10 December 2013

There’s No Heir There

By AATISH TASEER
Published: November 23, 2012
New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi, center, waves during an event organized by the National Students Union of India in Chandigarh, India, on Oct. 11, 2012.
A WELL-KNOWN Indian fashion designer, who had recently flown home from New York, said to me at a dinner in Delhi: “For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like coming back. I felt like it used to be in the old days, when we would go abroad and didn’t want to come back.”

The designer was referring to the malaise that has settled over this once hopeful country. People in India will give you many reasons for it. They will cite the growth rate — once nearing 10 percent, now barely 5 — they will talk of the corruption, in every sector from telecom to land to coal, that has totally discredited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government; they will mention the reforms that never happened. And they are not wrong to talk of these things. But these are only symptoms. Not the cause of the gloom, but emanations from it.

What really ails the world’s largest democracy, and what has caused it to lose its footing at this crucial moment in its development, is that its oldest party, its ruling party, the party that invented dynastic democracy, the Congress Party, has found, in the person of Rahul Gandhi, an abysmal mediocrity for an heir. It makes for such sad reading, this tale of the failed crown prince, that it hardly bears telling, were it not for the fact that it has derailed the aspirations of a billion people.

The story began in 2009, when the Congress Party was re-elected at the head of an alliance of parties. At that point, Mr. Singh, the distinguished architect of India’s economic reforms, had been prime minister for five years. Although there are no term limits on the post, he was already in his late 70s. And his party, which had for so long sought legitimacy in the cult of the Gandhi family, felt it was time to put in place a succession plan: a restoration, after a gap of some two decades, of a Gandhi to the office of prime minister. Mr. Singh was set up as the able regent, Rahul Gandhi — grandson of Indira Gandhi — as the 42-year-old prince in waiting.

Not just about the islands



Published: December 10, 2013 
 
Manjari Chatterjee Miller

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/not-just-about-the-islands/article5441185.ece?homepage=true&css=print

China’s decision to have an Air Defence Identification Zone in the East China Sea could have more to do with bigger maritime security issues than with any dispute over islands administratively controlled by Japan

In late November, China announced that it now had an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea. This development led to an immediate spiking of tensions with its neighbours, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as with the United States.

In response, the United States sent two B-52 bombers into the air zone claimed by China. A couple of days later, Japan and South Korea followed suit, sending aircraft into the zone without informing the Chinese authorities. While the U.S. has now at least advised its passenger airlines to follow the rules of the Chinese ADIZ, Tokyo has explicitly refused to do so. For those bemused by China’s sudden announcement and the flurry of international attention that has accompanied it, here is a handy guide to the issue.

What is an ADIZ?

It’s a section of international airspace over which a country declares its right to identify aircraft, ostensibly to protect itself from foreign threat. It’s a product of customary international law but it’s not jurisdictional.

What happens once an ADIZ is established?

A country would use radar to detect unexpected aircraft flying in the ADIZ and observe them. This would sort some, if not most, into the category of being unthreatening. Using radio, it would query those it was concerned about. The country may ask who they are and what they are doing. If they are not a security threat, that would be sufficient. If the country was still not sure, it would launch an aircraft to intercept and observe. The country would not have the authority to do anything else unless it thought the aircraft was a direct threat to the country.

What’s the problem with China declaring an ADIZ?

Well, the problem is that China’s ADIZ overlaps with the ADIZ that was created by the U.S. after World War-II and transferred to Japan in 1969. Japan sees this as an affront to its sovereignty. The bigger problem is that China’s ADIZ encompasses the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands claimed by both China and Japan. This is the first time an overlapping ADIZ has been declared in an area where there is a sovereignty dispute. As a result, with China monitoring the space, and the U.S. and China’s neighbours defying it, there is now an increased risk of either a deliberate or accidental incident involving military aircraft. Some are also concerned that China thinks the ADIZ will strengthen its claim over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.

Is it Diaoyu or Senkaku? And what’s the history issue that crops up in every article?

The Chinese call the islands Diaoyudao. The Japanese call them Senkaku. Impartial observers try to get both names in. The “history problem” (lishi wenti) as China terms it, refers to the history of Japanese colonialism in China. Japan, once a vassal state of imperial China, subjugated and humiliated the Chinese not once but twice in different periods of time — in the late 1800s, and again, in the 1930s. Japan’s domination and exploitation of China, along with the conquests of Western powers, falls under the “century of humiliation” (bainian guochi) in the Chinese historical narrative.

The grounding of Air India: an insider’s view

V. Jayanth

http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/the-grounding-of-air-india-an-insiders-view/article5440853.ece?homepage=true


THE DESCENT OF AIR INDIA: Jitender Bhargava; Bloomsbury Publishing India, Vishrut Building, DDA Complex, Building No. 3, Pocket C-6& 7, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070. Rs. 499.
The very fact that Air India is no longer the ‘Maharajah’ speaks volumes about its present condition. Over the last decade, a series of events and decisions of the top leadership of the once prestigious national (international) carrier has resulted in its virtual grounding. The author, Jitender Bhargava, having spent over two decades with the airline, connected with both its communications and HR, including as its Executive Director, considers this book as his duty by the nation — to tell people from a ring-side view of what went wrong and how.

What began as a private airline, launched by no less than charismatic Indian industrialist J.R.D. Tata, became a national carrier, flying to different international destinations. Subsequently, at late Jawaharlal Nehru’s request, the government took over the airline, but left it to Tata and his professional managers to look after the operations. When Indian Airlines, another government-owned national carrier to take care of domestic operations, was born, the comparisons between the two became obvious and visible.

It was with the seeping in of what is called ‘public sector culture’ in Air India that things really started taking a nosedive. Just because it was government-owned, it became a virtual extension of the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and that remains the main major reason for Air India being unable to take off again.

Bhargava identifies three major events in the recent history of the airline that led to its ‘descent.’ The inability or unwillingness of the government to go in for disinvestment by finding a strategic partner, the massive and ill-advised aircraft acquisition programme, and of course the ill-timed and ill-planned merger of the two airlines. In addition, of course, comes the non-availability of sterling leadership to guide the airline through rough pockets, and the continuing political interference in the management of Air India.

In the late 1990s, there was a proposal by the Tata group and Singapore Airlines to become the strategic partner to provide professional management to Air India. But this fell through, allegedly because of vested interests. Since then, it has run into one financial crisis or another, quite often unable to pay its staff. To find an investor in the present financial health may be impossible.

India, Russia to revive arms maintenance factory in Afghan



Shubhajit Roy : New Delhi, Tue Dec 10 2013
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-russia-to-revive-arms-maintenance-factory-in-afghan/1205584/

India and Russia have decided to collaborate in reviving an arms maintenance factory in Afghanistan, as the war-torn country gets ready for the security transition in 2014 in the wake of US-led coalition's troop withdrawal.

Ahead of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's visit from December 12 to 15, Afghan Ambassador to India Shaida M Abdali confirmed the development Monday. "India and Russia will jointly help revive the maintenance factory. Experts have already met and are discussing the details," he said.

This assumes importance since India's involvement in the security needs of Afghanistan is viewed with suspicion by Pakistan.

Abdali, who was deputy national security advisor in Hamid Karzai government, said Indians will also be needed for training officers in a new institute in Afghanistan.

"We will need about 120 officers for the training facility, and Indians can pitch in," he said.

The envoy said about 1,400 Afghan officers have been trained in India in the last 10 years since 2003. Right now, he said, there are about 350 officers undergoing training in Indian academies.

Karzai will be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 13.

"The two sides will examine necessary efforts to be undertaken by both sides to ensure the protection of our shared national security interests in the coming months and years, regardless of who leads our security and defence cooperation," he said.

Karzai, during his three-day visit, will deliver a lecture to Indian parliamentarians in Delhi and will travel to Pune, where he will follow up on his earlier meetings with the Indian business leaders in May 2013 and in November 2012, and meet members of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

He will also deliver a keynote address at an educational institute in Pune, where he will address more than 700 international students on the topic of 'Securing the future through Education'.

HOW INDIA MIGHT FIND ITS OWN BALANCE IN ASIA

Source Link

India’s rebalancing of relations with the rest of Asia should be founded on diplomacy and cooperation, rather than conflict, writes Subir Bhaumik




India does not appear to be comfortable with the growing tensions in Asia that follow the United States of America’s attempts at ‘rebalancing’ the Chinese assertion of influence in the maritime regions contested by its neighbours. The discomfort comes through loud and clear in the speech given on November 22 by the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to the combined commanders’ conference in Delhi. Getting his exact words on record would be useful to understand the prime minister’s anxiety: “If you survey the global strategic environment over the past decade, it would not escape your notice that, just as the economic pendulum is shifting inexorably from West to East, so is the strategic focus, as exemplified by the increasing contestation in the seas to our east and the related ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalancing’ by the US in this area. This, to my mind, is a development fraught with uncertainty. We don’t yet know whether these economic and strategic transitions will be peaceful....”


