The List

Failed States

Was the Arab Spring Worth It?

The people of the Middle East have paid a steep price to overthrow their dictators.

Hussein Ibish |

Failed States

10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart

States don't fail overnight. The seeds of of their destruction are sown deep within their political institutions.

Daron Acemoglu |

In Box

Hotels for Hacks

Six of the world's most notable "war hotels," in the words of journalists who spent time cooped up in them.

Alessandra N Ram |

In Box

Within Our Grasp

U.S. presidents try, try, try to make peace in the Middle East.

Alessandra N Ram |

In Box

The Stories You Missed in 2011

10 events and trends that were overlooked this year, but may be leading the headlines in 2012.

Joshua E. Keating |

In Box

Huge in Asia

They may not play in Peoria anymore. But these storied American brands are reinventing themselves to sell in Shanghai.

Dustin Roasa |

In Box

New Kids on the Block

Meet the foreign-policy powers for the new GOP congress.

Josh Rogin |

In Box

What Shape Is Your Recession?

The alphabet soup of economic misery.

Joshua E. Keating |

In Box

The YIMBYS

Five places saying "yes, in my backyard" to the nasty stuff that no one else wants.

Sylvie Stein |

In Box

The Known Unknowns

When U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the "known unknowns" that remained in Iraq in 2002, he was mocked endlessly -- and those mysterious black holes ended up confounding his administration's project there. Rumsfeld's not the only one to encounter this epistemological puzzle: Known unknowns are everywhere, waiting to trip us up. Here are a few of the most enigmatic.

Joshua E. Keating |

In Box

Food Fights

Some of the world's most bitter conflicts have nothing to do with access to resources, ethnic chauvinism, or the balance of power. Here's a short guide to the planet's fiercest gastronomic controversies.   

Annie Lowrey |

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.

Joshua E. Keating |

In Box

The New Blood Diamonds

Diamonds from African countries have been funding guerrilla wars for decades. But they're not the only precious gems with blood on their hands. Here are four more prized resources that are fraught with conflict.

Jordana Timerman |

In Box

Iran's Dirty Workers

The Islamic Republic's president and supreme leader may be household names, but many of those in charge of the state's atrocities remain largely unknown outside the country. Here are five of the worst.

Joshua Keating |

In Box

How Big Is Your Rocket?

There's a new global space race on, as countries spend billions to join the nine that have successfully launched rockets into orbit. Here's a look at four of the contenders.

James Downie |

In Box

World Wall Streets

The Great Recession has shattered New York City’s financial district, which is projected to lose 46,000 jobs and up to $70 billion by 2010. But how have the world’s other Wall Streets fared?

Annie Lowrey |

In Box

The List: Faulty Towers

With financing slowing to a trickle, the world's most hyped architectural projects remain castles in the sky.

Joshua Keating |