December 29th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Khanna: Why we need to rank cities

Editor's Note: Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, visiting senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Second World and How to Run the World.

By Parag Khanna – Special to CNN

"The city" was one of the great memes of 2011. Most of the world's population now lives in cities, with developing economies featuring the fastest urbanization rates. Especially in these countries, one city (such as the capital) often drives the entire national economy.

It's therefore crucial to develop an index that measures city economic activity rather than just at the national level. Which cities exhibit the most infrastructure investment, are attracting the most firms and are improving public services and educational institutions? Such an index could spur constructive status competition among cities to improve their performance and rankings.

Despite its status as an emerging superpower, India's thriving commercial hub of Mumbai represents approximately one-third of the national economic output. In the feature segment for CNN's new flagship business program "Global Exchange," I tour Mumbai with CNN’s Mallika Kapur to explain the need for such a data-driven cities index, the importance of large-scale infrastructure to alleviate urban congestion and boost productivity and the economic promise of slums such as Mumbai’s Dharavi.

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Topics: Global • Ideas
Big ideas from small places
A night view of Singapore's financial district. (Getty Images)
November 1st, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Big ideas from small places

Editor's Note: Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, visiting senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Second World and How to Run the World. David Skilling is founding director at Landfall Strategy Group, a Singapore-based advisory firm.

By Parag Khanna and David Skilling – Special to CNN

In the current phase of globalization, financial, ecological, political and social crises are occurring simultaneously and magnifying each other in unpredictable ways. From the Fukushima nuclear meltdown reshaping German politics and the European power industry, to America’s sub-prime mortgage meltdown threatening the Eurozone, such chain reactions are undermining an already fragile stability.

Large countries and blocs such as the U.S., China and the EU, and new groupings like the G-20 and the BRICS, are grappling with this unprecedented combination of structural challenges and black swans.  But there is little evidence of real progress. Coordinated financial regulation remains a chimera, and domestic pressures are fueling the risk of protectionist measures and immigration barriers.  The failures of the WTO’s Doha Round and the Copenhagen climate change talks are further evidence of the difficulties in making collective progress on global issues. FULL POST

Global masses demand accountability
October 11th, 2011
09:28 PM ET

Global masses demand accountability

Editor's Note: Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, visiting senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Second World and How to Run the World.

By Parag Khanna – Special to CNN

Times Square will not turn into Tahrir Square anytime soon, despite the very interesting parallels between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Arab Spring recently laid out by Joshua Keating in Foreign Policy.

Yet New York, Cairo, Tel Aviv, New Delhi, London and Madrid have all become sites of popular discontent with democracies that don’t deliver the basics, especially jobs and justice. As Nicholas Kulish recently reported in the New York Times, “protesters share something else: wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over. They are taking to the streets, in part, because they have little faith in the ballot box.”

The most fundamental feature of the international system we are experiencing is the collapse of the post-colonial order. Post-colonial Arab nations survived for decades on anti-Western rhetoric and Cold War largesse, but are now succumbing to decades of decay evident in their over-population, crumbling infrastructure and corrupt leadership.

FULL POST

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Topics: Global • Protests
From 'War on Terror' to 'New Silk Road'
(Getty Images)
October 7th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

From 'War on Terror' to 'New Silk Road'

Editor's Note: Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, visiting senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Second World and How to Run the World.

By Parag Khanna – Special to CNN

Parag Khanna

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks passed, Americans are searching for a new narrative to understand their country’s role in the world. But far more than declared principles or personalities, America’s place in the world is shaped by what it does in other places. Especially overseas, societies judge us by our actions rather than our words.

October 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-UK invasion of Afghanistan - the first major undertaking of the “War on Terror.” The Obama administration was quick to jettison the term “War on Terror” upon entering office. But more importantly, it has begun to take a series of concrete steps that genuinely constitute a new narrative for the region where that war began: “New Silk Road.” It is a decade overdue, but New Silk Road is more than just a re-branding of the “War on Terror,” and more than a hodge-podge of announcements to cover American tracks as it begins a drawdown from Afghanistan. It is nothing less than a new grand strategy for the U.S. both for Central-South Asia and beyond. It re-frames much of U.S. policy as a two-way street of shared responsibilities and mutual benefit.

FULL POST

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Topics: Central Asia • Foreign Policy • Global • Strategy • Terrorism
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