Economics & Finance

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the landscape near the planned city of Neom.
 (Foreign Policy illustration/Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images/NEOM)

Saudi Arabia Is Betting Its Future on a Desert Megacity

Can Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious plans jumpstart social and economic reform, or are they an expensive miscalculation?

The sign and logo of Wanda Group, a Chinese multinational conglomerate corporation and FIFA partner, on Oct. 13, 2016 at FIFA headquarters in Zurich. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s No Accident That China’s Tycoons Are Bad Investors

The first priority for wealthy Chinese has been to move as much money abroad as possible. If Beijing has its way, that won't be an option anymore.

Cars from German manufacturer Volkswagen are pictured in the port of Bremerhaven, nothern Germany, on July 24, 2017.
Daimler, BMW, and VW with its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries were all involved in the talks to agree on technology, suppliers, markets, strategies and polluting emissions, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported. / AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ        (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

German Car Companies Are Driving the Country Off a Cliff

"Made in Germany" used to mean reliability. Now it means collusion.

Members of a police SWAT team lineup outside the main Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, during security drill rehearsals on July 23, 2008 in Beijing. The 2008 Olympics' security chief has said that Beijing can stage a fun Olympics as well as a safe one, in response to charges that a massive security clampdown was squeezing the joy out of the Games. More than 110,000 troops and police were engaged in security and were joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers and that millions of Beijing residents had also been roped into the operation. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Hostage Taking Is China’s Small-Claims Court

Everyone in China — including the police — treats kidnapping as just the price of doing business.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives at the White House October 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Prime Minister participated in a bi-lateral meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Downfall of Nawaz Sharif and the Triumph of Stupidity

Pakistan’s democracy is stronger with the removal of the prime minister on corruption charges. But the primacy of the armed forces remains intact.

The Google self-driving car maneuvers through the streets of in Washington, DC May 14, 2012. The system on a modified Toyota Prius combines information gathered from Google Street View with artificial intelligence software that combines input from video cameras inside the car, a LIDAR sensor on top of the vehicle, radar sensors on the front of the vehicle and a position sensor attached to one of the rear wheels that helps locate the car's position on the map. As of 2010, Google has tested several vehicles equipped with the system, driving 1,609 kilometres (1,000 mi) without any human intervention, in addition to 225,308 kilometres (140,000 mi) with occasional human intervention. Google expects that the increased accuracy of its automated driving system could help reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths, while using energy and space on roadways more efficiently.  AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER        (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

Bad Code Is Already a Problem. Soon, Companies Will Be Liable.

Where life and death are at issue, responsibility and liability cannot be far behind.

The Latest

Martin Schulz, head of the German Social Democrats (SPD), at the SPD federal congress on January 21, 2018 in Bonn, Germany. (Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Social Democracy Is Committing Suicide by Identity Politics

German progressives have committed to a partnership with Angela Merkel that exposes their greatest vulnerability.

President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leave after delivering a speech during a visit to the Israel Museum on May 23, 2017.

Forget the Ultimate Deal. The Mideast Needs the Status Quo.

Trump’s plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace is fanciful, dangerous, and not going anywhere.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrive to announce an agreement on the Iran nuclear talks on April 2, 2015 in Lausanne.

Europe Must Fight to Preserve the Iran Deal

If Washington walks away from the nuclear accord, it will undermine Europe’s security and business interests. Brussels should flex its muscles now with diplomatic and legal threats.

U.S. soldiers on M113 armored vehicles take part during the Warrior Strike VIII exercise at the Rodriguez Range on Sept. 19, 2017, in Pocheon, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Mattis’s Defense Strategy Is Bold

The only problem is, it's not realistic about funding.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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The Answers Are Out There

Contrary to conventional wisdom, solutions to many of the world’s toughest problems already exist—you just need to know where to look for them.

The view from Lelu Island toward Kitson Island and the Pacific Ocean in July 2017.

Fantasy Island

Exporting British Columbia’s abundant energy resources should have been a slam dunk. How did a multibillion-dollar dream go up in smoke?

A Liberal Defense of Tribalism

There’s nothing wrong with political tribes that can’t be fixed by what’s right with them.

Twilight of the Kurds

Kurdish officials once dreamed of forging their own state out of the ashes of the war against the Islamic State. Now they are fighting for their very survival.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover