US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

The Economist


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"Covid-19 is undoing years of progress in curbing global poverty"

Die Bekämpfung der globalen Armut ist dem Economist zufolge durch die Coronakrise um Jahre zurückgeworfen worden. "From 1990 until last year the number of extremely poor people — those who subsist on less than $1.90 per day — fell from 2bn, or 36% of the world’s population, to around 630m, or just 8%. Now, for the first time since 1998, that number is rising — very fast. The big questions are: how many millions will slip back into penury? And will they quickly escape again when the pandemic is past, or will its effects be long-lasting, or even permanent? (…) Many poor countries have copied the kind of lockdowns that have been imposed in rich countries. But the circumstances are utterly different. The well-off are much more likely to have jobs that can be done from home. And workers in rich countries who cannot do their jobs, such as hotel receptionists or waiters, are typically wellsupported by taxpayers. By contrast, when India imposed a strict and dramatic lockdown on March 24th, the 140m people who are estimated to have lost their jobs were suddenly in big trouble. (…) The biggest problem (…) is simply that governments in the poorest countries do not have much money. And they are getting poorer. The World Bank says that African government revenues will drop between 12% and 16% this year. (…) In the past, crises have sometimes fostered solidarity with the poor, notes Amartya Sen of Harvard University. (…) It would be wonderful if covid-19 could inspire similar efforts. But for now, the rich world is too distracted by its own problems to pay much heed to the poor."

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"The pandemic is creating fresh opportunities for organised crime"

Das organisierte Verbrechen betrachte die Coronakrise in vielen Ländern als Rückschlag, aber auch als Gelegenheit, berichtet der britische Economist. "Most worrying, says [Jürgen Stock, secretary-general of Interpol, the world policing body], is the potential for covid-19 to create the ideal conditions for the spread of serious, organised crime. (…) more traditional organised criminal activities have been hampered by the lockdowns. Protection rackets, prostitution rings, illegal gambling and the drugs trade all depend on people being able to move around freely. (…) The biggest money-spinner for most organised crooks is the drugs trade. Mr Stock says early reports suggest the global business, estimated at around $500bn, has been disrupted — but only temporarily and partially. 'For many cartels and syndicates it’s not a big problem', he explains, 'because of the money that is available at that level. They have immense liquidity.' (…) A deep or prolonged depression will open up rich opportunities for crooks in at least three areas. High unemployment will make it easier for mobsters to recruit people. Government recovery schemes will give them a chance to muscle in on juicy public contracts. And lower corporate profits will make it easier for mafias to take over businesses that can then be used to launder illicit gains."

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"The pieces of the puzzle of covid-19’s origin are coming to light"

Der britische Economist hat die vorliegenden Informationen über den Ursprung von SARS-CoV-2 analysiert. "An origin among bats seems overwhelmingly likely for SARS-CoV-2, too. The route it took from bat to human, though, has yet to be identified. If, like MERS-CoV, the virus is still circulating in an animal reservoir, it could break out again in the future. If not, some other virus will surely try something similar. Peter Ben Embarek, an expert on zoonoses (diseases passed from animals to people) at the World Health Organisation, says that such spillovers are becoming more common as humans and their farmed animals push into new areas where they have closer contact with wildlife. Understanding the detail of how such spillovers occur should provide insights into stopping them. In some minds, though, the possibility looms of enemy action on the part of something larger than a virus. Since the advent of genetic engineering in the 1970s, conspiracy theorists have pointed to pretty much every new infectious disease, from AIDS to Ebola to MERS to Lyme disease to SARS to Zika, as being a result of human tinkering or malevolence. The politics of the covid-19 pandemic mean that this time such theories have an even greater appeal than normal."

