Analysis


The Battle for Britain Saturday, August 31st, 2019

The Brexit “Leave” campaign has been billed as an effort to “take back control” by restoring “sovereignty” to the United Kingdom’s Parliament. It is thus deeply ironic that one of the first moves of the Brexiteers upon coming to power has been to suspend Parliament and shut down..

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The Trump Narrative and the Next Recession Friday, August 30th, 2019

US President Donald Trump concluded his remarks at the recent G7 summit by inviting the assembled leaders to hold next year’s meeting at his Doral country club near Miami, describing a fantasy-like world of “magnificent buildings” whose “ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida and the..

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Unhinged before the Fall: Boris Johnson, Parliament and Brexit Thursday, August 29th, 2019

The Brexit no deal prospect is engendering an element of lunacy fast seeping into every pore of the British political establishment. As with all steeped in such thinking, some of it made sense. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been inspired by a mild dictatorial urge, seeking to suspend the UK..

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Will the Iran Conflict Break the West?

Before the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, this month, it was a toss-up whether the greater disruption would come from US President Donald Trump or British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Yet the attendee who had the biggest impact was someone who was not expected to be there at all: Iranian Foreign..

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Could a US Recession End the Trade War? Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

The recent inversion of the yield curve in the United States – with the interest rate on ten-year US government bonds currently lower than that on short-term bonds – has raised fears of a possible US recession later this year or in 2020. Yet, paradoxically, a downturn in America could help to..

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Flailing at China Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

This will be the tenth year that I have taught a course at Yale called “The Next China.” The course focuses on modern China’s daunting economic transitions. It frames the moving target that eludes US President Donald Trump’s administration, which is taking dead aim at the Old China (a..

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Justifications for Inequality: The Neuroses of Kochland Monday, August 26th, 2019

One of the brothers Koch, David, has shuffled off this mortal coil, and the pious few looking at his passing may well think he is making it tough for camels passing through needles. As part of the Brothers Koch, he presided over a corporate empire that did its pinching best to wrest control from..

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The End of Shareholder Primacy?

This month, the Business Roundtable, a group comprising the CEO’s of America’s largest and most powerful corporations, formally abandoned the view that maximizing shareholder value should be a company’s primary objective. The implication is that shareholders will no longer always take..

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Whither Central Banking?

The world’s central bankers and the scholars who follow them are having their annual moment of reflection in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But the theme of this year’s meeting, “Challenges for Monetary Policy,” may encourage an insular – and dangerous – complacency. Simply put, tweaking..

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The Unsustainability of Inequality Saturday, August 24th, 2019

“Sustainability” is a relatively new organizing principle in global policy. It is new partly because economists have long been largely hostile to the very idea. Postwar neoclassical growth theories deliberately ignored resource and environmental limits, disparaged and disdained ecologists, and..

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Is Peace with the Taliban Possible? Friday, August 23rd, 2019

Despite ongoing peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban, the bloody conflict in Afghanistan continues to take a heavy toll on the country’s people. The recent suicide bombing by the Khorasan branch of the Islamic State (IS-K) at a wedding in Kabul, which killed more than 60..

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Why the Middle East Is Betting on China Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Middle Eastern leaders seem to be in a race to gain favor with China. While the region buzzes with criticism of US policy, its political elites are busy showering China with accolades and heading to Beijing to sign a wide variety of bilateral agreements. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, for..

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Will Democracy Die Last?

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, prominent international relations experts such as the late French political philosopher Pierre Hassner argued that the world was witnessing a process of competitive decay between the United States and the Soviet Union. For the latter, the conflict in Afghanistan..

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The Fall and Rise of Public Heroism Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Recently I watched The Man Who Was Too Free, a moving documentary about the Russian dissident politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down in front of the Kremlin in 2015. A young, handsome rising political star in the 1990s, Nemtsov later refused to bend to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s..

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Inside the Hong Kong Protests

Whether it happens now or in 28 years, when the “one country, two systems” framework is set to expire, millions of people in Hong Kong want to stave off the inevitable: the city’s forced integration into mainland China. And yet there are deep divisions within Hong Kong about how to prevent..

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Is Britain Becoming a Failed State? Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

What is a failed state? Not so long ago, when I was Britain’s Overseas Development Minister, and later European Commissioner for External Affairs, I would probably have tried to answer the question by pointing to specific examples, including several countries in Latin America and Africa. I would..

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Remembering the Miracle of 1989 Monday, August 19th, 2019

This month marks 30 years since Europe – and human civilization generally – began to undergo a miraculous transformation that is now etched in the world’s memory. By the summer of 1989, the Soviet Union was already in terminal decline. The only question was whether communism would..

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No Deal Chaos: The Brexit Cliff Face and Operation Yellowhammer Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Britain’s Boris Johnson is driving his country to the cliff face, along the way mouthing and spouting all manner of populist reassurances. Still fresh in the job, he declared that UK preparations for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, when Britain would leave the European Union, would receive a..

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How China Can Reach its Centennial Goal Monday, October 14th, 2019

Two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that by the time the People’s Republic celebrates its centenary in 2049, it should be a “great modern socialist..

The Insanity of Austerity Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Significant protest by Tibetans at Chennai Saturday, October 12th, 2019

Europe Needs a Serious Nuclear-Energy Debate Saturday, October 12th, 2019

The Climate Kids Are Right Friday, October 11th, 2019