Singh then focuses on the global scenario of “intense competition”: “While globalization has induced growing and complex interdependencies among states and multinationals on the economic and trade front, it has also nurtured intense competition and rivalries in the security domain. Managing this contradictory tenor, which has been highlighted by the global surveillance operation mounted by the US National Security Agency, is also a policy imperative for us. Naturally, our objective must be to acquire tangible national capacity, or what the lexicon now refers to as comprehensive national power.”

India’s discomfort with the US global snooping operation revealed by Edward Snowden, in which India was an important target, also comes through clearly. India has made clear its displeasure at the US’s plans of drastic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan because that promises a more intense jihadi campaign with Kashmir as a prime target. Indian and US diplomats have already been involved in some bitter media sparring in Bangladesh with Delhi backing the Awami League and the US, at least its local envoy, indicating a clear preference for the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami combine.

Games Pakistan’s Army will play

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 |
|http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/games-pakistans-army-will-play.html
General Abdul Waheed Kakar bundled Nawaz Sharif out in a midnight ‘deal', while Gen Pervez Musharraf ousted him post-Kargil without bothering to extend such courtesies. But then, Mr Sharif is not known for being very bright

Given the BJP’s 3.5-0 victory in the State Assembly elections, it is probably safe to assume that Mr Narendra Modi will become the next Prime Minister of India. It is probably safer still to assume that his de jure opposite number in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will try to engage him in talks and possibly attempt some form of normalisation. It is also, however, safe to assume that Pakistan’s new Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, General Raheel Sharif, will not let Mr Sharif do anything worthwhile. The last safe assumption here is that India will have to pick up the tab (again) for Mr Nawaz Sharif’s lack of judgement.

Trudging along the beaten path, delegation after Western delegation, visiting Delhi, have gone to great lengths to stress how they see a ‘strategic shift’ in Pakistan. We are, based on their sermons, expected to believe that Pakistan has finally broken its toxic cyclic logic of ‘Settle Kashmir or else we’ll send a few psychotic jihadis to terrorise you — and if you respond we cry ourselves hoarse about the big, bad Indian wolf that poses an existential threat to us’. So let us examine how and why Gen Sharif is expected to break this cycle.

The first is the issue of logic. This phantom strategic shift is supposed to be based on the realisation within Pakistan’s Army that it now doesn’t have to scapegoat India anymore. Since domestic terrorism has emerged as such a serious threat, jolly jihadi and not India will become the new focus. This supposedly will help the Generals retain the Army’s primacy in Pakistan’s decision-making process while redefining the Army’s role in terms of the internal threat. As a result the Generals are apparently slowly stopping their sponsorship of terrorism and cracking down on these outfits.

For a reorientation to be truly strategic, one must identify an ongoing and durable source of threat. Durability is the functional word here. India has been a durable scapegoat because of its existence since 1947. If, however, the Pakistani Army is serious and cracks down on terrorism, it will probably crush these organisations within a few years — terrorism is not a durable threat to the Pakistani state. Invariably the focus will have to shift back to India, meaning, that what we are seeing — if at all — is a tactical shift, and not a strategic one. The other option is that the Army will be half-hearted at best in its crackdown, allowing for the possibility that these outstanding specimens of the psychopath fraternity could be used at a later date against India. As we know from our own experiences of stoking the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorism in Sri Lanka and creating Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Punjab, terrorists cannot be controlled, and invariably they will attack India. Logically the idea of a shift in the Pakistani establishment’s orientation is untenable.

The Leading Global Thinkers of 2013


The Leading Global Thinkers of 2013

Edward Snowden

For exposing the reach of government spying.

Keith Alexander

For masterminding the 
surveillance state.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras

For giving Edward 
Snowden a voice.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras

For giving Edward 
Snowden a voice.

Dilma Rousseff

For confronting 
Washington and its spies.

Ron Wyden

For insisting that the law should never be secret.

Jesselyn Radack

For championing the rights of whistleblowers.

Moxie Marlinspike

For making it harder
 for the NSA—and Google—
to spy on you.

Kevin Mandia

For identifying the 
perpetrators of China's cyber-offensive.

Dmitri Alperovitch

For leveling the cyber playing field.

John Kerry

For betting on Middle 
East peace when 
no one else would.

Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov

For re-establishing Russia as a global power.

Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov

For re-establishing Russia as a global power.

Li Keqiang

For taking on China's biggest economic challenges.

Wang Qishan

For insisting that China's elites are not above the law.

Shinzo Abe

For reviving the 
Japanese economy.

Enrique Peña Nieto

For shaking up Mexico's 
moribund institutions.

