Political Risk Must-Reads

Eurasia Group's weekly selection of essential reading for the political-risk junkie -- presented in no particular order. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections by tweeting at us via @EurasiaGroup or @ianbremmer.


"Why Bo Stole the Show"
Minxin Pei, Project Syndicate
Day 1 of the Bo Xilai trial was jarringly transparent; it's hard to believe it was China's attempt at upholding rule of law and judicial integrity. After all, Beijing clamped down from the second day onward. So how did Bo get a chance to speak his mind so openly and dramatically? What impact might it have?

"Mutually Insured Destruction"
Maggie Koerth-Baker, New York Times
Can predictive algorithms used by reinsurance companies successfully measure the economic impact of climate change?

"Best and Worst Countries for Babies on Their First Day of Life"
Cat Wise, PBS
One million babies die every year on their day of birth. A baby born in Somalia is 43 times more likely to die on his or her first day than one born in Luxembourg (which tops the list); the United States comes in 68th out of 186 ranked countries.

"Russia-Belarus potash dispute ignites diplomatic row"
Douglas Busvine and Andrei Makhovsky, Reuters
How has a trade dispute between Russia and Belarus escalated into a handcuffed CEO and a shaken $20 billion global potash market?

Weekly Bonus

"Twitter and Facebook's global impact as told through which governments want their data"
Zachary M. Seward, Quartz
For the first time, Facebook has released the user-data requests it receives from each country. So which foreign countries demand the most information on Twitter and Facebook users?

"Liberia students all fail university admission exam"
BBC News
Umm … is it possible that every single one of the nearly 25,000 students who applied to the University of Liberia got rejected?