 16, 216 Formica, Richard P., 55 Foucault, Michel, 43–44, 268n1 France, 65, 268n7 Franks, Tommy, 216 French Revolution, 268n7 Freud, Sigmund, 106, 112, 246n19, 246n20 Friedman, Benjamin, 191 Frigga, 73 fronts, 33 Fukuyama, Francis, 78 Fuller, John, 242–43n1 Galula, David, 66, 67 Gaza, 88, 130–32 General Atomics, 28–29 geography, 239n31 analysis of, 49 combat and, 52 hunting and, 52 political, 52–53, 54 targeted assassination and, 239n31 See also space geospatial analysis, 48 Gernsback, Hugo, 220 global war against terror, 52 Glubb, John Bagot, 62 Gorgon, 43, 44 Gorgon Stare, 43, 236n27 GPS data, 41, 76 Graham, Stephen, 54 Great Britain, 187 “air control” methods used in Pakistan, 65 See also Royal Air Force (RAF) Gregory, Derek, 42, 43, 57 Grossman, Dave, 118, 246n19 On Killing, 115–16, 116 Grotius, 158–59, 263n4 ground force commanders, 2 The Guardian, 136–37 guerrilla warfare, 60, 61–62, 264–66n17 as political, 66–67 See also counterinsurgency Guevara, Ernesto “Che,” 60, 66 guilt of enemy targets, 146, 160 felt by drone operators, 109–10, 113 Gusterson, Hugh, 88, 89 Gyges, 96, 97, 123–24 Hägerstrand, Torsten, 42 Haijazi, Maulvi Abdullah, 62 Hammond, Jeremy, 189–90 hardware, 212 Harvey, Adam, 204 Hawkins, Jeff, 135 “hearts and minds,” conquering of, 67, 70–71 Hegel, G.W.F., 98, 180, 181, 195–96, 205–6, 254–55n12 Hellfire AGM-114C, 29 heroism, 86–88, 97–98, 100, 101, 103 Hersh, Seymour, 32, 196 Hershey, Burnet, 231–32n4 Hezbollah, 75 Hiroshima, 140 history, Hegel’s philosophy of, 205–6 history, philosophy of, 205–6 Hitler, Adolf, 205 Hobbes, Thomas, 178, 268n5 Leviathan, 218, 219 Hobson, 188 Hobson, J.A., 187 homicide.


pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

addicted to oil, airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

If gated communities and rent-a-cops were enough, September 11 never would have happened.70 The supposed social pathologies, unconstrained sexualities and ‘weak ego structures’ deemed by neoconservative social critics to lie at the root of the problems in US cities are identical to the supposed traits of the essentialized ‘Arab mind’ conjured by neoconservatives and senior military officials during the War on Terror.71 Thus, a wide range of comparable depictions demonize the core cities of the US and cast the growing cities of the global South as the intrinsically anarchic, threatening Other.72 Neoconservative writers present booming cities as the central motors of the ‘coming anarchy’73 of the post–Cold War world – essentially feral places which breed lawlessness, drug abuse, crime, brutal turf wars, and security risks for the rest of the world. The obsession with ‘failed states’ as the key security threats to US interests is, in fact, morphing into a concern with ‘failed’ cities – burgeoning urban concentrations apparently unconnected to the supposed benefits of neoliberal globalization.74 ‘Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles’, writes Richard Norton in an influential 2003 article in Naval War College Review. ‘Once a vital component in a national economy, this sprawling urban environment is now a vast collection of blighted buildings, an immense Petridish of both ancient and new diseases, a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power.’

Within the urban environment, it is not the weapon itself but rather the city which maximises or mutes an arm’s effectiveness. In claustrophobic alleys and urban canyons, civilians are impossible to control or characterise as friendly or not. Weapons hidden beneath a cloak, in a child’s carriage, or rolled in a carpet, can get past security personnel undetected.17 The second main feature of the urban-turn discourse shifts the focus from the national scale – the challenges presented by ‘failed states’ – to the urban scale, the military and political challenges of well-armed insurgent groups hiding within, and controlling, fast-growing urban areas. An important element is US military commentator Richard J. Norton’s influential concept of ‘feral cities’ – highly disorderly urban areas in the global South which are controlled by violent non-state militias of various sorts.18 Some protagonists in this debate argue that the breakdown of high-tech sensors and weapons, caused by the ‘clutter of concealment’ provided by cities, is leading directly to an increased tendency among US political adversaries to take refuge within cities (Figure 5.3).

‘Comparing the Israeli and American alternative legalities’, she writes, ‘one finds some clear commonalities’ in the detailed legal justification for the state of exception and the irrelevance of international humanitarian law (IHL). Hajjar stresses that the Israeli state’s description of the status of the West Bank and Gaza as sui generis, in order to assert that IHL does not actually apply, is legally indistinguishable from US claims that such law was inapplicable to the invasion of Afghanistan because it was a ‘failed state’.49 She also underlines that both the US and Israeli states have often argued that the statelessness of their enemies automatically means they have no rights whatsoever under IHL. In both cases, it is a legal trick that has been used to legitimize mass incarceration without trial. Moreover, both states have used national laws to authorize legal practices that contravene the norms and rules of IHL, a form of ‘domesticating’ international law for questionable purposes.50 ISRAEL AND THE ‘PALESTINIANIZATION’ OF IRAQ In late 2003, as the US military’s task in Iraq quickly morphed from the relatively simple challenge of destroying an infinitely inferior state military to the challenge of pacifying complex urban insurgencies, Israel’s direct involvement in shaping the doctrine, weaponry and military thinking of US occupying forces grew dramatically – with corresponding pay-offs for the Israeli economy.


pages: 509 words: 153,061

The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 by Thomas E. Ricks

amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Berlin Wall, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, interchangeable parts, open borders, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, traveling salesman

“I’d follow him to the end of the world. Usually when you work closely with people, you see the warts and all, and your opinion goes down. My opinion of him has gone way up.” She may have been soft on Odierno, but she retained her sharpness about the rest of the world. Asked in an interview early in 2007 about Iraqi politics, she interrupted to redefine the question. “It’s not a government, it’s a failing state.” She still could blow the whistle on the U.S. military, but now she did so from inside the tent. In the spring of 2007, she was in a “battle update assessment” as an officer showed gun camera footage of an attack helicopter surprising insurgents emplacing a bomb and blowing them to bits. This was red meat for officers who had spent years being attacked by anonymous roadside bombers. “They all loved it,” she recalled, so much so that the officers at the briefing began talking about taking the declassification steps necessary to release the imagery to the media.

But on the ground in Iraq, the new goal was simply getting to a more or less peaceful Iraq that didn’t explode into a regional war or implode into a civil war. As Odierno, Sky, and others talked into the night, hours at a time, three or four nights a week, they focused on the way that parts of the Baghdad government exercised power to further sectarian agendas, undermining the legitimacy of the entire enterprise. “It is a failed state with ungoverned spaces in which the government is part of the problem,” Sky summarized as their conclusion. In particular, they would target Shiite militiamen employed by the Ministry of Health, who among other things were killing Sunnis who sought medical care. They also decided that they needed to reposition the U.S. government. In February, Odierno would tell his subordinate commanders to conduct “balanced operations targeting groups on both sides of the sectarian divide.”

So right now we are in a kind of twilight zone of neither peace nor victory. But I think we are drifting toward a breakup.” To some, that meant it was time to pull the plug. “To date the Iraqi political process has not demonstrated the capacity to deal successfully with any of these issues,” said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who was growing increasingly influential on defense issues. “And if they’re not dealt with, then you’ve got a failing state that is not helping itself.” But to others, the failure of Iraqi politics raised the question of whether the next step was to revise the American mission—and in some ways return to the grandiose vision that the Bush administration held when it sent American forces into Iraq, that of making it a democratic beacon that would change the politics of the Middle East. “We’ve built a state, and now we have to build a nation,” Col.


pages: 868 words: 147,152

How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, financial deregulation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, land tenure, large denomination, liberal capitalism, market fragmentation, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, purchasing power parity, rent control, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Coase, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, working-age population

The detail of how financial liberalisation went wrong in south-east Asia is explored on a journey to Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, where a new financial district grew like a mushroom in the run-up to the Asian financial crisis. The countries covered I have made a number of simplifications in this book so as not to dilute its central messages and to enable its story to be told (endnotes excepted) in just over 200 pages. One of these involved choosing which east Asian countries to leave out of the narrative. Since the book is about developmental strategies that have achieved a modicum of success, the region’s failed states do not appear. North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea, all of which are found near the bottom of the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI) rankings,8 are not discussed. The reasons for the failure of these states are varied, but one common characteristic leaps out: they are all politically and economically introverted. In varying degrees, these countries are re-learning the old lesson of pre-1978 China, pre-1989 Soviet Union and pre-1991 India: that if a country does not trade and interact with the world, it is all but impossible to get ahead in the development game.

With its population of 23 million, Taiwan has a developmental story that is both distinct from that of mainland China, and one which exhibits some striking and underreported policy similarities – reflecting the shared experiences of Kuomintang and Communist politicians and bureaucrats on the mainland in the 1930s and 1940s. The book’s structure allows both facets of Taiwan’s economic history to be discussed. The omission of failed states and offshore centres, and the adjustment with respect to Taiwan, means that we are left with nine significant east Asian economies: a north-east Asian group of Japan and its two former colonies, South Korea and Taiwan; a south-east Asian group of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines; and China and Vietnam. Vietnam, however, is omitted from this third ‘post-communist’ group in order to further to simplify the structure of the book.

It may be that, more than education leading to economic progress, economic progress leads families to educate their children, which in turn makes more economic progress possible. In the Philippines, the US colonial government placed great emphasis on investment in schooling in the early twentieth century. Even today the Philippines has the highest level of tertiary-educated students in south-east Asia. But because more important policy choices were flunked, the country is on the cusp of being a failed state. Looking further afield, Cuba has the world’s second-highest literacy rate for children over age fifteen, and the sixth highest rate of school enrolment. Education has been a top priority there since the revolution in 1960. Yet the country ranks only ninety-fifth in GDP per capita in the world. Cuba has a surfeit of university graduates and inadequate employment opportunities for them – one reason why 25,000 Cuban physicians undertake state-subsidised work overseas.12 In the former Soviet Union, too, output of highly trained personnel was never matched by economic development.


pages: 92

The Liberal Moment by Nick Clegg, Demos (organization : London, England)

banking crisis, credit crunch, failed state, housing crisis, income inequality, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Right to Buy, smart grid, too big to fail, Winter of Discontent

Constitutional reform, the details of which I spelt out above, has to be right at the heart of any attempt to reclaim civil liberties in this country: the only way to stop the government infringing liberty is to clip its wings for good. The third element to our security I want to address is in relation to Britain’s position in the world. The international 75 threats we face vary from tackling cross-border crime to stabilising rogue or failed states. This pamphlet is clearly not the place to conduct a full analysis of Labour’s foreign policy and set out the alternative Liberal Democrat approach. However, I will seek to demonstrate that Labour’s lukewarm commitment to international cooperation has undermined many of its efforts to protect British and world security – as well as thwarting attempts to secure climate change treaties and better banking regulation, as I demonstrated above.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Leaving aside the ideological fight over state planning versus market, what this all means is that the continuity of capital flow in a world of increasingly complicated social divisions of labour rests upon the existence of adequate institutional arrangements that facilitate the continuity of that flow across space and time. Where those arrangements are defective or do not exist, capital will encounter serious barriers. While ways can be found for capital to operate successfully under, say, conditions of lawlessness, corruption and indeterminate property rights, this does not in general constitute an optimal environment in which capital can flourish. What to do about ‘failed states’ and how to ensure the creation of ‘a good business climate’ (including the suppression of corruption and lawlessness) have therefore become leading missions of international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, as well as a project of various arms of contemporary US and European imperialist practices in many parts of the world. The WTO agreements, for example, codify ‘good behaviour’ for the states that have signed up (and many states have no option except to sign if they wish to continue to trade with the US and Europe) in such a way as to favour the freedoms of corporations to do business without excessive state regulation or interference.