Hassan Rouhani

For opening a door.

Angela Merkel

For being the disciplinarian that Europe needs.

Mario Draghi

For defending the 
eurozone with one hand 
tied behind his back.

Christine Lagarde

For giving Europe some tough economic love.

Ben Bernanke

For rattling the markets 
in the name of recovery.

Cécile Kyenge

For combating Europe's 
persistent xenophobia.

José Mujica

For redefining the
 Latin American left.

Juan Manuel Santos

For risking everything to end his country's civil war.

Aminata Touré

For articulating a
 progressive vision of 
African leadership.

François Hollande

For keeping the flame 
of humanitarian 
interventionism alive.

Pope Francis

For bringing the 
Catholic Church into 
the 21st century.

Alexey Navalny

For defying the dark heart of the Russian state.

Rand Paul

For challenging America's hawks—in both parties.

Yair Lapid

For appealing to Israel's political center.

Arvind Kejriwal

For leading a 
campaign to clean up
 India's capital.

Nigel Farage and Alexis Tsipras

For attacking the European establishment from the right and the left.

Nigel Farage and Alexis Tsipras

For attacking the European establishment from the right and the left.

Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin

For discovering a 
whopper of an error.

Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin

For discovering a 
whopper of an error.

Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin

For discovering a 
whopper of an error.

Tamara Morshakova

For standing her ground against the Kremlin.

Joko Widodo

For governing by
 hitting the streets.

David Graeber and James C. Scott

For showing what anarchism can offer the world.

David Graeber and James C. Scott

For showing what anarchism can offer the world.

Intergovernmental Panel on 
Climate Change

For showing that humanity is on the brink of catastrophe.

David Lobell

For helping farmers 
feed the world.

Thomas Peterson, Martin Hoerling, Peter Stott, and Stephanie Herring

For proving that the 
devastation of Superstorm Sandy was partly our fault.

Thomas Peterson, Martin Hoerling, Peter Stott, and Stephanie Herring

For proving that the 
devastation of Superstorm Sandy was partly our fault.

Thomas Peterson, Martin Hoerling, Peter Stott, and Stephanie Herring

For proving that the 
devastation of Superstorm Sandy was partly our fault.

Thomas Peterson, Martin Hoerling, Peter Stott, and Stephanie Herring

For proving that the 
devastation of Superstorm Sandy was partly our fault.

Todd Stern and Xie Zhenhua

For showing that climate policy agreements really can be reached.

Todd Stern and Xie Zhenhua

For showing that climate policy agreements really can be reached.

Azzam Alwash

For saving the 
Garden of Eden.

Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson

For demanding that Canada not leave its First Nations behind.

Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson

For demanding that Canada not leave its First Nations behind.

Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson

For demanding that Canada not leave its First Nations behind.

Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson

For demanding that Canada not leave its First Nations behind.

Ellen MacArthur

For jumpstarting the 
circular economy.

Elon Musk

For making sci-fi real.

Geordie Rose

For pioneering the development of quantum computers.

Thad Starner

For preaching the gospel of wearable computing.

Kalev Leetaru

For building a 
tool that could
 predict the future.

Bre Pettis

For revolutionizing the 
way we make things.

Chris Anderson

For kick-starting the 
consumer drone trend.

Theodore Berger

For making memories. 
Literally.

Xiaolin Zheng

For giving us solar power anywhere, anytime.

Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford

For using gravity to 
light the world.

Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford

For using gravity to 
light the world.

Alexey Davydov and Igor Kochetkov

For fighting Russia's state-sponsored homophobia.

Alexey Davydov and Igor Kochetkov

For fighting Russia's state- sponsored homophobia.

Xu Zhiyong

For promoting people 
power as an antidote to corruption.

Pu Zhiqiang

For daring to take on 
China's J. Edgar Hoover.

Farea Al-Muslimi

For appealing to the better angels of U.S. foreign policy.

Malala Yousafzai

For wielding uncommon courage and wisdom.

Gulalai and Saba Ismail

For empowering 
Pakistani girls.

Gulalai and Saba Ismail

For empowering 
Pakistani girls.

Hossam Bahgat and Heba Morayef

For holding fast to 
the promise of Egypt's 
revolution.

Hossam Bahgat and Heba Morayef

For holding fast to 
the promise of Egypt's 
revolution.

Navi Pillay

For refusing to let the world forget the human 
toll of Syria's crisis.

Urvashi Butalia and Kavita Krishnan

For exposing the roots of India's rampant sexual violence.

