Tuesday , January 18 2022
Home / PS Commentators

PS Commentators



Articles by PS Commentators

Why Kazakhstan Matters

5 days ago

Add to Bookmarks

Jan 13, 2022

Kazakhstan’s Kremlin-friendly president called in Russian-led troops to help quell violent protests triggered by a government decree that doubled fuel prices. The protests forced the government to resign, but the country’s political trajectory remains uncertain, as does the impact of the Kremlin’s latest imperial intervention on Russia’s relations with neighboring states and the West.
In this Big Picture, former Kyrgyz prime minister Djoomart Otorbaev explains why what started as a relatively peaceful protest against the fuel-price

Read More »

America, One Year On

12 days ago

Add to Bookmarks

Jan 6, 2022

As the United States marks the first anniversary of the attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, many questions about the health of the country’s constitutional order remain unanswered. The most important is whether the American right can evolve in a way that does not threaten democracy itself.
In this Big Picture, Michael Lind of the University of Texas at Austin argues that focusing on the Capitol riots and Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election ignores the real threat to American

Read More »

Ukraine on the Edge

26 days ago

Although US intelligence agencies are warning that Russia is mobilizing its ground forces for an attack on Ukraine, it is still tempting to think that Russian President Vladimir Putin would never actually follow through on such a risky move. Yet when a strongman has so few good options for retaining power, the risk calculus changes.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s Russia poses a clear and present danger to world peace. In July, President Vladimir Putin published a long article, “About the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” effectively denying the legitimacy of Ukraine’s existence as an independent nation-state. He also has pursued a policy of military mobilization around Ukraine’s border, first in April and even more intensively in recent weeks. Senior Ukrainian and US

Read More »

The Virus Strikes Back

December 2, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Dec 2, 2021

Although COVID-19 has now killed more than five million people worldwide, global vaccine inequality remains rampant and anti-vaccine sentiment worryingly pervasive. With the new Omicron variant triggering a fresh wave of travel bans and threatening to place further strain on already overburdened health-care systems, governments need to improve the global pandemic infrastructure – and fast.
In this Big Picture, MIT’s Simon Johnson lists three reasons why governments may be much better prepared for Omicron than they think – but also

Read More »

Burning Energy

November 25, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Nov 25, 2021

The recent decision by the United States and other leading economies to release oil from their strategic stockpiles underlines the impact of rapidly rising global energy prices. As the northern winter approaches, will countries that continue to depend heavily on fossil fuels be able to accelerate their green transitions?
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Jeffrey Frankel hopes that surging fossil-fuel prices will spur more aggressive US efforts to tackle climate change, and urges lawmakers to consider introducing a carbon

Read More »

Broken Engagement

November 18, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Nov 18, 2021

Given the current poor state of US-China relations, the fact that the November 15 online summit between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping took place at all was significant. But with nationalist narratives seeming to prevail in both countries, neither seems prepared to collaborate on issues transcending the nation-state.
In this Big Picture, Daniel Russel, a former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, argues that Biden’s recent overtures to Xi, far from signaling American weakness, are part of a savvy

Read More »

Off with the Fed’s Head?

November 11, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Nov 11, 2021

The surge in US consumer price inflation last month to a three-decade high of 6.2% risks further undermining the narrative that today’s rising prices are transitory and could destabilize long-term inflation expectations. When and to what extent should the Federal Reserve further roll back quantitative easing and increase interest rates – and should Fed Chair Jerome Powell remain in charge?
In this Big Picture, J. Bradford DeLong of the University of California, Berkeley, fears that Powell will heed growing Republican calls for

Read More »

The Great COP-Out?

November 4, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Nov 4, 2021

If the threat of devastating global warming fails to jolt the world into meaningful collective action, it is difficult to see what will. But as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow gets down to the nitty-gritty, many fear that governments will once again pretend to support the climate cause while hoping that others will solve the crisis and pick up the tab.
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff questions whether political efforts to limit global warming to 1.5º Celsius will warm up as

Read More »

The Green Lights of Glasgow

October 28, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Oct 28, 2021

With global warming approaching the point of no return, the world cannot afford the upcoming COP26 climate summit to fail. But defying the many gloomy forecasts will require governments to show much greater solidarity than they have in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this Big Picture, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, identifies four metrics for measuring success at the Glasgow summit. And Laurence Tubiana of the European Climate Foundation, recalling the

Read More »

The Undoing of Doing Business

October 7, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Oct 7, 2021

The demise of the World Bank’s controversial cross-country index, after an independent investigation found improprieties in the 2018 and 2020 reports, has damaged the institution’s credibility, and potentially that of the International Monetary Fund, too. And there is little agreement on what it will take to restore confidence.
In this Big Picture, Anne O. Krueger of Johns Hopkins University argues that rebuilding trust in the Bretton Woods institutions requires a decisive response – including replacing Kristalina Georgieva, the

Read More »

A Reckoning for the China Dream

September 30, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 30, 2021

Chinese policymakers may well have the wherewithal to prevent the crisis at Evergrande, the country’s second-largest property developer, from triggering a broader financial and economic meltdown. But whether they can successfully reorient China’s growth model is far less certain.
In this Big Picture, Columbia University’s Shang-Jin Wei urges the Chinese authorities to make it clear that they will do what is necessary to contain potential spillovers from an Evergrande default. But even if this reassures nervous financial markets,

Read More »

Stagflation Ahead?