Index Numbers in italics indicate Figures; those in bold indicate a Table. 11 September 2001 attacks 38, 41–2 subject to perpetual renewal and transformation 128 A Abu Dhabi 222 Académie Française 91 accumulation by dispossession 48–9, 244 acid deposition 75, 187 activity spheres 121–4, 128, 130 deindustrialised working-class area 151 and ‘green revolution’ 185–6 institutional and administrative arrangements 123 ‘mental conceptions of the world’ 123 patterns of relations between 196 production and labour processes 123 relations to nature 123 the reproduction of daily life and of the species 123 slums 152 social relations 123 subject to perpetual renewal and transformation 128 suburbs 150 technologies and organisational forms 123 uneven development between and among them 128–9 Adelphia 100 advertising industry 106 affective bonds 194 Afghanistan: US interventionism 210 Africa civil wars 148 land bought up in 220 neocolonialism 208 population growth 146 agribusiness 50 agriculture collectivisation of 250 diminishing returns in 72 ‘green revolution’ 185–6 ‘high farming’ 82 itinerant labourers 147 subsidies 79 AIG 5 alcoholism 151 Allen, Paul 98 Allende, Salvador 203 Amazonia 161, 188 American Bankers Association 8 American Revolution 61 anarchists 253, 254 anti-capitalist revolutionary movement 228 anti-racism 258 anti-Semitism 62 après moi le déluge 64, 71 Argentina Debt Crisis (2000–2002) 6, 243, 246, 261 Arizona, foreclosure wave in 1 Arrighi, Giovanni: The Long Twentieth Century 35, 204 asbestos 74 Asia Asian Currency Crisis (1997–98) 141, 261 collapse of export markets 141 growth 218 population growth 146 asset stripping 49, 50, 245 asset traders 40 asset values 1, 6, 21, 23, 26, 29, 46, 223, 261 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 200 Athabaska tar sands, Canada 83 austerity programmes 246, 251 automobile industry 14, 15, 23, 56, 67, 68, 77, 121, 160–61 Detroit 5, 15, 16, 91, 108, 195, 216 autonomista movement 233, 234, 254 B Baader-Meinhof Gang 254 Bakunin, Michael 225 Balzac, Honoré 156 Bangalore, software development in 195 Bangkok 243 Bank of England 53, 54 massive liquidity injections in stock markets 261 Bank of International Settlements, Basel 51, 55, 200 Bank of New England 261 Bankers Trust 25 banking bail-outs 5, 218 bank shares become almost worthless 5 bankers’ pay and bonuses 12, 56, 218 ‘boutique investment banks’ 12 de-leveraging 30 debt-deposit ratio 30 deposit banks 20 French banks nationalised 198 international networks of finance houses 163 investment banks 2, 19, 20, 28, 219 irresponsible behaviour 10–11 lending 51 liquidity injections by central banks vii, 261 mysterious workings of central banks 54 ‘national bail-out’ 30–31 property market-led Nordic and Japanese bank crises 261 regional European banks 4 regular banks stash away cash 12, 220 rising tide of ‘moral hazard’ in international bank lending practices 19 ‘shadow banking’ system 8, 21, 24 sympathy with ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ bank robbers 56 Baran, Paul and Sweezey, Paul: Monopoly Capital 52, 113 Barings Bank 37, 100, 190 Baucus, Max 220 Bavaria, automotive engineering in 195 Beijing declaration (1995) 258 Berlin: cross-border leasing 14 Bernanke, Ben 236 ‘Big Bang’ (1986) 20, 37 Big Bang unification of global stock, options and currency trading markets 262 billionaire class 29, 110, 223 biodiversity 74, 251 biomass 78 biomedical engineering 98 biopiracy 245, 251 Birmingham 27 Bismarck, Prince Otto von 168 Black, Fischer 100 Blackstone 50 Blair, Tony 255 Blair government 197 blockbusting neighbourhoods 248 Bloomberg, Mayor Michael 20, 98, 174 Bolivarian movement 226, 256 bonuses, Wall Street 2, 12 Borlaug, Norman 186 bourgeoisie 48, 89, 95, 167, 176 ‘boutique investment banks’ 12 Brazil automobile industry 16 capital flight crisis (1999) 261 containerisation 16 an export-dominated economy 6 follows Japanese model 92 landless movement 257 lending to 19 the right to the city movement 257 workers’ party 256 Bretton Woods Agreement (1944) 31, 32, 51, 55, 171 British Academy 235 British empire 14 Brown, Gordon 27, 45 Budd, Alan 15 Buenos Aires 243 Buffett, Warren 173 building booms 173–4 Bush, George W. 5, 42, 45 business associations 195 C California, foreclosure wave in 1, 2 Canada, tightly regulated banks in 141 ‘cap and trade’ markets in pollution rights 221 capital bank 30 centralisation of 95, 110, 113 circulation of 90, 93, 108, 114, 116, 122, 124, 128, 158, 159, 182, 183, 191 cultural 21 devalued 46 embedded in the land 191 expansion of 58, 67, 68 exploitations of 102 export 19, 158 fixed 191, 213 industrial 40–41, 56 insufficient initial money capital 47 investment 93, 203 and labour 56, 88, 169–70 liquid money 20 mobility 59, 63, 64, 161–2, 191, 213 and nature 88 as a process 40 reproduction of 58 scarcity 50 surplus 16, 28, 29, 50–51, 84, 88, 100, 158, 166, 167, 172, 173, 174, 206, 215, 216, 217 capital accumulation 107, 108, 123, 182, 183, 191, 211 and the activity spheres 128 barriers to 12, 16, 47, 65–6, 69–70, 159 compound rate 28, 74, 75, 97, 126, 135, 215 continuity of endless 74 at the core of human evolutionary dynamics 121 dynamics of 188, 197 geographic landscape of 185 geographical dynamics of 67, 143 and governance 201 lagging 130 laws of 113, 154, 160 main centres of 192 market-based 180 Mumbai redevelopment 178 ‘nature’ affected by 122 and population growth 144–7 and social struggles 105 start of 159 capital circulation barriers to 45 continuity of 68 industrial/production capital 40–41 inherently risky 52 interruption in the process 41–2, 50 spatial movement 42 speculative 52, 53 capital controls 198 capital flow continuity 41, 47, 67, 117 defined vi global 20 importance of understanding vi, vii-viii interrupted, slowed down or suspended vi systematic misallocation of 70 taxation of vi wealth creation vi capital gains 112 capital strike 60 capital surplus absorption 31–2, 94, 97, 98, 101, 163 capital-labour relation 77 capitalism and communism 224–5 corporate 1691 ‘creative-destructive’ tendencies in 46 crisis of vi, 40, 42, 117, 130 end of 72 evolution of 117, 118, 120 expansion at a compound rate 45 first contradiction of 77 geographical development of 143 geographical mobility 161 global 36, 110 historical geography of 76, 117, 118, 121, 174, 180, 200, 202, 204 industrial 58, 109, 242 internal contradictions 115 irrationality of 11, 215, 246 market-led 203 positive and negative aspects 120 and poverty 72 relies on the beneficence of nature 71 removal of 260 rise of 135, 192, 194, 204, 228, 248–9, 258 ‘second contradiction of’ 77, 78 social relations in 101 and socialism 224 speculative 160 survival of 46, 57, 66, 86, 107, 112, 113, 116, 130, 144, 229, 246 uneven geographical development of 211, 213 volatile 145 Capitalism, Nature, Socialism journal 77 capitalist creed 103 capitalist development considered over time 121–4 ‘eras’ of 97 capitalist exploitation 104 capitalist logic 205 capitalist reinvestment 110–11 capitalists, types of 40 Carnegie, Andrew 98 Carnegie foundation 44 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 195 Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring 187 Case Shiller Composite Indices SA 3 Catholic Church 194, 254 cell phones 131, 150, 152 Central American Free Trade Association (CAFTA) 200 centralisation 10, 11, 165, 201 Certificates of Deposit 262 chambers of commerce 195, 203 Channel Tunnel 50 Chiapas, Mexico 207, 226 Chicago Board Options Exchange 262 Chicago Currency Futures Market 262 ‘Chicago School’ 246 Chile, lending to 19 China ‘barefoot doctors’ 137 bilateral trade with Latin America 173 capital accumulation issue 70 cheap retail goods 64 collapse of communism 16 collapse of export markets 141 Cultural Revolution 137 Deng’s announcement 159 falling exports 6 follows Japanese model 92 ‘Great Leap Forward’ 137, 138 growth 35, 59, 137, 144–5, 213, 218, 222 health care 137 huge foreign exchange reserves 141, 206 infant mortality 59 infrastructural investment 222 labour income and household consumption (1980–2005) 14 market closed after communists took power (1949) 108 market forcibly opened 108 and oil market 83 one child per family policy 137, 146 one-party rule 199 opening-up of 58 plundering of wealth from 109, 113 proletarianisation 60 protests in 38 and rare earth metals 188 recession (1997) 172 ‘silk road’ 163 trading networks 163 unemployment 6 unrest in 66 urbanisation 172–3 and US consumerism 109 Chinese Central Bank 4, 173 Chinese Communist Party 180, 200, 256 chlorofluoral carbons (CFCs) 74, 76, 187 chronometer 91, 156 Church, the 249 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) 169 circular and cumulative causation 196 Citibank 19 City Bank 261 city centres, Disneyfication of 131 City of London 20, 35, 45, 162, 219 class consciousness 232, 242, 244 class inequalities 240–41 class organisation 62 class politics 62 class power 10, 11, 12, 61, 130, 180 class relations, radical reconstitution of 98 class struggle 56, 63, 65, 96, 102, 127, 134, 193, 242, 258 Clausewitz, Carl von 213 Cleveland, foreclosure crisis in 2 Cleveland, foreclosures on housing in 1 Clinton, Bill 11, 12, 17, 44, 45 co-evolution 132, 136, 138, 168, 185, 186, 195, 197, 228, 232 in three cases 149–53 coal reserves 79, 188 coercive laws of competition see under competition Cold War 31, 34, 92 Collateralised Bond Obligations (CBOs) 262 Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs) 36, 142, 261, 262 Collateralised Mortgage Obligations (CMOs) 262 colonialism 212 communications, innovations in 42, 93 communism 228, 233, 242, 249 collapse of 16, 58, 63 compared with socialism 224 as a loaded term 259–60 orthodox communists 253 revolutionary 136 traditional institutionalised 259 companies joint stock 49 limited 49 comparative advantage 92 competition 15, 26, 43, 70 between financial centres 20 coercive laws of 43, 71, 90, 95, 158, 159, 161 and expansion of production 113 and falling prices 29, 116 fostering 52 global economic 92, 131 and innovation 90, 91 inter-capitalist 31 inter-state 209, 256 internalised 210 interterritorial 202 spatial 164 and the workforce 61 competitive advantage 109 computerised trading 262 computers 41, 99, 158–9 consortia 50, 220 consumerism 95, 109, 168, 175, 240 consumerist excess 176 credit-fuelled 118 niche 131 suburban 171 containerisation 16 Continental Illinois Bank 261 cooperatives 234, 242 corporate fraud 245 corruption 43, 69 cotton industry 67, 144, 162 credit cards fees vii, 245 rise of the industry 17 credit crunch 140 Credit Default swaps 262 Crédit Immobilièr 54 Crédit Mobilier 54 Crédit Mobilier and Immobilier 168 credit swaps 21 credit system and austerity programmes 246 crisis within 52 and the current crisis 118 and effective demand problem 112 an inadequate configuration of 52 predatory practices 245 role of 115 social and economic power in 115 crises crises of disproportionality 70 crisis of underconsumption 107, 111 east Asia (1997–8) 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 financial crisis of 1997–8 198, 206 financial crisis of 2008 34, 108, 114, 115 general 45–6 inevitable 71 language of crisis 27 legitimation 217 necessary 71 property market 8 role of 246–7 savings and loan crisis (US, 1984–92) 8 short sharp 8, 10 south-east Asia (1997–8) 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 cross-border leasing 142–3 cultural choice 238 ‘cultural industries’ 21 cultural preferences 73–4 Cultural Revolution 137 currency currency swaps 262 futures market 24, 32 global 32–3, 34 options markets on 262 customs barriers 42, 43 cyberspace 190 D Darwin, Charles 120 DDT 74, 187 de-leveraging 30 debt-financing 17, 131, 141, 169 decentralisation 165, 201 decolonisation 31, 208, 212 deficit financing 35, 111 deforestation 74, 143 deindustrialisation 33, 43, 88, 131, 150, 157, 243 Deleuze, Gilles 128 demand consumer 107, 109 effective 107, 110–14, 116, 118, 221, 222 lack of 47 worker 108 Democratic Party (US) 11 Deng Xiaoping 159 deregulation 11, 16, 54, 131 derivatives 8 currency 21 heavy losses in (US) 261 derivatives markets creation of 29, 85 unregulated 99, 100, 219 Descartes, René 156 desertification 74 Detroit auto industry 5, 15, 16, 91, 108, 195, 216 foreclosures on housing in 1 Deutsches Bank 20 devaluation 32, 47, 116 of bank capital 30 of prior investments 93 developing countries: transformation of daily lives 94–5 Developing Countries Debt Crisis 19, 261 development path building alliances 230 common objectives 230–31 development not the same as growth 229–30 impacts and feedbacks from other spaces in the global economy 230 Diamond, Jared: Guns, Germs and Steel 132–3, 154 diasporas 147, 155, 163 Dickens, Charles: Bleak House 90 disease 75, 85 dispossession anti-communist insurgent movements against 250–51 of arbitrary feudal institutions 249 of the capital class 260 China 179–80 first category 242–4 India 178–9, 180 movements against 247–52 second category 242, 244–5 Seoul 179 types of 247 under socialism and communism 250 Domar, Evsey 71 Dongguan, China 36 dot-com bubble 29, 261 Dow 35,000 prediction 21 drug trade 45, 49 Dubai: over-investment 10 Dubai World 174, 222 Durban conference on anti-racism (2009) 258 E ‘earth days’ 72, 171 east Asia crash of 1997–8 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 labour reserves 64 movement of production to 43 proletarianisation 62 state-centric economies 226 wage rates 62 eastern European countries 37 eBay 190 economic crisis (1848) 167 economists, and the current financial crisis 235–6 ecosystems 74, 75, 76 Ecuador, and remittances 38 education 59, 63, 127, 128, 221, 224, 257 electronics industry 68 Elizabeth II, Queen vi-vii, 235, 236, 238–9 employment casual part-time low-paid female 150 chronic job insecurity 93 culture of the workplace 104 deskilling 93 reskilling 93 services 149 Engels, Friedrich 89, 98, 115, 157, 237 The Housing Question 176–7, 178 Enron 8, 24, 52, 53, 100, 261 entertainment industries 41 environment: modified by human action 84–5 environmental movement 78 environmental sciences 186–7 equipment 58, 66–7 equity futures 262 equity index swaps 262 equity values 262 ethanol plants 80 ethnic cleansings 247 ethnicity issues 104 Eurodollars 262 Europe negative population growth in western Europe 146 reconstruction of economy after Second World War 202 rsouevolutions of 1848 243 European Union 200, 226 eastern European countries 37 elections (June 2009) 143 unemployment 140 evolution punctuated equilibrium theory of natural evolution 130 social 133 theory of 120, 129 exchange rates 24, 32, 198 exports, falling 141 external economies 162 F Factory Act (1848) 127 factory inspectors 127 ‘failed states’ 69 Fannie Mae (US government-chartered mortgage institution) 4, 17, 173, 223 fascism 169, 203, 233 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) 8 rescue of Continental Illinois Bank 261 Federal Reserve System (the Fed) 2, 17, 54, 116, 219, 236, 248 and asset values 6 cuts interest rates 5, 261 massive liquidity injections in stock markets 261 rescue of Continental Illinois Bank 261 feminists, and colonisation of urban neighbourhoods 248 fertilisers 186 feudalism 135, 138, 228 finance capitalists 40 financial institutions awash with credit 17 bankruptcies 261 control of supply and demand for housing 17 nationalisations 261 financial services 99 Financial Times 12 financialisation 30, 35, 98, 245 Finland: Nordic cris (1992) 8 Flint strike, Michigan (1936–7) 243 Florida, foreclosure wave in 1, 2 Forbes magazine 29, 223 Ford, Henry 64, 98, 160, 161, 188, 189 Ford foundation 44, 186 Fordism 136 Fordlandia 188, 189 foreclosed businesses 245 foreclosed properties 220 fossil fuels 78 Foucault, Michel 134 Fourierists 168 France acceptance of state interventions 200 financial crisis (1868) 168 French banks nationalised 198 immigration 14 Paris Commune 168 pro-natal policies 59 strikes in 38 train network 28 Franco-Prussian War (1870) 168 fraud 43, 49 Freddie Mac (US government-chartered mortgage institution) 4, 17, 173, 223 free trade 10, 33, 90, 131 agreements 42 French Communist Party 52 French Revolution 61 Friedman, Thomas L.: The World is Flat 132 futures, energy 24 futures markets 21 Certificates of Deposit 262 currency 24 Eurodollars 262 Treasury instruments 262 G G7/G8/G20 51, 200 Galileo Galilei 89 Gates, Bill 98, 173, 221 Gates foundation 44 gays, and colonisation of urban neighbourhoods 247, 248 GDP growth (1950–2030) 27 Gehry, Frank 203 Geithner, Tim 11 gender issues 104, 151 General Motors 5 General Motors Acceptance Corporation 23 genetic engineering 84, 98 genetic modification 186 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) 186 gentrification 131, 256, 257 geographical determinism 210 geopolitics 209, 210, 213, 256 Germany acceptance of state interventions 199–200 cross-border leasing 142–3 an export-dominated economy 6 falling exports 141 invasion of US auto market 15 Nazi expansionism 209 neoliberal orthodoxies 141 Turkish immigrants 14 Weimar inflation 141 Glass-Steagall act (1933) 20 Global Crossing 100 global warming 73, 77, 121, 122, 187 globalisation 157 Glyn, Andrew et al: ‘British Capitalism, Workers and the Profits Squeeze’ 65 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 156 gold reserves 108, 112, 116 Goldman Sachs 5, 11, 20, 163, 173, 219 Google Earth 156 Gould, Stephen Jay 98, 130 governance 151, 197, 198, 199, 201, 208, 220 governmentality 134 GPS systems 156 Gramsci, Antonio 257 Grandin, Greg: Fordlandia 188, 189 grassroots organisations (GROS) 254 Great Depression (1920s) 46, 170 ‘Great Leap Forward’ 137, 138, 250 ‘Great Society’ anti-poverty programmes 32 Greater London Council 197 Greece sovereign debt 222 student unrest in 38 ‘green communes’ 130 Green Party (Germany) 256 ‘green revolution’ 185–6 Greenspan, Alan 44 Greider, William: Secrets of the Temple 54 growth balanced 71 compound 27, 28, 48, 50, 54, 70, 75, 78, 86 economic 70–71, 83, 138 negative 6 stop in 45 Guggenheim Museu, Bilbao 203 Gulf States collapse of oil-revenue based building boom 38 oil production 6 surplus petrodollars 19, 28 Gulf wars 210 gun trade 44 H habitat loss 74, 251 Haiti, and remittances 38 Hanseatic League 163 Harrison, John 91 Harrod, Roy 70–71 Harvey, David: A Brief History of Neoliberalism 130 Harvey, William vii Haushofer, Karl 209 Haussmann, Baron 49, 167–8, 169, 171, 176 Hawken, Paul: Blessed Unrest 133 Hayek, Friedrich 233 health care 28–9, 59, 63, 220, 221, 224 reneging on obligations 49 Health Care Bill 220 hedge funds 8, 21, 49, 261 managers 44 hedging 24, 36 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 133 hegemony 35–6, 212, 213, 216 Heidegger, Martin 234 Helú, Carlos Slim 29 heterogeneity 214 Hitler, Adolf 141 HIV/AIDS pandemic 1 Holloway, John: Change the World without Taking Power 133 homogeneity 214 Hong Kong excessive urban development 8 rise of (1970s) 35 sweatshops 16 horizontal networking 254 household debt 17 housing 146–7, 149, 150, 221, 224 asset value crisis 1, 174 foreclosure crises 1–2, 166 mortgage finance 170 values 1–2 HSBC 20, 163 Hubbert, M.


pages: 325 words: 90,659

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright

Airbnb, barriers to entry, bitcoin, business process, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, Mark Zuckerberg, microcredit, price mechanism, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Skype

In spite of this, the state has repeatedly proved incapable of meeting the most basic needs of the population. Like José the teenage hit man, many of the country’s children are slowly starving: half of those under five suffer from chronic malnutrition, the fourth-highest rate in the world. Nowhere in Latin America comes close to this figure: in Haiti, which is the region’s closest thing to a failed state, the rate is half as high. The reason the government has failed to fix this and other problems is that it collects pitifully small amounts of tax. Public spending amounts to only about 12 percent of gross domestic product, the lowest in Latin America, where the average is over 20 percent.3 Successive presidents have tried to raise taxes, each time having their reforms blocked or diluted by a private sector that seems allergic to paying its fair share.

The scale of the violence is unbelievable: after working out the probability of a man’s being murdered over the course of his lifetime, I run the numbers past the Economist’s research department, suspecting that I have miscalculated. They turned out to be correct after all: at the current rate, for an average Honduran man the odds of being murdered over the course of a lifetime are a staggering one in nine.6 The sheer number of killings leaves detectives little chance of clearing many of them up. Bonilla insists that the government is winning the battle and that the country is not yet a failed state, a phrase that is mentioned increasingly frequently regarding Honduras. “Crime isn’t in control here,” he says. The gangs “run things very well in certain zones. But in no municipality of Honduras has the state lost its authority.” As in Guatemala, that is debatable. According to estimates from the US State Department, in 2012 three-quarters of all cocaine-smuggling flights originating in South America landed in Honduras.7 The flights began in earnest following the country’s latest coup, in 2009, when the president was marched out of his home in the early hours of the morning, still in his pajamas, and put on a one-way flight to Costa Rica.


pages: 287 words: 95,152

The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order by Bruno Macaes

active measures, Berlin Wall, British Empire, computer vision, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, digital map, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global value chain, illegal immigration, intermodal, iterative process, land reform, liberal world order, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, open borders, Parag Khanna, savings glut, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, speech recognition, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, young professional, zero-sum game, éminence grise

More fundamentally, mention of an ‘Asian world order’ or an ‘Asian century’ fails to consider that there is no agreement among Asian nations about what this could mean, and in fact differences among them constitute in some cases serious security threats to continued Asian expansion. Contrary to the West, Asia does not exist as a collective actor. Sooner or later this fragmentation and growing security crises will work as a powerful speed bump. In the past Asia may have looked like an oasis of peace and tolerance. Today it is home to failed states with nuclear weapons, open struggles for military supremacy, historical grievances, and some of the most intractable territorial disputes in the world.1 The new swing of the pendulum, as the political scientist Charles Kupchan has argued, is going to lead to a world where no one will be dominant. In some respects this is a return to the past. We have had periods in history in which power was broadly diffused across different zones and different visions of political order lived side by side.

A visit by Putin to Moldova was scheduled for late December and it was understood that the Kozak proposal would be signed then. The visit was cancelled. A particular sticking point was whether the Russian military deployment would be continued: this was non-negotiable for both Russia and Transnistria, but it did not look like a settlement of the problem for the wider Moldovan public opinion. At the time, Mircea Snegur stated publicly that the proposed system for the bicameral parliament would turn Moldova into a failed state. The story of the Kozak memorandum is particularly relevant because it provided the template for what was to take place in the later, ongoing Ukrainian conflict. When a very precarious and limited ceasefire was reached in February 2015, the final text agreed by the parties spoke of a future special status for the two secessionist republics in Eastern Ukraine, where Russian secret services and regular troops had been and remain present.


pages: 372 words: 92,477

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cashless society, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, night-watchman state, Norman Macrae, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, open economy, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, pension reform, pensions crisis, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit maximization, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, too big to fail, total factor productivity, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, zero-sum game

We think that part of understanding what’s gone wrong is recognizing that government has to be kept in check; that it is often a blunt tool; that, left to its own devices, it will expand inexorably. But that is a prejudice to be tested against the facts, not an article of blind faith. Thus we do not accept the libertarian idea that government is at best a necessary evil. Too little government is more dangerous than too much: You would have to be crazy to prefer to live in a failed state like the Congo, where the absence of Leviathan makes life truly “nasty, brutish, and short,” than in a well-run big state like Denmark. By paying for public goods like education and health care, governments can improve efficiency as well as welfare. America’s supposedly “private” health-care system costs its inhabitants more in taxes and delivers worse health than the Swedes’ public one. One reason why Germany is so much more successful than Greece is that it has a successful state that is capable of gathering taxes, providing services, and commanding respect.

