91. Willem Buiter
for his maverick commentary on the financial crisis.
Economist | London School of Economics | Britain
This august economist's idiosyncratic viewpoint went global when he took to the pages of the Financial Times and later started his indispensable blog, Maverecon. It's incisive and wonky -- and very distinctive. Take, for example, Buiter's initial analysis of the U.S. bank recapitalization plan: "Picking through the entrails of this multi-faceted, surprisingly incomplete, seriously underfunded, occasionally well-designed but mostly inadequate, counterproductive and unnecessarily moral-hazard-creating set of proposals was just too depressing. I will wait till I am at my parents' home this weekend, mollified and mellowed by my father's good claret." Readers may often feel they need to glance at an econometrics textbook to follow his more complex arguments, but his attention to detail and witty insight have made him invaluable.
Best idea: Limiting (and preferably reducing) population size is the best anti-global-warming policy.
Worst idea: Cash for Clunkers.
92. Rizal Sukma
for pushing a radical new view of Indonesia's role in the world.
Political scientist | Centre for Strategic and International Studies | Indonesia
Sukma is a leading theorist of the relationship between Islam and the state, and the global role of his country, Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Sukma recently published his book, Islam in Indonesian Foreign Policy, which sketched the tensions that have existed between the identity of Indonesia's people and the government's largely secular institutions since independence in August 1945. With Indonesia still grappling with the legacy of dictator Suharto's 32-year rule, Sukma's ideas could help chart a course that firmly integrates Indonesia into the world -- and finally disproves the canard that Islam and democracy can't mix.
Best idea: Amartya Sen's idea of justice.
Worst idea: Muammar al-Qaddafi's idea of a one-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict.
93. Martha Nussbaum
for making philosophy matter.
Philosopher | University of Chicago | Chicago
Nussbaum grew up among the intellectual elite and as a philosopher has taught at Harvard University, Brown University, and, now, the University of Chicago. But her most persistent message is that philosophy is for everyone and about everything. "[T]he central motivation for philosophizing is the urgency of human suffering," she has written, and "the goal of philosophy is human flourishing." In her new book, From Disgust to Humanity, she takes on the timely, controversial issue of same-sex marriage from a universal, historical standpoint, citing moral disgust as the root of discrimination and eliminating that disgust as the key to equality.
94. David Grossman
for demonstrating how Zionism and pacifism can coexist.
Novelist | Peace activist | Israel
Grossman knows tragedy too well. Three years ago, during the Israel-Lebanon war, the famed Israeli author spoke out in favor of peace and urged his country's military to back down. Three days later, his 20-year-old son was killed in the conflict. Nevertheless, Grossman has remained a steadfast pacifist and peace activist. He first became famous as an advocate for Palestinian recognition and rights with The Yellow Wind, his 1988 study of the lives of people in the West Bank. Ever since, he has urged Israel toward open engagement (even with Hamas), an end to occupation and settlements, and decisive moves in the direction of a two-state solution. "[R]eality is not one hermetic story that we, and the Palestinians, too, have been telling ourselves for generations," he wrote in January. "Reality is not just the story we are locked into, a story made up, in no small measure, of fantasies, wishful thinking and nightmares."
95. Enrique Krauze
for championing democracy and common sense in Latin America.
Historian | National College | Mexico
There are few more staunch supporters of democracy in Latin America than Krauze. But when U.S. journalists and policymakers began labeling Mexico a "failed state" ensnarled in a drug war earlier this year, Krauze warned that misperceptions about his country were not just ill-informed but downright dangerous: "While we bear responsibility for our problems, the caricature of Mexico being propagated in the United States only increases the despair on both sides of the Rio Grande," he wrote in the New York Times. After all, he reminded his U.S. audience, the United States' narcotics market drives his country's trafficking habit. Equally important this year has been his deeply researched, psychologically insightful biography of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, El Poder y el Delirio (The Power and the Mania), revealing the emptiness behind the leader's pumped-up facade.
Best idea: Microfinance and cash for the poor in Mexico and Brazil.
Worst idea: Hugo Chávez's "socialism of the 21st century."
96. Hans Rosling
for boggling our minds with paradigm-shattering data.
Public health scholar | Karolinska Institute | Sweden
Rosling, a doctor and global-health professor, has become famous for his energetic lectures, in which he narrates mind-blowing statistics on development and public health -- as they literally move across a screen. Imagine x-y axes filled with data points, each representing a country. As time passes, the dots move, realigning to show changes in child mortality, percentage of paved roads, unemployment rates, or pretty much any other metric you can imagine. Rosling's quest to use numbers to shatter stereotypes of rich and poor countries has brought him global prominence.
Reading list: Wars, Guns, and Votes, by Paul Collier; A Peace to End All Peace, by David Fromkin; Summer Farms in Sweden 1550 to 1920, by Jesper Larsson.
97. Valerie Hudson
for showing that gender imbalances have global consequences.
Political scientist | Brigham Young University | Provo, Utah
Hudson's indispensable 2004 study Bare Branches may have been partially responsible for the scaling back of China's one-child policy; the book, written with Andrea den Boer, explored how unequal sex ratios in a country might augur war, social unrest, and other problems. This year, Hudson used her knowledge of the impact of sex ratios on society to explore not just the widening gap in China but also the impact of the Great Recession, which left millions more men than women unemployed, with potentially disastrous implications for security worldwide.
Worst idea: Leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban. Have you asked the little girls of Afghanistan what they think of that idea?
98. Andrew Mwenda
for fearlessly critiquing government at home and abroad.
Editor | The Independent | Uganda
Mwenda, a dogged and fiercely eloquent Ugandan journalist and editor of the recently launched newspaper and website The Independent, is a vociferous critic of all elements of the African aid structure. Frequently harassed by the Ugandan government for his outspokenness and currently facing trial on 21 charges (including sedition), Mwenda goes even further than most aid critics: The continent, he argues, needs to fail in order to learn hard lessons as it picks up the pieces on its own. He responded with fire to Obama's July speech in Ghana, writing, "Obama needs to listen to Africans much more, not lecture them using the same old teleprompter."
99. Emily Oster
for her creative research into what really helps the poor.
Economist | University of Chicago Booth School of Business | Chicago
Oster, just a few years after receiving her Ph.D, has already shown promise as one of the most inventive economists of her generation. Her recent work has focused on India, where she has discovered surprising outcomes: She found, for instance, that television access decreases domestic violence and that the higher frequency in vaccinations for Indian boys over Indian girls might account for 20 percent of the country's sex imbalance. Her application of the techniques of behavioral economics to life-or-death situations distinguishes her from other headline-grabbing economists her age.
100. Paul Kennedy
for looking ahead to the decline of the American empire.
Historian | Yale University | New Haven, Conn.
Kennedy literally wrote the book on imperial decline. His classic, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, charts the course of the great European empires, describing the pattern of economic expansion, territorial conquest, and imperial overstretch to which countries from Spain to Britain fell victim. Now, Kennedy has trained his sights on the United States, which, he says, is nearing the end of its own imperial dominance. "Our dependency upon foreign investors will approximate more and more the state of international indebtedness we historians associate with the reigns of Philip II of Spain and Louis XIV of France -- attractive propositions at first, then steadily losing glamour," he wrote this year, adding, "Uncle Sam may have to come down a peg or two."