Main
By Fareed
GPS podcasts
Money
Elections
Conflict
Fareed's Washington Post columns
Books
Facebook
Twitter

November 3rd, 2012
11:19 AM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (61 comments​)
2012: A year of elections (not just in U.S.)
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
Editor’s note: Ravi Agrawal is a senior producer on Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square. The views expressed are his own. You can follow him on Twitter @RaviAgrawalCNN
At the start of the year, GPS billed 2012 as “the year of elections.” It was to be a rare alignment of the electoral stars: the year China, Russia, France, and the U.S. would elect new leaders. Together, these four countries represent 80 percent of the U.N. Security Council and account for 40 percent of global GDP. There were also elections scheduled in Venezuela, Mexico, and Egypt. Unlike 2011 – which unleashed the sudden churn of the Arab Spring – 2012 was meant to bring a different kind of people power: planned change.
Democracy at its core is about the rule of the people; it is about free and fair elections. Yet democratic countries fall under a fairly broad spectrum – some proudly enshrine a range of freedoms, others impose restrictions. One would think the world is moving inexorably towards the freer end of this spectrum, but the data shows the opposite. Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World survey scores countries on the political rights and civil liberties they offer. In each of the last six years, more countries have seen declines in their ratings than gains. On average, for every two countries that see an improvement, three fall back. Why is this happening? In part, it is because of the disproportionate importance we ascribe to elections. Fareed Zakaria predicted this trend in a 1997 Foreign Affairs essay, when he described illiberal democracy as a growth industry. “In the end,” he wrote, “elections trump everything. If a country holds elections, Washington and the world will tolerate a great deal from the resulting government … Elections are an important virtue of governance, but they are not the only virtue.”
FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: 2012 Election • China • Elections • Russia • United States

September 26th, 2012
03:05 PM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (586 comments​)
We’re all makers and takers
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
Editor’s note: Ravi Agrawal is a senior producer on Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square. The views expressed are his own. You can follow him on Twitter @RaviAgrawalCNN
It all began, as things so often do these days, with a leaked video. Then there was a hurriedly-arranged press conference, an ensuing media maelstrom, and finally, attack ads.
Mitt Romney’s revelation that his “job is not to worry” about the “47 percent of the people” who “pay no income tax” has divided America. On the one hand, the 47 percent of households who pay no income tax are enraged, belittled. “People want a hand up, not a hand out,” says President Barack Obama. But assuming Romney understood his audience at that fateful fundraiser, his comments suggest the 53 percent are angry too: weary of contributing what they think is more than a fair share, and worried that if their man loses they’ll have to pay more. As columnist David Brooks put it, it’s the makers versus the moochers​.
FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: 2012 Election • Economy • Mitt Romney • United States

September 12th, 2012
08:08 AM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (209 comments​)
Misreading Mexico
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
Ravi Agrawal is senior producer of Fareed Zakaria GPS. The views expressed are his own.
Here’s some trivia. Which of these countries has the highest average income: India, China, Brazil or Mexico? If you guessed Brazil, you’d be wrong. And if you guessed India or China, you’d be way off: even if you combine the incomes of the average Indian and Chinese you wouldn’t reach the $15,000 annual purchasing power of the average Mexican.
These numbers don’t fit with many people’s perception of America’s southern neighbor. Mexico, you see, has a PR problem. A quick Google search for news from Mexico throws up a set of results that usually includes the words violence, drugs, cartels, and migrants (or the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico). But it’s not just the international media that seems to have it in for Mexico’s reputation. Mexicans themselves seem woebegone. A recent Pew survey found that only a third of Mexicans think they have a good national economic situation. Compare that with half of Indians, 65 percent of Brazilians, and 83 percent of Chinese. Or let’s go back to average citizens: 52 percent of Mexicans think they have a good personal economic situation, but for Indians, Chinese, and Brazilians, those numbers rise to 64 percent, 69 percent, and 75 percent respectively – and that’s despite the fact that in purchasing power terms, Mexicans actually earn more per capita than citizens of all three of those countries. And, unlike the others, Mexico’s growth rate is actually rising.
Indeed, Mexico’s economy has a number of strengths. It is the 14th largest in the world. If you take into account purchasing power, it is the 11th largest economy – larger than Canada, Turkey, and Indonesia. It is projected to grow 4 percent this year, and even faster in the coming decade, a rate that the financial services firm Nomura says will lead to Mexico overtaking Brazil as Latin America​’s biggest economy within 10 years, despite the fact that Brazil’s economy is currently twice as large.
FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: Mexico
June 29th, 2012
07:41 AM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (795 comments​)
What happened to 'Incredible India'?
Editor's note: Ravi Agrawal is the Senior Producer of "Fareed Zakaria GPS." You can follow him on Twitter @RaviAgrawalCNN​.
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
What's happened to India? Seemingly every day, new reports emerge of its slide. Growth has dropped to 5.3% – half the rate it was in 2010, and the lowest in nearly a decade. The rupee has hit a record low against the dollar, depreciating more than 25% in one year. Inflation is rampant; the deficit is growing; reforms have stalled.
Worse is to come, if you believe the ratings agencies. Standard & Poor's and Fitch have both given India their lowest investment grade and are on a negative watch.
What happened to "Incredible India," the capital "I" of the BRIC countries? FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: India