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"Would-be autocrats are using covid-19 as an excuse to grab more power"

In seiner aktuellen Ausgabe beschäftigt sich der Economist mit weltweiten Fällen von "Möchtegern-Autokraten", die die Coronakrise zum Ausbau der eigenen Macht nutzen wollen. Zu den genannten Beispielen gehört auch Ungarn. "Covid-19 is creating opportunities for autocrats and would-be autocrats to tighten their grip. They must assume extraordinary powers, they insist, to protect public health. No fewer than 84 countries have declared a state of emergency since the pandemic began, says the Centre for Civil and Political Rights, a watchdog in Geneva. Some will surrender these powers when the emergency is over. Others plan to hang on to them. The danger is greatest not in mature democracies with strong checks and balances, such as America, but in places where such safeguards are weak, such as Hungary."

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"Parts of Africa will remain unstable for decades"

Der britische Economist hat sich in einem ausführlichen Dossier mit den Entwicklungen in Afrika beschäftigt. In diesem Beitrag wird die sicherheitspolitische Lage in Westafrika als warnendes Beispiel für die Folgen anhaltend hoher Geburtsraten und einer ausbleibenden wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung herangeführt. "Stopping the jihadists will require not just troops, but also schools, economic development and accountable governments. Countries in the Sahel are not helped by climate and topography. Their people are poorer, less educated and have stubbornly high fertility rates. Just as countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia are slowing their population growth, women in countries such as Niger continue to have more than seven children each. The region’s rapidly deteriorating security is a warning to the continent as a whole of what may happen if its growing numbers of young people are not educated or are unable to find jobs at home or abroad."

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"Why Vladimir Putin cannot retire"

Der Economist betrachtet Präsident Putin, der dabei ist, sich mit einer Verfassungsänderung weitere Amtszeiten zu verschaffen, als "Gefangenen im Kreml". Putin habe zu viele Feinde und zu viele von ihm abhängige "Kumpane", um sein Amt aufgeben zu können. "While Mr Putin’s intention of staying in power was never much in doubt, the timing and the rush with which the changes to the constitution have unfolded have been striking. Ekaterina Schulmann, a political scientist, attributes this in part to the mood of Russia’s elite, who were feeling nervous about their own future. (…) Ella Paneyakh, a Russian sociologist, argues that the Kremlin has lost touch with society. Its channels of communication have been reduced to broadcasting propaganda, which is losing its effect. Even bribing people with their own money does not seem to work any more. The only instrument left is repression, which the government has already shown a willingness to use. 'The state has plenty of potential for repression and it can be used again and again, until it encounters a problem that cannot be resolved by force,' Ms Paneyakh says. Mr Putin’s constitutional coup and his growing reliance on repression rather than patronage or propaganda raises the cost of challenging him, reduces the chances of an orderly transfer of power and increases the risk of violence in Russia. All this in the name of stability."

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"Irish unification is becoming likelier"

Der Ausgang der irischen Parlamentswahlen lässt auch den britischen Economist zu dem Schluss kommen, dass eine Wiedervereinigung der Insel nicht mehr ausgeschlossen sei. "Until today (…) unification has never been more than a Republican fantasy. (…) The pressure for unification is about more than Brexit. Northern Ireland’s census in 2021 is likely to confirm that Catholics outnumber Protestants for the first time. The republic has also become more welcoming. The influence of the Catholic church has faded dramatically and society has become more liberal. Over the past three decades restrictions on contraception have been lifted and gay marriage has been legalised. All this explains why support for unification in Northern Ireland appears to have risen in recent years. In some polls respondents show roughly equal support for it and the status quo. (…) The EU has already said that Northern Ireland could rejoin the bloc under Ireland’s membership after such a vote, meaning that for Northern Irish voters a referendum on Irish unity is also a second referendum on Brexit. Unlike an independent Scotland, which would have to go it alone (at least until the EU agreed to admit it), Northern Ireland would immediately rejoin a larger, richer club, from which it could win big subsidies — if not, perhaps, as big as the subsidy it gets from Westminster today."

