Al Qaeda, the NGO

After floundering during the 1990s, can political parties learn a few lessons from nongovernmental organizations?

Irreconcilable Differences

The best solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be no solution at all.

The Dependent Colossus

Although globalization today reinforces American power, over time it promises to have the opposite effect.


Between the Lines: Pakistan’s Debt of Gratitude

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) generous loan to Pakistan last December has revived criticisms that the fund is first and foremost a tool of U.S. foreign policy. True, as a Cold War American ally, Pakistan was the world's third largest recipient of foreign aid over the last four decades. But even after those Cold War ties were broken, Pakistan continued to participate in imf programs throughout the 1990s, suggesting that the real problem is not geopolitical nepotism but the inability of the imf and the developing world to learn from past mistakes -- most notably, redistributing income toward elites while failing to promote economic growth.

Debate: States of Discord

The worldviews of Thomas Friedman and Robert Kaplan are about as different as a modem and a bayonet. No surprise, then, that these two influential commentators diverged sharply over the future of the nation-state at a recent debate in Washington, D.C. Will globalization ultimately strengthen or destroy the state? Will it lead to more democracies or more revolutions? And does transnational terrorism signal the end -- or the triumph -- of global integration? Pick your champion and pull up a chair.

Gene Regime

Imagine the World Trade Organization (WTO) striking down a national ban on importing cloned embryos because it is a barrier to trade. Neither the WTO, nor individual governments, nor scientists, nor ethicists can effectively regulate human biotechnology on a global scale. So who will settle the troubling questions it raises?

If the Cause Fits

The world's largest international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) often develop documents detailing their criteria for selecting the local causes, clients, and movements to which they will lend support. Here are two examples: The first is from Human Rights Watch (HRW), a New York-based organization founded in 1978 and dedicated to "protecting the human rights of people around the world," and the second is from the Sierra Club, a San Francisco-based environmental group with some 700,000 members worldwide and founded in 1892.

Merchants of Morality

Which global injustices gain your sympathy, attention, and money? Rarely the most deserving. For every Tibetan monk or Central American indigenous activist you see on the evening news, countless other worthy causes languish in obscurity. The groups that reach the global limelight often do so at dear cost -- by distorting their principles and alienating their constituencies for the sake of appealing to self-interested donors in rich nations.