Weekend Roundup: Goodbye Post-War Era; Hello Pre-War Era?


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

This week, the old world order continued to crumble before our eyes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Beijing, once again telling the Chinese to cool it in the South and East China Seas and “abide by maritime law.” The Chinese told him to mind his own business. Yet another spy scandal erupted between two of the closest post-World War II allies, Germany and the United States. Every day, tension increases between Ukraine and Russia. The powder keg of the Middle East exploded anew. As the Syrian tragedy continued unabated and the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate advanced further in Iraq, Hamas and Israel are yet again locked in a deadly battle. A new refugee crisis has arisen — this time not in far off Africa or Syria — but at the U.S. border, where tens of thousands of children from Central America’s failed states are arriving en masse.

Historian and strategist Walter Russell Mead puts it all together, comparing our present moment to 1914 when World War I broke out after a long peace, asking whether we are moving “from a post-war to a pre-war world.” The Mexican writer Homero Aridjis traces the horrific journey of migrants on the “death train” that runs through Mexico to the U.S. from the border with Guatemala. Sergio Munoz Bata focuses on the violent anarchy within Mexico itself that has given rise to vigilantes fighting drug cartels and corrupt government.

Eva Högl, a member of the German Parliament, writes from Berlin that, while “no one wants a global digital arms race,” Germany must do what it can to protect its citizens from unwarranted U.S. cyberspying.

Former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher sees inclusion instead of sectarianism as the only hope for the Middle East. Graham Fuller, at one time the CIA’s top expert on the Islamic world, traces religious conflict in the Middle East to the end of the Ottoman Caliphate in the early 20th century and the yearning for a singular Islamic authority. WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Gaza City, where Palestinian children are grappling with injuries and the loss of family members.

Korean scholar Jin Park reflects in a letter from Seoul on the visit there by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who recalled the Ming Dynasty alliance of Korea and China against Japan 400 years ago. Writing from Shanghai, Han Zhu reminds the citizens of Hong Kong that their democratic freedoms now are far greater than they ever were under British rule. In an interview, political theorist Francis Fukuyama sticks to his thesis of history ending in liberal democracy despite China’s rise.

There are bright spots. This week, Berggruen Holdings, along with several African heads of state, announced the establishment of an East Africa Commodities Exchange that will allow small farmers to sell their crops on global markets.

Finally, Arianna Huffington reviews LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s new book about how to repair the long-term relationship and renew trust between employers and employees in a constantly churning entrepreneurial environment.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Cairo; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.