Urvashi Butalia and Kavita Krishnan

For exposing the roots of India's rampant sexual violence.

Fatou Bensouda

For prosecuting the 
world's worst criminals.

Julieta Castellanos

For fighting the system 
that killed her son.

Thant Myint-U

For shaping 
Yangon's future by preserving its past.

Mary Jennings Hegar, Zoe Bedell, Colleen Farrell, and Jennifer Hunt

For shattering 
the brass ceiling.

Mary Jennings Hegar, Zoe Bedell, Colleen Farrell, and Jennifer Hunt

For shattering 
the brass ceiling.

Mary Jennings Hegar, Zoe Bedell, Colleen Farrell, and Jennifer Hunt

For shattering 
the brass ceiling.

Mary Jennings Hegar, Zoe Bedell, Colleen Farrell, and Jennifer Hunt

For shattering 
the brass ceiling.

Damian Evans, Bill Benenson, and Steve Elkins

For using lasers to discover and map ancient cities.

Damian Evans, Bill Benenson, and Steve Elkins

For using lasers to discover and map ancient cities.

Damian Evans, Bill Benenson, and Steve Elkins

For using lasers to discover and map ancient cities.

François Englert, Peter Higgs, 
and Fabiola Gianotti

For unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

François Englert, Peter Higgs, 
and Fabiola Gianotti

For unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

François Englert, Peter Higgs, 
and Fabiola Gianotti

For unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

The Mars Rover Team

For showing us 
another world.

Chris Hadfield

For making manned 
space flight cool again.

Joshua Oppenheimer

For documenting a forgotten genocide.

Paul Salopek

For telling the 
story of humanity by retracing its footsteps.

Bassem Youssef

For demonstrating the political importance of satire.

Richard Mosse

For seeing war 
through a new lens.

Zanele Muholi

For photographing 
hidden lives.

George Packer

For unmasking the ugliness of American inequality.

Thomas Friedman

For popularizing the "Chinese dream."

Hannah Gay, Katherine Luzuriaga, and Deborah Persaud

For bringing us closer 
to a cure for HIV.

Hannah Gay, Katherine Luzuriaga, and Deborah Persaud

For bringing us closer 
to a cure for HIV.

Hannah Gay, Katherine Luzuriaga, and Deborah Persaud

For bringing us closer 
to a cure for HIV.

Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro, and Rohit Wanchoo

For trusting the poor to 
spend their money wisely.

Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro, and Rohit Wanchoo

For trusting the poor to 
spend their money wisely.

Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro, and Rohit Wanchoo

For trusting the poor to 
spend their money wisely.

Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro, and Rohit Wanchoo

For trusting the poor to 
spend their money wisely.

Caroline Buckee

For using metadata 
to fight disease.

Anand Grover

For going to the 
mat with Big Pharma.

Homi Kharas

For charting a path 
to the end of poverty.

Sanjay Basu and David Stuckler

For warning that 
austerity can be deadly.

Sanjay Basu and David Stuckler

For warning that 
austerity can be deadly.

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

For showing how scarcity changes the way you think about everything.

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

For showing how scarcity changes the way you think about everything.

Erica Chenoweth

For proving Gandhi right.

Mark Dybul

For revitalizing the world's war on infectious disease.

Haifaa Al Mansour

For quietly breaking the kingdom's gender barriers.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

For defying stereotypes 
on two continents.

NoViolet Bulawayo

For giving voice to the "born-free" generation.

Mohsin Hamid

For painting a disquieting picture of Asia's rise.

Zaha Hadid

For believing every country 
deserves beautiful buildings.

Jia Zhangke

For using art to show how inequality breeds violence.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

For subverting the traditions of Western art.

Tamara Chalabi and Jonathan Watkins

For displaying Iraq's "soul and grace" to the world.

Tamara Chalabi and Jonathan Watkins

For displaying Iraq's "soul and grace" to the world.

Jeff Bezos

For betting on old media.

Wang Jianlin

For dreaming of a 
Chinese Hollywood.

Noura Al Kaabi

For building
an Arabic-language 
media empire.

Saad Mohseni

For believing that 
entertainment can change 
a country for the better.

Mark Zuckerberg

For envisioning a 
stripped-down internet.

Wang Gongquan

For defying the 
unwritten rules of 
China's business elite.

Babak Nivi and Naval Ravikant

For throwing open the 
gates to venture capital.

Babak Nivi and Naval Ravikant

For throwing open the 
gates to venture capital.

