The Uprising Index Chrystia refers to in this week’s column ranks 80 countries on the likelihood of a domestic uprising based on the average of four equally-weighted factors: corruption; vulnerability to rising food prices; political freedom; and internet penetration. Our thesis is that an uprising is more likely in a country if corruption is high, if rising food prices have a big effect on a country’s economy, if political freedom is low, and if internet penetration is high. After crunching the data, here are the 25 countries that scored highest by our measure (out of a maximum score of 1):
One casualty of the uprisings in the Middle East has been the professionals who didn’t see them coming. The International Monetary Fund has taken a hit for its April 2010 report on Egypt, which praised the country’s ‘‘sustained and wide-ranging reforms since 2004,’’ noting they had made the economy more durable and less vulnerable to external shocks. Ditto the C.I.A., whose director, Leon Panetta, endured the very personal ignominy of seeing his public predictions to Congress proven wrong within hours of making them.
They are being called the Facebook revolutions, but a better term for the uprisings sweeping through the Middle East might be the Groupon effect. That is because one of the most powerful consequences satellite television and the Internet have had for the protest movements is to help them overcome the problem of collective action, in the same way that Groupon has harnessed the Web for retailers.
The uprising in Egypt has provoked the familiar “realism-versus-idealism” foreign policy debate in many Western capitals, as diplomats and politicians struggle to balance their ideological sympathy for the protesters against fears of chaos and the threat of a future anti-Western and anti-Israel policy from Cairo if the people do win.
When not anchoring her own talk show at the World Economic Forum, Chrystia let a few BBC cameras follow her around Davos as she attempted to document how the global super-elite are pulling away from the rest of us. Watch her interview some of the plutocrats at the Davos Congress Center — and make spin paintings with Damien Hirst:
On last Thursday’s edition of Davos Today, Chrystia interviewed a top Google executive about the internet giant’s recent management shake-up; chatted with President Obama’s former chief economic adviser about the State of the Union; heard from America’s principal union leader on what lessons Germany and Japan can teach the U.S. economy; and more. Here’s the video and the guest list:
Last week at Davos, Chrystia anchored an hour-long daily talk show that featured many of the World Economic Forum’s most exciting participants. Last Wednesday’s edition featured a segments on frugal innovation in India with two top Indian businessmen; the state of trust in business and government today with a behavioral economist and two CEOs; an appraisal of President Obama’s State of the Union from two pre-eminent economists; and more. Here’s the video and the guest list:
Throughout its 900-year history, Oxford University has survived the Bubonic Plague, the English Civil War, and a host of other maladies. Oxford Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton takes solace in the University’s resilient history as he grapples with the decision by the UK coalition to slash funding for higher education by 80%: