Eurasia Group’s weekly 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.
“City chickens and country eggs” – The Economist
China has gone all-in with efforts to spur increased urbanization. Said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, “Urbanization has the greatest potential for boosting domestic demand.” He claims urban residents in China spent 3.6 times as much as their rural peers in 2010. But what if China has it backwards? Does urbanization lead to growth — or does growth lead to urbanization?
“Searching Big Data for ‘Digital Smoke Signals’” – Steve Lohr, New York Times
The United Nations is not always known for entrepreneurialism, innovation, or rapidly adaptive techniques. Could big data change that?
“The Great Escape” – Raheem Salman and Ned Parker, Foreign Policy
Abu Ghraib, already cemented as a symbol of an American occupation gone awry, has again become synonymous with the deteriorating situation in Iraq. This time, it was in connection with an enormous prison break that has everyone pointing fingers. July was the deadliest month in Iraq since the end of the civil war in 2008: the UN announced that 1,057 Iraqis were killed.