NEW YORK – La guerre civile en Syrie est la crise la plus dangereuse et destructrice de la planète. Depuis le début de 2011, des centaines de milliers de personnes sont mortes; environ dix millions de Syriens ont été déplacés; l'Europe a été bouleversée par la terreur de l'État islamique (ISIS) et les retombées politiques de l’arrivée massive de réfugiés; et les États-Unis ainsi que ses alliés de l'OTAN sont passé plus d’une fois dangereusement proche d’une confrontation directe avec la Russie.
CAMBRIDGE – In game theory, the “price of anarchy” describes how individuals acting in their own self-interest within a larger system tend to reduce that larger system’s efficiency. It is a ubiquitous phenomenon, one that almost all of us confront, in some form, on a regular basis.
SEATTLE – Much of the progress in the Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa in recent decades appears to have been reversed by the political unrest and civil wars afflicting the region. This reversal is especially visible in the health systems of Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, which previously had been steadily improving.
GENEVA/NEW YORK – King Henry VIII, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, all lost their mothers to infections following childbirth, and literature abounds with tragic stories of maternal death, from A Christmas Carol to Wuthering Heights, Far From the Madding Crowd, A Farewell to Arms, Revolutionary Road, Lolita, and Harry Potter.
LONDON – When I visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan earlier this year, I met with children who told me what education means to them. For Syrian youths who have been forced from their homes and have lost everything, education is about more than qualifications or test scores; it embodies their hope for the future.
SEATTLE – Data can save lives. Without it, we wouldn’t know that smoking causes lung cancer and coronary disease, that helmets reduce death rates for motorcycle accidents, and that better education for women improves child survival – and much else. Given the importance of reliable data, collecting it must be a high priority.
YAOUNDÉ – Development economists often differ with one another, but they agree on this: the knowledge economy will be the foundation of every nation’s progress in the twenty-first century. Yet while East Asia and other regions have been making substantial gains in building a knowledge economy, Africa has not.
NEW YORK – Every September, many of the world’s presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers descend on New York City for a few days. They come to mark the start of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, to give speeches that tend to receive more attention at home than they do in the hall, and – in the diplomatic equivalent of speed dating – to pack as many meetings as is humanly possible into their schedules.
PARIS – Air pollution takes years off people’s lives. It causes substantial pain and suffering, among adults and children alike. And it damages food production, at a time when we need to feed more people than ever. This is not just an economic issue; it is a moral one.
WASHINGTON, DC – Anyone watching the United States’ presidential race needs to understand that national opinion polls do not provide an accurate picture of how the election might turn out. Thanks to America’s Electoral College, it’s not who wins the most votes nationwide that matters in the end, but who wins in which states.