Indonesia’s “Fragile” Religious Peace Is Stronger than it Appears

Indonesia’s religious peace has resisted Saudi influence to remain stronger and more tolerant than many in the West fear.

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Hold the 2022 Winter Olympics in Kazakhstan

Neither Beijing nor Almaty is an ideal place to hold the 2022 Olympics, but Almaty is by far the better choice

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Prince Al Waleed and Donald Trump: Peas in a Pod?

Donald Trump and Prince Al Waleed bin Talal: two billionaires obsessed with proving their net worth and suing those who question their figures

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North Korea: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

I was recently in Pyongyang, at the invitation of the Korean Association for Economic Development, to participate in a two-day conference on special economic zones, co-sponsored by the University of British Columbia. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, which I am still trying to process.

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The Entrepreneurial State, or, You Didn’t Build That

President Obama received a lot of outraged criticism from the right during the 2012 campaign for his remark, “You didn’t build that.” What he meant, though he uncharacteristically said it in a fairly clumsy way, was that for every proudly self-made entrepreneur there is a huge web of supporting institutions and infrastructure built by the government.

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Trade Agreements and Cultural Exceptions: A Plea for Tolerance

Outgoing WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has recently criticized EU-US and transpacific trade talks, which have the potential to create the world’s two largest free trade areas and measurably increase prosperity and growth for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people. He has a point. Several, actually.

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Afghanistan: A Decade of Progress and Hope?

I met Taymor Kamrany in 2003, just over a year after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan had ousted the Taliban. We were both in Kabul, working on a USAID program to improve the environment for business and help government institutions rebuild their capacity to support a market economy. It was not an easy task.

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Dealing with Nigeria’s Jihadist Threat

About 10 days ago I sat at breakfast in Lomé, the capital of Togo, a sliver of a country in West Africa, watching French TV news of the capture, and what turned out to be false reports of the liberation, of seven French tourists in northern Cameroon by the Nigerian radical Islamist group Boko Haram. It was hard not to feel concerned about the future of this part of the world.

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Obama’s Great Sequester Plan

Jeffrey Sachs, writing in yesterday’s Financial Times, has neatly identified the culprit in the U.S. fiscal sequester, which went into effect at noon today. It is not the Tea Party, nor even the House Republican leadership, but Obama himself, counterintuitive as that may appear.

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