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"The world is better prepared than ever to stop the Wuhan coronavirus"

Der Economist ist zuversichtlich, dass internationale Gesundheitsbehörden aufgrund ihrer Erfahrungen mit früheren Viren in der Lage sein werden, eine pandemische Ausbreitung des Coronavirus zu verhindern. "The true character of the new virus will become better known in the coming weeks. Public-health measures will adjust accordingly, using lessons learned from sars and mers, a still-deadlier cousin discovered in 2012 in Saudi Arabia that spreads only through close contact. The who has long worried about the possible emergence of a 'disease x' that could become a serious international pandemic and which has no known counter-measures. Some experts say the virus found in China could be a threat of this kind. And there will be many others. Further illnesses will follow the same well-trodden path, by mutating from bugs that live in animals into ones that can infect people. Better vigilance in places where humans and animals mingle, as they do in markets across Asia, would help catch viral newcomers early. A tougher task is dissuading people from eating wild animals and convincing them to handle livestock with care, using masks and gloves when butchering meat and fish, for example. Such measures might have prevented the new coronavirus from ever making headlines."

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"Conflict resolution relies increasingly on diplomatic back channels"

Bei der Lösung aktueller Konflikte setzen die Betroffenen dem Economist zufolge immer häufiger auf die inoffizielle diplomatische Vermittlung durch Drittparteien. "When official efforts to resolve a conflict are lacking or bogged down, another way must be found. 'You need a referee,' says Jonathan Powell of Inter Mediate, 'and that has to be someone who’s trusted by both sides.' The involvement of third parties can take many forms. They can help as advisers (as in Colombia). They may open a back channel (as South Africa’s ruling National Party did in order to negotiate an end to apartheid with the African National Congress — representatives of the two hostile sides secretly met in an English country house owned by a gold-mining firm). Increasingly, they establish entire alternative avenues for dialogue. Such diplomacy, known as Track 2, fills the void left by the official sort in Track 1. (…) They all have one thing in common: they have been growing. 'When I first started in the early 1990s, you could probably count on two hands the number of organisations involved in this kind of work, but in the last ten years there’s been a proliferation,' says Hrair Balian of the Carter Centre in Atlanta. One reason, perhaps, is an increase in discord."

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"Was America’s assassination of Qassem Suleimani justified?"

Der Economist hat sich mit der Frage beschäftigt, ob das Attentat auf General Soleimani legal gerechtfertigt werden kann. Die USA folgten in vieler Hinsicht dem Vorbild Israels, das bereits seit einem halben Jahrhundert ausgemachte "Terroristen" durch gezielte Tötungen eliminiere. "Particularly in the past decade or so, the Americans (and their Israeli allies) have sought to apply more elastic rules, while broadly invoking the principle of 'self-defence against non-State actors on the territory of another State.' Due process, it is argued, cannot be applied when responding to an imminent attack or when the capture or extradition of a suspected enemy is not feasible. (…) The snag here, in the Israelis’ view, is that they are locked in 'an armed conflict short of war', that their survival as a nation cannot depend on the niceties of the law, and that in any case the situation in Gaza and the West Bank in legal terms 'falls somewhere in the middle'. The Americans may apply a similar fuzziness to the state of animosity between the US and Iran, seeing that General Suleimani’s men — including elite units sent abroad, undercover agents and proxies — have been held responsible for numerous attacks on Western and Israeli targets, as far afield as Argentina and Bulgaria."

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"Denmark wants to break up ethnic enclaves. What is wrong with them?"

Die dänische Regierung hat im vergangenen Jahr ein sogenanntes "Ghetto-Gesetz" verabschiedet, um besser gegen ethnische Enklaven in dänischen Städten vorgehen zu können. Der Economist hält diese Strategie für drastisch und verweist stattdessen auf die positiven Effekte einer Gentrifizierung mit marktwirtschaftlicher Ausrichtung. "Danes and other Europeans raise two objections to ghettos. First, the very existence of poor immigrant districts undermines public support for their generous welfare systems. When groups lack solidarity with each other, 'then it’s very easy to be annoyed about paying 45% in taxes,' says Kaare Dybvad, the Social Democratic housing minister, who took office after the leftist parties won the general election in June. That claim is hard to prove or disprove. But a second objection is easier to examine — that ghettos harm their residents, in part by keeping them poor. (…) Gentrification is the main engine of free-market desegregation in cities these days. Even native Danes like some diverse districts. Mjolnerparken borders Norrebro, an ethnically mixed district where shops selling hijabs sit next to vegan cafés. Not all such areas are central or attractive enough to appeal to gentrifiers. But even in concrete banlieues, there are less punitive ways for governments to encourage integration than by labelling them ghettos and pushing some of their residents out."

