In Box

The FP Quiz

Are you a globalization junkie? Then test your knowledge of global trends, economics, and politics with 8 questions about how the world works.

1. What percentage of world trade is carried on ships?

a) 40 percent    b) 60 percent    c) 80 percent

2. In the World Trade Organization’s 15 years of operation, which country has made the most trade complaints?

a) India        b) Japan          c) United States

3. How many ambassadors to the United States are women?

a) 3    b) 15    c) 25

4. By how much has the worldwide number of Wi-Fi hot spots risen over the last five years?

a) 5 times           b) 10 times           c) 20 times

5. Which country has the highest percentage of its population in a DNA database?

a) Britain       b) United States    c) United Arab Emirates

6. After the United States and Britain, which country buys the most fine art?

a) France      b) China       c) Belgium

7. Which of these countries has the highest annual death rate?

a) Germany    b) Iraq    c) Kenya

8. What percentage of Americans are self-described isolationists?

a) 18 percent    b) 30 percent    c) 49 percent

Answers on the next page.


1) C, 80 percent, by volume. Ships may move slowly, but they can carry far more cargo than more recently invented modes of transportation such as planes, trains, and trucks, according to the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development.

2) C, United States. The biggest complainer at the World Trade Organization (WTO), with 94 trade complaints as of Jan. 28, is the United States. But with 108 complaints against it, it’s also the top recipient. As the WTO turns 15 this year, its most litigious members have been the United States and the European Union, accounting for 175 of 403 disputes, though in recent years, large emerging economies such as Brazil, Mexico, and India have filed an increasing share of complaints.

3) C, 25. The number of female ambassadors posted in Washington is at an all-time high, the Washington Post recently reported. Some have called it the "Hillary effect," with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bringing more women into the diplomatic corps. With three of the past four U.S. secretaries of state being women, some female ambassadors have said it makes it easier for heads of state to choose a woman for ambassadorship to the United States.

4) A, 5 times. As of Jan. 25, there were 289,834 free Wi-Fi locations in 139 countries, up from 53,700 just five years ago, according to the hot-spot registry maintained by media company JiWire. The United States leads the world with 69,757 hot spots, but other countries have far more per person. Sweden leads the way with 786 hot spots per million people, compared with 227 per million in the United States.

5) A, Britain. The country where CCTV monitoring is ubiquitous implemented the world’s first police-maintained DNA database in 1995. According to data gathered by the Economist, in England and Wales, 8.7 percent of the population -- one of every 12 people -- have had their DNA profile stored in a police database, where samples are kept for six years. (Three-fourths of young British black men are estimated to be in the country’s databases.) No other country comes close -- second-place Estonia’s rate is just 2 percent.

6) B, China. In 2008, China overtook France to become the world’s third-largest art market, as measured by sales of fine art at auction, according to a report in the Economist. China accounted for 7.7 percent of sales, surpassing France’s 6 percent. The United States and Britain were by far the leaders at 35.7 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively.

7) A, Germany. People often associate high death rates with war or poverty, but a country’s annual death rate -- the number who die per 1,000 people -- relates significantly to its population’s age structure. As countries become wealthier, birthrates fall, resulting in a higher proportion of elderly people and thus a higher death rate. In Germany, 20 percent of people are at least 65, and the death rate is 10.9 per 1,000. In contrast, only 3 percent of Iraqis are 65 and older, and the death rate is 5.03 per 1,000, according to the CIA’s World Factbook.

8) C, 49 percent. Isolationist sentiment in the United States has skyrocketed to the highest level in decades, according to an analysis of survey data by the Pew Research Center. In November, 49 percent of survey respondents agreed the United States should "mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own." That’s up from 42 percent in 2005, 30 percent in December 2002, and a mere 18 percent in 1964 (the earliest year with data available).

In Box

The List: The World's Kissingers

A country's foreign policy is often defined less by its elected leader than its behind-the-scenes operators and elder statesmen. Here are four figures setting the global agenda for the world's emerging powers, just as Henry Kissinger set America's for over 50 years.


Country: Singapore

Age: 86

Position: Former prime minister, current "minister mentor" (a cabinet-level position created specifically for him)

Legacy: After shepherding Singapore to unprecedented economic growth over his 31 years as prime minister, Lee has become an apostle for the Asian model of growth, a mix of economic liberalization and rigid political control.

Lee always said that Singapore's foreign policy was dictated by its small size -- it cannot survive without international and regional cooperation. But the influence of his ideas can be seen in the "peaceful rise" and not so peaceful governance of the world's most populous country: China.

Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images


Country: Brazil

Age: 67

Position: Foreign minister

Legacy: A controversial former academic who once compared wealthy countries' negotiating tactics to those of Joseph Goebbels, Amorim has deftly managed the nigh-impossible balancing act between the United States and Brazil's leftist neighbors in Venezuela and Cuba while also building Brazil's alliances with other emerging powers.

Speaking of the alliance with Russia, India, and China, Amorim said, "You have a new configuration of power appearing in the world.… We can't be conditioned by the views coming from the United States and the EU. We have to look from our own perspective."



Country: Saudi Arabia

Age: 65

Position: Former ambassador to Britain and the United States, ex-director of the Saudi foreign-intelligence service

Legacy: As chief of the Saudi kingdom's external intelligence service, the youngest son of the late King Faisal helped fund and organize the Afghan resistance to the occupying Soviet forces. Working as ambassador to Britain and then the United States in the years following 9/11, Turki emerged as part diplomat, part pundit. He resigned in 2006 but remains an influential advisor in Riyadh and a fixture in Washington.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


Country: Turkey

Age: 51

Position: Foreign minister

Legacy: A keen student of history, the brash and outspoken Davutoglu believes in restoring Turkey's Ottoman glories so that Turkey once again carries weight in the Middle East. Under his guidance, Turkey has strengthened its ties with Arab governments and sought to play the role of mediator in Arab-Israeli conflicts.

At the same time, Davutoglu supports Turkey's eventual membership in the European Union: "Turkey can be European in Europe and Eastern in the East because we are both," he says.