society

The Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, a country that still represses civil liberties, has prompted attacks on the attendees and the body itself.

To Roger Boyes in the Times, the association of 53 states – including many frontier markets – is a “country club for corrupt leaders“. The Economist has urged the group to push more for free trade and freedom – or die.

Which raises the question: how badly does the Commonwealth fare when it comes to human rights and civil liberties? Do the Commonwealth nations of Africa score much better than those outside the club? Read more

Emerging Markets across the world should be in a hurry to grow richer, according to Jonas Prising, president of recruitment company ManpowerGroup. “Otherwise they’ll lose the a race to get rich before they get old,” he told beyondbrics at Davos.

Whereas countries like Sweden, the UK or the US had several generations to adjust to new levels of economic growth, and could adjust their institutions so everyone could benefit from the countries’ increasing wealth, EMs won’t have that luxury, according to Prising. Read more

The plight of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for publicly demanding the right of women to be educated, has shone a global spotlight on the failings in the country’s social development. Read more

In real life, as in the Olympic Games, Colombians seem to be aiming for the second step of the podium. This week, as Colombian weightlifter Oscar Albeiro Figueroa stepped up for a silver medal, comes fresh confirmation that more and more Colombians are being lifted from poverty into the middle class.

According to a study conducted at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia’s middle class doubled in the past ten years, from 15 per cent of the population in 2002 to 30 per cent in 2012. Read more

India’s near double-digit growth in the boom years of the last decade has housed and fed millions. And yet…

The number of Indians who consider themselves as “suffering” is on the rise, from 7 per cent in 2008, to 24 per cent in 2011, to 31 per cent this year. What’s going on? Read more

China is dusting off a Maoist icon for the modern age.

Lei Feng, a soldier celebrated for his revolutionary fervor in the 1960s, is being invoked to justify everything from a Good Samaritan law to better risk management at banks. Read more