Stephen Schwarzman

For creating the scholarship for the Chinese century.
Welcome to our fifth annual special issue featuring FP's 100 Leading Global Thinkers.
Each autumn, Foreign Policy's editors start compiling this remarkable list of people who, over the past year, have made a measurable difference in politics, business, technology, the arts, the sciences, and more. To get the ball rolling, we reach out to wonks, writers, experts, and policymakers on six continents for nominees. We look at the year's biggest stories and scour the weird and arcane from obscure journals. Then, armed with thousands of names, we sit down to hash out the list.
Admittedly, not every one of our Global Thinkers is an angel. There are a few we'd prefer were a little less successful, a few whose goals and motivations are mixed at best, and plenty who, though well-intentioned, may not achieve what they set out to. But the vast majority are not only accomplished—they are affirming. They are doing nothing less than bringing peace, protecting the planet, and pushing the boundaries of the possible. Their achievements are the reward of talent and dedication, and we all benefit.
It has been a big year—full of amazing stories, stunning revelations, and groundbreaking ideas. Enjoy our Leading Global Thinkers issue, and be sure to let us know what you think.

The Surveillance State

This year, leaks of classified U.S. government documents rewrote our understanding not only of the American intelligence apparatus, but of the possibilities and pitfalls of the Internet writ large. The statesmen, hackers, and activists in this category of Global Thinkers are working on the bleeding edge of the digital revolution, where a battle is being fought over who will control the defining tool of the 21st century. They represent those seeking to harness the web in the name of national security, those working to bring it under the letter of the law, and those hoping 
to liberate it in the name of human freedom.

Machines of Loving Grace: I’d rather risk becoming a terrorist’s victim than live under a surveillance state

by William T. Vollmann

Ron Wyden

For insisting that the law should never be secret.

Dilma Rousseff

For confronting 
Washington and its spies.

Kevin Mandia

For identifying the 
perpetrators of China's cyber-offensive.

Dmitri Alperovitch

For leveling the cyber playing field.

Moxie Marlinspike

For making it harder
 for the NSA—and Google—
to spy on you.

Edward Snowden

For exposing the reach of government spying.

Jesselyn Radack

For championing the rights of whistleblowers.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras

For giving Edward 
Snowden a voice.

Keith Alexander

For masterminding the 
surveillance state.

The Decision-Makers

High office—whether elected, appointed, or simply taken—comes with power. But that is not a sufficient precondition for success. Among the world's hundreds 
of regents, presidents, chairmen, ministers, and secretaries, only a few really stand out for the risks they have taken and the changes they have made. Their impact is not always uniformly positive and sometimes their gambits are not rewarded, but their influence cannot be denied. In this category, we acknowledge leaders 
who have shown the courage to lay their reputations on the line, the cunning to seize opportunities, or the 
wisdom to recognize that the worst enemy of the political establishment is often inertia.

Hassan Rouhani

For opening a door.

The Kerry Doctrine: The Secretary of State’s go-big-or-go-home foreign policy

by Douglas Brinkley

John Kerry

For betting on Middle 
East peace when 
no one else would.

Wang Qishan

For insisting that China's elites are not above the law.

Shinzo Abe

For reviving the 
Japanese economy.

Angela Merkel

For being the disciplinarian that Europe needs.

Mario Draghi

For defending the 
eurozone with one hand 
tied behind his back.

Enrique Peña Nieto

For shaking up Mexico's 
moribund institutions.

José Mujica

For redefining the
 Latin American left.

Cécile Kyenge

For combating Europe's 
persistent xenophobia.

Christine Lagarde

For giving Europe some tough economic love.

Li Keqiang

For taking on China's biggest economic challenges.

Juan Manuel Santos

For risking everything to end his country's civil war.

Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov

For re-establishing Russia as a global power.

Ben Bernanke

For rattling the markets 
in the name of recovery.

No Quiet on the Western Front: The Eurozone lived to fight another day. But a new battle is brewing.

by Daniel Altman

François Hollande

For keeping the flame 
of humanitarian 
interventionism alive.

Aminata Touré

For articulating a
 progressive vision of 
African leadership.

The Challengers

Inertia is as powerful a force in society and politics as it is in physics, and effecting change can be demanding and discouraging. But that hasn't stopped these Global Thinkers, who have found innovative ways to shake up the status quo. Of course, challenging the establishment does not automatically put one on the side of angels—the entrants in this category have earned inclusion for specific efforts, not their overall worldviews. Most, however, are broadly pushing the powers that be toward justice. They have sought to revive decrepit institutions, protect the rights of ordinary citizens from predatory governments, and expose the laziness that often supports conventional wisdom. Their efforts have made them forces to be reckoned with.

