After a long and slow recovery from the recession that began a decade ago, the US economy is poised for robust growth this year. But, although the economy currently is healthy, it is also fragile, owing to a decade of excessively low interest rates, which have caused investors and lenders to bid up asset prices and make risky loans.
It might be cathartic to call Donald Trump an idiot, but the implications of his presidency are serious. If Trump’s progressive opponents fail to engage with the forces that drove his victory – in particular, the backlash against neoliberalism – not even impeachment may be enough to save the world from a dangerous new ideology.
Nothing riles up Western observers of Russia today as much as its law on foreign agents, which requires non-commercial organizations engaged in undefined “political activities” to register as “carrying functions of a foreign agent.” So what accounts for Russians' suspicion of organizations with external ties?
Letting some of the air out of China's housing bubble, before too much pressure builds up, will require improved management of China’s rapid urbanization. As the city of Foshan has proved, cities have a critical role to play in this process.
Russia is locked in a battle between official history (the story of the state) and counter-history (the story of civil society and the memories of the people). With the centenary of the October Revolution this year, the clash will move to the center of public life.
Over the last 35 years, China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, and is now committed to doing the same for the remaining 45 million living in rural poverty by 2020. But that will be more difficult and costly than ever, and even when it's done, China will face a growing number of urban poor.
Donald Trump has criticized Germany’s enormous current-account surplus, which he considers the result of German currency manipulation. But Trump is wrong: while Germany’s external surplus, at 8% of GDP, is big – too big – currency manipulation has nothing to do with it.
The Dutch are famous for building dykes that hold back the tides and storms sweeping across the Atlantic. Have the Dutch now done it again, stopping the wave of populist politics that has been threatening to engulf Europe?
With the EU’s survival on the line, the stakes are higher than in any election in the history of the Fifth Republic. So, does France’s nationalist, xenophobic right have a real chance of coming to power?
Anyone who consumes food grown or produced in the US should be extremely worried. By dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide regulations, the agency's new director, Scott Pruitt, has activated a public-health time bomb – one that has detonated repeatedly in developing countries.
Another growth scare has come and gone for the Chinese economy, with export growth up strongly in the first two months of 2017. For the country's policymakers, the challenge now is to stay focused on executing their domestic strategy, rather than seeking to replace the US at the center of the global system.
As Britain formally triggers the doleful negotiations to exclude itself from the mainstream of European politics and economics, Prime Minister Theresa May refuses to call what is happening by its correct name. But the UK is certain to emerge from the proceedings poorer – and probably less democratic.
There are many striking parallels between the 2010-2011 “Arab Spring” and the Brexit referendum, Donald Trump’s election, and the far-right resurgence across Europe. In each case, an old order fell, and progressive parties have been too weak to counter the emergence of authoritarian and xenophobic forms of governance.
The recent election in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party a strong mandate, providing the government with a golden opportunity to advance economic development there, while reaching out to the Muslim population. But Modi seems intent on fueling Hindu chauvinism.
European Union heads of state just gathered to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, while right-wing populists are threatening to destroy Europe’s open liberal societies. Although the Dutch election showed that such forces can be defeated, the risk of another populist upset remains real.
The political crises now brewing in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia do not just threaten to unleash enormous violence and fuel chronic instability. In the absence of effective international actors and institutions, they could also prove to be irresolvable.
On March 27, the United Nations will start negotiations on an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapon states will finally be put to the test: Will they keep their promises to disarm and join the treaty, or will they reject international law and the will of the global community?