., 210, 218 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 12, 16 Sberbank, 153 Scandinavia, 166 aging population of, 174, 178, 183–84 failure of traditional welfare state in, 175–76 fiscal reform in, 174 pensions in, 171, 173, 184 reinvention of welfare state in, 169–78, 183–84, 186–87, 212, 265–66 social mobility in, 174 women in labor force of, 174 scarcity, democracy and, 247–48 Schmidt, Eric, 210–11 School Medical Service, 62 Schopenhauer, Arthur, 60 Schuck, Peter, 132 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 125, 129 Securities and Exchange Commission, 72, 73 security: balance between freedom and, 230–31 Fourth Revolution and, 232 as primary duty of nation-state, 29, 30, 32, 37, 39, 181, 222, 268 Ségolène Royal, 194 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 98, 230 Serco Group, 213, 214 sexual equality, 169 shale oil, 236 Shaw, George Bernard, 67–68, 232 Shenzhen, China, 161, 217 Sherman, Alfred, 93 Shetty, Devi, 201–2, 203, 205, 242–43 Sidgwick, Henry, 57, 58 Siedentop, Larry, 251 Silicon Valley, 105, 127 Silk Road, 152 Singapore, 18, 133–34, 144, 145, 155 as authoritarian, 135, 136, 137 as business friendly, 137 civil service of, 138–39 economic success of, 135 as elitist, 135, 136, 138–39 ethnic tensions in, 139–40 as model for Asian state, 4, 17, 134, 142 as night-watchman state, 140 small government of, 135, 140 social insurance model of, 140–41, 242, 243 social safety net in, 140 Singh, Manmohan, 96 Sloan, Alfred, 189, 190 Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way, The (Ripley), 207 Smith, Adam, 43, 224, 237 Snowden, Edward, 230–31 social contract, 8–9, 16, 32, 34, 42, 222, 241 Social Contract, The (Rousseau), 44 social Darwinism, 59–60 Social Democratic Party, Swedish, 170, 175 social insurance, social assistance vs., 140–41, 142, 242 socialism, 59, 67, 96, 134, 224, 268–69 in Sweden, 169 Socialist Case, The (Jay), 77 Social Security, 120, 123, 242 disability insurance of, 244 social services, 68, 69, 74 as rights, 74–75 South Africa, 153, 252, 254 Southey, Robert, 224–25 South Korea, 142–43, 155 Soviet Union, 71, 73, 247 collapse of, 64, 176, 253 as failed state, 90–91 Spain, 130 Spanish Armada, 30–31, 36 special-interest groups, 16–17, 90, 111–15, 178, 200, 223, 239, 247, 251, 257, 258, 269 Spencer, Herbert, 59, 60, 66, 92 Stalin, Joseph, 67, 71 Starr, Kevin, 108 state, Asian model of, 133–66 aging populations as strain on, 164–65 as authoritarian, 136 in China, 1–5, 136–37, 145, 149, 152, 156 as competition for Western state model, 17, 163–64, 247 democracy in, 17 as elitist, 136 improved government as goal of, 137, 165–66 innovation in, 165 meritocracy in, 156–63, 164, 254 nationalism and, 136, 137 Singapore as inspiration for, 4, 17, 134, 142 small-government ideology of, 187 spread of, 144 technology and, 165 welfare state in, see welfare state, Asian model of state, Western model of, 3–5 Asian-state model as competition for, 17, 163–64, 247 Baumol’s disease and, 19, 109–11, 174, 178–79, 183, 222 California as exemplar of failures of, 106–7 crime and, 181–82 decline of public services in, 16 deficit spending in, 14, 100, 118–22, 177, 231–32 democracy as central tenet of, 5, 8, 16–17, 22–23, 136, 141, 221 efficiency in, 18–21, 37, 89, 187, 198–99, 213, 233, 247, 255 equality and, 221 Fourth Revolution in, see Fourth Revolution freedom as central tenet of, 8, 23, 46, 68–69, 222 ideological debate over, 222 as instrument of civilization, 22 interest groups and, 16–17 lack of innovation in, 19–20 liberal revolution in, see liberal state nation-state revolution in, see nation-state old and well-off as primary beneficiaries of public spending in, 122–24 opportunities for reinvention of, 18 outdated systems in, 108–9 proliferation of regulation in, 116–18 proper role of, 21, 28 rights of citizens in, 9 social contract in, 8–9, 16, 32, 34, 42, 222, 241 Thatcher-Reagan half-revolution in, see Thatcher-Reagan revloution welfare-state revolution in, see welfare state, Western model of see also government state capitalism: in China, 64, 149–56, 234 corruption in, 154 as global phenomenon, 152–53, 155, 234–35 innovation suppressed by, 155 investor mistrust and, 154 productivity and, 154, 285 in Russia, 153, 154 State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), 151, 154 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), 150–52, 154–55, 156 statism, 60–61, 67, 71, 72 elitism and, 77–78 Stein, Herbert, 13 Steinberg, Darrell, 129 sterilization, compulsory, 78 Steuerle-Roeper index, 195 Stewart, Jon, 228 Stigler, George, 84 subsidies, 185, 234, 237–38 sugar industry, 238 Suleiman the Magnificent, 35 Summers, Larry, 110 sunset clauses, 118, 246, 266 Supreme Court, U.S., 226, 240, 250 Sweden, 90, 184 average income in, 173 “black-of-night” banking crisis in, 175–76 blending of capitalism and socialism in, 186 education in, 171, 176–77, 215 fiscal reform in, 170 health care in, 98, 171–73 health registries in, 172, 183, 209 pension system in, 171, 184, 242 privatization in, 236 public debt of, 170–71 public spending in, 169–70 reinvention of welfare state in, 170–71, 212, 265–66 socialism in, 169 Swift, Jonathan, 227 Tawney, R.H., 61, 69, 78, 79, 87 taxes, taxation, 116, 127 consumption, 123–24 obfuscation and, 121–22 U.S., 82, 116–17, 121, 237, 240–41 Taylor, A.J.P., 9 Taylor, Matthew, 210 Teach for America, 216 Tea Party, 63, 243 technocrats, 76–77, 259, 260, 266, 267 technology, 165, 174 as agent for small government, 178 business sector and, 191 crime and, 181–82 education and, 179–80 Fourth Revolution and, 18, 19–20, 233, 266–67 government and, 200, 207–11 health care and, 183, 208–9 war and, 182 Temple, Frederick, 58 Tennessee Valley Authority, 73, 236 Terror (1792–93), 46 Thailand, 142–43 Thatcher, Margaret, 8, 28, 81, 88, 91–92, 97, 130, 133, 181 economic policy of, 93–94 Falklands War and, 94 free-market theory and, 93 Thatcher-Reagan revolution, 106, 177 big government as target of, 82 Friedman and, 8, 28, 82, 97, 100 global spread of, 96 Hayek’s influence on, 92 as incomplete, 8, 82, 97–101, 246, 269 privatization and, 94–95, 234 small-government ideology of, 91–92, 93, 128 Thick of It, The (TV show), 227 Thiel, Peter, 207 Think Long Committee, 129 Thirty Years’ War, 34, 38 Thomas, Norman, 82 Thomas Aquinas, Saint, 29 Thucydides, 250 Tiananmen Square protest, 142 Tilly, Charles, 39 Timbro, 131, 175 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 54–55, 222, 226, 250–51, 252, 256, 267 totalitarianism, 71 Toyoda, Kiichiro, 201 Transparency International, 148 Treasury, U.S., 143 Trevelyan, Charles, 52–53 Tsinghua University, 157 Tullock, Gordon, 84 Tunisia, 253 Turkey, 13, 254 Turner, Ted, 238 tyranny of the majority, 226, 250, 255 unemployment insurance, 123, 244, 245 unfunded liabilities, 14, 119, 120, 129, 130, 232, 245–46, 264, 265 unions, public-sector: innovation blocked by, 20 pay and benefits of, 113–15, 119–20 political power of, 112–15 Unirule Institute of Economics, 154 United Nations, 76, 265 United States: affirmative action in, 79 antiliberal discourse in, 95–96 big government in, 71–72 checks and balances system in, 226, 250, 255–56, 265 China contrasted with, 147, 153 crony capitalism in, 237–38, 246 deficits and deficit spending in, 14, 97, 100, 120, 231, 241 democracy’s failures in, 254–59 education reform in, 212, 214–15 elitism in, 162 entitlements in, 241–42 expanding role of government in, 62, 77 falling crime rate in, 181 financial liabilities of, 15–16, 119–20 financial services industry in, 239 fiscal uncertainty in, 12, 255 government bloat in, 9, 98, 177 in Iraq War, 143 local government in, 217 money politics in, 256–58 national debt of, 120, 241–42 political polarization in, 100, 125–26, 164, 255, 256 postwar era in, 78 privatization in, 234–37 public pessimism in, 11, 126 public spending in, 9, 261 small-government model in, 54–55 state capitalism in, 235–36 taxes in, 82, 116–17, 121, 237, 240–41 Webbs and, 71 welfare reform in, 95 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 265 Uppsala, University of, 78 Urban Institute, 185 utilitarianism, 49, 57, 58 Van Reenen, John, 191 Veep (TV show), 227 VisionSpring, 203 Voegeli, William, 115 voting rights, 7, 9, 51 voucher systems, 171, 176–77, 220 Wade, John, 49 Wallas, Graham, 77 Wallgren, Britta, 172 Wall Street Journal, 90 Wang Jisi, 164 war, technology and, 182 war on poverty, 87, 88 war on terror, 98, 143 Warren, Earl, 105–6, 124–25 Washington, D.C., 210 Washington, George, 250 Washington consensus, 8, 96, 142, 164 Washington Post, 86 Webb, Beatrice and Sidney, 7, 27–28, 64, 66, 68, 71, 74, 75, 87, 116, 134, 140, 219, 268 collectivism as principle of, 68 as creators of welfare state, 65 eugenics endorsed by, 67–68 national minimum concept of, 68, 69 Stalin admired by, 67 statism and, 67 Weibo, 161 Weiner, Anthony, 227–28 welfare state, Asian model of, 164–65 health-care spending in, 142 social insurance as basis of, 140–41, 142, 242, 243 spending on, Western model vs., 142 welfare state, Western model of, 7–9, 65–80, 88, 221 aging population and, 15, 122–23, 124, 165, 174, 178, 183–84, 232, 241–42 as “all-you-can-eat” buffet, 17, 137, 140, 183, 241 creation of, 27–28, 263, 268–69 dependency and, 129–30 education in, 68, 69 elitism and, 77–78 entitlements in, see entitlements equality and, 68–69, 74, 79, 222 in Europe, 75 expanding public sector in, 76 failure of egalitarian policies in, 87–90 fraternity and, 74, 79 government bloat in, 9–11, 18–19, 89–90, 98, 177, 222–23, 227, 229–30, 231, 233 inefficiency in, 89, 229 interest groups in, 90 Lee Kuan Yew’s criticism of, 17 middle class in, 17, 88, 122 national minimum and, 68, 69 Nordic reinvention of, 169–78, 183–84, 186–87, 212, 265–66 overreaching by, 87, 176, 222, 229–30, 233, 264, 265, 268, 269 perverse incentives created by, 89 poverty and, 68 social assistance as basis of, 140, 142 social services and, 68, 69, 74 as threat to democracy, 22, 142 as threat to freedom, 22, 74, 222 Webbs as creators of, 65, 220 Wells, H.G., 66 Wen Jiabao, 162 Westminster model, 54 When China Rules the World (Jacques), 163 Whitaker, Jeremiah, 34 “Why I Am Not a Conservative” (Hayek), 85 Wilders, Geert, 259 Will, George, 30 Willetts, David, 124 William III, King of England, 43 Williamson, John, 8, 163–64 Wilson, James Q., 198 Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, 209 Woolf, Virginia, 28–29 World Bank, 76 Asian financial crisis and, 143 World Economic Forum, 146, 148 World Forum on Democracy, 252 World Health Organization, 201 World on Fire (Chua), 143 World Trade Organization, 260 World War II, 73–74, 232 Wukan, China, 160 Xi Jinping, 133, 145, 148, 161, 164, 165 Xilai, Bo, 154, 162 Xinmin Weekly, 162 Yang Jianchang, 159–61 Yeltsin, Boris, 253 Ye Lucheng, 151 Yes, Minister (TV show), 194 Yongle, Emperor of China, 36 youth, public spending as biased against, 124 Zakaria, Fareed, 143 Zhang Weiwei, 164 Zheng He, 36 Zingales, Luigi, 128, 239 Zuma, Jacob, 254


The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World by John Michael Greer

back-to-the-land, Black Swan, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, David Strachan, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Extropian, failed state, feminist movement, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, hydrogen economy, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, mass immigration, McMansion, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Project for a New American Century, Ray Kurzweil, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

For that matter, Toward the Ecotechnic Age the 1950s-era American autos cruising down the streets of Havana, repeatedly rebuilt with jerry-built parts, show that core features of the salvage economy are already present in some parts of the world right now. Thus the world of fifty years from now will include nations at many different points along the sequence of phases. It will likely be dominated by nations that have successfully managed the transition to scarcity industrialism, while the powers of today’s age of abundance will be the fallen empires and failed states of that time. Meanwhile, those nations that drew short straws in the geopolitical lottery and have no fossil fuels, may already be well into the salvage society phase, mining the legacies of the industrial age to meet local needs and pay for whatever foreign trade can still be had. Nations that lack both fossil fuels and salvage, in turn, will either return to agrarian, nomadic or hunter-gatherer economies or, given luck and a good foundation in ecology, may be pioneering the first rough sketches of an ecotechnic society.

As recently as the 19th century, famines racked most nations regularly, and a good half of the population even in industrial nations lived in poverty. Most people in the industrial world nowadays have forgotten how much deprivation was a part of ordinary life before the brief 20th-century heyday of cheap abundant energy. As fossil fuels become scarcer and more of the global food supply is diverted to biofuel production, increased starvation in the world’s poorer countries and a sharp increase in the world’s roster of failed states are among the likely results. Meanwhile, economic, political and cultural readjustments will hit the industrial world as income redistributes itself from urban centers to farm country. These shifts will be harder to track as speculation and economic volatility send prices of many agricultural commodities soaring upwards and crashing back to earth in vertiginous cycles of boom and bust. Behind the volatility, though, the general trend will be upwards; many centuries will likely pass before food is ever again as cheap compared to incomes as it was in the second half of the 20th century.


pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

Russia will turn hostile and imperious in its dealings with its neighbors and the West. In Latin America, Hugo Chávez of Venezuela will launch the most spirited anti-Western campaign in a generation, winning many allies and fans. Israel and Hezbollah will fight a war in southern Lebanon, destabilizing Beirut’s fragile government, drawing in Iran and Syria, and rattling the Israelis. Gaza will become a failed state ruled by Hamas, and peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will go nowhere. “Given these events,” you say to the sage, “how will the global economy fare over the next decade?” This is not really a hypothetical. We have the forecasts of experts from those years. They were all wrong. The correct prediction would have been that, between 2000 and 2007, the world economy would grow at its fastest pace in nearly four decades.

To describe more concretely what operating in this new world would look like, I have set out six simple guidelines. 1. Choose. American omnipotence has made Washington believe that it is exempt from the need to have priorities. It wants to have it all. It is crucial that the United States be more disciplined about this. President Obama’s national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, argues properly for a rebalancing of American foreign policy, away from the obsessive attention to the hot spots and failed states in the wider Middle East and toward the new centers of global power in Asia. While making this strategic shift, Washington will also need to make a shift in its ongoing approach to international problems, in which all too often it balks at making any choices—because they suggest compromise. On North Korea and Iran, for example, the Bush administration could not decide whether it wanted regime change or policy change (that is, denuclearization).


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

If technology was the only thing that mattered, the Western Roman Empire – among other things, an incredibly sophisticated technological and logistical infrastructure – would never have come to an ignominious end in ad 476; the Chinese, with their superior naval technologies, would have been busily colonizing the Americas in the early sixteenth century, preventing Spain and, by implication, the rest of Western Europe from gaining a foothold; the British Empire would today still be thriving, thanks to the huge advantages it gained from the Industrial Revolution; the Cold War – which ultimately offered two competing versions of globalization associated with an uneasy nuclear stand-off – would never have happened; and today’s ‘failed states’ – suffering from disconnections both internally and with the rest of the world – would be a contradiction in terms. Globalization is driven not just by technological advance, but also by the development – and demise – of the ideas and institutions that form our politics, frame our economies and fashion our financial systems both locally and globally. When existing ideas are undermined and institutional infrastructures implode, no amount of new technology is likely to save the day.

TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY MIGRATION TRIGGERS Knowing that populations are likely to wax and wane is not in itself enough to demonstrate that there will be large migratory movements. There needs also to be a catalyst. There are likely to be at least three in the twenty-first century: rising living standards in poor countries; persistence of conflict where government and institutions are ineffective or where there are failed states; and climate change, the effects of which will impact some nations more than others. Take Nigeria again. Its per capita incomes fell rapidly in the early 1980s: between 1981 and 1987, living standards dropped on average by 6 per cent per year, a truly catastrophic outcome. Given Nigeria’s status as a major oil producer, the early 1980s collapse in oil prices didn’t help. Thereafter, however, living standards rose steadily, albeit from a very low base, thanks in part to sustained increases in oil prices and considerable debt forgiveness.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

I’ve made a little list, and it includes such charges as responding to short-term opportunities to the neglect of long-term effects, dispensing power without responsibility, promoting material values over spiritual ones, commoditizing human relations, monetizing social values, corrupting democracy, unsettling old communities, institutions, and arrangements, and rewarding aggressiveness and—yes—greed.20 Two other capitalist responsibilities have cast long shadows forward: intractable poverty and a deteriorating environment. While most of the world economies have been developing nicely, sixty years of effort by the First World to stimulate prosperity in many Third World countries has ended in disappointment. Experts are regrouping to test some novel approaches to animate stagnate economies and revive failed states. Thinking more broadly, some think it’s time to correct the flaws in capitalism instead of expecting another technological spurt to divert attention elsewhere. On the agenda for the new century is a multipronged effort to halt the environmental damage that a century of population growth, fossil fuel burning, water pollution, and various other human intrusions on the planet have caused. Capitalism’s critics fall into three groups.

Of the six billion people living today, one-sixth of them are in advanced capitalist economies, another four billion are in developing countries, and the remaining billion live in countries with stalled economies.23 World Bank figures for 2005 indicate that 1.4 billion people live below the poverty line, earning less than $1.25 a day. Unlike the backward, underdeveloped Third World nations of yore, the bottom billion today live in particular countries—fifty-seven in fact—that are treading water while the world around them is swimming toward development, even during a world recession. They are not the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), which have won attention as “emerging markets.” Instead they are “failed states” that have begun to wear out the patience of philanthropists and test the imagination of aid organizations. Today more money is pouring into combating disease than into promoting economic change, evidence of a certain despair about development. The fifty-seven states tethered to the bottom of the global economy are not like others in the world. They carry special burdens, which means that the conventional aid programs will not be effective with them.

Estimating that a typical one costs sixty-four billion dollars, Collier recommends military intervention in countries like Afghanistan and Somalia to rescue them from this trauma. Arguing that such interventions should last at least a decade in order to lay the foundation for sound government, he wants the intervening organizations to clarify their intentions through an international charter. Collier views neither trade nor aid alone as being of much help to failed states. Change must come from within, he maintains, but domestic reformers will succeed only with assistance from the industrialized world. Nor does he place faith in globalization per se because the entrance of India and China has made it much harder for latecomers to get into the world marketplace. A former official with the World Bank, Collier recognizes the tyranny of the already tried and urges a revitalized debate on the subject.25 The best ideas for tackling poverty have come from people, like Muhammad Yunus, Hernando de Soto, Amartya Sen, Frances Moore Lappé, Walden Bello, Raj Patel, and Peter Barnes, who want to use the strengths of capitalism in new ways to enhance everyone’s life.


pages: 337 words: 103,273

The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World by Paul Gilding

airport security, Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, BRICs, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Climategate, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fear of failure, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Joseph Schumpeter, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, nuclear winter, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, University of East Anglia

Central Command, retired Marine Corps general Anthony Zinni, who participated in a high-level Military Advisory Board review on the subject, we either address climate change today or “we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll.” The 2007 report concluded that climate change would act as a threat multiplier by exacerbating conflict over resources, especially because of declining food production, border and mass migration tensions, and so on—increasing political instability and creating failed states—if no action was taken to reduce impacts. The findings of this report agree with those of the confidential assessment of the security implications of climate change by the National Intelligence Council (NIC), the coordinating body of America’s sixteen intelligence agencies. Former NIC chairman Thomas Fingar told Congress that unchecked, climate change has “wide-ranging implications for national security because it will aggravate existing problems,” especially in already vulnerable areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

We would not, if we took that choice, have two, three, or four billion poor people quietly going away to die in a far-flung corner of the world. While we can’t know just how it will develop, it doesn’t take much to imagine how it might unfold. A global economic crash combined with widespread food shortages, would probably see the desperate slide of nations and regions into chaos. We would see failed states with nuclear arms and countless other weapons being taken over by dictators and terrorists. We would see refugees by the hundreds of millions, if not billions. Yes, some would be too weak or ill equipped to travel far, but many would move first as their countries collapsed around them. This would not be, as we have seen in past crises, a few million people on isolated roads moving into refugee camps.


pages: 296 words: 87,299

Portfolios of the poor: how the world's poor live on $2 a day by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford

Cass Sunstein, clean water, failed state, financial innovation, financial intermediation, income per capita, informal economy, job automation, M-Pesa, mental accounting, microcredit, moral hazard, profit motive, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs

If we include the Grameen II diaries (see chapter 6), which covered 43 households, this increases to just under 300 households. 3. The countries we refer to here, as well as the three countries where we collected the diaries—Bangladesh, India, and South Africa—are all fortunate in that they are not at war or in conflict, and have working, recognized governments and functioning economies. Some of what we say in this book may not apply to fragile or “failed” states, or areas where there is no monetized economy. Our broad perspectives have been shaped by research completed by a wide range of individuals and organizations, and we cite representative studies in the text. 4. In important new work, Krislert Samphantharak and Robert Townsend (2008) apply the idea to monthly data from Thailand, providing rigorous methodological foundations for drawing analogues between households and corporate firms. 5.

., 252n.12 Dowla, Asif, 258n.1 Dubois, Pierre, 252n.5 274 INDEX Duflo, Esther, 101, 105, 248n.7, 249n.18, 249n.20, 251n.4, 254n.3, 254nn.6–7, 257n.3, 260n.1 Easterly, William, 247n.1 Egypt, 120 employment: of children, 37–38; employment guarantee scheme in Maharashtra state, India, 71; formal sector jobs, insecurities of, 43–45; kinds of, distinction between South Asia and South Africa regarding, 37–38; multiple and uncertain as the norm, 35–38 Equity Bank (Kenya), 183 Ethiopia, 253n.16 Fafchamps, Marcel, 251n.3, 252n.5, 254n.7 “failed” states, 247n.3 festivals, spending on, 254n.7 Financial Access Initiative, 260n.5 financial diaries: balance sheets as source of information, 8–10, 32, 60, 96–97; cash flow as source of information, 10, 32–33, 61, 97; construction of, 4–5 (see also methodology); the Grameen II diaries, 159–60; interest rates (see prices); in kind transactions, 10–11; relationship of time and money observed in, 187–88; strengths and weaknesses as a research tool, 185, 205, 208–10.


pages: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

Al Qa’ida’s (Mis)Adventures in the Horn of Africa’s first report released a second tranche of documents focused on al-Qaeda’s early operations in East Africa, between 1992 and 1994, when the terror group tried and failed to infiltrate Somali clans. The remnants of this expedition later seeded the operational cells in the Horn of Africa that conducted the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.18 The second report’s primary findings were that al-Qaeda fared better not in failed states like Somalia, as conventional wisdom might suggest, but in weak states like Kenya and Pakistan, where weak national security operations restricted American counterterrorism efforts. Next came Cracks in the Foundation, which studied three periods of al-Qaeda’s history using the group’s internal documents.19 The study found that al-Qaeda, as a military organization, had never been particularly strong, and its success as a media organization masked deep internal divides between its leaders over strategic direction.20 The Harmony database armed crowds of researchers scattered around the world with more secrets for studying how to divide and conquer al-Qaeda’s terrorists.

But we often forget, as I did when crowdsourcing terrorism analysis, that the “core,” the technological and academic elite, dominated the internet and were the first to arrive on social media. The initial members of the crowd were those privileged enough to have internet access and afford a smartphone. An early crowd member—from the mid-1990s until the late 2000s—needed some education and training to create and moderate content on forums, blogs, and chatrooms. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard, after all, not in the failed state of Somalia. The first crowds on the internet and social media were more educated, experienced, and privileged—collectively smarter than the core. The experts at the core still held a repository of experience, reasoning, and knowledge to effectively harness the crowd’s energy for discrete tasks and specified disciplines, determining what insights and innovations were outpacing existing pre-internet libraries and industry practices.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

“Systems” What I call cascades, climate scientists call “systems crises.” These crises are what the American military means when it names climate change a “threat multiplier.” The multiplication, when it falls short of conflict, produces migration—that is, climate refugees. Since 2008, by one count, it has already produced 22 million of them. In the West, we often think of refugees as a failed-state problem—that is, a problem that the broken and impoverished parts of the world inflict on relatively more stable, and wealthier, societies. But Hurricane Harvey produced at least 60,000 climate migrants in Texas, and Hurricane Irma forced the evacuation of nearly 7 million. As with so much else, it will only get worse from here. By 2100, sea-level rise alone could displace 13 million Americans—a few percent of the country’s total population.

