5 Top Reads

Our Top Weekend Reads

The U.N.’s diversity problem, why Americans are giving up on democracy, and Germany’s successful—yet broken—integration experiment.

Filippo Grandi, the commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at an IDP camp
Filippo Grandi, the commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, talks with women and children in a neighborhood that welcomes internally displaced people from northern Burkina Faso in Kaya, Burkina Faso, on Feb. 2. Olympia de Maismont/AFP via Getty Images

For a long time, the United Nations has been associated with struggles for equal rights. But in a year of worldwide protests for racial justice, the world body is increasingly under fire for its lack of diversity—especially in the recruitment and hiring of employees from developing countries for the most sought-after positions.

Meanwhile, as the crescendo of vitriol and misinformation about the U.S. election reaches a fever pitch, a new study has shown that support for democracy is waning in the United States, especially among the president’s supporters.

And one city in western Germany sheds light on whether the country has risen to the challenge of integrating its many immigrants, five years after it took in more than a million refugees.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


Top U.N. officials visit a refugee settlement in Kenya

Mark Lowcock (center right), the head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and Filippo Grandi (left), U.N. high commissioner for refugees, visit a South Sudanese refugee settlement in Kakuma, Kenya, on Feb. 1, 2018, along with Josphat Nanok (center left), the governor of Turkana County.TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images

1. The U.N. Has a Diversity Problem

With its 193 member states, the U.N. is one of the most diverse institutions in the world. But the agency is failing to promote equality in its own ranks, where Westerners are overrepresented, Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch reports.


Voters line-up to cast their ballots at a polling station set up at Noonday Baptist Church for the mid-term elections on November 6, 2018 in Marietta, Georgia.

Voters line up to cast their ballots at a polling station set up for the midterm elections at Noonday Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, on Nov. 6, 2018. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

2. Americans Are Officially Giving Up on Democracy

U.S. President Donald Trump has long cast doubt on the validity of the country’s elections—and according to a new study, a significant portion of the U.S. population is just as jaded, Michael Albertus and Guy Grossman write.


Christina Kampmann, then-family minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, speaks with two children from Syria in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Oct. 26, 2015.

Christina Kampmann, then-family minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, speaks with two children from Syria in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Oct. 26, 2015.Maja Hitij/picture alliance via Getty Images

3. Inside Germany’s Successful and Broken Integration Experiment

What does it mean to be fully integrated as a refugee, and who ultimately is responsible for integrating them? One German city is emblematic of how complicated the answers to those questions are, Emily Schultheis writes.


The Cayman Island-registered vessel Equanimity, owned by rogue Malaysian financier Jho Low,, is pictured at Benoa harbour on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on April 13, 2018.

The Cayman Island-registered vessel Equanimity, owned by rogue Malaysian financier Jho Low, is pictured at Benoa harbor on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on April 13, 2018.Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP via Getty Images

4. Trumpworld’s Corruption Is as Globalized as the Ultra-Rich the President Mingles With

Trump’s wealth, such as it is, comes not through successful entrepreneurship but by exploiting tax codes—and through access to the interconnected world of the global elite, Ananya Chakravarti writes.


Foreign Policy illustration

5. The United States Isn’t Doomed to Lose the Information Wars

U.S. democracy won’t be safe until Washington treats information warfare as it would any major threat to national security. The good news? It’s well positioned to do so, Doowan Lee writes.

Chloe Hadavas is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @Hadavas

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