The world is getting smaller. Economic, social and political ties that bind us together are stronger than ever. Trade, communication, migration, policy transfers, North-South and South-South politics, media, the Internet, the movement of money, art, and knowledge – we live in an age where every human being is connected in myriad ways to far-flung people and systems. In the 21st century, rigorous and thoughtful research and analysis are essential to understand the way forward in every realm.