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Technology

Stablecoins: The First Blockchain Consumer Product

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies in 2018—which saw the most widely traded cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, plunge from US$10,166 in January to US$3690 in December—made even the most bullish traders recoil from their terminals. However, one sub-sector of the nascent asset class defied the trend: stablecoins.

Security

Progress on a Nuclear-Free North Korea Stalled, Not Halted

Thursday, March 14, 2019

As the dust settles on the Hanoi summit, critics argue that the absence of an agreement between Trump and Kim is a sign that diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea has failed. But even without a roadmap to denuclearization, the summit promotes important goals in these early stages: dialogue, a continued freeze on nuclear testing, and hope for a gradual lifting of economic sanctions.

Geopolitics

What Is Xi Jinping’s Major Power Diplomacy?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Since Xi Jinping ascended to the presidency, he has spearheaded a reorientation of China’s major power diplomacy. With China’s foreign policy in the spotlight during the annual meeting of its legislature, Yoshikazu Kato of the Asia Global Institute outlines his thoughts on what this diplomacy is and how it came about.

Politics

Allies Not Out of America's Line of Fire

Thursday, February 21, 2019

With the U.S.-China trade conflict worsening by the week, Australia, Japan, and India may see security ties as a chance to boost their status in Washington. But the Trump administration’s crusade on trade could very well engulf them, too.

Money

Waiting, and Waiting, for the Global Renminbi

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just a few years ago, the renminbi seemed destined to become one of the world’s most significant currencies. However, its attractiveness has plunged as international investors seek currencies with legal security, ease of use and, critically, unrestricted convertibility.

Geopolitics

China and the Rise of Africa

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Chinese investment in Africa supports the continent’s growth, but as concerns of a “new colonialism” arise, what will define the future of China-Africa relations?

Population & Society

DNA and the Globalization of Humanity

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Two questions that have occupied the human mind since the beginning of civilization are “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?” Today, with just a swab of saliva, millions of people worldwide have been able to take a peek into their genetic past, thanks to DNA testing. In most cases, such testing reveals a complex global and regional circulation of bloodlines.

Environment

Why the “Anthropocene” Is Not “Climate Change” and Why It Matters

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Beyond climate change, there’s the Anthropocene. Humans have altered the planet to such an extent that it has entered a new age. The Anthropocene and the unprecedented changes it brings call for a new way to think about how humans relate to the planet.

Economy

Personal Business: Why Nigerian Traders Travel to China

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The internet has taken much of the human interaction out of international trade. But many commercial buyers continue to emphasize face-to-face communication with sellers.

Inclusiveness

More Women in Boardrooms Means Greener, Better Business

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Growing media and societal attention on environmental issues has prompted researchers to examine factors that contribute to making companies greener. New research has found that corporations with more women in their leadership teams are less likely to be accused of breaching environmental law.

Health

Mind Games: The Effects of Air Pollution on Cognition

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Air pollution has countless victims—nearly nine out of ten people across the globe breathe polluted air, according to the World Health Organization. New research suggests that it even reaches the unborn, moving from a mother’s lungs to the placenta and fetus. Not only does it cause health and economic ill-effects, but it also impacts human cognition.

Geopolitics

China in Africa: Practicing Diplomacy as a Great Power

Thursday, December 6, 2018

China’s strategic approach to foreign policy has changed, and governments need to reorient to this new reality. A look at its actions in Africa reveals how China is employing its status as a great power on the diplomatic stage.

Economy

A Fair Society or a Fare Society?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The global economy is currently organized in an environmentally damaging way: goods are produced, used, and discarded. The shared economy and the platform economy offer alternatives, but not solutions. The key to a more sustainable economy could lie in the combination of the two.

Technology

How to Regulate Internet Platforms Without Breaking Them

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Anticompetitive practices are rife in the internet-enabled economy, and lawmakers have struggled to keep up. Authorities must find a balance between regulation and fostering an open, healthy environment for this economy to thrive.

Geopolitics

Overlapping Regionalism in the Asian Order

Thursday, November 1, 2018

As multiple actors compete for influence in Asia, some analysts anticipate an intensification of rivalries. However, overlapping regionalism leaves room for potential cooperation and shared governance in the future regional order.

Security

Farewell to Nuclear Arms Control?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The United States has affirmed strategic competition with both Russia and China as the central organizing principle of its national security policy. The announcement on October 20 by President Donald Trump that the U.S. would withdraw from the 30-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because of alleged Russian violations might be a key plank of that policy.

Population & Society

Global Effects of High-Skilled Immigration

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The free flow of labor across national borders has been one of the defining facets of globalization. In recent years, concerns over the effects of increased migration on domestic workforces have led political leaders to consider tightening borders, dramatically altering patterns of human movement. In Asia, this could reverse the brain drain.

Economy

Trump, China, and the Future of the Global Trading System

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The United States, under President Donald Trump, has found a favored target of criticism in the World Trade Organization. While there is no doubt that the W.T.O. needs urgent reform, the framework it provides—offering the certainty and predictability inherent in a rules-based system—should not be abandoned.