Xue Jianwan, the daughter of a local leader who died in police custody in Wukan, votes in elections in March.
June 5th, 2012
10:48 AM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (145 comments​)
China: An unlikely home for democracy?
Editor's note: Ravi Agrawal is the Senior Producer of "Fareed Zakaria GPS." You can follow him on Twitter @RaviAgrawalCNN and check out past posts.
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
Just as some despair that democracy’s sun is setting in the West, a new study suggests it is rising anew in the East – in authoritarian China.
Three months ago, the world’s media reported with amazement a successful election in Wukan, a fishing village in the country’s southeast. 6,000 villagers were allowed to vote in a Western-style free and fair election – secret ballots and all.
But Beijing’s experiments in rural democracy are not new; they go almost three decades further back.
How has it worked out? For the first time, we have some data. FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: China • Politics

Demonstrators clash with police in Athens during protests over Greek austerity cuts in February.
May 24th, 2012
09:48 AM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (460 comments​)
Is democracy in crisis?
Editor's note: Ravi Agrawal is the Senior Producer of "Fareed Zakaria GPS." You can follow him on Twitter @RaviAgrawalCNN​
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
I was browsing through the website of the magazine Foreign Affairs when I came across an article titled “The Present Crisis in Democracy.” The author describes dire times: a world “in a state of hysteria” where an “intoxication of unusual prosperity” was followed by “the harassing uncertainty of the depression.”
From finance boom to housing bust, it reads like a description of inept governance in the last decade.
But it’s not. The article was written in 1934 by Lawrence Lowell, a former president of Harvard University and frequent contributor to Foreign Affairs.
It turns out we’ve always talked about a “crisis in democracy.” A Google search of the phrase throws up articles written not only from the past few years, but from almost every decade of the 20th century.
FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: 2012 Election • Analysis • Governance • Politics

Francois Hollande rode to victory in France on an anti-austerity platform, preaching growth instead of staunch cuts.
May 9th, 2012
05:56 PM ET
Share this on:
Facebook
Twitter
Digg
del.icio.us
reddit
MySpace
StumbleUpon
Comments (297 comments​)
Who's the problem: People or politicians?
Editor's note: Ravi Agrawal is the Senior Producer of "Fareed Zakaria GPS." You can follow him on Twitter @RaviAgrawalCNN
By Ravi Agrawal​, CNN
The winners of last Sunday’s elections in Greece and France would do well to consider “Juncker’s Curse.” It’s named after the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, who famously quipped: “We all know what to do. But we don’t know how to get reelected once we've done it.”
Juncker would know. He’s the longest serving democratically elected head of government in the world.
But it raises an interesting, philosophical question. Is populism our greatest obstacle to growth and success? Are world leaders really just sitting on solutions to all our problems – but they can’t implement them because of us?
In other words, are people the problem, and not politicians? FULL POST
Post by: CNN's Ravi Agrawal
Topics: Analysis • Politics
About us
Subscribe
The Global Public Square is where you can make sense of the world every day with insights and explanations from CNN's Fareed Zakaria​, leading journalists at CNN, and other international thinkers. Join GPS editor Jason Miks and get informed about global issues, exposed to unique stories, and engaged with diverse and original perspectives.
Fareed Zakaria GPS TV
Every week we bring you in-depth interviews with world leaders, newsmakers and analysts who break down the world's toughest problems.
 
CNN U.S.: Sundays 10 a.m. & 1 p.m ET | CNN International: Find local times
 
Buy the GPS mug | BooksTranscripts | Audio
 
Connect on FacebookTwitterGPS@cnn.com
 
Buy past episodes on iTunes! | Download the audio podcast
Fareed's Washington Post columns
Check out all of Fareed's Washington Post columns here:
 
Obama as a foreign policy president?
 
Why Snowden should stand trial in U.S.
 
Hillary Clinton's truly hard choice
 
China's trapped transition
 
Obama should rethink Syria strategy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Search the Global Public Square
Search for:
Categories
Alastair Smith Anne-Marie Slaughter Barak Barfi By CNN's Jason Miks CEIP CFR Christopher Alessi Christopher Sabatini​CNN's Amar C. Bakshi CNN's Elise Labott CNN's Fareed Zakaria CNN's Jason Miks CNN's John Cookson CNN's Omar Kasrawi CNN's Peter Bergen​CNN's Ravi Agrawal CNN's Tim Lister CNN Editors Ed Husain Elliott Abrams Geneive Abdo Global Post Isobel Coleman James M. Lindsay John Kao Joseph Nye Juan Cole Kenneth Rogoff Martin Feldstein Meir Javedanfar Micah Zenko Michael O'Hanlon Minxin Pei Mohamed El-Erian​Peter Singer Raghuram Rajan Richard Haass Robert Danin​Shashank Joshi Soner Cagaptay Stephen S. Roach Steven A. Cook Stewart M. Patrick Stewart Patrick TIME's Tony Karon
Categories
Categories
@fareedzakaria on Twitter
Today's last look: the flood of people trying to enter the US from its southern border looks like a problem with no�​twitter.com/i/web/status/1…​4w
fareedzakaria
5:01 pm ET June 13, 2021 RETWEET
The incredible story of how life expectancy doubled over 100 years: my conversation w/ @stevenbjohnson​, from today’​twitter.com/i/web/status/1…​MzGO
fareedzakaria
4:59 pm ET June 13, 2021 RETWEET
Pres. Biden held a press conference in Cornwall this morning, during which he declared, "America is back at the tab�​twitter.com/i/web/status/1…​du
fareedzakaria
4:58 pm ET June 13, 2021 RETWEET
If the crucial, distinctive & unique property of cryptocurrency is that it can be readily & efficiently used for cr�​twitter.com/i/web/status/1…​cs
fareedzakaria
4:55 pm ET June 13, 2021 RETWEET
… finally: floods of people are trying to enter the US at the southern border, & VP Harris is in charge of stopping​twitter.com/i/web/status/1…​qdCI
fareedzakaria
4:01 pm ET June 12, 2021 RETWEET