But neoliberalism was sold on the proposition of positive-sum cooperation of all kinds, and the term itself suggests its natural successor regime: zero-sum politics. Today, we don’t even have to gaze into the future, or trust that it will be deformed by climate change, to see what that would look like. In the form of tribalism at home and nationalism abroad and terrorism flaming out from the tinder of failed states, that future is here, at least in preview, already. Now we just wait for the storms. * * * — If neoliberalism is the god that failed on climate change, what juvenile gods will it spawn? This is the question taken up by Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright in Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future, in which they repurpose Thomas Hobbes to sketch out what they see as the likeliest political form to evolve from the crisis of warming and the pummeling of its impacts.


Culture of Terrorism by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, David Brooks, failed state, Farzad Bazoft, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, union organizing

Just how firmly the culture of terrorism has been established we shall see, as the Reaganites attempt to consummate their project and other elements within the narrow elite consensus take up the cause, in their own ways, adapting policies to unchanging goals that are deeply rooted in our institutions, our historical practice, and our cultural climate. Notes Preface to the 2015 Edition 1. David Ignatius in the Washington Post. For details, see Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (New York: Holt, 2007), chap. 6. 2. See, for example, the careful work of Larry Bartels, Martin Gilens, and Benjamin Page, over many years. 3. Walter Dean Burnham and Thomas Ferguson, “Americans Are Sick to Death of Both Parties, “Americans Are Sick to Death of Both Parties: Why Our Politics Is in Worse Shape Than We Thought,” http://www.alternet.org/americans-are-sick-death-both-parties-why-our-politics-worse-shape-we-thought. 4.

., Mobile Capital and Latin American Development (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996). Timothy A. Canova, “Banking and Financial Reform at the Crossroads of the Neoliberal Contagion,” American University International Law Review 14.6 (1999), 1571–1645. Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996). 5. See Chomsky, Failed States, for discussion and sources. 6. The judgment was overturned on technical grounds by the Constitutional Court, and is scheduled to resume in January 2015. The Court decision was condemned by Amnesty International as a “devastating blow for the victims of the serious human rights violations committed during the conflict.” The US Embassy, obliquely recognizing the facts that are well known to scholarship and human rights activists, stated that “If judges are subject to threats and intimidation, justice will suffer.”


pages: 349 words: 98,868

Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason by William Davies

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, Colonization of Mars, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, credit crunch, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, Filter Bubble, first-past-the-post, Frank Gehry, gig economy, housing crisis, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, post-industrial society, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Turing machine, Uber for X, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

As new risks and threats emerge, the state must seek new techniques for maintaining its monopoly on violence. The bailout of the banks, in the face of a potentially catastrophic fallout of the alternative, was ultimately an example of this. How else would people have created reliable promises, if the ATMs were empty and bank cards stopped working? In the age of terrorism, the state has mobilized a widening range of emergency powers simply to secure civil society. The appearance of so-called “failed states,” such as Somalia and Sudan, which lie somewhere between Hobbes’s two poles of “civil society” on the one hand and a “warre of all against all” on the other, represent one of the most awkward challenges to the Hobbesian worldview. New and less tangible categories of violence, such as “cyberattack” or “hate speech,” stretch the responsibilities of a Hobbesian sovereign into more and more areas of life.

A/B testing, 199 Acorn, 152 ad hominem attacks, 27, 124, 195 addiction, 83, 105, 116–17, 172–3, 186–7, 225 advertising, 14, 139–41, 143, 148, 178, 190, 192, 199, 219, 220 aerial bombing, 19, 125, 135, 138, 143, 180 Affectiva, 188 affective computing, 12, 141, 188 Agent Orange, 205 Alabama, United States, 154 alcoholism, 100, 115, 117 algorithms, 150, 169, 185, 188–9 Alsace, 90 alt-right, 15, 22, 50, 131, 174, 196, 209 alternative facts, 3 Amazon, 150, 173, 175, 185, 186, 187, 192, 199, 201 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 24 American Civil War (1861–5), 105, 142 American Pain Relief Society, 107 anaesthetics, 104, 142 Anderson, Benedict, 87 Anthropocene, 206, 213, 215, 216 antibiotics, 205 antitrust laws, 220 Appalachia, 90, 100 Apple, 156, 185, 187 Arab Spring (2011), 123 Arendt, Hannah, xiv, 19, 23, 26, 53, 219 Aristotle, 35, 95–6 arrogance, 39, 47, 50 artificial intelligence (AI), 12–13, 140–41, 183, 216–17 artificial video footage, 15 Ashby, Ross, 181 asymmetrical war, 146 atheism, 34, 35, 209 attention economy, 21 austerity, 100–101, 225 Australia, 103 Australian, 192 Austria, 14, 60, 128, 153–75 Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), 153–4, 159 authoritarian values, 92–4, 101–2, 108, 114, 118–19, 211–12 autocracy, 16, 20, 202 Babis, Andrej, 26 Bacon, Francis, 34, 35, 95, 97 Bank of England, 32, 33, 55, 64 Banks, Aaron, 26 Bannon, Steve, 21, 22, 60–61 Bayh–Dole Act (1980), 152 Beck Depression Inventory, 107 Berlusconi, Silvio, 202 Bernays, Edward, 14–15, 16, 143 “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (Freud), 110 Bezos, Jeff, 150, 173 Big Data, 185–93, 198–201 Big Government, 65 Big Science, 180 Bilbao, Spain, 84 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 127 Birmingham, West Midlands, 85 Black Lives Matter, 10, 225 Blackpool, Lancashire, 100 blind peer reviewing, 48, 139, 195 Blitz (1940–41), 119, 143, 180 blue sky research, 133 body politic, 92–119 Bologna, Italy, 96 bookkeeping, 47, 49, 54 Booth, Charles, 74 Boston, Massachusetts, 48 Boyle, Robert, 48–50, 51–2 BP oil spill (2010), 89 brainwashing, 178 Breitbart, 22, 174 Brexit (2016–), xiv, 23 and education, 85 and elites, 33, 50, 61 and inequality, 61, 77 and NHS, 93 and opinion polling, 80–81 as self-harm, 44, 146 and statistics, 61 Unite for Europe march, 23 Vote Leave, 50, 93 British Futures, 65 Brooks, Rosa, 216 bullying, 113 Bureau of Labor, 74 Bush, George Herbert Walker, 77 Bush, George Walker, 77, 136 cadaverous research, 96, 98 call-out culture, 195 Calvinism, 35 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 85 University, 84, 151 Cambridge Analytica, 175, 191, 196, 199 Cameron, David, 33, 73, 100 cancer, 105 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty), 74 capital punishment, 92, 118 car accidents, 112–13 cargo-cult science, 50 Carney, Mark, 33 cartography, 59 Case, Anne, 99–100, 102, 115 Catholicism, 34 Cato Institute, 158 Cavendish, William, 3rd Earl of Devonshire, 34 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 3, 136, 151, 199 Center for Policy Studies, 164 chappe system, 129, 182 Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 34, 68, 73 Charlottesville attack (2017), 20 Chelsea, London, 100 Chevillet, Mark, 176 Chicago School, 160 China, 13, 15, 103, 145, 207 chloroform, 104 cholera, 130 Chongqing, China, 13 chronic pain, 102, 105, 106, 109 see also pain Churchill, Winston, 138 citizen science, 215, 216 civil rights movements, 21, 194 civilians, 43, 143, 204 von Clausewitz, Carl, 128–35, 141–7, 152 and defeat, 144–6 and emotion, 141–6, 197 and great leaders, 146–7, 156, 180–81 and intelligence, 134–5, 180–81 and Napoleon, 128–30, 133, 146–7 and soldiers, number of, 133–4 war, definition of, 130, 141, 193 climate change, 26, 50, 165, 205–7, 213–16 Climate Mobilization, 213–14 climate-gate (2009), 195 Clinton, Hillary, 27, 63, 77, 99, 197, 214 Clinton, William “Bill,” 77 coal mining, 90 cognitive behavioral therapy, 107 Cold War, 132, 133, 135–6, 137, 180, 182–4, 185, 223 and disruption, 204–5 intelligence agencies, 183 McCarthyism (1947–56), 137 nuclear weapons, 135, 180 scenting, 135–6 Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE), 180, 182, 200 space race, 137 and telepathy, 177–8 colonialism, 59–61, 224 commercial intelligence, 152 conscription, 127 Conservative Party, 80, 154, 160, 163, 166 Constitution of Liberty, The (Hayek), 160 consumer culture, 90, 104, 139 contraceptive pill, 94 Conway, Kellyanne, 3, 5 coordination, 148 Corbyn, Jeremy, 5, 6, 65, 80, 81, 197, 221 corporal punishment, 92 creative class, 84, 151 Cromwell, Oliver, 57, 59, 73 crop failures, 56 Crutzen, Paul, 206 culture war, xvii Cummings, Dominic, 50 currency, 166, 168 cutting, 115 cyber warfare, xii, 42, 43, 123, 126, 200, 212 Czech Republic, 103 Daily Mail, ix Damasio, Antonio, 208 Darwin, Charles, 8, 140, 142, 157, 171, 174, 179 Dash, 187 data, 49, 55, 57–8, 135, 151, 185–93, 198–201 Dawkins, Richard, 207, 209 death, 37, 44–5, 66–7, 91–101 and authoritarian values, 92–4, 101–2, 211, 224 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 and Descartes, 37, 91 and Hobbes, 44–5, 67, 91, 98–9, 110, 151, 184 immortality, 149, 183–4, 224, 226 life expectancy, 62, 68–71, 72, 92, 100–101, 115, 224 suicide, 100, 101, 115 and Thiel, 149, 151 death penalty, 92, 118 Deaton, Angus, 99–100, 102, 115 DeepMind, 218 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 176, 178 Delingpole, James, 22 demagogues, 11, 145, 146, 207 Democratic Party, 77, 79, 85 Denmark, 34, 151 depression, 103, 107 derivatives, 168, 172 Descartes, René, xiii, 36–9, 57, 147 and body, 36–8, 91, 96–7, 98, 104 and doubt, 36–8, 39, 46, 52 and dualism, 36–8, 39, 86, 94, 131, 139–40, 179, 186, 223 and nature, 37, 38, 86, 203 and pain, 104, 105 Descartes’ Error (Damasio), 208 Devonshire, Earl of, see Cavendish, William digital divide, 184 direct democracy, 202 disempowerment, 20, 22, 106, 113–19 disruption, 18, 20, 146, 147, 151, 171, 175 dog whistle politics, 200 Donors Trust, 165 Dorling, Danny, 100 Downs Survey (1655), 57, 59, 73 doxing, 195 drone warfare, 43, 194 drug abuse, 43, 100, 105, 115–16, 131, 172–3 Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, 74 Dugan, Regina, 176–7 Dunkirk evacuation (1940), 119 e-democracy, 184 Echo, 187 ecocide, 205 Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (Mises), 154, 166 economics, 59, 153–75 Economist, 85, 99 education, 85, 90–91 electroencephalography (EEG), 140 Elizabethan era (1558–1603), 51 embodied knowledge, 162 emotion and advertising, 14 artificial intelligence, 12–13, 140–41 and crowd-based politics, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 21, 23–7 Darwin’s analysis, 8, 140 Descartes on, 94, 131 and experts, 53, 60, 64, 66, 90 fear, 11–12, 16–22, 34, 40–45, 52, 60, 142 Hobbes on, 39, 41 James’ analysis, 140 and markets, 168, 175 moral, 21 and nationalism, 71, 210 pain, 102–19 sentiment analysis, xiii, 12–13, 140, 188 and war, 124–6, 142 empathy, 5, 12, 65, 102, 104, 109, 112, 118, 177, 179, 197 engagement, 7, 219 England Bank of England founded (1694), 55 bills of mortality, 68–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 civil servants, 54 Civil War (1642–51), 33–4, 45, 53 Elizabethan era (1558–1603), 51 Great Fire of London (1666), 67 hospitals, 57 Irish War (1649–53), 59 national debt, 55 Parliament, 54, 55 plagues, 67–71, 75, 79–80, 81, 89, 127 Royal Society, 48–52, 56, 68, 86, 208, 218 tax collection, 54 Treasury, 54 see also United Kingdom English Defense League, ix entrepreneurship, 149, 156, 162 environment, 21, 26, 50, 61, 86, 165, 204–7, 213–16 climate change, 26, 50, 165, 205–7, 213–16 flying insects, decline of, 205, 215 Environmental Protection Agency, 23 ether, 104 European Commission, 60 European Space Agency, 175 European Union (EU), xiv, 22, 60 Brexit (2016–), see under Brexit and elites, 60, 145, 202 euro, 60, 78 Greek bailout (2015), 31 immigration, 60 and nationalism, 60, 145, 146 quantitative easing, 31 refugee crisis (2015–), 60, 225 Unite for Europe march (2017), 23 Exeter, Devon, 85 experts and crowd-based politics, 5, 6, 23, 25, 27 Hayek on, 162–4, 170 and representative democracy, 7 and statistics, 62–91 and technocracy, 53–61, 78, 87, 89, 90 trust in, 25–33, 63–4, 66, 74–5, 77–9, 170, 202 violence of, 59–61 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal, The (Darwin), 8, 140 Exxon, 165 Facebook, xvi, 15, 201 advertising, 190, 192, 199, 219, 220 data mining, 49, 185, 189, 190, 191, 192, 198, 219 and dog whistle politics, 200 and emotional artificial intelligence, 140 as engagement machine, 219 and fake news, 199 and haptics, 176, 182 and oligarchy, 174 and psychological profiling, 124 and Russia, 199 and sentiment analysis, 188 and telepathy, 176–8, 181, 185, 186 and Thiel, 149, 150 and unity, 197–8 weaponization of, 18 facial recognition, 13, 188–9 failed states, 42 fake news, 8, 15, 199 Farage, Nigel, 65 fascism, 154, 203, 209 fear, 11–12, 16–22, 34, 40–45, 52, 60, 142 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 137 Federal Reserve, 33 feeling, definition of, xii feminism, 66, 194 Fifth Amendment, 44 fight or flight, 111, 114 Financial Times, 15 first past the post, 13 First World War, see World War I Fitbit, 187 fixed currency exchange rates, 166 Florida, Richard, 84 flu, 67, 191 flying insects, 205, 215 France censuses, 66, 73 conscription introduced (1793), 127 Front National, 27, 61, 79, 87, 92 Hobbes in (1640–51), 33–4, 41–2 Le Bon’s crowd psychology, 8–12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 24, 25, 38 life expectancy, 101 Napoleonic Wars (1803–15), see Napoleonic Wars Paris climate accord (2015), 205, 207 Paris Commune (1871), 8 Prussian War (1870–71), 8, 142 Revolution (1789–99), xv, 71, 126–9, 141, 142, 144, 204 statistics agency established (1800), 72 unemployment, 83 Franklin, Benjamin, 66 free markets, 26, 79, 84, 88, 154–75 free speech, 22, 113, 194, 208, 209, 224 free will, 16 Freud, Sigmund, 9, 14, 44, 107, 109–10, 111, 112, 114, 139 Friedman, Milton, 160, 163, 166 Front National, 27, 61, 79, 87, 92, 101–2 full spectrum warfare, 43 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 140 futurists, 168 Galen, 95–6 Galilei, Galileo, 35 gambling, 116–17 game theory, 132 gaming, 193–4 Gandhi, Mohandas, 224 gate control theory, 106 Gates, Sylvester James “Jim,” 24 Gavotti, Giulio, 143 geek humor, 193 Gehry, Frank, 84 Geller, Uri, 178 geometry, 35, 49, 57, 59, 203 Gerasimov, Valery, 123, 125, 126, 130 Germany, 34, 72, 137, 205, 215 gig economy, 173 global financial crisis (2007–9), 5, 29–32, 53, 218 austerity, 100–101 bailouts, 29–32, 40, 42 and gross domestic product (GDP), 76 as “heart attack,” 57 and Obama administration, 158 and quantitative easing, 31–2, 222 and securitization of loans, 218–19 and statistics, 53, 65 and suicide, 101 and unemployment, 82 globalization, 21, 78, 84, 145, 146 Gonzales, Alberto, 136 Google, xvi, 174, 182, 185, 186, 191, 192 DeepMind, 218 Maps, 182 Transparency Project, 198 Government Accountability Office, 29 Graunt, John, 67–9, 73, 75, 79–80, 81, 85, 89, 127, 167 Great Fire of London (1666), 67 great leaders, 146–8 Great Recession (2007–13), 76, 82, 101 Greece, 5, 31, 101 Greenpeace, 10 Grenfell Tower fire (2017), 10 Grillo, Beppe, 26 gross domestic product (GDP), 62, 65, 71, 75–9, 82, 87, 138 guerrillas, 128, 146, 194, 196 Haldane, Andrew, 32 haptics, 176, 182 Harvey, William, 34, 35, 38, 57, 96, 97 hate speech, 42 von Hayek, Friedrich, 159–73, 219 health, 92–119, 224 hedge funds, 173, 174 hedonism, 70, 224 helicopter money, 222 Heritage Foundation, 164, 214 heroin, 105, 117 heroism and disruption, 18, 146 and genius, 218 and Hobbes, 44, 151 and Napoleonic Wars, 87, 127, 142 and nationalism, 87, 119, 210 and pain, 212 and protection, 202–3 and technocracy, 101 and technology, 127 Heyer, Heather, 20 Hiroshima atomic bombing (1945), 206 Hobbes, Thomas, xiii, xvi, 33–6, 38–45, 67, 147 on arrogance, 39, 47, 50, 125 and body, 96, 98–9 and Boyle, 49, 50, 51 on civil society, 42, 119 and death, 44–5, 67, 69–70, 91, 98–9, 110, 151, 184 on equality, 89 on fear, 40–45, 52, 67, 125 France, exile in (1640–51), 33–4, 41 on geometry, 35, 38, 49, 56, 57 and heroism, 44, 151 on language, 38–9 natural philosophy, 35–6 and nature, 38, 50 and Petty, 56, 57, 58 on promises, 39–42, 45, 148, 217–18 and Royal Society, 49, 50, 51 on senses, 38, 49, 147 and sovereign/state, 40–45, 46, 52, 53, 54, 60, 67, 73, 126, 166, 217, 220 on “state of nature,” 40, 133, 206, 217 war and peace, separation of, 40–45, 54, 60, 73, 125–6, 131, 201, 212 Hobsbawm, Eric, 87, 147 Hochschild, Arlie Russell, 221 holistic remedies, 95, 97 Holland, see under Netherlands homeopathy, 95 Homer, xiv Hungary, 20, 60, 87, 146 hysteria, 139 IBM, 179 identity politics, 208, 209 Iglesias Turrión, Pablo, 5 imagined communities, 87 immigration, 60, 63, 65, 79, 87, 145 immortality, 149, 183–4, 224 in-jokes, 193 individual autonomy, 16 Industrial Revolution, 133, 206 inequality, 59, 61, 62, 76, 77, 83, 85, 88–90 inflation, 62, 76, 78, 82 infographics, 75 information theory, 147 information war, 43, 196 insurance, 59 intellectual property, 150 intelligence, 132–9 intensity, 79–83 International Association for the Study of Pain, 106 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 64, 78 Internet, 184–201, 219 IP addresses, 193 Iraq War (2003–11), 74, 132 Ireland, 57, 73 Irish Republican Army (IRA), 43 “Is This How You Feel?


pages: 100 words: 31,338

After Europe by Ivan Krastev

affirmative action, bank run, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, clean water, conceptual framework, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, job automation, mass immigration, moral panic, open borders, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, too big to fail, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

The Migration of Arguments and Votes A decade ago, the Hungarian philosopher and former dissident Gaspar Miklos Tamas observed that the Enlightenment, in which the idea of the European Union is intellectually rooted, demands universal citizenship.12 But universal citizenship requires one of two things to happen: people either enjoy absolute freedom of movement in search of jobs and higher standards of living or the huge economic and political disparities among countries will need to disappear, allowing people to enjoy their universal rights equally in every place. But neither of these is going to happen soon, if ever. (In 2014, The Economist estimated on the basis of IMF data that emerging economies might have to wait for three centuries in order to catch up to living standards in the West.) The world today is populated by many failed or failing states in which nobody wants to live and work; moreover, Europe has neither the capacity nor the willingness to allow open borders. The migration crisis confronts liberalism with a contradiction that is central to its philosophy. How can our universal rights be reconciled with the fact that we exercise them as citizens of unequally free and prosperous societies? The factor that best explains an individual’s lifetime income is neither one’s education nor the education of one’s parents but one’s place of birth.


pages: 387 words: 105,250

The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling

carbon footprint, clean water, failed state, impulse control, negative equity, new economy, nuclear winter, semantic web, sexual politics, social software, starchitect, stem cell, supervolcano, urban renewal, Whole Earth Review

They know that she was breeding super-women and training them in high technology—the ‘high technology’ of that period, anyway. That foolishness has all been documented. There were biopiracy labs all over this island. You—you and your beautiful sisters—you are the only people in the world who still think that local crime wave is a secret.” Herbert smacked his fist into his open hand. “A clone is an illegal person. That’s all. This island is manned by refugees from failed states, so we’re all technically ‘illegal,’ like you. You can’t convince us that you’re the big secret monster from the big secret monster lab. Because we know you, and we know how you feel. We’re in solidarity with you, Vera. It’s all a matter of degree.” Vera chose to say nothing about this vapid pep talk. No one understood the tangled monstrosity that was herself and her sisters, and no outsider ever would.

