Economist Class

Practitioners of the 'dismal science' should stop sneering at their academic cousins in the social sciences -- and start learning from them.

What They’re Reading: Azerbaijan’s Fourth Estate

Arif Aliev is the founder and editor of the daily Gun Seher newspaper and president of the independent journalists' union in Baku, Azerbaijan. Aliev spoke to FP about the struggle of bringing quality journalism to a place where people seldom read. 

The FP Memo: Saving Free Trade

The head of the World Trade Organization must sound alarm bells, go over the heads of diplomats, and push Washington into bold action if the Doha Round is going to produce anything valuable.

The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration

Asia has too many boys. They can't find wives, but they just might find extreme nationalism instead. It's a dangerous imbalance for a region already on edge.

The Return of Patriarchy

Across the globe, people are choosing to have fewer children or none at all. Governments are desperate to halt the trend, but their influence seems to stop at the bedroom door. Are some societies destined to become extinct? Hardly. It's more likely that conservatives will inherit the Earth. Like it or not, a growing proportion of the next generation will be born into families who believe that father knows best.

The Virus Hunters

When the deadly SARS virus struck China three years ago, Beijing responded with a massive coverup. If it weren’t for the persistence of two young reporters and one doctor who had seen enough, SARS might have killed thousands more. There's no guarantee the world will be so lucky next time.

The Dark Side of China’s Rise

China's economic boom has dazzled investors and captivated the world. But beyond the new high-rises and churning factories lie rampant corruption, vast waste, and an elite with little interest in making things better. Forget political reform. China's future will be decay, not democracy.

Think Again: International Courts

Criminal tribunals in places such as Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia were supposed to bring justice to oppressed peoples. Instead, they have squandered billions of dollars, failed to advance human rights, and ignored the wishes of the victims they claim to represent. It's time to abandon the false hope of international justice.

In Hindsight: Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon was a powerful force in Israeli politics for almost 40 years. FP dips into its archives to take a look back at how people may remember the political warrior.