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"Countries are increasingly willing to censor speech online"

In vielen Ländern wachse die Bereitschaft, die Meinungsfreiheit der Bürger im Internet zu beschränken, stellt der Economist fest. Dies gelte nicht nur für autoritär regierte Länder wie China. "Attitudes are hardening in democracies, too. Rather than simply being blocked, big tech firms face a raft of new laws controlling what they can host on their platforms. This marks a big change for a global industry that has, until now, been run on techno-libertarian assumptions. 'Most of the big internet companies come from an American speech tradition,' says Owen Bennett of the Mozilla Foundation, which campaigns for an open internet. (…) One of the most influential jurisdictions will be the European Union (eu), a market of 500m rich consumers which restricts speech more than America does. Until now, individual member states have done much of the work. (…) But Rasmus Nielsen, who runs the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, says one priority of the new European Commission, which takes office in December, will be to beef up such laws and put Brussels, rather than individual countries, in charge."

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"Why are so many countries witnessing mass protests?"

Viele Erklärungsversuche für die aktuellen Massenproteste in vielen Ländern verweisen dem Economist zufolge auf demographische und wirtschaftliche Faktoren. Die Suche nach universalen Erklärungen bleibe angesichts der unterschiedlichen Bedingungen vor Ort allerdings schwierig. "Perhaps the answer is to go back to first principles and ask: what makes people take their grievances to the streets? Two reasons are rarely mentioned: that, for all its legal and physical dangers, protest can be more exciting and even more fun than the drudgery of daily life; and that when everybody else is doing it, solidarity becomes the fashion. Every wave of protests has its copycat element. The ubiquity of the smartphone, however, has transformed how protests are organised, popularised and sustained. Encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram enable protesters to stay one jump ahead of the authorities. New symbols and techniques can spread like wildfire. Almost as soon as a specially written 'anthem' for Hong Kong’s protesters went online, shopping malls were brought to a halt by apparently spontaneous mass renditions. The third obvious reason for demonstrating is that using conventional political channels seems futile. (…) Little suggests these trends are about to go into remission. In which case, this third wave of protest may not be the harbinger of a global revolution, but simply the new status quo."

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"India’s foreign policy remains cautious and unimagina tive"

Der Economist hat sich in einem Dossier mit Indien und in diesem Beitrag besonders mit der aktuellen indischen Außenpolitik beschäftigt. Dabei wird das indische Festhalten am Prinzip der Blockfreiheit angesichts der geopolitischen Entwicklungen als nicht mehr angemessen kritisiert. "With the rise of China and the retreat of America transforming international relations, and with India’s growing sense of its destiny as a soon-to-be great power, some observers believed its foreign policy might change, too. Yet Narendra Modi has struggled to match the country’s big ambitions with its still-limited capabilities. (…) China has made deep inroads in India’s backyard, wooing countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It has also grown even closer to Pakistan, propping up its economy with billions of dollars worth of arms, infrastructure and investment. China’s navy intrudes with growing frequency into the Indian Ocean, challenging India’s traditional dominance of its own back yard. Yet although the Indian fleet struggles to keep up, Mr Modi still seems to fear partnering with maritime powers that share his unease about Chinese intentions. So non-alignment has continued. This means that, although it has no real enemies apart from Pakistan, India also has few friends. That would be fine if it were stronger militarily or economically. But among larger powers it stands out as the only one that relies chiefly on imported arms, and whose military budget is spent largely on salaries and pensions."

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"Are Western democracies becoming ungovernable?"