Glory was the source of communion. Glory was the spirit of the corps. Glory was a reason to be. Camp people badly needed reasons to be. Before being rescued by the Acquis, they’d been desolated. These city women, like many city women, had no children and no surviving parents. They’d been uprooted by massive disasters, fleeing the dark planetary harvest of droughts, fires, floods, epidemics, failed states, and economic collapse. These women, blown across the Earth as human flotsam, were becoming pioneers here. They did well at adapting to circumstance—because they were women. Refugee women—women anywhere, any place on Earth—had few illusions about what it meant to be flotsam. Vera herself had been a camp refugee for a while. She knew very well how that felt and what that meant. The most basic lesson of refugee life was that it felt bad.


pages: 341 words: 111,525

Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart by Tim Butcher

airport security, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, failed state, Live Aid, Livingstone, I presume, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade

Despite these first-world trappings, Kinshasa also has the chronic problems standard to many African capitals. Most of its nine-million-strong urban population crowd into squalid squatter camps without adequate drinking water, electricity, health care or basic services. Corruption corrodes every aspect of day-to-day life, forcing its people to rely on international organisations - the UN, aid groups, donors - to prop up the failing state. But by comparison with the country's medieval hinterland, Kinshasa is centuries ahead. I found the disconnect between capital and country bewildering when I arrived by UN helicopter. And it got worse after I was met by Maurice, the local representative of my cobalt-mining contact from Lubumbashi, and whisked away in his jeep. We passed city sights that I recognised from my earlier visit in 2001: the long central artery of the city, `The 30th of June Boulevard', which locals boast of as the `longest independence avenue in Africa'; the house where Patrice Lumumba briefly ran his doomed post-independence government before he was assassinated on the orders of Washington and Brussels; the stadium that staged the `Rumble in the jungle' boxing match; and the Belgian diplomatic compound where I met one of Mobutu's surviving cronies in 2001 and first discussed my plan to retrace Stanley's journey.

And Adolphe Onusumba, the rebel leader I had courted before the journey, underwent a radical change. We had been exchanging emails and telephone calls regularly, but a few months after I got home all communication ended. I then found out that the former rebel had been co-opted into the government of his erstwhile enemy, President Kabila, as Defence Minister. I concluded that the ambassador and minister were too ashamed to hear what I had discovered about their failed state. My own work took me to Jerusalem, from where I now cover the Middle East region for the Telegraph. I might have moved, but my obsession with the Congo - the daunting, flawed giant that symbolises Africa's triumph of disappointment over potential - remains stronger than ever. Tim Butcher Jerusalem, October 2006 Bibliography Non-fiction John and Julie Batchelor, In Stanley's Footsteps - Across Africa From West to East, 1990, Blandford Colette Braeckman: L'Enjeu Congolais, 1999, Fayard - Les Nouveaux Predateurs, 2003, Fayard Ritchie Calder: Agony of the Congo, 1961, Victor Gollancz Verney Lovett Cameron: Across Africa, 1877, Daldy, Isbister and Company Peter Forbath: The River Congo, 1977, Harper & Row Alan Gallop: Mr Stanley, I Presume?


pages: 459 words: 109,490

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible by Stephen Braun, Douglas Farah

air freight, airport security, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company

The results, writ large, were staggeringly bleak. The massive continent has fifty-three countries and is the size of China, the United States, Europe, India, Argentina, and New Zealand combined.5 Yet a 2003 World Bank study found that only nine nations merited even a barely acceptable fair-governance rating. The rest, comprising more than 80 percent of the continent, were judged as failing or failed states.6 The private global arms trade had surged, reaping as much as $10 billion a year—an industry that researchers believe had its most rapid growth in the decade following the end of the Cold War.7 The effects were immediate and pronounced on African countries that were suddenly awash in guns. African tribal factions had long fought territorial wars using a patchwork of simple and outdated weaponry—rustic hunting rifles, shotguns, spears, and machetes.

Like the bleakly amoral characters that populate Graham Greene’s novels and John le Carré’s thrillers, Bout deftly surfed the upheaval of the 1990s, playing to the shifting desires of nations uncertain of their own way in the rapidly changing world. Bout intuitively understood the business potential of catering to rebel armies and criminal regimes that controlled access to lucrative natural resources and were willing to barter for weapons. Reaching far into remote lawless regions and failed states, he had become the master of weapons delivery to all corners of the globe, redefining the logistics of twenty-first-century warfare. His nimble, shape-shifting network consistently outpaced the hidebound and often contradictory responses of the nations that pursued him. Nowhere was this policy schizophrenia more apparent than in the Bush administration’s eagerness to use his planes in Iraq while pestering his network with limited sanctions.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

Charismatic bandits are not that rare. How about foreign invasion and forced administration? It worked in Bosnia and failed in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It's expensive, dangerous, and only makes sense as part of a smash-and-grab operation on the largest scale. It certainly doesn't fix broken countries. I think the solution to fixing failed states like Congo-Kinshasa is to recognize that a government, whether "elected" or installed by violence or bluff, does not by itself create a valid state. When we recognize a failed state as a bandit gang, we see that the problem is the bandits and their economic model. The first step is to flag a country as sick when, like a person suffering from a mental disease, it becomes dysfunctional. We can measure that in terms of mortality and life expectancy, education, freedom of expression, and corruption.


pages: 429 words: 120,332

Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens by Nicholas Shaxson

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land value tax, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, money market fund, New Journalism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old-boy network, out of africa, passive income, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Washington Consensus

Like the term capital flight, it points the finger at the victim countries like Congo or Nigeria or Mexico—which, this language subtly insists, must be the focus of the cleanup. But each flight of capital out of a poor country must have a corresponding inflow somewhere else. Imagine how different that pledge would be if the G20 had promised to tackle “illicit inflows.” Bad tax systems are pushing some nations toward becoming failed states. “Countries that will not tax their elites but expect us to come in and help them serve their people are just not going to get the kind of help from us that they have been getting,” Hillary Clinton said in September 2010, to widespread and bipartisan applause. “Pakistan cannot have a tax rate of 9 percent of GDP when land owners and all of the other elites do not pay anything or pay so little it’s laughable, and then when there’s a problem everybody expects the United States and others to come in and help.”48 Leave aside for a moment the hypocrisy involved when the United States preaches to developing countries about abusive tax systems while welcoming tides of their illicit money and wrapping it in secrecy.

Competition between companies in a market is absolutely nothing like competition between jurisdictions on tax. Think about it like this: If a company cannot compete it may fail and be replaced by another that provides better and cheaper goods or services. This “creative destruction” is painful, but it is also a source of capitalism’s dynamism. But what happens when a country cannot “compete?” A failed state? That is a very different prospect. Nobody would, or could, as Mitchell put it, “shut down New Hampshire.” What does it actually mean for a country to be “competitive”? Governments obviously do not “compete” in any meaningful way to police their streets. They do, perhaps, compete to educate their citizens better, but this kind of “competition” points to higher taxes to pay for better education.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Continued progress in developing countries is good for traditional Western powers for three basic reasons.9 First, development and increased prosperity in the world’s poorest countries enhance global security. Higher incomes, improved health, and stronger governance all reduce the threat of violence within developing countries, and reduce the potential for these countries to be used as launching points for violence and terrorism. The biggest threats to global security in recent years have come from groups operating in failed and failing states. Development brings stronger institutions, greater capacity for effective governance, less violence, and fewer security threats. As progress has accelerated in the last two decades, the number of civil wars in developing countries has been cut in half. This reduction in conflict makes the world a safer place for both rich and poor countries, and reduces the need for international military intervention.

If a future along these lines is achieved, the great surge of development progress that began in the 1960s and accelerated in the 1990s would be just the beginning of a decades-long transformation for hundreds of millions of people in developing countries, from deep poverty to modest prosperity. Millions more people will have incomes that will allow them to take care of their families, with less poverty, better health and education, and a wider range of basic freedoms. Far fewer countries will be failing states, and the world will be a far better place because of it. As I write in early 2015, there are many dark clouds forming on the horizon that could impede further advances. The global economy has not recovered fully from the 2008 financial crisis, and there are growing concerns as to whether the world’s leading economies and emerging markets can return to the pace of growth achieved before the crisis.


The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina

9 dash line, Airbnb, British Empire, clean water, Costa Concordia, crowdsourcing, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, forensic accounting, global value chain, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Markoff, Jones Act, Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Maui Hawaii, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, standardized shipping container, statistical arbitrage, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

And along with the locals, I was straining to tell the bureaucrats from the bandits, and the police from the outlaws. * * * · · · I’d been told that to understand Somalia, it was best not to think of it as a functioning nation, because it’s not. To outsiders, Somalia was a construct created by movies and news reports, a land awash in weapons and racked by famine. In UN parlance, it was a “failed state.” To insiders, Somalia was a loose collection of highly autonomous enclaves. This had been especially true since the civil war in 1991. Mogadishu was the seat of the feeble federal government, which controlled only a small portion of that city, to say nothing of its oversight of the rest of the country. Politics in Somalia was largely clan based. Puntland, for example, was home to six major clans: the Harti, Majerteen, Warsangali, Dhulbahante, Dishiishe, and Lailkase.

I would spend the next several weeks trying to make sense of my trip and, more specifically, figuring out who in Puntland among the private security forces, thieving local bureaucrats, and marauding offshore bandits were the real pirates. Then, best I could, I would write it all up in some straight-line explanatory narrative. No such luck. Something kept itching at me, and I was unable to stop asking questions. I could have written a good-news-turned-bad piece about maritime policing in a failed state, but this felt partial, trivializing even. I needed to look not just at the problems within Somalia but also the way other countries suffered from, took advantage of, and often worsened those same problems. This itch pestered me for the next nine months and it’s the reason I found myself on flights to the Maldives, Djibouti, Texas, then back to Thailand and Cambodia. Mostly, I wanted to know about the Thai ships that Puntland authorities so desperately had hoped I’d ignore.

In Somalia, it was neither sport nor patriotism but money that motivated pirates to board ships, police to hunt for poachers, or government officials to issue false licenses. Likewise, Djibouti hadn’t allowed these seven Thai trawlers to fly its flag out of sympathy for their operators who wanted to evade Thailand’s new rules. Djibouti had simply seized on a business opportunity. My reporting in Somalia had not led to where I expected. Perhaps I should have known better. Really, who travels to a failed state looking for good news? From the moment I touched down in Mogadishu my journalistic compass had not stopped spinning. I strained to understand who could be trusted and which, if any, of the many armed groups patrolling the waters was in the right. In some small way, justice began catching up with the Thai trawlers for poaching in Somalia. On January 23, the Thai prosecutor’s office charged members of the Sangsukiam family with illegal fishing and confiscated the catch on board the Chotchainavee 35.


pages: 134 words: 41,085

The Wake-Up Call: Why the Pandemic Has Exposed the Weakness of the West, and How to Fix It by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, Corn Laws, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global pandemic, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jones Act, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, McMansion, night-watchman state, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parkinson's law, pensions crisis, QR code, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, universal basic income, Washington Consensus

London, July 2020 Notes INTRODUCTION: WEEKS WHEN DECADES HAPPEN 1.We have used numbers throughout from the Bloomberg virus tracker, which is largely based on Johns Hopkins research. 2.Shalini Ramachandran, Laura Kusisto, and Katie Honan, “How New York’s Coronavirus Response Made the Pandemic Worse,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2020. 3.Chris Morris and Oliver Barnes, “Coronavirus: Which Regions Have Been Worst Hit?” BBC News, June 3, 2020. 4.George Packer, “We Are Living in a Failed State,” The Atlantic, June 2020. 5.Philip Wen and Drew Hinshaw, “China Asserts Claim to Global Leadership, Mask by Mask,” Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2020. 6.Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, June 7. 7.Boyd Hilton, A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? England 1783–1846 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006), 558. 8.Alice Tidey, “UK Records More New Covid-19 Deaths Than Entire EU Combined,” Euronews, June 4, 2020. 9.Caroline Wazer, “The Plagues That Might Have Brought Down the Roman Empire,” The Atlantic, March 16, 2016.


pages: 465 words: 124,074

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller

airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

However, even under chaotic conditions, nuclear weapons would likely remain under heavy guard by people who know that a purloined bomb would most likely end up going off in their own territory, would still have locks (and, in the case of Pakistan would be disassembled), and could probably be followed, located, and hunted down by an alarmed international community. The worst-case scenario in this instance requires not only a failed state but a considerable series of additional conditions, including consistent (and perfect) insider complicity and a sequence of hasty, opportunistic decisions or developments that click flawlessly in a manner far more familiar in Hollywood scripts than in real life.17 It is conceivable that stolen bombs, even if no longer viable as weapons, would be useful for the fissile material that could be harvested from them.

On Chechnya: Cameron 2004, 84. 15. Linzer 2004a. See also Levi 2007a, 97, 126. 16. Trigger: Jenkins 2008, 141. Reporter: Linzer 2004a. Disassembled: Reiss 1995, 11, 13; Warrick 2007. Younger 2009, 153–54. See also Kamp 1996, 34; Wirz and Egger 2005, 502; Langewiesche 2007, 19; Levi 2007a, 125. 17. Pakistan disassembled: Warrick 2007. Taliban takeover a stretch: Cole 2009a, 158; 2009b. For a discussion of the failed state scenario, including useful suggestions for making it even less likely, see Levi 2007a, 133–38. 18. Wirz and Egger 2005, 502. See also Levi 2007a, 125. 19. Levi 2007a, 26; Lugar 2005, 17. See also Ferguson and Potter 2005, chs. 3–4. 20. Kamp 1996, 33; Garwin and Charpak 2001, 314; Keller 2002; Milhollin 2002, 46–47; Rees 2003, 44–45; Linzer 2004a; G. Allison 2004, 96–97; Goldstein 2004, 131–32; Cameron 2004, 84; Wirz and Egger 2005, 500; Frost 2005, 27–28; Bunn and Wier 2006, 135; Langewiesche 2007, 21–23; Levi 2007a, 73–81; Younger 2009, 142–43.


pages: 414 words: 121,243

What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, centre right, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, haute couture, kremlinology, liberal world order, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, profit motive, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, the scientific method, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

Intellectuals in politics are occasionally dangerous and invariably disappointed. George Packer, who had known Makiya for years, said his friend didn’t understand that for all their tough talk the neo-conservatives were far less worldly than they appeared. The Republicans had been out of the White House in the Nineties. Most of the party’s senior figures had treated the decade’s debates on humanitarian intervention and failed states with derision, and opposed the wars to stop ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia as bleeding heart indulgences. They hadn’t thought about the mass migration of refugees, chemical weapons in the hands of terrorists and global crime. They hadn’t come to terms with the new age of warfare where the infantry had to be soldiers one minute and police officers the next. Makiya’s last, best hope was George W.

It will become more popular still as the bonds of the nation-state crack under the pressure of globalization. Apathetic, isolated citizens who cannot even commit themselves to participating in an election are unlikely to commit themselves to war. Unfortunately, as globalization weakens the old bonds of national loyalty, so it brings new threats. Furious voices in Britain, America and Europe said it was foolish for their governments to pretend that Bosnia had nothing to do with them. The failed states of the former Yugoslavia were spewing refugees and crime gangs across Europe. Very prescient commentators noticed that outlandish groups of Islamist fanatics were springing up everywhere and using the refusal of the West to come to the aid of Bosnia’s Muslims as proof that an evil conspiracy of Christians and the Jews wanted to annihilate Islam. Some believed in the conspiracy so fervently, they sent ‘warriors’ to Bosnia to fight the Serbs and radicalize Europe’s Muslims.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

‘The daily amounts are set low so that we cannot say we don’t have the money, and it is not worth our time arguing about them.’ All the Congolese I speak with say the same, and the foreign traders that are here – Lebanese restaurateurs, Indians running phone shops, Chinese tailors – all agree. The tax man calls each day and will cause you problems if you don’t comply, so you pay him to go away. The role of government here can take a while to sink in. This country tends to be held up as the archetypal ‘failed state’, with western coverage conjuring a government that is absent or passive and making it easy to imagine the Congolese capital as a place of decaying official buildings and unfilled civil-service positions. Kinshasa is nothing like this. The government thrives, with boulevards lined with the offices of countless ministries thronged by thousands of functionaries at knocking-off time. The Congolese state is active but parasitic, a corruption superstructure that often works directly against the interests of its people.

Reno, W. (2006), ‘Congo: From State Collapse to “Absolutism”, to State Failure’, Third World Quarterly, 27 (1), 43–56. Richburg, K. B. (1991), ‘Mobutu: A Rich Man in Poor Standing’, Washington Post, 3 October. Stanley, H. M. (1878), Through the Dark Continent (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington). Stearns, J. K. (2012), Dancing in the Glory of Monsters (New York: PublicAffairs). Trefon, T. (2009), ‘Public Service Provision in a Failed State: Looking Beyond Predation in the Democratic Republic of Congo’, Review of African Political Economy, 36 (119), 9–21. United Nations (1989), ‘Report on the Rehabilitation of the Mauluku Steel Mill (Sosider), Zaire’, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, PPD.112 (SPEC.), 21 March. van Reybrouck, D. (2015), Congo: The Epic History of a People (London: Harper Collins). Vansina, J. (2010), Being Colonized: The Kuba Experience in Rural Congo, 1880–1960 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press).


pages: 1,309 words: 300,991

Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations by Norman Davies

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, Corn Laws, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, labour mobility, land tenure, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, Red Clydeside, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, trade route, urban renewal, WikiLeaks

To every historian’s despair, COW takes 1816 as the arbitrary start point of history, uses patently invalid definitions of state sovereignty and apparently (in studies written in the twenty-first century) does not yet include the USSR among its obituaries.16 It is a hopeful sign that a call has been made to revise the COW data.17 In the last decade, a further sub-field of study has appeared under the heading of ‘Failed States’. The term is clearly a misnomer, since the bodies concerned, though infirm, have still not reached the international graveyard. They should probably be called ‘Failing States’, and are said to be ‘in danger of disintegration’. As from 2005, an annual Index of sixty such invalids has been published, supported by quantitative measurements of their distress and dividing them into ‘critical’, ‘in danger’ and ‘borderline’.18 Somalia, Chad and Sudan topped the Index for 2010. Europe was represented by Georgia (no. 37), Azerbaijan (no. 55), Moldova (no. 58) and Bosnia and Hercegovina (no. 60).

John Westlake, ‘On the Extinction of States’, in his International Law, Part 1 (Cambridge, 1904), pp. 63–8. 14. James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd edn. (Oxford, 2006). 15. Tanisha Fazal, State Death: The Politics and Geography of Conquest, Occupation and Annexation (Princeton, 2007). 16. ‘COW, Project History’, www.correlatesofwar.org/cowhistory.htm (2009). 17. Fazal, State Death, pp. 243–58. 18. ‘Index of Failed States, 2009’, from the journal Foreign Policy www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/06/22/2009_failed_states_index_interactive_map_and_rankings (2010). 19. Monty Python’s Flying Circus, ‘Dead Parrot Sketch’, www.mtholyoke.edu/~ebarnes/python/dead-parrot.htm (2009). 20. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/list_of_extinct_states (2011). 21. John Locke, ‘Of the Dissolution of Government’, Two Treatises on Civil Government (1690; London, 1960), ch. XIX, pp. 252–3. 22.


pages: 795 words: 212,447

Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy, Grant (CON) Blackwood

active measures, affirmative action, air freight, airport security, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Benoit Mandelbrot, defense in depth, failed state, friendly fire, Google Earth, Panamax, post-Panamax, Skype, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl

I trust you can sleep through gunfire, yes?” “We’ve been known to,” Clark replied. “I have to tell you, Mr. Embling, you paint a bleak picture of Peshawar.” “Then I’ve given you an accurate portrayal. I’ve been here on and off for nearly four decades, and in my estimation Pakistan is at a tipping point. Another year or so should tell the tale, but the country’s about as close to being a failed state as it’s been in twenty years.” “A failed state with nuclear weapons,” Clark added. “Right.” “Why do you stay?” Chavez asked. “It’s my home.” A few minutes later Chavez said, “Back to the Hayatabad . . . What I’m wondering is who doesn’t live there?” “And a good question it is,” Embling said. “Though it’s a subjective measure the three big players here—the URC, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Sipah-e-Sahaba, formerly Anjuman—are generally clustered around the Peshawar cantonment—the Old City—and the Saddar area.

