Crime and Punishment
Seven million Americans are in prison or on probation or parole. Crime is down, but state prison budgets have ballooned. A new war on crime must focus on reducing repeat offenses by ex-inmates and steering more young people away from crime.
Beyond the Prison Bubble
For decades, America's chief answer to crime has been to put more criminals behind bars for longer. That expensive strategy is yielding diminishing returns. It's time for a closer look at ways of helping ex-offenders steer away from crime.
More Stories From This Issue
Rethinking the Great Recession
In embracing a victims-and-villains explanation of the recession, Americans are missing important lessons about the future of the U.S. economy.
It is the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation and a highly successful democracy. How did Indonesia do it?
What Is a Tree Worth?
Trees brighten city streets and delight nature-starved urbanites. Now scientists are learning that they also play a crucial role in the green infrastructure of America's cities.
A Glimmer in the Balkans
After 20 years of nation-building in the Balkan countries, a big payoff may be in sight. But it will still be a long time before the United States can declare victory and pull out.
The Bounty Hunter's Pursuit of Justice
When felony defendants jump bail, bounty hunters spring into action. It's a uniquely American system, and it works.
The Economist's Guide to Crime Busting
The old divide betweeen hard and soft strategies is breaking down under a wave of new thinking about how to control crime.
What's the Big Idea?
Big ideas are essential for policymakers, who need an overarching vision as they grapple with daily challenges. Many have been offered, but consensus on which is the right one remains elusive.
Ending the Endless War
Our traditional understanding of war, with its simple on/off options and relatively clear-cut legal distinctions, is not well suited to the current "war on terror" against a non-state enemy.
The Refugee Crisis That Wasn't
Jordanian officials continue to claim that there are more than 500,000 displaced Iraqis within their borders, but the real number may be much lower.
The financial panic has caused many economists to do some soul-searching. But the big problem is not what economists don't know, but that they think they know more than they do.
Don't Blame Polarization
America's politicians are afraid that bipartisan compromise will get them thrown out of office.
Disaster Management 101
Only in the last 60 years has the president become the go-to official for disaster response and relief.
Untying the Knot
"There is something odd about the mixture of casualness and solemnity with which the state behaves as a marrying agent."
Op-Ed Takes Wing
"The function of newspapers and newspapermen is to interpret the age to the general public."
Renaissance on the Airwaves
Compared with other media, radio is the least discussed, debated, and understood.
Catholicism's Lessons for Islam
Concerns that religion and democracy do not mix are not new, nor are they confined to Islam. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was Catholicism that was the big worry.
A Jewish Revival
The practice of musar speaks a universal language, asking Jews to become more ethical people, not just "better Jews."
"Nearly the whole lives of zoologists will come to be spent in libraries, until the thing gets so intolerable that someone will suggest that we burn all the books and start afresh from nature."
Brave New World
The list of habitable zones both in and out of our solar system has been lengthened in recent years.
Gauguin was not searching for something new, but something ancient and perhaps close to vanishing.
Papa's Painful Passion
According to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway needed "a new woman for each big book." For Hemingway, creativity came from following those passions, even to destructive ends.
The Death of Dance
The dance world is crumbling, and young dancers are training for a profession that grows smaller and less significant by the year.
The Paradox of Words
By expressing reality, writers create reality, yet capturing the world with words is impossible.
Russia's Farming Comeback
The resurgence of Russian agriculture introduces a new and intriguing dimension into relations with the often bellicose giant.
The pop stars of 1980s Pakistan have transformed themselves in ways that reflect the country's shifting religio-political landscape.
China's Confucian Democracy
More than two millennia after his death, Confucius still shapes Chinese political life.
The theoretical underpinning of communism has shifted profoundly from the thirst to cleanse society by liquidating older classes such as the aristocracy and bourgeoisie, to the empowerment of political elites and military strata drawn from the poorer segments of the population.
Masters of Peace
Nathan Hodge sets out to explain how and why the Pentagon embraced the once-dreaded business of nation-building, and the "tectonic shift" that this new mission portends for American foreign policy.
Kids These Days
Constantly in need of new and more terrifying copy, news editors and television producers reach for that evergreen tale of America's disillusioned youth.
The Plan Is All
Residents, rather than planners, ultimately determine a city plan's success when they decide whether to live, shop, play, and linger in the space a designer has created.
Only recently have neuroscientists realized the extent of the human brain's astonishing plasticity.
He Put the 'I' in Tries
What distinguished Montaigne from his contemporaries was his interest in how people actually live, rather than how they ought to live.
The Thinking Man's Politician
Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the kind of figure who almost makes you wish there were more intellectuals in American political life. But there could only be one Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
The Old Story
How will nations with large numbers of aging and declining birthrates sustain their economic status and prevent crippling fissures in their societies?
The Engines of Progress
Gas turbines have received little attention, but have led to epochal shifts in world affairs.