Arvind Kejriwal

For leading a 
campaign to clean up
 India's capital.

Nigel Farage and Alexis Tsipras

For attacking the European establishment from the right and the left.

Pope Francis

For bringing the 
Catholic Church into 
the 21st century.

Yair Lapid

For appealing to Israel's political center.

Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin

For discovering a 
whopper of an error.

Rand Paul

For challenging America's hawks—in both parties.

Joko Widodo

For governing by
 hitting the streets.

Resurrection: Pope Francis brings the freshness of the gospel to the Catholic Church

by E.J. Dionne Jr.

Tamara Morshakova

For standing her ground against the Kremlin.

Alexey Navalny

For defying the dark heart of the Russian state.

David Graeber and James C. Scott

For showing what anarchism can offer the world.

The Naturals

What does humanity's future hold? In this era of climate change and booming populations, it's an all-too-serious question—one the Global Thinkers in this category have each addressed. They have crunched the numbers to gauge just how close to environmental catastrophe we are. They have identified ways to slow the damage we are inflicting on both our surroundings and ourselves. They have restored wastelands to their original beauty. They are helping humanity become a better steward of the planet and, in the process, ensuring that our future will be long and fruitful.

David Lobell

For helping farmers 
feed the world.

Thomas Peterson, Martin Hoerling, Peter Stott, and Stephanie Herring

For proving that the 
devastation of Superstorm Sandy was partly our fault.

Ellen MacArthur

For jumpstarting the 
circular economy.

Azzam Alwash

For saving the 
Garden of Eden.

Intergovernmental Panel on 
Climate Change

For showing that humanity is on the brink of catastrophe.

Todd Stern and Xie Zhenhua

For showing that climate policy agreements really can be reached.


Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, and Nina Wilson

For demanding that Canada not leave its First Nations behind.

The Innovators

The modern world changes quickly in no small part because technology keeps bringing us new ways to do more, do it better, and do it faster. That is not always a good thing: Far from ushering in the utopia so often promised by Silicon Valley boosterism, 2013 brought us all too many reminders that, in the wrong hands, technology has a dark side. But the Global Thinkers in this category have shown us the power, goodness, and sheer amazement that innovation can bring. From efforts to explore the vastness of the solar system to machines that coax intelligence from the tiniest of particles, their work has given even the world-weary that most precious of gifts: wonderment.

Chris Anderson

For kick-starting the 
consumer drone trend.

Elon Musk

For making sci-fi real.

The Rocketeer: Forget Tesla. Forget the Hyperloop. Elon Musk is all about Space.

by Michael Belfiore

Thad Starner

For preaching the gospel of wearable computing.

Geordie Rose

For pioneering the development of quantum computers.

Xiaolin Zheng

For giving us solar power anywhere, anytime.

Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford

For using gravity to 
light the world.

Theodore Berger

For making memories. 
Literally.

The Global Conversation: What it looks like when a supercomputer maps the world’s newsmakers.

by Kalev Leetaru

Kalev Leetaru

For building a 
tool that could
 predict the future.

Bre Pettis

For revolutionizing the 
way we make things.

The Advocates

From corruption to sexual violence, homophobia to crimes against humanity, the Global Thinkers in this category have tackled some of the world's most pressing and intransigent problems. They have used speeches, protests, lawsuits, and more to thrust their ideas into the public spotlight and demand change. Some have defended international law or challenged foreign powers; others have battled wrongdoing in their own countries. Some have succeeded in changing policy and been feted for their accomplishments; others have been stigmatized or even imprisoned. But all of them have pushed boundaries in the name of progress.

Mary Jennings Hegar, Zoe Bedell, Colleen Farrell, and Jennifer Hunt

For shattering 
the brass ceiling.

Julieta Castellanos

For fighting the system 
that killed her son.

Thant Myint-U

For shaping 
Yangon's future by preserving its past.

Alexey Davydov and Igor Kochetkov

For fighting Russia's state-sponsored homophobia.

Pu Zhiqiang

For daring to take on 
China's J. Edgar Hoover.

Gulalai and Saba Ismail

For empowering 
Pakistani girls.

Urvashi Butalia and Kavita Krishnan

For exposing the roots of India's rampant sexual violence.

Fatou Bensouda

For prosecuting the 
world's worst criminals.

Navi Pillay

For refusing to let the world forget the human 
toll of Syria's crisis.

Xu Zhiyong

For promoting people 
power as an antidote to corruption.

Malala Yousafzai

For wielding uncommon courage and wisdom.

Farea Al-Muslimi

For appealing to the better angels of U.S. foreign policy.