Der Economist hat sich mit der Frage beschäftigt, ob bzw. inwieweit westliche Demokratien heute tatsächlich immer "unregierbarer" werden. "Ungovernability can be thought of in four ways. No Western country is ungovernable in every one. But there are a few features that exist in more than one country and a few countries that look ungovernable in more than one sense. First, some countries cannot form a stable government either because (in first-past-the-post systems) the largest party does not command a majority in parliament, or because (in countries with coalitions) parties cannot organise a stable alliance on the basis of election results. (...) Next, ungovernability can mean that governments fail to pass basic laws on which the operations of the state depend. Spain’s could not pass a budget this year, triggering the election in April. (...) A third aspect of ungovernability is the systematic corruption of constitutional norms, making political processes haphazard or arbitrary. (...) Lastly, the past year has seen a return to the streets of mass demonstrations. In France, the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets), a populist grassroots movement, have blocked roads and staged some of the most violent demonstrations the country has seen since 1968. (...) Everywhere, parties are finding it harder to recruit and retain members and to mobilise voters. Parties are the organising forces of parliamentary democracy. They pick candidates, approve manifestos and get out the vote. Coalitions usually revolve around one large party. If parties continue to decline, political systems are likely to become at least more fluid, and at worst harder to govern."

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"The EU’s relationship with Turkey is failing"

Der britische Economist betrachtet den Umgang mit der Türkei als derzeit wichtigsten Test für die außenpolitischen Ambitionen der EU. Bisher verlaufe dieser Test nicht besonders überzeugend, da die EU weder Zuckerbrot noch Peitsche konsequent einsetze. "That the eu has been unable to halt its close neighbour’s drift is a sorry embarrassment. At times the union has been conciliatory, particularly during the migration crisis when Turkey agreed to act as its border guard in return for money and visas. eu leaders have often bitten their tongues rather than criticise the country’s slide into autocracy. But at other moments the eu has frozen Turkey out — sneering about 'Asia Minor', dismissing its accession prospects and now imposing penalties for Mr Erdogan’s transgressions. The result has been the worst of all worlds: not enough carrot to lure Turkey back into the fold but not enough stick to force it to comply. (...) Europe aspires to a greater role in the world. But if despite all the carrots and sticks it has at its disposal it lastingly loses a direct neighbour and would-be accession state that is controlling territory claimed by an existing member of the eu, it might as well give up. Turkey is a natural priority for the eu. It is also a test."

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"Europe alone: July 2024"

Der Economist entwirft in diesem Beitrag ein pessimistisches Szenario der Folgen eines amerikanischen NATO-Austritts für Europa. "By the summer of 2023, after months of wrangling, eu leaders agreed to establish a new European Treaty Organisation (eto), building on the eu’s embryonic military bodies. The learning curve was steep. (...) America, General Schmitt observed, had provided the bulk of nato’s air and missile defences; the lion’s share of intelligence and surveillance assets needed to see across the modern battlefield; most of the tankers needed to refuel warplanes; and the logistics to move everything across the continent quickly. It would, he said, take at least $300bn to fill these holes. (...) eto also faced a thorny nuclear gap. (...) As the year turned, things came off the rails. In January 2024, Italy’s parliament dramatically refused to ratify the alliance, with populist parties on left and right clubbing together. Greece and Spain followed weeks later. (...) The Nordic countries agreed a tight-knit defence pact — the Kalmar Arrangement — and invited Britain to join on equal terms. Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria signed their own deal, the Metternich Pact, in February 2024. (...) Weeks later, Italy formed its own Adriatic Alliance, focused on beating back migration from north Africa. (...) Mr Trump’s own assessment, tweeted from the third hole of the Trump International Golf Club in Florida, was curt: 'Europe wanted to build its own army instead of paying its dues to nato. How did that work out for them?'"