With an inept and reactionary Edward Kealty at the country’s helm, the FBI and CIA would in due course unravel the identities of those responsible for the attacks, only to find carefully constructed and fully backstopped legends that would eventually lead directly to the doorstep of Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence and radicalized elements of the Pakistan Army General Staff, both long suspected to be less-than-enthusiastic supporters of the war on terror. Where the United States rightly invaded Afghanistan following 9/11, she would again react swiftly and overtly, expanding military operations east across the Safed Koh and Hindu Kush mountains. The inevitable destabilization of Pakistan, already a near-failed state, would, according to the Emir, create a power vacuum into which the Umayyad Revolutionary Council would step and take control of Pakistan’s substantial nuclear arsenal. “It’s plausible,” Jerry Rounds said. “Worst case, the plan succeeds; best case, we have to go into the area big, maybe quadruple our current presence.” “And stay there for a couple decades,” Clark added. “If we thought Iraq was a recruiting poster for militants ...”


pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

But in many cases, things that happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago continue to exert major influence on the nature of politics. If we are seeking to understand the functioning of contemporary institutions, it is necessary to look at their origins and the often accidental and contingent forces that brought them into being. The concern over the origin of institutions dovetailed with a second preoccupation, which was the real-world problems of weak and failed states. For much of the period since September 11, 2001, I have been working on the problems of state and nation building in countries with collapsed or unstable governments; an early effort to think through this problem was a book I published in 2004 titled State-Building: Governance and World Order in the Twenty-first Century.2 The United States, as well as the international donor community more broadly, has invested a great deal in nation-building projects around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Timor-Leste, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

The United States is not in nearly as serious a moral and fiscal crisis as ancien régime France. The danger, however, is that its situation will continue to worsen over time in the absence of some powerful force that will knock the system off its current dysfunctional institutional equilibrium. FANTASIES OF STATELESSNESS A common thread links many of our contemporary anxieties about the future, from authoritarian backsliding in Russia to corruption in India, to failed states in the developing world, to entrenched interest groups in contemporary American politics. It concerns the difficulties of creating and maintaining effective political institutions, governments that are simultaneously powerful, rule bound, and accountable. This might seem like an obvious point that any fourth grader would acknowledge, and yet on further reflection it is a truth that many intelligent people fail to understand.

GETTING TO DENMARK The problem of creating modern political institutions has been described as the problem of “getting to Denmark,” after the title of a paper written by two social scientists at the World Bank, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock. 25 For people in developed countries, “Denmark” is a mythical place that is known to have good political and economic institutions: it is stable, democratic, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and has extremely low levels of political corruption. Everyone would like to figure out how to transform Somalia, Haiti, Nigeria, Iraq, or Afghanistan into “Denmark,” and the international development community has long lists of presumed Denmark-like attributes that they are trying to help failed states achieve. There are any number of problems with this agenda. It does not seem very plausible that extremely poor and chaotic countries could expect to put into place complex institutions in short order, given how long such institutions took to evolve. Moreover, institutions reflect the cultural values of the societies in which they are established, and it is not clear that Denmark’s democratic political order can take root in very different cultural contexts.


The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe

Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, complexity theory, Copley Medal, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Isaac Newton, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Steven Pinker, Thomas Malthus

A New Yorker profile of Chomsky in 2003 entitled “The Devil’s Accountant” called him “one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century and one of the most reviled.”118 In 2010 the Encyclopaedia Britannica put him on the roster in their book The 100 Most Influential Philosophers of All Time, along with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Epictetus, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Moses Maimonides, David Hume, Schopenhauer, Rousseau, Heidegger, Sartre…in other words, the greatest minds in the history of the world.119 This wasn’t fast company, it was a roster of the immortals. In his new role as an eminence, Chomsky hurled thunderbolts at malefactors down below, ceaselessly, at an astonishing rate…118 books, with titles such as Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (coauthored by Edward S. Herman)…Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance…Profit over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order…Failed States (very much including the United States): The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy…an average of 2 books per year…271 articles, at a rate of 4.7 per year120…innumerable speaking engagements, which finally got him out of the building and onto airplanes and before podiums far away. At the same time his output of linguistic papers continued apace, climaxing in 2002 with his and two colleagues’ theory of recursion.121 Recursion consists, he said, of putting one sentence, one thought, inside another in a series that, theoretically, could be endless.


pages: 484 words: 136,735

Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, global rebalancing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.”2 Most serious political philosophers, sociologists, and economic historians have long realized that the opposite is true. Any society driven purely by market incentives will fail catastrophically, in economic as well as political terms. The freest, most incentive-driven market economies in the world are not the United States or Hong Kong or even tax havens such as the Cayman Islands but failed states and gangster societies such as Somalia, Congo, and Afghanistan.3 The overriding importance of political institutions in creating the conditions for successful capitalism has been established in great works of social scholarship going back to Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.4 But after the Thatcher-Reagan revolutions of the 1980s, business leaders, academic economists, and conservative politicians decided to ignore the historical realities described by sociologists and political scientists in favor of the oversimplified assumptions of market fundamentalist ideologues such as Ayn Rand.

Morgan Kahn, Richard Kahneman, Daniel Kaldor, Nicholas Kalecki, Michal Keynes/Keynesian economics “animal spirits,” biography of Keynes boom-bust cycles explanation Capitalism and Golden Age ideas/policies mathematics and See also Economics eras/second; Macroeconomics Khrushchev, Nikita King, Mervyn Knight, Frank Krugman, Paul Kuhn, Thomas Labor unions stagflation and unemployment and Lagarde, Christine Laissez-faire philosophy Lehman Brothers capitalism transition and saving scenario/effects Lehman Brothers collapse chain reaction from confidence collapse and effects GSE seizure and share price plunge Limits to growth/physical resources Lloyds Lockhart, James MacDonald, Ramsay Macroeconomics economics eras/second new classical school and recovery from financial crisis See also Capitalism 4.0/economic policy; Keynes/Keynesian economics Mad Max (movie) Mad Max Paradox Mahbubani, Kishore Mandela, Nelson Mandelbrot, Benoit Mark-to-market accounting/effects Market fundamentalism description economic recovery and failed states and financial crisis of 2007-09 and flaws/dangers of imaginary world of oil prices/shock (2008) and progressive taxation and term See also Economics eras/third; Monetarism; specific individuals; Thatcher-Reagan revolution Marris, Robin Marx, Karl on capitalism social problems and Masters, Michael Mathematics in economics normal distribution use oversimplification and “science” and McCarthy, Joe Meade, James Medicare/Medicaid, U.S.


pages: 487 words: 139,297

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns

Berlin Wall, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, technology bubble, transfer pricing, unemployed young men, working-age population, éminence grise

Most of the dead were Tutsis—and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus. —“RWANDA: HOW THE GENOCIDE HAPPENED,” BBC GISENYI, RWANDA, JULY 17, 1994 To the east of the Congo, in the heart of the African continent, lie the highlands of Rwanda. The country is tiny, the size of Massachusetts, and has one of the highest population densities in the world. This is not the Africa of jungles, corruption, and failed states portrayed in movies. Temperatures fall to freezing on some hilltops, cattle graze on velvety pastures, and the government maintains a tight grip on all aspects of society. On the thousands of hills—in between tea plantations and eucalyptus groves—millions of peasants eke out a living by farming beans, bananas, and sorghum. The conflict in the Congo has many causes, but the most immediate ones came across the border from Rwanda, a country ninety times smaller.

Nine governments battled through a country the size of western Europe, walking thousands of miles on foot through jungles and swamps. Over five million people have died, and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped.2 If anything should be important, it is the deaths of five million people. Or is it? The Congo war is actually rarely seen as a problem of joint humanity. Instead, it is either portrayed in western media as an abject mess—a morass of rebel groups fighting over minerals in the ruins of a failed state—or as a war of good versus evil, with the role of villain played alternatively by the Rwandan government, international mining companies, the U.S. government, or Congolese warlords. In the twenty-four-hour news cycle, in which international news is devoted largely to the war on terror and its spin-offs, there is little interest in a deeper understanding of the conflict, little appetite for numbers as unimaginably large as five million.


pages: 436 words: 76

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

"Come to Africa-it's a freshman Republican's paradise. Yes, sir, nobody in Liberia pays taxes. There's no gun control in Angola. There's no welfare as we know it in Burundi, and no big gov- {284} John Kay ernment to interfere in the market in Rwanda. But a lot of their people sure wish there were." 28 The "governments" of these countries are corrupt businesses, more akin to the Mafia than to public services. "Failed states" describe situations-as in Afghanistan or Somalia-where no group of warlords is sufficiently dominant to be described as government, in contrast to the monopoly of oppression in Saddam's Iraq, Mobutu's Zaire, and Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Rich states function through a variety of established social conventions and political institutions, which were not successfully transplanted to Africa during short periods of colonial occupation. 29 Dependencia ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Colonial regimes in countries of settlement put in place the building blocks of successful market economies.

Eastern Europe ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• The gap between expectation and achievement was wide in Eastern Europe, and these countries achieve particularly low scores for self-reported happiness. 40 The collapse of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, followed by the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself, created many and varied new states. The architecture of the capital cities of Slovenia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic demonstrates the strength of their European heritage. Tiny Baltic countries like Estonia and Latvia look naturally to Scandinavia, failed states like Romania and Moldova sit on the edge of Europe, and Tajikistan and Uzbekistan enjoy an uneasy relationship with other Asian Islamic republics. Experience since the communist collapse has varied widely. The most successful economies were always geographically and culturally close to established rich states ofWestern Europe. If the Czech Republic had been independent after World War II, it would probably today be a rich European state.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

My grandfather, a veteran Indian civil servant and diplomat, always referred to the Gulf states as “West Asia”—never the “Middle East.” This seems ever more appropriate as the Gulf petromonarchies trade far more with other Asians than with the West.13 In fact, in the late 1990s, Arab oil producers began to lock in long-term contracts with energy-thirsty Asian powers the way they used to with Europe and America. With East and South Asians driving global economic growth and West Asians reorienting toward them, the Asian failed states in between such as Iraq and Afghanistan are also closing their chapters of US occupation and plotting their futures within the Asian system. THINK PPP FOR GDP: ASIANS PAY ASIAN PRICES FOR ASIAN GOODS. Measured in PPP terms, China has already surpassed the United States as the world’s largest economy, while Asia as a whole represents about half of global GDP. The more Asian economies trade with one another, the better able they are to maintain low prices for goods.

They also have no living memory of a United States that has greater claims to exceptionalism than they do. They would much rather work out their differences with their regional peers than depend on the United States to arbitrate them. North Korea will be the true test of whether Northeast Asia can move from strategic suspicion to tactical adjustments. North Korea has been thought of as an isolated failed state, but the fact that its covert nuclear program has had links as far as Pakistan’s A. Q. Khan nuclear-smuggling network, its chemical weapons program to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, its ballistic missile program to Iran, and its cybersurveillance tools to Russia, are all evidence of the seedier side of the Asian system. Asian states can conspire to form an “axis of resistance” to perceived US hegemony.


pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, different worldview, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh, zero-sum game

Impulsive-Red functioning can still be found in adults in many tribal societies in the world today and in underprivileged areas amidst developed societies, when circumstances don’t provide adequate nurture for children to develop beyond this stage. Every paradigm has its sweet spot, a context in which it is most appropriate. Impulsive-Red is highly suitable for hostile environments: combat zones, civil wars, failed states, prisons, or violent inner-city neighborhoods. Red Organizations Organizations molded in Impulsive-Red consciousness first appeared in the form of small conquering armies, when the more powerful chiefdoms grew into proto-empires. They can still be found today in the form of street gangs and mafias. Today’s Red Organizations borrow tools and ideas from modernity—think about organized crime’s use of weaponry and information technology.

The chief must regularly resort to public displays of cruelty and punishment, as only fear and submission keep the organization from disintegrating. Mythical stories about his absolute power frequently make the rounds, to keep foot soldiers from vying for a higher prize. Present-centeredness makes Red Organizations poor at planning and strategizing but highly reactive to new threats and opportunities that they can pursue ruthlessly. They are therefore well adapted to chaotic environments (in civil wars or in failed states) but are ill-suited to achieve complex outcomes in stable environments where planning and strategizing are possible. Conformist—Amber paradigm8 Every paradigm shift opens up unprecedented new capabilities and possibilities. When Conformist-Amber consciousness emerged, humankind leaped from a tribal world subsisting on horticulture to the age of agriculture, states and civilizations, institutions, bureaucracies, and organized religions.


pages: 495 words: 136,714

Money for Nothing by Thomas Levenson

Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, British Empire, carried interest, clockwork universe, credit crunch, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, experimental subject, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, income inequality, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, market bubble, open economy, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Republic of Letters, risk/return, side project, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

In times of war the British were able to spend as much as four times the amount of money per subject as the French state did, which meant that Britain was able to match France pound for pound, livre for livre, throughout their eighteenth-century wars. A common, easy explanation for France’s lackluster fiscal outcome is that a feckless French court stumbled from one financial disaster to another as a sequence of overmatched rulers tumbled inexorably to their doom. We know how the story ends, after all, in revolution, regicide, and terror. But French rulers were not all financial illiterates, nor was France itself remotely a failed state. Its officials attempted various expedients, which along with the occasional bump in tax revenue brought the French budget almost into balance as late as 1774—while the national debt had been managed well enough to that point that as a proportion of state revenue it cost just half as much as it had at its peak under Louis XIV. Meanwhile, France itself remained rich. Private lending was as common as it was in the other great commercial capitals, Amsterdam and London—which meant that the economy was still bustling.

THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT COULDN’T RAISE MONEY EASILY Larry Neal, “How It All Began: The Monetary and Financial Architecture of Europe During the First Global Capital Markets, 1648–1815,” Financial History of Review 7 (October 2000): 133. FRANCE WAS AT LEAST TWICE AS RICH AS ITS ADVERSARY Thomas J. Sargent and François R. Velde, “Macroeconomic Features of the French Revolution,” Journal of Political Economy 103, no. 3 (June 1995): 489. NOR WAS FRANCE ITSELF REMOTELY A FAILED STATE Sargent and Velde, “Macroeconomic Features,” p. 480. FRANCE ITSELF REMAINED RICH See Phillip T. Hoffman, Gilles Postel-Vinay, and Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, Priceless Markets: The Political Economy of Credit in Paris, 1660–1870 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), p. 101, fig. 5.2. For a sense of Parisian elite consumption, see Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century, the catalog to the J.


pages: 193 words: 48,066

The European Union by John Pinder, Simon Usherwood

Berlin Wall, BRICs, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, failed state, illegal immigration, labour market flexibility, mass immigration, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, non-tariff barriers, open borders, price stability, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

More broadly, it has much experience of assisting with the development of political, judicial, and administrative institutions, and the structures of civil society, particularly among Central and East European states preparing themselves for accession, as well as in the West Balkans and farther afield; and this has great potential importance for wider application in a world in which failed or failing states can be a serious security risk, while solidly based democracies can contribute much to stable international relations. The environment is also a vital aspect of security, with climate change among the gravest threats to the welfare, and perhaps the lives, of the world’s people; and the Union has made the major contribution to international efforts to deal with it. In 1986, when it had become evident that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could destroy the ozone layer and thus endanger life on Earth, the EC succeeded in breaking a deadlock in negotiations for the Montreal Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), thus halting the degradation.


What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia Themes in Philosophy) by Noam Chomsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, liberation theology, mass incarceration, means of production, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Turing test, wage slave

Bartels, Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2010). 10. Elizabeth Rosenthal, “Health Care’s Road to Ruin,” New York Times, December 21, 2013; Gardiner Harris, “In American Health Care, Drug Shortages Are Chronic,” New York Times, October 31, 2004. 11. Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, April 2009. On polls, see Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (New York: Metropolitan Books / Holt, 2006), chap. 6. On constitutional right, see Robert H. Wiebe, Self-Rule: A Cultural History of American Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 239. 12. Conor Gearty, Liberty and Security (Malden, Mass.: Polity, 2013). 13. Quotations from Robert B. Westbrook, John Dewey and American Democracy (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1991). 14.


Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, failed state, God and Mammon, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, Martin Wolf, means of production, Nelson Mandela, nuremberg principles, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

., Chomsky has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is Institute Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. His work is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works that have been translated into scores of countries worldwide. His most recent books are the New York Times bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions, What We Say Goes, Interventions, Occupy, and Hopes and Prospects (Haymarket Books). Haymarket Books is reissuing twelve of his classic works in new editions starting in 2014. His web site is www.chomsky.info.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Morgan Marquis-Boire et al. (15 Jan 2013), “Planet Blue Coat: Mapping global censorship and surveillance tools,” Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, https://citizenlab.org/2013/01/planet-blue-coat-mapping-global-censorship-and-surveillance-tools. Netsweeper is a … filtering product: Adam Senft et al. (20 Feb 2014), “Internet filtering in a failed state: The case of Netsweeper in Somalia,” Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, https://citizenlab.org/2014/02/internet-filtering-failed-state-case-netsweeper-somalia. Helmi Noman et al. (20 Jun 2013), “O Pakistan, we stand on guard for thee: An analysis of Canada-based Net-sweeper’s role in Pakistan’s censorship regime,” Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, https://citizenlab.org/2013/06/o-pakistan. Fortinet is used to censor: Open Net Initiative (12 Oct 2005), “Internet filtering in Burma 2005,” https://opennet.net/sites/opennet.net/files/ONI_Burma_Country_Study.pdf.


pages: 482 words: 149,351

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer by Nicholas Shaxson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airline deregulation, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, falling living standards, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land value tax, late capitalism, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, wealth creators, white picket fence, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Each of the major flaws in the model are fatal, collectively they are a catastrophe. For starters, a moment’s thought reveals that ‘competition’ between countries or tax systems bears no resemblance whatsoever to competition between companies in a market. To get a taste of this, ponder the difference between a failed company like Carillion or Enron and a failed state like Somalia a few years back. When a company fails it is sad, but hopefully its employees will get new jobs, and the creative destruction involved when companies compete in markets can be a source of dynamism for capitalism. A failed state, involving warlords and murder and nuclear trafficking, is an utterly different beast. They only thing they really have in common is a shared word in the English language: competition. Even if you believe, as I do, that competition between private actors in unsabotaged markets can be a great thing, this says nothing about the state-versus-state kind.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

Other than the European experiment, it is hard to think of a nation that voluntarily yielded any part of their sovereignty or territory, although weak and small nations have often been robbed of them by aggressive neighbors or colonizing empires. Only when nations collapse and their sovereignty evaporates (when they are without the capacity to defend and protect their own people) can they be occupied or “integrated” without compromising their independence—since they no longer are independent. This was the case in Germany and Japan after World War II and has occasionally justified intervention in failed states or under conditions of internal genocide (Rwanda during the liquidation of Tutsis there) or utter lawlessness (Somalia in the 1990s), where sovereignty’s first obligations (right to life) have been internally forfeited. Even here, there is the danger that a powerful foreign power will claim internal collapse or putative genocide in order to intervene and infringe another nation’s sovereignty.

Much the same is true in Mexico City or Manila, Kinshasa or Karachi. In Chicago, “the violence has left its largest scars in one of Chicago’s most impoverished, strolling neighborhoods . . . places within view of the city’s gleaming downtown skyline that feel worlds apart.”65 In Mexico, where criminal syndicates infiltrate and corrupt police and political hierarchies, there is almost the feel of a failed state; once again it is the poor who suffer most from the ensuing mayhem, along with the journalists trying to chronicle the slaughter.66 In Afghanistan, where 90 percent of the world’s opium is produced, corruption is a way of life from the president on down. It couldn’t exist without the markets in which it is sold, where users point to the evils of third-world narco-states with one hand while scoring a bag with the other.


