Political risk must-reads

May 5, 2014

Political risk must-reads

Eurasia Group’s selection of essential reading for the political risk junkie — presented in no particular order. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections by tweeting at us via @EurasiaGroup or @ianbremmer.

U.S. diplomacy: failure to launch

Russian Diplomats Are Eating America’s Lunch — James Bruno, POLITICO  

Russian ambassadors to the 28 NATO nations have 960 years of diplomatic experience. The same group of U.S. ambassadors has 331 years of experience. Russia has two political appointees serving as ambassadors to NATO countries; America has 16. What impact are these experience and preparedness gaps having in the current Ukraine crisis?

U.S. Confronts Consequences of Underestimating North Korean Leader — David Sanger, the New York Times

Almost all assumptions made by American intelligence about Kim Jung-un as he rose to power have been wrong. Where does it go from here?

U.S. Foreign Policy: In Troubling Disarray — Richard Haass, the American Interest

The U.S. president has run into trouble at every turn while implementing his foreign policy agenda. Looking ahead, how can the United States ensure that a nuclear deal with Iran gets done? And where does a beleaguered Obama administration look next?

Indian Election

A Moment of Truth for India’s Women — William Pesek, Bloomberg View

In India, women account for nearly half of registered voters (47.7 percent in 2009). That’s still too far from parity, but it’s a better ratio than their representation in India’s Lower House of parliament: they make up just 11 percent of the Lok Sabha. What impact is the female vote having on campaign strategies?

Not Everyone Has Gotten the Message About BJP’s Rebranding — Joshua Keating, Slate

Narendra Modi, the leading candidate in the Indian elections, has attempted to boost his broad appeal by retreating from his party’s traditional Hindu nationalism. However, older, incendiary members of the BJP are not going away quietly.

The Muslims voting for Modi’s part in Lucknow  — Betwa Sharma, Quartz

Many of Lucknow’s 180,000 Shia Muslims are expected to vote for the BJP, despite its prime ministerial candidate’s controversial track record. There was severe violence against Muslims in Gujarat when he was chief minister in 2002. What is spurring them to vote for him?


Ten ways to fight inequality without Piketty’s wealth tax — Tim Fernholz, Quartz

Thomas Piketty believes that a progressive tax on accumulated wealth is the way to curb inequality. But even he knows this solution is “utopian.” Here are ten other policy avenues that could address inequality without going after the wealthy.

Where the U.S. Gets Its Clothing, One Year After the Bangladesh Factory Collapse — Mona Chalabi, FiveThirtyEight

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the garment-factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers. But did the disaster alter importing behavior in the United States? In the year ending in February 2013 the United States imported 5.8 percent of its clothing from Bangladesh. In the year ending in February 2014, one year after the tragedy, that figure rose to 6.3 percent.

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