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"The Gulf of Guinea is now the world’s worst piracy hotspot"

Der Golf von Guinea vor der Küste Westafrikas habe sich zum neuen globalen Piraten-"Hotspot" entwickelt, berichtet der Economist. "Elsewhere piracy is in decline. Between 2014 and 2018 the number of incidents each year in South-East Asia fell from 141 to 60, and to just three off Somalia, which in 2007-12 faced this century’s worst piracy crisis. Under-reporting is also less of a problem in these regions. The authorities in South-East Asia are more trusted; incidents off Somalia are reported to the international navies deployed there since 2009. (...) Unlike the Somalis, west African pirates never keep the vessels, as they have nowhere to hide them. Instead, armed with ak-47s and knives, they storm a ship, round up some of the crew and return to land, where they hide their hostages. Last year, says Mr Williams, they kidnapped 193 people. The pirates have struck across the region, but are primarily a Nigerian problem. (...) Piracy is intertwined with the oil-rich delta’s myriad other problems. Unemployment is at least 20%, and banditry and oil theft on land are widespread."

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"How climate change can fuel wars"

Anhaltende Dürreperioden und andere Konsequenzen des Klimawandels könnten in Afrika bald zu neuen Konflikten über den Zugang zu Wasser und fruchtbaren Böden führen, warnt der Economist. "Globally, the proportion of people who die violently has been falling for decades, as poverty has tumbled and wars between states have become rarer. But many fret that climate change will be so disruptive that it will make future conflicts more likely. (...) the most immediate threat is of civil wars, not inter-state ones, and one of the most vulnerable regions is the Sahel, an arid strip below the Sahara desert. Here, the roots of many conflicts lie in competition over dwindling fertile land. (...) Green campaigners and eager headline-writers sometimes oversimplify the link between global warming and war. It is never the sole cause. But several studies suggest that, by increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including floods and droughts, it makes conflict likelier than it would otherwise be. (...) Despite all these caveats, climate change clearly can play a part in fostering conflict. The Sahel is warming 1.5 times faster than the global average, owing to greenhouse-gas emissions. In future, most models suggest, it will experience more extreme and less predictable rains over shorter seasons. In a region where most people still grow or rear their own food, that could make millions desperate and restless."

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"America still leads in technology, but China is catching up fast"

Der Economist schreibt, dass der globale Wettbewerb um technologische Innovationen dabei sei, zu einem Nullsummenspiel zu werden. In diesem Wettrennen sei China dabei, schnell zu den USA aufzuholen. "Some forms of competition can be fair but still end with the gains going mostly to one side. Notably, some technological fields give a 'first-mover advantage' that offers huge rewards to countries or businesses that take an early lead, allowing them to set standards that later entrants have little choice but to follow. In April the Defence Innovation Board, a Pentagon advisory committee of Silicon Valley luminaries, issued a report warning that China is on track to pull off this feat in the race to dominate 5g mobile telecommunications. This next generation of wireless technology promises to revolutionise existing industries and invent whole new ones with data speeds about 20 times those of 4g. A decade ago American firms took an early lead in 4g, setting standards for new handsets and applications that spread worldwide. That dominance helped Apple, Google and other American businesses generate billions of dollars in revenues. China learned its lesson, investing $180bn to deploy 5g networks over the next five years and assigning swathes of wireless spectrum to three state providers."

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"How to predict when a despot will fall"

Der Economist präsentiert die Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung der Organisation One Earth Future (oef), die Daten zahlreicher Revolten gegen autoritäre Regierungen gesammelt und analysiert hat. "Coups and revolutions present unique challenges for forecasters. They are both extremely rare and, notes Andreas Beger of Predictive Heuristics, a consultancy, by definition conspiratorial — they do not advertise themselves in advance. Perhaps the most rigorous quantitative forecast of political upheaval comes from One Earth Future (oef), an ngo based in Colorado that publishes a predictive model, CoupCast. It reckons that the factors correlating most strongly with the risk of a coup include: the rate of economic growth; how long a regime has been in power; how long since a country’s most recent coup; and whether it has been hit by extreme weather, such as a flood or a drought".

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"How NATO is shaping up at 70"

Der Economist hat ein Dossier mit Beiträgen zum bevorstehenden 70. Jahrestag der Gründung der NATO eingerichtet. Daniel Franklin schreibt in seiner Einleitung: "Reaching 70 is an extraordinary achievement for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Most alliances die young. External threats change; national interests diverge; costs become too burdensome. Russia’s pact with Nazi Germany survived for only two years. None of the seven coalitions of the Napoleonic wars lasted more than five years. A study in 2010 by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank, counted 63 major military alliances over the previous five centuries, of which just ten lived beyond 40; the average lifespan of collective-defence alliances was 15 years. 'Nato is the strongest, most successful alliance in history', says Jens Stoltenberg, the organisation’s secretary-general, 'because we have been able to change.'"

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"France and Germany are pushing rival models for defence co-operation"

Deutschland und Frankreich verfolgen beim erklärten Ziel einer engeren militärischen Kooperation trotz der demonstrierten Einigkeit unterschiedliche Strategien, schreibt der Economist. "Duelling visions of Europe’s military future have given rise to a proliferation of schemes. Seasoned diplomats with decades of experience in European defence policy admit that even they are occasionally baffled. Start with pesco, a collection of 34 eu defence projects launched with great fanfare in December 2017. Its members agreed 'to do things together, spend together, invest together, buy together, act together', as Federica Mogherini, the eu’s foreign-policy chief, put it. The plan would be lubricated with cash from the European Commission. But where Germany saw pesco as an opportunity to put wind back into the sails of the European project, France was irked that inclusivity had trumped ambition. (...) The bigger problem is the gap between the lofty rhetoric of political leaders and the essential modesty of these defence drives. The eu has always accepted that it should focus on crisis management (fighting the likes of pirates and traffickers) rather than collective defence (fighting Russians). For all the big talk, that remains so."

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"Which countries are most likely to fight wars?"

Anlässlich des Gedenkens an das Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs vor hundert Jahren stellt der Economist fest, dass die Welt seitdem um einiges friedlicher geworden sei. Dies sei auch auf die globale Ausbreitung der Demokratie und internationaler Normen zurückzuführen. "The simplest explanation is the advent of nuclear weapons, which deter major powers from fighting each other. But wars have declined among non-nuclear states, too. Another reason might be the spread of democracy and global norms. Bruce Russett and John Oneal, two academics, have found that countries that are democratic, trade heavily and belong to lots of international bodies fight each other less often than authoritarian, isolationist states do. The Economist has analysed all international and civil wars since 1900, along with the belligerents’ wealth and degree of democratisation (assigning colonies to their own category). We counted all conflicts involving national armies in which at least 100 people per year were killed, excluding deaths from terrorism, massacres of civilians outside combat, starvation or disease. The data show a strong correlation between democracy and peace, with a few exceptions. (The United States has been quite bellicose (...))."

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"The Baltics fear European 'strategic autonomy'"

In den Ländern des Baltikums werden dem Economist zufolge nicht nur die widersprüchlichen Äußerungen des US-Präsidenten zur NATO, sondern auch die Überlegungen anderer europäischer Länder über eine "strategische Autonomie" mit Sorge verfolgt. "In Berlin, Brussels and Paris it is becoming voguish to advocate 'post-Atlanticist' foreign and defence policies making Europe more independent from America. (...) Baltic leaders raise practical objections to the notion; Europe lacks the cash, but it also lacks the willingness to create a real substitute for America’s security umbrella. The EU’s existing battle-groups, part of its tentative shuffle towards a military capacity of its own, have remained in their barracks as politicians have argued about where and how they should be deployed. Anything like strategic autonomy would take decades of 'post-Atlanticist' investment and political evolution. To the Balts, that is a long time."

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"Russia’s growing threat to north Europe"

Der Economist berichtet, dass die öffentliche Zustimmung für einen NATO-Beitritt Schwedens angesichts der empfundenen Bedrohung durch Russland zugenommen habe. Das schwedische Militär habe die Kontakte zu den europäischen Partnern in den vergangenen Jahren deutlich verstärkt. "Sweden may not be a member of NATO. But under Stefan Lofven, Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister for the past four years, it has manoeuvred as close to the alliance as it is possible to get from the outside. (...) The four opposition parties that governed until 2014, including the Moderates, have all come out in favour of joining NATO over the past few years. Polls indicate public support swinging modestly in this direction: 43% in favour and 37% against. But there are several hitches. One decision for the next prime minister is whether to sign a UN treaty 'banning' nuclear weapons. (...) A more serious obstacle is that any Moderate effort to take Sweden into NATO might depend on the support of the far-right Sweden Democrats. (...) A third problem is that Sweden is reluctant to leave Finland in the lurch, if its smaller neighbour declines to join."