On Palestine by Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappé, Frank Barat

Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, facts on the ground, failed state, ghettoisation, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, one-state solution, Stephen Hawking

About the Contributors © Florent Barat Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. He is widely regarded as one of the foremost critics of U.S. foreign policy in the world. His books include At War with Asia, Towards a New Cold War, Fateful Triangle, Necessary Illusions, Hegemony or Survival, Deterring Democracy, Failed States, and Manufacturing Consent. Professor Ilan Pappé is the Director of the European Center for Palestine Studies and a fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. He is the author of fifteen books, among them The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and his most recent book, The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge. Frank Barat is a human rights activists and author.


pages: 1,016 words: 283,960

Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World by Nir Rosen

Ayatollah Khomeini, failed state, glass ceiling, Google Earth, liberal capitalism, Parag Khanna, selection bias, unemployed young men, urban sprawl, éminence grise

Following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Zarqawi made his way through Iran to autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq—a point worth noting, since the Bush administration claimed Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq was proof of an Al Qaeda connection. But Zarqawi linked up with the terrorist group Ansar al-Islam in a region outside Saddam’s reach. With Saddam removed from power on April 9, 2003, Zarqawi had a new failed state to operate in. By the summer of 2003 he had claimed responsibility for the devastating attack against the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad’s Canal Hotel. Zarqawi allied himself with Ansar al-Sunna, the reconstituted Ansar al-Islam, which was composed mostly of Iraqis, whereas the members of Zarqawi’s Tawhid and Jihad group were mostly foreign Arabs. In October 2004, Iraqi intelligence claimed that Zarqawi’s group consisted of 1,000 to 1,500 fighters, foreign and Iraqi.

Al Qaeda was concerned that the battle against Israel, and the glory, was being monopolized by Hizballah, and it hoped to establish itself in this crucial front. Zawahiri’s words were taken seriously by some. Islamist websites and Internet forums carried demands to establish a Sunni jihadist front in Lebanon. Other jihadists fled Iraq, disgusted with the sectarian fighting or pressure from the growing power of the American-backed Sunni militias in the Anbar province. Hunted in Jordan and Syria, they found Lebanon—with its failed state, lawless refugee camps, and sectarian strife—was their only safe haven. Zawahiri’s statement in July 2007 praised an attack against United Nations peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. ONE DAY THAT MONTH, I visited Ayn al-Hilweh for a funeral in the late afternoon. Soon after I arrived calls to prayer echoed from all the mosques in the camp. First built in 1949 to house Palestinians expelled from northern Palestine, the camp had grown into a ramshackle ghetto made of concrete and cinder blocks.

They may not have been religious beforehand, but they view Al Qaeda as an effective way to combat perceived Shiite expansion and a potent symbol for them to reclaim their masculinity. One of the many ramifications of this is that the United States is yet again involving itself in forms of spiraling violence whose outcomes are unpredictable and whose unintended consequences will be keeping it busy for decades to come. Part Three THE SURGE CHAPTER SEVEN “Iraqi Solutions for Iraqi Problems” BY LATE 2006 IRAQ SEEMED LOST, A FAILED STATE, HEADING TOWARD Rwanda and threatening to provoke a regional conflict. There was finally a sense among Americans in Baghdad that things were going wrong. The First Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army—known as the “First Team”—took over the headquarters of Multi-National Division Baghdad (MND-B), the major U.S. military unit responsible for the city of Baghdad, in November 2006. Before its arrival, military policy was directed to handing over more authority to the Iraqi Security Forces.


pages: 258 words: 63,367

Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, full employment, Howard Zinn, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, liberation theology, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, precariat, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor

In 1961, Chomsky was appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy) at MIT. From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor, a position he held until 2002. Chomsky is the author of numerous influential political works, including Failed States (Metropolitan Books), Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (Metropolitan Books), 9/11 (Open Media Series/Seven Stories Press), Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media with Ed Herman (Pantheon), Necessary Illusions (South End Press), Understanding Power (New Press), Interventions (Open Media Series/City Lights), Hopes and Prospects (Haymarket) and many other titles.


pages: 225 words: 61,388

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Live Aid, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

Since 1996, eleven countries have been embroiled in civil wars (Angola, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda).8 And according to the May 2008 annual Global Peace Index, out of the ten bottom countries four African states are among the least peaceful in the world (in order, Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan and Somalia) – the most of any one continent. Why is it that Africa, alone among the continents of the world, seems to be locked into a cycle of dysfunction? Why is it that out of all the continents in the world Africa seems unable to convincingly get its foot on the economic ladder? Why in a recent survey did seven out of the top ten ‘failed states’ hail from that continent? Are Africa’s people universally more incapable? Are its leaders genetically more venal, more ruthless, more corrupt? Its policymakers more innately feckless? What is it about Africa that holds it back, that seems to render it incapable of joining the rest of the globe in the twenty-first century? The answer has its roots in aid. What is aid? Broadly speaking there exist three types of aid: humanitarian or emergency aid, which is mobilized and dispensed in response to catastrophes and calamities – for example, aid in response to the 2004 Asian tsunami, or monies which targeted the cyclone-hit Myanmar in 2008; charity-based aid, which is disbursed by charitable organizations to institutions or people on the ground; and systematic aid – that is, aid payments made directly to governments either through government-to-government transfers (in which case it is termed bilateral aid) or transferred via institutions such as the World Bank (known as multilateral aid).


pages: 239 words: 62,005

Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, butterfly effect, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Donald Trump, failed state, gender pay gap, illegal immigration, immigration reform, job automation, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, unpaid internship, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

It is also what Obama did when we attacked Libya with his “kinetic military action”—a move that wasn’t even approved by Congress. This “action” ended up being such a colossal failure that what’s left of Libya remains a barely functioning country. Yeah, he brought down Colonel Gaddafi, who was a brutal dictator to say the least, but things ended up being worse off. Instead of becoming a democracy, it’s now a failed state in which violent deaths are commonplace, rival militias fight for power, and the Islamic State group (ISIS) has influence. Regardless of your political affiliation, there’s no way this can be considered a success story for U.S. foreign policy. Even Obama has described it as his “worst mistake” while in office. Let’s not repeat this! A sane foreign policy protects our homeland, enhances relationships with democratic allies, helps spread the ideas of human freedom, and uses its military might only when absolutely necessary.


pages: 333 words: 64,581

Clean Agile: Back to Basics by Robert C. Martin

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, c2.com, continuous integration, DevOps, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Frederick Winslow Taylor, index card, iterative process, Kubernetes, loose coupling, microservices, remote working, revision control, Turing machine

I want sirens going off. I want a big red light spinning in the CEO’s office. A broken build is a Big Effing Deal. I want all the programmers to stop what they are doing and rally around the build to get it passing again. The mantra of the team must be The Build Never Breaks. The Cost of Cheating There have been teams who, under the pressure of a deadline, have allowed the continuous build to remain in a failed state. This is a suicidal move. What happens is that everyone gets tired of the continuous barrage of failure emails from the continuous build server, so they remove the failing tests with the promise that they’ll go back and fix them “later.” Of course, this causes the continuous build server to start sending success emails again. Everyone relaxes. The build is passing. And everyone forgets about the pile of failing tests that they set aside to be fixed “later.”


pages: 423 words: 126,375

Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq by Peter R. Mansoor, Donald Kagan, Frederick Kagan

Berlin Wall, central bank independence, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, HESCO bastion, indoor plumbing, land reform, open borders, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, zero-sum game

Iran, Syria, and other regional actors were injecting violence into Iraq through their support of extremist groups in the form of money, weapons, training, and sanctuary, as well as providing safe passage through their territory to terrorists and foreign fighters bent on battling the “crusaders.” Iran was fighting a proxy war against the United States while using Iraq as its chosen battleground. A rush to transfer power and authority to the ineffective Iraqi government and its immature armed forces had succeeded in creating a failed state. Baghdad in 2006 had undergone massive sectarian cleansing by militiamen of the Jaish al-Mahdi, the revitalized forces of Muqtada al Sadr that had regrouped following their defeat in the battles of 2004, and by Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda–Iraq terrorists bent on creating segregated sectarian quarters in the city. A culture of violence and the absence of a sense of rule of law had made Baghdad all but ungovernable, the city kept together solely through the application of massive amounts of military force.

Although U.S. soldiers had at one time barricaded the access road adjacent to the Canal Hotel, the obstacles were removed at the behest of UN personnel, who were uneasy with the highly visible military presence.¹¹ Ultimately, the assumption and appearance of neutrality provided no barrier to insurgent attacks. The rising vulnerability of international and nongovernmental organizations in the world today is an unfortunate fact. In a world of failed states, global terrorist movements, and progressively more virulent religious dogma and extremist ideologies, civilians and those who support them are increasingly targeted for political advantage, and emblems such as the UN 84 Rusafa globe and the Red Cross no longer confer immunity from attack. After the departure of most UN personnel, ngos became the next target—but they, too, failed to heed the lesson of this bloody reality.


The China Mission: George Marshall's Unfinished War, 1945-1947 by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

anti-communist, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, failed state, haute couture, land reform, long peace, South China Sea

Churchill, baffled by this “great American illusion,” quipped after a transatlantic trip, “If I can epitomize in one word the lesson I learned in the United States, it was ‘China.’ ” The Soviets, too, were dubious. British dismay was more than a little imperial, and racial. A strong China, one officer warned, “would jeopardize the white man’s position immediately in the East and ultimately throughout the world.” But there were other grounds for skepticism: how could China be regarded as a great power when it was more failed state than unified country? Before long, the high-flown rhetoric took on a bitterly ironic tone in the United States and China as well. This bitterness was given crude, savage voice by the officer sent on Marshall’s recommendation to assist Chiang with his war effort—“Vinegar Joe” Stilwell. The Stilwell saga came to be a saga of mutual grievance. For Marshall, it was a headache almost from the start.

“If we remember those few essentials, our country will be on the road to democratic reconstruction,” he proclaimed. Zhou followed with a pledge to “acknowledge Chiang’s leadership.” And with that, the thirty-eight members of the PCC were off, “going full blast using all the epithets in everyone’s vocabulary,” in Melby’s description, to shape the coming Chinese democracy. The discourse thrilled Washington, even if China was by most measures more failing state than rising democratic power. A century of internal rebellion, imperial aggression, and social breakdown had brought heightened landlord exploitation and warlord domination in much of the country. Japanese invasion had left behind starvation and disease, driven inflation into triple digits, and destroyed more than 90 percent of the railways. Perhaps one-fifth of the population could read. Three-quarters worked in the fields.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

I have often overlooked countries that are off the global media radar. I missed the economic turnaround in Colombia after Álvaro Uribe became president in 2002 and started to bring peace and order to the war-torn economy. To believe that a country long synonymous with cocaine and murder could be transformed quickly was one leap of faith too far for me. But the condition of “failed state” is not a permanent one. It’s hard to name a supposedly failed state whose economic revival was more roundly ignored by the global media than the Philippines. When I visited Manila in January 2010, I sensed a turn for the better as Filipinos were fed up with the way their country was being surpassed by neighboring economies. They were keen to give a strong mandate to a leader seen as “Mr. Clean,” who would reduce record levels of corruption and kick-start investment in a country that was using no more cement per capita than it had eighty years earlier.


pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

China’s top leaders do not threaten to bury the United States, they don’t bang their shoes on desks at the United Nations, and they aren’t looking to base missiles in Cuba. Islamic militants, ever an elusive enemy, have become a less urgent foreign policy priority, particularly since the 2011 killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden further undermined public support for an extended troop commitment in Afghanistan.9 Failed or failing states like Yemen and Somalia can create terrorist safe havens that have the attention of U.S. officials, and countries like Pakistan and Iran pose security challenges of their own. But as the American public loses patience with new troop commitments in Afghanistan and elsewhere, U.S. policymakers will be forced to rely on economic pressure and diplomatic coercion to manage these problems. In fact, an ever-increasing percentage of Americans are not old enough to remember the Cold War and have not absorbed the idea, as previous generations have, that America plays a unique and indispensable role in promoting democracy and keeping the peace.


pages: 233 words: 71,775

The Joy of Tax by Richard Murphy

banking crisis, banks create money, carried interest, correlation does not imply causation, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, land value tax, means of production, offshore financial centre, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, savings glut, seigniorage, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing

The overwhelming majority of us want to live in harmony, and accepting the role of government, and its right to tax, is part of accepting the mutuality that really does underpin successful communities. The concept of mutuality can be extended to the international level. It is dangerous to suggest, as many do, that we should promote tax competition between states, since all competition is necessarily predicated on the idea that it is acceptable for participants to fail. We cannot afford failed states and anything that even hints at that possibility has no place in the international tax system. That does not mean that international uniformity is necessary, but cooperation and, where appropriate, harmonization are essential if tax is not to be an instrument for one state to exercise control over another. It is no coincidence that those who propose tax competition are the ones who are seeking to exercise that control.


pages: 247 words: 68,918

The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

During the financial crisis and global recession, an enormous market meltdown that provided globalization with its first true stress test, political officials in both the developed and the developing worlds seized responsibility for decisions that are usually left to market forces—and on a scale not seen in decades. Governments around the world responded to the implosion of major financial institutions and key economic sectors with massive doses of state spending meant to kick-start growth and, in some cases, to bail out companies considered “too big to fail.” States grabbed control of firms once considered industry flagships. They did all this because they believed it was necessary—and because no one else could do it. During the financial crisis and its aftermath, this dynamic generated a massive shift in financial decision-making power from New York to Washington. In fact, a transfer of market power from capitals of finance to capitals of political power took place all over the world—from Shanghai to Beijing, São Paulo to Brasilia, Mumbai to Delhi, Sydney to Canberra, and Dubai to Abu Dhabi.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

In The Bottom Billion, Collier made the case that the only way out economically for Africa is through trade, and not within a bloc of equally stagnant nations but by exporting to the developed world. The goal is to sell manufactured products, not commodities, but flowers and food are the continent’s only toehold besides its vanishing stockpiles of oil and minerals. And for landlocked nations in the Sahel trapped between failed states and the Sahara, “air freight offers a potential lifeline into European markets,” he wrote. “The key export products are likely to be high-value horticulture, and so European trade policy does matter.” “Kenya already has forty percent of the European green beans market,” he told me, and 70 percent of the U.K.’s. Overall, almost half of Britain’s airborne imports arrive from sub-Saharan Africa, and the British consume upward of one million pounds sterling’s worth each day of African produce.

Flights south of the Sahara—typically via their former colonizers’ flag carriers—are strato-spherically expensive and often run just once a week. “Africa-bound traffic can afford to be beaten up and tossed around, because the choices are limited,” Baluch said. His solution was a deal with Ethiopian Airlines, which possesses a fleet of modern Boeings (including, improbably, the 787 starting later this year) and a network crisscrossing the continent. Four years ago, Swift started service to Kenya, Rwanda, and “failed states” such the Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Uganda. Up next are the nations along the southwestern edge of the Sahara, including Niger, Chad, and Mali. Swift operates virtually unopposed from Dubai, controlling 80 percent of the market. “The key to Dubai is Africa,” an American opportunist told me. “All the infrastructure, roads, telecommunications, food, water—everything—has to be imported, which means the opportunity here is to do just that.”


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Knowledge Is Power Let’s go through the logic of each element and see why they can add up to a national security strategy for a country like America today—starting with “amplify.” It is a truism, but one worth repeating, that disorder and the rise of super-empowered breakers on the scale that we are seeing in the Middle East and Africa is a product of failed states unable to keep up with the age of accelerations and enable their young people to realize their full potential. But these trends are exacerbated by climate change, population growth, and environmental degradation, which are undermining the agricultural foundations that sustain vast African and Middle Eastern populations on rural lands. The combination of failing states and failing agriculture is producing millions of young people, particularly young men, who have never held a job, never held power, and never held a girl’s hand. That terrible combination of humiliating pathologies is then preyed upon by jihadist-Islamist ideologues (with money), who promise these young people redemption or ninety-nine virgins in heaven if they double down on backwardness—if they go back to a seventh-century Islamist puritanical lifestyle.


pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks

affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberal world order, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game, éminence grise

In addition to intelligence and policy changes that may provide active incentive or disincentive leverage, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has a long history of conducting economic warfare valuable to any ARSOF UW campaign. Like all other instruments of US national power, the use and effects of economic “weapons” are interrelated and they must be coordinated carefully.3 All of the Iraq WikiLeaks cables provide vital information about US policies that have left a US legacy of violence and political instability that forms the basis of the failed state that is Iraq today. DIVIDE AND CONQUER History shows us that in Iraq, while there are clear differences in the religious beliefs of the two sects of Islam—Sunni and Shia—the kind of violent sectarianism that has become the norm today did not exist in modern Iraq prior to the 2003 US-led invasion. Several of the larger areas of Baghdad comprised equal numbers of Sunni and Shia, and this was common across many other cities, such as Baquba.

See Mona Mahmood, Maggie O’Kane, Chavala Madlena, and Teresa Smith, “Revealed: Pentagon’s Link to Iraqi Torture Centres,” Guardian, March 6, 2013. 103Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” December 3, 2014, at intelligence.senate.gov. 104Guantánamo Detainee US9GZ-010016DP: Abu Zubaydah. 105Reed Brody, “Prisoners Who Disappear,” International Herald Tribune, October 12, 2004. 106Sam Masters, “CIA Torture Report: The Doctors Who Were the Unlikely Architects of the CIA’s Programme,” Independent, December 9, 2014. 107“Former CIA Director: ‘We Don’t Torture People,’” CBS News, December 9, 2014. 108https://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_logbook_of_Congressional_ member_torture_briefings,_2009. 109Scott Shane, “Political Divide About CIA Torture Remains After Senate Report’s Release,” New York Times, December 9, 2014. 110“Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President,” US Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, August 1, 2002, available at resourcelists.ed.ac.uk. 111Carl Schmitt, the German legal scholar and prominent Nazi, was cited by constitutional law professor Sanford Levinson as the “true éminence grise” of the Bush administration. Quoted in Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (London: Penguin, 2007). 112“White Paper on the Law of Torture and Holding Accountable Those Who Are Complicit in Approving Torture of Persons in US Custody,” National Lawyers Guild, at prisonlegalnews.org. 113McCoy, A Question of Torture, p. 113. 114Steven Donald Smith, “Guantánamo Detainees Being Held Legally, Official Says,” American Forces Press Service, February 15, 2006, at defense.gov. 115Lars Erik Aspaas, “The Power of Definition: How the Bush Administration Created ‘Enemy Combatants’ and Redefined Presidential Power and Torture,” University of Oslo, MA thesis, Spring 2009, available at duo.uio.no. 116Peter Forster, “CIA Tortured Terror Suspects ‘to Point of Death,’ US Senate Report Will Say: Source,” National Post, September 8, 2014. 117Anthony D’Amato, “True Confessions?


pages: 247 words: 78,961

The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century by Robert D. Kaplan

Admiral Zheng, always be closing, California gold rush, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Haight Ashbury, kremlinology, load shedding, mass immigration, megacity, one-China policy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, Westphalian system, Yom Kippur War

Commodity prices are now falling, along with Chinese infrastructure investment in Africa, as China itself experiences a dramatic decrease in GDP growth. Thus African stability, to the degree that it exists, is imperiled because of economic changes in Asia. Then there are the various radical Islamic movements rampaging across Sahelian Africa. This is actually the latest phase of African anarchy—in which the communications revolution brings millenarian Islam to weak and failed states. Obviously, the United States has little power over any of this. In sum, everything is interlinked as never before, even as there is less and less of a Night Watchman to keep the peace worldwide and hierarchies everywhere break down. Just look at the presidential primaries in the United States, which demonstrate an upheaval from below for which the political establishment has no answer.


pages: 276 words: 78,061

Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags by Tim Marshall

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, white picket fence

The fifty-five years of statehood, more than half of them under a dictatorship, have not forged a nation and the three colours on the flag once again symbolize division. At the time of writing there appears little short-to-medium-term possibility of Libya succeeding as a unified state. The flag of IS has appeared in several towns along the coast, and although this is attracting the attention of what passes for a government in Tripoli (and that of governments on the other side of the Mediterranean), it adds to the instability of what at times edges towards failed state status. The future may be a mirror of the past, although a loose federal arrangement could emerge. So, the Arab nation? If language binds Arabs together, the idea has a foundation, albeit one with many dialects. If it denotes a people then the idea falters, given that the Arabs are many peoples. What instead has grown steadily since the mid 1970s is political Islam. Given that many strands of Islamic thought do not recognize the divides between politics, religion and borders, flags such as that of IS (discussed in Chapter 5) are therefore at least pan-Arab and at most global.


pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis

barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, jitney, jobless men, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, liberation theology, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

