One of my favorite things about the Economist is the way it discusses ideas as enthusiastically and lucidly as it talks about politics. It’s something you very seldomly see in the media (a few exceptions spring to mind– The New York Review of Books, the NYT Books section on Sunday, and especially The Nation’s book reviews). But no one else puts the discussion of ideas next to the news, and gives it as a rubric to understand the news with.
The proximate cause for this outburst is the discussion of proportionality (http://www.economist.com/world/africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7231163) in war in this week’s issue (following articles on the Hizbollah conflict).
I also like the way the Economist differentiates between different kinds of liberty, and firmly advocates the advance of economic and social liberty. I feel like there was recently an article about the problem of liberalism, but I can’t find it. As a consolation prize, I found an article (http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=4327143) on the quandary of liberals in Germany. Also in a similar vein are the articles on the rise of soft paternalism (unfortunately both subscribers only– the leader here (http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=6772346), and the main article here (http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_GSGRTVJ)).