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"Why Russia and China’s joint military exercises should worry the West"

Der Economist stellt das gemeinsame Militärmanöver Russlands und Chinas dem Umgang der US-Regierung mit ihren Verbündeten gegenüber. "Compare President Vladimir Putin’s deft military diplomacy in Vostok-2018 with Mr Trump’s capricious cancellation of joint exercises with South Korea — to the dismay of his generals. Japan frets that its military ties with America will become a bargaining chip in trade disputes (see article). And although Europeans are relieved that last summer’s NATO summit passed without a crisis, Mr Trump’s disparagement of allies, whether big countries like Germany or small ones like Montenegro, has frayed transatlantic bonds. The world’s democracies, led by America, should be mounting a collective defence of liberal values. Instead Mr Trump is busy wrecking them. He should learn one lesson from Mr Putin: friends are an asset, not a burden."

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"America’s escalating Russian sanctions"

Trotz bzw. gerade wegen der russlandfreundlichen Haltung des US-Präsidenten hätten die USA in den vergangenen Monaten immer neue und härtere Sanktionen gegen Moskau verhängt, stellt der Economist fest. "In August alone, America has slapped penalties on Russian shipping firms accused of trading oil with North Korea; imposed restrictions on the arms trade in connection with the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury; and begun congressional hearings on two new pieces of legislation designed to punish Russia for its interference in elections. Further Skripal-linked measures may follow in three months’ time. (...) The irony is that the risk of new sanctions now emanates not only from Mr Putin, but from Mr Trump as well. His subservience to Mr Putin at a July summit in Helsinki spurred senators to draft the DASKA bill, says Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. '[The bills] are born out of a deep distrust of the president when it comes to Russia,' a senior senate aide concurs. Even if Russia behaves this autumn, tweets from Mr Trump could well spur their passage."

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"The global arms trade is booming. Buyers are spoiled for choice"

Der Economist berichtet, dass der internationale Waffenhandel zuletzt deutlich zugenommen habe. Das große Angebot habe dazu geführt, dass Käufer nur wenig Rücksicht auf besondere Vorbedingungen der Verkäufer nehmen müssen. Dies bestätige sich aktuell im Streit zwischen Kanada und Saudi-Arabien. "After Canada’s foreign minister urged the release of some political prisoners on Twitter, the Saudi government declared that all new business with Canada was suspended. This left Canadians unsure if the kingdom still wants the arms deal. And if the Saudis do walk away, plenty of other countries will be happy to supply armoured cars. 'They could get their combat vehicles from Turkey, South Korea or Brazil,' says Pieter Wezeman, a researcher at SIPRI, a Stockholm-based think-tank. (...) Total demand is growing, the number of sellers is rising and the Western countries that have dominated the business are less confident of shaping the playing field. Above all, buyers are becoming more insistent on their right to shop around. For the likes of India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, 'this is a buyer’s market,' says Lucie Béraud-Sudreau of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think-tank."

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"Countries team up to save the liberal order from Donald Trump"

Der Economist wirft einen Blick auf die neu entstehenden Koalitionen von Ländern, die die liberale Weltordnung trotz des Rückzugs der USA unter Donald Trump aufrechterhalten wollen. "The next few years are likely to see a boom in what might be called the like-mindedness industry. (...) Like startups in the business world, many new coalitions of the like-minded will fail. But some could flourish. [Allan Gyngell, a former head of Australia’s Office of National Assessments, Australia’s main intelligence agency,] predicts that the current 'hub and spoke' order will give way to a power grid in which 'networks and links will be ever more important.' This effervescent, entrepreneurial period in global affairs could help to save the existing world order — or start to shape a new one."

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Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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