Hossam Bahgat and Heba Morayef

For holding fast to 
the promise of Egypt's 
revolution.


The Chroniclers

In an age when "search" is a browser function that can call up more information in an instant than an ancient scholar could accumulate in a lifetime, it is easy to mistake data for knowledge. The Global Thinkers 
in this category put that hubris in perspective, showing us novel ways 
of understanding the world and our place in it. They have traveled to jungles and deserts, near-Earth orbit and the Martian surface. With reporting that moved us, photography that shook our view of conflict, and research that exposed the very fabric of physical existence, they have helped us understand what it means to be human.

Paul Salopek

For telling the 
story of humanity by retracing its footsteps.

François Englert, Peter Higgs, 
and Fabiola Gianotti

For unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

George Packer

For unmasking the ugliness of American inequality.

The Design and Fall of Civilizations: The technology uncovering humanity’s past-and perhaps its future.

by Douglas Preston

Richard Mosse

For seeing war 
through a new lens.

Bassem Youssef

For demonstrating the political importance of satire.

Damian Evans, Bill Benenson, and Steve Elkins

For using lasers to discover and map ancient cities.

Chris Hadfield

For making manned 
space flight cool again.

Thomas Friedman

For popularizing the "Chinese dream."

Joshua Oppenheimer

For documenting a forgotten genocide.

The Mars Rover Team

For showing us 
another world.

Zanele Muholi

For photographing 
hidden lives.

The Healers

More than 1 billion people live in poverty—that is, on less than 
$1.25 per day. The death toll in Syria's civil war has risen to over 100,000. About 3.3 billion people are at risk for contracting malaria, and over 16 million people with HIV cannot access the drugs that combat the virus. In short, much is broken in the world. From developing a global anti-poverty agenda to ensuring access to medicines to explaining how nonviolence really can foster change, the Global Thinkers in this category—doctors, lawyers, researchers, entrepreneurs—are working to heal the wounds that afflict so many.

Caroline Buckee

For using metadata 
to fight disease.

Anand Grover

For going to the 
mat with Big Pharma.

Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro, and Rohit Wanchoo

For trusting the poor to 
spend their money wisely.

Hannah Gay, Katherine Luzuriaga, and Deborah Persaud

For bringing us closer 
to a cure for HIV.

Homi Kharas

For charting a path 
to the end of poverty.

Erica Chenoweth

For proving Gandhi right.

Sanjay Basu and David Stuckler

For warning that 
austerity can be deadly.

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

For showing how scarcity changes the way you think about everything.

Mark Dybul

For revitalizing the world's war on infectious disease.

The Artists

There is a place for artistic creation purely in the name of beauty: Ars gratia artis, the saying goes—art for the sake of art. But as the Global Thinkers in this category show, art also has the power to make a striking political statement or reflect, even define, a moment in history. These artists have used brush strokes, words, images, and more to shock the senses and, in some cases, the sensibilities. They have defied the rules of artistic forms, as well as social norms of gender, race, and class. From China to Saudi Arabia, Britain to Azerbaijan, they have shown that art doesn't just matter—it is vital.

Haifaa Al Mansour

For quietly breaking the kingdom's gender barriers.

NoViolet Bulawayo

For giving voice to the "born-free" generation.

Tamara Chalabi and Jonathan Watkins

For displaying Iraq's "soul and grace" to the world.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

For subverting the traditions of Western art.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

For defying stereotypes 
on two continents.

Jia Zhangke

For using art to show how inequality breeds violence.

Zaha Hadid

For believing every country 
deserves beautiful buildings.

Mohsin Hamid

For painting a disquieting picture of Asia's rise.

The Moguls

What should one do with several million dollars? What about several billion? The Global Thinkers in this category have many different answers: assemble a media empire, build a new Hollywood an ocean away from California, take on repressive regimes, help tech start-ups get on their feet, bring the Internet to every corner of the globe. Together, they show that the benefit of great wealth and status is the ability to define one's mission and reinvent it again and again.

Wang Jianlin

For dreaming of a 
Chinese Hollywood.

Jeff Bezos

For betting on old media.

Noura Al Kaabi

For building
an Arabic-language 
media empire.

Wang Gongquan

For defying the 
unwritten rules of 
China's business elite.

Saad Mohseni

For believing that 
entertainment can change 
a country for the better.

Stephen Schwarzman

For creating the scholarship for the Chinese century.

Mark Zuckerberg

For envisioning a 
stripped-down internet.

Babak Nivi and Naval Ravikant

For throwing open the 
gates to venture capital.