Project Syndicate | The Daily Star
  • The Hardening of Soft Power

    International-relations theorists generally distinguish between soft and hard power. Soft power refers to the exercise of political influence through flexible,

  • The end of neoliberalism and the rebirth of history

    At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a celebrated essay called “The End of History?”

  • Anti-globalisation bias and public policy

    Oppone-nts of globa-lisation constantly point to the uneven impact of open trade. Although trade liberalisation can make the overall economic pie bigger, not everyone gets a larger slice

  • Is Trump right about Middle-East peace?

    By with-drawing American troops from northern Syria, US President Donald Trump has once again signalled that his administration recognises only two national interests in the Middle East: containment of Iran and Israel’s security.

  • The battle of the fading hegemons

    Almost a decade ago, China bulls like Martin Jacques and I predicted the rise of the People’s Republic at the expense of a declining United States. Today, with the two superpowers unabashedly jostling for hegemony—their trade war being just one sign of this—it is time for a fresh assessment.

  • India’s Modi Slowdown

    Until recently, Indians had gotten used to taking economic growth for granted. After a decade of annual growth averaging over 9 percent, India’s economy weathered the post-2008 worldwide recession and grew at a still impressive rate of 7 percent until 2014-15. Nothing, it seemed, could stop the gravy train from rolling on.

  • Will Trump be removed from office?

    For the first time, reasonable people in the United States have begun to speculate that President Donald Trump could be convicted by the Senate and thus removed from office.

  • Whither nuclear-arms control?

    Is nuclear-arms control unravelling? The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has collapsed, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is teetering, and North Korea has continued to expand its nuclear and ballistic-missile arsenal. Worse, it is unclear whether the United States will stick with the New START Treaty when it expires in 2021. That agreement limits (at 3,000) the number of strategic weapons Russia and the US have pointed at each other.

  • Will Republicans abandon Trump?

    US President Donald Trump’s presidency is in peril. He’s likely to be impeached (the equivalent of an indictment) by the House of Representatives, and it cannot be ruled out entirely that the Senate will vote to convict him and thus remove him from office.

  • Inclusivity under threat

    Since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, it has been keeping a tight lid on the pressure cooker, to borrow your metaphor. What are the most immediate risks you foresee?

  • Brexit House of Cards

    Britain’s long-running Brexit saga has thrown up a new argument. Does Prime Minister Boris Johnson have a cunning plan for conjuring up a new and improved exit deal, or is he just dragging the United Kingdom over the “no-deal” cliff edge?

  • India’s Democratic Dictatorship

    Amid much fanfare, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has completed a hundred days of its second term. Despite his government’s poor record, Modi remains immensely popular personally. This does not bode well for Indian democracy.

  • Trump’s New Troubles

    As the US Congress reconvenes this week after a six-week recess, the administration is mired in controversies, almost all of them set off by President Donald Trump. Trump’s behaviour has been at its most peculiar since he took office, undoubtedly partly owing to

  • Germany’s Divided Soul

    This November, Germany will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the country is in a gloomy mood, and cheers will be few and far between—especially in the east.

  • Britain’s Brexit Breakdown

    British democracy was once widely seen as a model for others to follow. But it has now sunk into its deepest crisis in living memory. At stake is not only whether the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union without an exit deal, but also how far a country once

  • 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.

  • Is stakeholder capitalism really back?

    For four decades, the prevailing doctrine in the United States has been that corporations should maximise shareholder value—meaning profits and share prices—here and now, come what may, regardless of the consequences to workers, customers, suppliers, and

  • America’s Superpower Panic

    Global superpowers have always found it painful to acknowledge their relative decline and deal with fast-rising challengers. Today, the United States finds itself in this situation with regard to China. A century and a half ago, imperial Britain faced a similar competitive threat from America. And in the seventeenth century, the Dutch Republic was the superpower and England the challenger.

  • Remembering the miracle of 1989

    This month marks 30 years since Europe—and human civilisation 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.

  • Social policy starts at home

    Political economy has come a long way. Many figures and institutions that have long embraced neoliberalism increasingly recognise the failures of markets and acknowledge that states may have a role to play in improving socioeconomic outcomes. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) now discusses the “macro-criticality” of social protection, the need for progressive taxation, and, potentially, universal transfers.

  • What’s behind America’s mass shootings?

    After every mass shooting in the United States, Americans and others around the world are confronted with the question of what lies behind this distinctly American horror.

  • Narendra Modi’s new-model India

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi likes to practise what American generals call “shock and awe.” The last time Modi stunned the country—and was initially applauded for his decisiveness and bold vision—was when he announced, on a few hours’ notice, the demonetisation of 96 percent (in value) of India’s currency. The Indian economy is still dealing with the consequences.

  • Why despair is beating hope

    Wherever one looks—the media, political leaders’ rhetoric, or online discussions—one finds a bias toward bad ideals. This is not to suggest that we (or most of us) endorse, say, racism, misogyny, or homophobia, but rather that we grant them efficacy. We believe that extremist ideals must be combated, because we implicitly consider them potent enough to attract new adherents, and contagious enough to spread.

  • Making migration work for everyone

    In a globalised world, migration is a fact of life that should be governed accordingly. To that end, it is time to establish what I call “Migration Order 3.0,” a new framework that would make migration work for everyone.

  • Technology on the frontline for girls

    Today, 1.4 billion girls and women live in countries that are failing on gender equality, in areas ranging from education and decent work to health and violence. Yet one of the most effective ways to empower girls and women—safe and reliable access to mobile phones and the Internet

  • Populism takes Asia

    The rise of populism across the West in recent years has been the subject of countless discussions, and for good reason: populists’ misguided policies often have severely adverse political and economic consequences. Now, those risks are coming to Asia.

  • End of ideological convergence threatens economic convergence

    For an all-too-brief period between the late 1980s and the late 2000s, the world was characterised by convergence, both ideological and economic. The West and the Rest agreed that an open liberal order was the best way to increase prosperity. Now, however, this ideological order threatens to unravel, with adverse consequences for the world economy.

  • Boris Johnson and the triumph of gullibility?

    US Presi-dent Donald Trump has already proclaimed that Boris Johnson, Britain’s new prime minister, is popular because he is seen as “Britain Trump” (sic). After all, both politicians are widely seen as having a “populist” style. For cynics, this implies a willingness to tell blindingly obvious untruths if doing so appeals to voters. The populist tag may also refer to such leaders’ “disruptive” impact, in the same way that new technologies have shaken up established industries overnight.

  • How can developing countries pay for the SDGs?

    With objectives as far-reaching as ending poverty in all its forms and delivering quality education to all by 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are highly ambitious—much more ambitious than their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals.

  • Boris Johnson and the threat to British soft power

    Since the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) was created 22 years ago, it has lifted millions out of poverty, sent millions of children to school, and saved millions of lives through vaccination programmes and other innovative initiatives. Most recently, it has been a world leader in delivering development aid to poor countries facing the ravages of climate change.

Top