Analysis


The US Needs to Talk About China

Of all the changes in US foreign policy President Donald Trump’s administration has made, the most consequential is the adoption of a confrontational stance toward China. Replacing a decades-old policy of engagement, Trump’s approach has not only resulted in an economic cold war between the..

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Lunar Narratives: Landing on the Moon, Politics and the Cold War Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Anniversaries are occasions to distort records. The intoxicated recounting of the past faces a record in need of correction. Couples long married hide their differences before guests. Creases are covered; the make-up is applied generously. Defects become virtues, if, indeed they were ever there to..

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Are Central Banks Losing Their Big Bet? Saturday, July 20th, 2019

In recent years, central banks have made a large policy wager. They bet that the protracted use of unconventional and experimental measures would provide an effective bridge to more comprehensive measures that would generate high inclusive growth and minimize the risk of financial instability. But..

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Our Kind of Diplomat Friday, July 19th, 2019

Our Man, the American journalist George Packer’s new 600-page biography of Richard Holbrooke, is a masterful book, not just for what it says about the late US diplomat himself, but also for how it portrays the evolution of US diplomacy more broadly. Of Holbrooke, Packer tells us that he..

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Donald Trump, the Democrat Squad and Failed Impeachment Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Twitter has become policy. It is platform, direction and determination. It has served one particular person well, a hazy mechanism to fog up the lenses of law makers. When President Donald Trump needs an air-wave filling distraction, a bilious splurge of interest in the blogosphere, he is always..

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The Age of Cynical Voters

We all know that politicians are cunning and cynical, but could the same now be said for the electorate? Many of those who voted for US President Donald Trump did so knowing that he is a habitual liar with suspicious ties to Russia, just as the rank and file of the Conservatives in the United..

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The Fork Is Mightier than the Wall Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

The word “migration” conjures images of war, natural disaster, and severe economic distress. All are important reasons why people seek refuge far from home. But the single most powerful driver of migration may well be food – or, rather, the lack of it. As of 2017, some 821 million people..

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The Exploitation Time Bomb

Since reducing inequality became an official goal of the international community, income disparities have widened. This trend, typically blamed on trade liberalization and technological advances that have weakened the bargaining power of labor vis-à-vis capital, has generated a political backlash..

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WHO IS CHINA TO APPOINT NEXT THE DALAI LAMA ? Monday, July 15th, 2019

Taking the world view for granted and with least regard for the views of the Buddhists across the world and with characteristic audacious and arrogant approach, Government of China has now said that the next the Dalai Lama must be approved by the Chinese government and selection should take place..

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A Test Match with the Taliban

At the recent World Cup cricket tournament in England, a plucky Afghan team composed mainly of former refugees gave a surprisingly good account of themselves, including in matches against their neighbors, India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of two other Afghan teams – the..

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The UN’s Free Speech Problem Sunday, July 14th, 2019

Anyone willing to consult the international law book on the subject of free speech will find it heavy with protections for free speech. The UN Declaration of Human Rights features, in its preamble, the ideal that “human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and..

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How an AI Utopia Would Work

It is more than 500 years since Sir Thomas More found inspiration for the “Kingdom of Utopia” while strolling the streets of Antwerp. So, when I traveled there from Dubai in May to speak about artificial intelligence (AI), I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Raphael Hythloday, the character..

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Philanthropy vs. Democracy Friday, July 12th, 2019

Donating private wealth to worthy causes is an ancient, noble institution. But, for as long as philanthropy has existed, it has also been a controversial practice. “To give away money is an easy matter, and in any man’s power,” according to Aristotle. “But to decide to whom to give it, and..

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The Art of Wait and See Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Those now hoping for an eventual trade deal between China and the United States should not hold their breath. Contrary to what US President Donald Trump seems to think, the Chinese have not reached their wits’ end, and will not suddenly accede to his demands. A successful negotiation usually..

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Does the G20 Still Matter? Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

When the G20 leaders held their first summit in late 2008, many welcomed what looked like a diverse, highly representative new forum for crafting common solutions to global problems. The group acquitted itself well in responding to the global financial crisis, and, for a while, its emergence as a..

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How to Address Venezuela’s Crushing Debt Burden

When he finally leaves the political stage in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro will leave behind a grim legacy of oppression, suffering, and economic devastation. He will also leave a mountain of foreign-currency-denominated claims against the Venezuelan public sector – almost all of which is now in..

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Is Plutocracy Really the Problem? Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Why did the policy response to the Great Recession only partly reflect the lessons learned from the Great Depression? Until recently, the smart money was on the answers given by the Financial Times commentator Martin Wolf and my Berkeley colleague Barry Eichengreen. Each has argued that while..

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The Value of Global China

Over nearly 40 years of economic reform, China has reaped extraordinary rewards from opening up to the world. Integration into the global economy – albeit a supporting element of the country’s broader historic turn to the market mechanism – has enabled millions of China’s citizens to escape..

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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