In the seventeenth century lawyers, civil servants and other new professionals began to work from offices in Amsterdam, London and Paris. British Museum/Flickr

A short history of the office

In Cuba, unlike in many Latin American countries, when you see children on the street, they’re not begging; they’re playing. And therein lies Castro’s dilemma: how to reform Cuba’s stagnant economy without losing what’s working? Dan Lundberg/flickr

Castro’s conundrum: finding a post-communist model Cuba can follow

Cuba won't tolerate the high social costs paid by China and Vietnam in their shift to market capitalism, but its economy desperately needs a reboot.
A massive protest against the Gorrano Dam on January 26 2017 in Islamkot, Tharparkar. Bheem Raj /Thar Voice Forum

For Pakistan, China’s huge energy investments may have serious political costs

China is sinking billions into energy development in rural Pakistan, much of it earmarked for renewables. That may be good for the climate and the national economy, but what about the locals?
Inflation reached 800% in Venezuela. Here, a banknote featuring president Nicolas Maduro’s face has been stamped as ‘devalued’. Jorge Silva/Reuters

Inside Venezuela’s economic collapse

How is a country that was once South America's richest now on the verge of bankruptcy? A Venezuelan economist breaks down his country's descent into chaos.
Be careful! In Uttar Pradesh, the cow trade is now almost wholly criminalised. Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

‘Cow economics’ are killing India’s working class

A crackdown on the beef and leather trades has put hundreds of thousands of Indian Muslims and Dalits out of work, vexing already-tense religious relations and hurting India's economy.
The first microloans were made to women in rural Bangladesh in the 1970s. Banesa Khatun (far left) here in 2006, was still using Grameen Bank 30 years later. Rafiquar Rahman/Reuters

Yes, microlending reduces extreme poverty

A new study finds that giving small loans to very poor people reduces both the incidence and depth of poverty in the developing world.
Phoenix Lake, Dortmund’s coolest new quarter, was once an abanonded steel mill surrounded by polluted waterways and brownfields. Frank Vincentz/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Redesigning the rust belt: an old German steel region gets a mindful modern makeover

A former industrial region in the heart of Germany is slowly reinventing itself for the 21st century, offering urban planning lessons for Detroit and beyond.
To an extent, the legacy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party rests on the country’s new global plan. Jason Lee/Reuters

Globalisation Under Pressure

Is China the potential driver of a new wave of globalisation?

While China has so far secured support from a number of governments for its Belt and Road Initiative, the recent forum in Beijing also highlighted some obstacles to its advancement.
Can events like Chanel Fashion Week can still happen in Cuba? Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

In Cuba, the post-Fidel era began ten years ago

With its uncharismatic president and liberalising economy, Cuba already looks less like North Korea and more like China or Vietnam.

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