Project Syndicate | The Daily Star
  • 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.

  • 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,

  • Tackling inequality is a political choice

    The world has made impressive strides in reducing extreme poverty, but that progress has slowed considerably in recent years. The problem is clear: eliminating extreme poverty requires tackling inequality.

  • The end of “Chimerica”

    The escalating rivalry between China and the United States is ushering in a bipolar world. While the past few decades have been defined mostly by cooperation among the world’s leading powers, the next few will be marked by zero-sum competition. Already, globalisation and the deepening of ties between countries is giving way to what has euphemistically been called “decoupling.” Countries and regions are sorting themselves into smaller economic and geopolitical units under the guise of “taking back control.”

  • How – and how not – to restore trust in media

    In most industries, a quality product is easy to identify, thanks to markers like price, brand, and reviews. But in journalism, discerning quality is becoming increasingly complicated, not least because, in the digital age, trusted brands like the BBC or The New York Times, which can be expected to adhere to long-established journalistic standards, are vastly outnumbered by upstart publications, blogs, and community reports.

  • Boris’s Big Lie

    Three years after the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, the UK is no closer to figuring out how to leave the European Union, and what comes next, than it was when the result was announced. And now a Conservative Party leadership election to replace outgoing

  • US-Iran Tensions: The Gulf of Deniability

    What will constitute yet another act of war in the Middle East? On May 12, four oil tankers in the Gulf—two of them Saudi Arabian, one from the United Arab Emirates, and the other Norwegian—were attacked with explosives as they lay at anchor near the Strait of Hormuz.

  • Facebook’s Libra must be stopped

    Facebook has just unveiled its latest bid for world domination: Libra, a cryptocurrency designed to function as private money anywhere on the planet.

  • Is immigrant-bashing a vote winner for the left?

    Is a hardline position on immigration the key to electoral success for Europe’s beleaguered centre left? Denmark’s Social Democrats certainly think so. They took first place in a general election this month after arguing that immigrants threaten the country’s social

  • Justice for Journalists

    It has been more than eight months since Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of his home country’s government who had been living in self-exile, was tortured, killed, and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

  • The rule of law needs a soul

    The Anglo-American world, once a shining beacon of the “rule of law,” is sliding into constitutional disarray. In the United States, President Donald Trump’s administration is testing the resilience of the system of checks and balances to the breaking point.

  • Europe’s silent majority speaks out

    Last month’s elections to the European Parliament produced better results than one could have expected, and for a simple reason: the silent pro-European majority has spoken.

  • Why the EU election was a win for Macron

    Though the final vote tally might seem to suggest otherwise, the European Parliament elections, held between May 23 and 26, were a strategic success for French President Emmanuel Macron. There are four reasons why this is so.

  • After Neoliberalism

    What kind of economic system is most conducive to human wellbeing? That question has come to define the current era, because, after 40 years of neoliberalism in the United States and other advanced economies, we know what doesn’t work.

  • India’s Cult of Modi

    In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power at the helm of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after articulating a vision of a revived India, a manufacturing giant with high-tech capabilities which could meet the rising aspirations of a growing young population. Modi promised voters that his administration would be an era of “achhe din” (good times), marked by “minimum government, maximum governance,” inclusive development (“sab ka saath sab ka vikas”), high employment, and rising economic growth and prosperity. Voters believed him in droves.

  • An intelligent approach to mental health

    A few years ago, toward the end of his life, my father battled severe depression. As a physician and professor, he did not lack access to mental-health care. But he had grown up in a society that stigmatised mental illness, and he was unwilling to seek professional help. As a son, it was devastating to watch my father suffer but I gained a new awareness of the myriad systemic failures in the provision of care.

  • How social protection can empower women

    To live in dignity, free from want, is a fundamental human right. Social protection is key to upholding that right, ensuring that people can escape poverty and insecurity. That is why social protection is at the centre of strategies for ending global poverty by 2030, the first of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But, if those strategies are to work, they must go further—especially with regard to women.

  • The case for climate tariffs

    As Australia heads toward a federal election on May 18, the national debate on cutting carbon dioxide emissions is heating up. Yet the discussion highlights the limits of what Australia or any other individual country can do to combat global warming.

  • Emerging risks for emerging economies

    Suddenly it seems that emerging-market economies have gained a respite. Capital flows to these economies dried up in the second half of last year as the US Federal Reserve raised its policy rate for five consecutive quarters and shrank its balance sheet.

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