Moreover, like the community organizations patronized by the War on Poverty in the 1960s, Third World NGOs have proven brilliant at coopting local leadership as well as hegemonizing the social space traditionally occupied by the Left Even if there are some celebrated exceptions - such as the militant NGOs so instrumental in creating the World Social Forums - the broad impact of the NGO/ "civil society revolution," as even some World Bank researchers acknowledge, has been to bureaucratize and deradicalize urban social movements.21 18 Sebastian Mallaby, The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations, New York 2004, pp. 89-90, 145. 19 Rita Abrahamsen, "Review Essay: Poverty Reduction or Adjustment by Another Name?," Review of African Political Economy 99 (2004), p. 185. 20 Stiglitz's 1998 speech, "More Instruments and Broader Goals: Moving Towards the Post-Washington Consensus," is discussed in John Pender, "From 'Structural Adjustment' to 'Comprehensive Development Framework': Conditionality Transformed?


pages: 233 words: 73,772

The Secret World of Oil by Ken Silverstein

business intelligence, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, Donald Trump, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Google Earth, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paper trading, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Glencore reportedly treated the official, Karel Brus, to a week’s vacation at a luxury hotel on the French Riviera. Glencore also bought Brus a cell phone and picked up more than $20,000 worth of calls he made to the company, some placed just minutes before bid deadlines. * * * The frontiers are Glencore’s growth engine, and nowhere more so than the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the poster child of the resource-cursed failed state. Doing business there is all but impossible without a well-connected political patron, and Glencore’s partner in Kinshasa is perhaps the most wired of them all: Dan Gertler, an Israeli businessman known for his intimate ties to President Joseph Kabila. The grandson of the founder of the Israel Diamond Exchange, Gertler turned up in Congo in 1997 at age twenty-three as the country was descending into a hellish war that left at least four million dead.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, UNCLOS, working poor

He also has paid tribute to the estimated two hundred thousand African soldiers who fought in the trenches on behalf of France during World War I. Yet the future, in Macron’s view, holds the most enticing promise for Africa’s engagement with Europe because of the talent and ambitions of its youngest generation. Africans under the age of thirty represent over 70 percent of the continent’s population. They want to break Africa’s depressing cycle of rampant corruption and defective governance, which has resulted in failing states vulnerable to exploitation by outside forces, including terrorist groups. Many of them possess a new determination to pull their continent out of its perpetual misery toward a more peaceful and prosperous destiny. While the populations of Europe, China, Russia, and Japan are shrinking, Africa is growing at a rapid rate and looms as the world’s next great economic frontier. Of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies in 2018, six were African, according to the World Bank.


pages: 273 words: 76,786

Explore Everything by Bradley Garrett

airport security, Burning Man, call centre, creative destruction, deindustrialization, double helix, dumpster diving, failed state, Google Earth, Hacker Ethic, Jane Jacobs, Julian Assange, late capitalism, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, shareholder value, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight, WikiLeaks

These experiences left us in a distinctly different state than our ruin explorations in the United Kingdom. The reverence for dereliction and failure on a state-wide level, rather than just one business or building, made our explorations both more poignant and more guilt-ridden. If, as philosopher Dylan Trigg writes in The Aesthetics of Decay, a derelict factory testifies to a failed past but also reminds us that the future may end in ruin, what do the ruins of an entire failed state say?26 On those explorations of economically disadvantaged areas in Poland as well as in the drains of Las Vegas,27 we found our relative affluence uncomfortable when we encountered other people who, by necessity, had made the ruins their home. On our European tour, the farther East we went, the more crippling our uneasiness became. As we crossed the border into Poland on the same trip that took us to the Antwerp Metro in 2010, the car was filled with excited cheers that were quickly followed by confused murmurs.


pages: 516 words: 1,220

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks

business process, clean water, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, Isaac Newton, lateral thinking, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

There was no question that there were more terrorists in Iraq in 2005 than there were early in 2003, when President Bush had accused the country of harboring terrorists. H AFTERWORD: BETTING AGAINST HISTORY 431 Juan Cole, an Iraq expert at the University of Michigan and an outspoken opponent of the war, said that under the care of the Bush administration, Iraq had become a failed state of the sort that produces terrorists. "Iraq was not a failed state in 2002," he noted. The invasion of Iraq has proven unexpectedly costly, with the loss of several thousand American soldiers and of an untold number of Iraqis. During 2004 and 2005, the cost to the American taxpayer was running at about $5 billion a month, meaning that by mid-2006, the total cost of the adventure had surpassed $200 billion. It is staggering to think of how that amount of money could have been spent differently to achieve the Bush administration's stated goals of countering terrorism and curtailing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


pages: 789 words: 207,744

The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, different worldview, Doomsday Book, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Georg Cantor, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Metcalfe's law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pierre-Simon Laplace, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, ultimatum game, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wikimedia commons

Wealthier residents will flee these urban disaster zones for safer abodes, either in the developed world or in newly planned, segregated cities that insulate them from the suffering of their compatriots, leaving the largest urban population centers without the capital reserves to fortify their structures against the threatening onslaught of even more severe climate change.69 We can expect an increasing number of countries to become failed states, disintegrating into “hundreds of fiefdoms, medieval levels of child mortality, and very low literacy.” A prime example of a country already under this kind of imminent threat is Pakistan, where the population's demand on resources currently exceeds its biocapacity by 80 percent. Randers's book forecasts that Pakistan will run out of resources “well before 2052,” leading to increased internal conflicts, which could be especially perilous given the country's nuclear arsenal.70 Along with the human catastrophe of failed states and the misery of billions in overwhelmed coastal megacities, the nonhuman world will be suffering its own form of collapse. Natural ecosystems will be reduced to islands of conservation habitats surrounded by vast agribusiness plantations and urban sprawl.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Politics of Place) by Tim Marshall

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, zero-sum game

Without NATO harrying the Taliban on the Afghan side of the border, Pakistan’s job of beating the Pakistani Taliban has become even harder. Washington continues to press Islamabad, and this leaves several possible scenarios: • The full weight of the Pakistani military falls upon the North-West Frontier and defeats the Taliban. • The Taliban campaign continues to hasten the fracturing of Pakistan until it becomes a failed state. • The Americans lose interest, the pressure on Islamabad relents, and the government compromises with the Taliban. The situation returns to normal, with the North-West Frontier left alone but Pakistan continuing to push its agenda in Afghanistan. Of these scenarios the least likely is the first. No foreign force has ever defeated the tribes of the North-West Frontier, and a Pakistani army containing Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis, and Kashmiris (and some Pashtun) is considered a foreign force once it moves into the tribal areas.


pages: 327 words: 84,627

The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The World Bank pointed out that while private-sector investors and companies in the fossil fuel sector can always divest and reinvest in other more profitable and sustainable enterprises, carbon-rich sovereign nations tied to territorial boundaries are far more constrained and far less agile. Of the 141 nations that enjoy some carbon wealth, 26 of the countries have at least 5 percent of their wealth in fossil fuels, and most of them derive more than half their revenues from oil, gas, and coal. These are also among the poorest countries in the world, and ten of them are in the Middle East and North Africa, regions in crisis, with failed states and authoritarian regimes.49 The potential of hitting the wall with stranded assets and loss of carbon revenue would be devastating for these countries. To get a sense of the magnitude of the pending crisis, the World Bank reports that “the top 10 state-owned carbon-resource companies account for $2.3 trillion of state-owned produced assets related to extraction and processing of fossil fuels.”50 With fossil fuels trending toward peak demand and the beginning of slower growth, the World Bank is beseeching the carbon-rich and carbon-dependent countries to quickly diversify their economies to ensure a sufficient tax revenue to make up for the losses.


pages: 1,085 words: 219,144

Solr in Action by Trey Grainger, Timothy Potter

business intelligence, cloud computing, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, fault tolerance, finite state, full text search, glass ceiling, information retrieval, natural language processing, openstreetmap, performance metric, premature optimization, recommendation engine, web application

If you are using Amazon EC2 instances in the cloud, you can use Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancer to set up load balancing in a similar way. If you are running a smaller operation, you may consider installing HAProxy for use as a load balancer. Regardless of which solution you use, you will want some kind of “health check” option—something the load balancer can check on the server to determine whether the server is healthy and should be in service or is in a failed state and should be removed. To facilitate these kinds of health checks, Solr maintains the Ping Request Handler, which can be enabled by adding a special requestHandler entry in your solrconfig.xml. The Ping Request Handler is responsible for determining if a server is supposed to be enabled to receive traffic and is able to successfully execute queries. To enable it, you need to make sure it is configured in your solrconfig.xml: <requestHandler name="/admin/ping" class="solr.PingRequestHandler"> <lst name="invariants"> <str name="q">choose_any_query</str> <str name="shards"> localhost:8983/solr/core1,remotehost:8983/solr/core2 </lst> <str name="healthcheckFile">server-enabled</str> </requestHandler> With the Ping Request Handler enabled, now all you have to do is point your load balancer to http://servername:8983/solr/admin/ping for each of your servers, and if the load balancer gets a Status 200 OK response it means your Solr cluster is healthy and should remain in the load balancer; if you get an HTTP error code (any other status besides 200 in this case), it means there is a problem with the server and that the load balancer should stop sending traffic to the server.

<query> element queryAnalyzerFieldType setting QueryResponseWriter class QueryScorer query-time boosting, 2nd quorum R rad function RAID (redundant array of independent disks) RAM (random access memory), 2nd <ramBufferSizeMB> element range faceting range searches, 2nd ranked retrieval, 2nd ranking, influencing rare search terms. See also idf. Raw query parser read dominant real-time get Recall balancing with Precision graphing versus Precision overview recency, boosting by recip function, 2nd, 3rd recommendations vs. search Recovering state Recovery Failed state rectangle (geospatial) redundancy redundant array of independent disks. See RAID. RegexFragmenter relational databases, importing data from relationships between documents Reload button ReloadCacheRequestHandler class reloading cores remote debugging renaming cores repeated letters, collapsing replicateAfter directive replicationFactor parameter ReplicationHandler class, 2nd representational state transfer.


pages: 767 words: 208,933

Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist by Alex Zevin

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, Columbine, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, desegregation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, hiring and firing, imperial preference, income inequality, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Journalism, Norman Macrae, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War, young professional

His successor, Sir John Lawrence, had the ‘single quality’ needed to ‘keep a vast population which wants to recede, perpetually advancing’. What was that? ‘Force’.149 Perhaps the most revealing example of the open-ended imperialism of the Economist under Bagehot was its enthusiasm for the least successful of all such ventures: the invasion of Mexico at the end of 1861 by France, with support from Spain and Britain. It applauded Napoleon III for rebuilding a failed state unable to pay its creditors in Europe, and for balancing the US, with its back turned fighting the Civil War. The installation of an Austrian archduke, Maximilian, on Mexico’s throne three years later, was a particular stroke of brilliance – a better administrator than ‘any obtainable half-caste or Indian president’, whose rule would ensure the export of everything from silver to apples, and timely interest payments on Mexico’s sovereign debt.150 Three years later Maximilian was executed by firing squad in Querétaro, after French forces hastily withdrew.

., 255. 73.This, according to a senior editor, was the reason Emmott gave Mallaby for refusing the survey, parts of which ran later in the New Republic. Mallaby, whose father was British ambassador to Berlin and Paris, and is married to the current editor Zanny Minton Beddoes, was hardly a heretic on economics and empire. See his subsequent post–9/11 reflection, ‘The Reluctant Imperialist: Terrorism, Failed States and the Case for American Empire’, Foreign Affairs, March 2002. 74.Maggie Brown, ‘Business as Usual’, Guardian, 27 March 2006; Ian Burrell, ‘John Micklethwait: Great Minds Like a Think’, Independent, 8 January 2007. 75.‘The naming of Mr. Micklethwait is an indication of where the Economist expects to find its future growth.’ Katharine Q Seelye, ‘The Economist Names New Editor in Chief’, New York Times, 23 March 2006. 76.Burrell, ‘John Micklethwait’, Independent, January 8, 2007; John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalization, London 2000, p. 314. 77.


pages: 292 words: 81,699

More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, barriers to entry, Black Swan, Build a better mousetrap, business process, call centre, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, George Gilder, Larry Wall, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mars Rover, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, price discrimination, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Oldenburg, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, The Great Good Place, type inference, unpaid internship, wage slave, web application, Y Combinator

He calls it Five Whys. When something goes wrong, you ask why, again and again, until you ferret out the root cause. Then you fix the root cause, not the symptoms. Since this fit well with our idea of fixing everything two ways, we decided to start using five whys ourselves. Here’s what Michael came up with: Five Whys 287 Our link to PEER 1 NY went down. • Why?—Our switch appears to have put the port in a failed state. • Why?—After some discussion with the PEER 1 NOC, we speculate that it was quite possibly caused by an Ethernet speed/duplex mismatch. • Why?—The switch interface was set to autonegotiate instead of being manually configured. • Why?—We were fully aware of problems like this and have been for many years. But we do not have a written standard and verification process for production switch configurations. • Why?


pages: 340 words: 96,149

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex by Shane Harris

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Brian Krebs, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computer age, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, failed state, Firefox, John Markoff, Julian Assange, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stuxnet, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

It was paternalism mixed with condescension—the country was too unstable for Calderón to manage on his own, officials seemed to think. But it was in America’s self-interest to spy on Calderón too. American officials thought that the cartels could extend their violent reach over the border into the United States, and that they might even topple Calderón’s government or weaken it so much that Mexico effectively became a failed state. In the summer of 2012 the NSA accessed the e-mails of then presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office in December of that year. The agency intercepted his cell phone calls, too, along with those of “nine of his close associates,” as well as more than 85,000 text messages sent by Nieto and his associates, the top-secret NSA document states. The spies used a graphing program that displayed who was in touch with whom, then determined which sets of communications indicated significant relationships among those being monitored.


pages: 292 words: 92,588

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Airbnb, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, desegregation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, fixed income, Frank Gehry, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

And he did, calmly and forcefully, schooling the senator in how steadily increasing populations in Asia would only put more people at risk from storms and other climate-related disasters. “Okay, let me interrupt you,” Inhofe said, realizing it was a losing battle. He quickly changed the subject. What Locklear correctly foresees is that a world of climate-driven chaos is already upon us, and it’s only going to get worse. Where are the limits of American power? How many failed states can we prop up, how many natural disasters can we respond to? It’s one thing to plan for the invasion of Normandy Beach or the siege of Fallujah—it’s quite another to plan on being the rescue squad for the entire planet. We have already spent more than a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no measurable success. How much more can we afford to do? “I think we have to make some strategic choices,” Admiral Gary Roughead told me.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

More importantly, developing stronger and more resilient cities in chronically unstable parts of the world would help further key diplomatic, military, and humanitarian goals, such as fighting against terrorism and the burgeoning refugee crisis. Not only do more stable cities lead to greater economic development and rising living standards, but they are the key to creating a safer, more tolerant, and less violent world. Indeed, the failed states that are the breeding grounds for global terrorism are among the least urbanized places in the world.29 And military intervention, by its very nature, tends to damage and destroy large cities and disperse populations, leading to a vicious cycle of less urbanization and greater instability. Building stronger cities in these fragile and broken places will make the world more secure. The United States should also consider underwriting and assisting in the development of refugee cities that could take advantage of the skills and talents of the displaced.


pages: 298 words: 89,287

Who Are We—And Should It Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, David Brooks, equal pay for equal work, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, global village, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Skype, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey

I could not find any French speakers who had been directly affected by them beyond being made to feel uncomfortable. The presence or absence of a government did not seem to panic Belgians on either side of the linguistic divide unduly. With a per capita income of more than $40,000, Belgium has one of the wealthiest populations in the world, with some of the best educated children. The German paper Die Tageszeitung described it as the “most successful ‘failed state’ of all time.” A Flemish journalist put the nation up for auction on eBay, offering “a kingdom in three parts.” The purchaser would have to shoulder “300 billion euros in debt,” he pointed out. The item was pulled off the site—but not before someone had offered $13.9 million for it. In any case, the notion that French posed the biggest threat to Flemish is absurd. The fact is that new technologies, economies of scale and globalization will soon render such strictly local linguistic feuds if not obsolete then as having no more symbolic value than the British determination to keep Gibraltar or the Moldovan debate about the use of Cyrillic or Latin script.


The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

failed state, fear of failure, hiring and firing, hive mind, interchangeable parts, job automation, Larry Wall, microservices, pull request, risk tolerance, Schrödinger's Cat, side project, Steve Jobs, WebSocket

And, just as sometimes you don’t have the source code, or the source code is in a language you don’t understand, or the logfiles aren’t readable, the black boxes of teams can resist yielding their inner workings. Let’s work through an example. You have a team that feels slow. You’ve heard complaints from their business partners and product manager that they’re slow, and you agree that the team just seems to lack the same energy as your other teams. How do you figure this out? HAVE A HYPOTHESIS To properly debug a system, you need a reasonable hypothesis that explains how the system got into the failed state, preferably one that you can reproduce, so that you can fix the bug. To debug a team, you also want to look for a hypothesis around why the team is having problems. Do this in as minimally invasive a way as possible, to prevent your meddling from obscuring the problems. As an added challenge, team problems are not generally single failures but are more like performance issues. The system is running, but it seems to slow down from time to time; the machines are OK, except occasionally they crash; people seem happy, but attrition is too high.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

And while rugged is not quite the adjective to apply to most women entrepreneurs, it is hard not to be impressed by those, like billionaire TV host Oprah Winfrey, who have broken away from conventional areas of female entrepreneurship such as cosmetics to thrive in hitherto male-dominated industries such as the media and to make substantial philanthropic efforts. Most of the people mentioned in this chapter made enormous contributions both to economic growth and, ultimately, to the quality of people’s lives. At the same time, entrepreneurs in the developing world are actively engaged in lifting millions out of poverty, even if that is not their direct intention or motivation. And in failing states such as North Korea, entrepreneurs have emerged to create a private parallel economy in the midst of chaos. Some of these people were undoubtedly vicious; others were morally admirable. So the conclusion has to be that there is truth in the views of both Mandeville and Keynes. Yet the Marxian view of the entrepreneur as a ruthless accumulator of capital is surely anachronistic. In the early stages of the industrial revolution, many entrepreneurs, perhaps a majority, were indeed ruthless in their greedy pursuit of profit.


pages: 352 words: 90,622

Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes

Celtic Tiger, colonial rule, crony capitalism, drone strike, failed state, income inequality, microcredit, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, structural adjustment programs, trade route, ultimatum game, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, young professional

The resulting entity is almost unassailable, John continues, quoting Job: Their “body is like a shield made of cast and tightly packed scales which have been joined together; one is connected to the other, and not even a breathing space comes between them; one has been glued to another and, holding fast, they will not be separated from each other.” 5 That was the Afghan government. It was not incapable. It was performing its core function with admirable efficiency—bringing power to bear where it counted. And it was assiduously protecting its own. Governing—the exercise that attracted so much international attention—was really just a front activity. Such an analysis might well be applied to other “failed” or “failing” states. They are failing at being states. That is because the business model their leadership has developed has nothing to do with governing a country. But it is remarkably effective in achieving its objective: enriching the ruling clique. In Afghanistan, faced with such moral and material depravity, a brutal and tenacious insurgency was serving up its idea of an antidote: a narrow reading of religious devotion.


pages: 334 words: 93,162

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim

airport security, Alexander Shulgin, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, crack epidemic, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, failed state, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, mandatory minimum, new economy, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, women in the workforce

As a retired PRI man told the New Yorker, “When you see what amounts to a military parade in these towns, in which the Army is trooping along on the main avenue while on the side streets people are killing each other . . . when I see how these [traffickers] are climbing up right into the very beard of the state, I think, Holy fuck! This country could really collapse!” The drug war has brought the Mexican government to the brink of collapse, making the prospect of a failed state on America ’s southern border a very real possibility. Meanwhile, the war costs billions of dollars to wage at home and in Mexico and has swelled the U.S. prison population, bursting state budgets at the seams. It would be one thing if this were merely collateral damage in an otherwise successful effort to reduce drug use. But an estimated 30 percent of Mexico’s arable land is currently being used to grow illegal drugs—and the U.S. appetite for such crops remains undiminished.


pages: 322 words: 87,181

Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy by Dani Rodrik

3D printing, airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, global value chain, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Pareto efficiency, postindustrial economy, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steven Pinker, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, éminence grise

A Normative Case for the Nation-State Historically, the nation-state has been closely associated with economic, social, and political progress. It curbed internecine violence, expanded networks of solidarity beyond local communities, spurred mass markets and industrialization, enabled the mobilization of human and financial resources, and fostered the spread of representative political institutions.10 Civil wars and economic decline are the usual fate of today’s “failed states.” For residents of stable and prosperous countries, it is easy to overlook the role that the construction of the nation-state played in overcoming such challenges. The nation-state’s fall from intellectual grace is in part a consequence of its achievements. But has the nation-state, as a territorially confined political entity, truly become a hindrance to the achievement of desirable economic and social outcomes in view of the globalization revolution?


pages: 372 words: 94,153