September 23, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 23, 2021

As price growth accelerates, central bankers are coming under increasing pressure to tighten monetary policy. But will they succeed in keeping inflationary expectations anchored without choking off the faltering global economic recovery or triggering debt crises – especially in emerging economies?
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff highlights several worrying parallels with the 1970s, and argues that a sustained period of high inflation may have become much more likely. And over the medium term, warns Nouriel

Read More »

The Coming Food Fight

September 16, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 16, 2021

Addressing the growing problem of food insecurity must be central to the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the debate in the run-up to the September 23 United Nations Food Systems Summit suggests that a practical consensus among governments, business, and civil-society groups may prove elusive.
In this Big Picture, Sandrine Dixson-Declève of the Club of Rome, José Antonio Ocampo of Columbia University, and Felia Salim of the Partnership for Governance Reform urge governments to consider establishing a new multilateral

Read More »

After Merkel

September 9, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 9, 2021

Germany’s federal election on September 26 will mark the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year chancellorship and could produce a new government coalition. With various permutations possible, many are wondering what will come next for Germany, the European Union, and the broader international order.
In this Big Picture, Sigmar Gabriel, a former foreign minister and vice chancellor in Merkel’s government, argues that the election campaign has highlighted the lack of a blueprint for where Germany and Europe should go in the next decade,

Read More »

AI Wars

September 2, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 2, 2021

Many think the artificial-intelligence revolution will be at least as big and transformative as the Industrial Revolution – and certainly faster. But geopolitical rivalries mean that governments are unlikely to agree on how to maximize AI’s benefits and limit its potential harms.
In this Big Picture, Eric Schmidt, a former CEO of Google/Alphabet and Chair of the US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, argues that democracies must come together to maintain AI leadership in the face of China’s increasingly

Read More »

The Anti-Vaxx Pox

August 12, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Aug 12, 2021

Despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective against COVID-19, sizable minorities in many countries remain unconvinced or even hostile to this proven public-health measure. But while advanced economies grapple mainly with the problem of vaccine resistance, poorer countries’ immunization programs are lagging far behind.
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Jeffrey Frankel crunches the data to highlight the potentially fatal consequences of US Republican voters’ greater reluctance to accept COVID-19

Read More »

Say More Summer 2021 Reading List

August 10, 2021

Just in time for a bookshelf refresh, PS contributors share books that have inspired, enriched, or entertained them lately, and say why you should consider adding them to your summer reading list.

Robert B. Zoellick, America in the World: A History of US Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, Twelve, 2020.Over the years, I have learned a great deal about US history and foreign and economic policy from Bob Zoellick. He has distilled much of his insight and experience into this book. For those who, like me, lack deep experience in foreign affairs, it is a must-read. Read more.

We hope you’re enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Read More »

Will Bidenomics Deliver?

August 5, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Aug 5, 2021

Opinion is divided as to whether US President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar spending programs and accompanying competition policies are precisely what the US economy needs. But one thing is clear: the transformative rhetoric behind the administration’s economic agenda has created a huge weight of expectation.
In this Big Picture, Laura Tyson, a former chair of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and McKinsey & Company’s Lenny Mendonca argue that the best analogy for Bidenomics is California, which has

Read More »

Crypto Crunch Time

July 29, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 29, 2021

The likelihood that the world’s major central banks will sooner or later issue their own digital currencies has brought increased scrutiny of the sector’s existing private players. Sooner or later, cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have long argued that politicians would never dare to regulate Bitcoin and the rest will need to think again.
In this Big Picture, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis argues that Bitcoin-like central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would make money more secure, transparent, and democratic. But

Read More »

The Latin American Tinderbox

July 22, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 22, 2021

Buffeted by social unrest, Latin American governments urgently need to revive growth, curb the COVID-19 pandemic, and restore trust in political institutions. Otherwise, the region may experience a revival of populism on both the right and the left, with unpredictable and potentially dangerous consequences.
In this Big Picture, Javier Solana, a former European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, and Enrique V. Iglesias, a former president of the Inter-American Development Bank, argue that combating

Read More »

Tokyo’s COVID Games

July 15, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 15, 2021

The Summer Olympic Games, set to begin in Tokyo on July 23, will take place in mostly empty stadiums after an uptick in COVID-19 cases forced Japanese officials to bar spectators. While athletes from around the world will compete for gold, some observers are posing fundamental questions about why the Games exist at all.
In this Big Picture, Bill Emmott, co-director of the Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy, argues that the facts on the ground – specifically, Japan’s relatively low COVID-19 infection and death figures – leave

Read More »

Afghanistan on the Brink

July 8, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 8, 2021

The US military’s recent handover of the Bagram Air Base near Kabul to the Afghan government effectively marks the end of a 20-year war that has cost more than $2 trillion. With the Taliban, which had been removed from power by the 2001 US-led invasion, now poised to regain control, many in Afghanistan and the region are bracing for further conflict and chaos.
In this Big Picture, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warns that the humanitarian consequences of the West’s withdrawal could be catastrophic. Former Swedish

Read More »

China’s Communists at 100

July 1, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 1, 2021

Under President Xi Jinping, the ruling Communist Party of China seems to regard North Korea rather than Singapore as its political model. But amid the fanfare of the CPC’s 100th anniversary on July 1, the more immediate question is whether the party can sustain the nationalism and strong economic growth that are essential to its legitimacy.
In this Big Picture, Minxin Pei of Claremont McKenna College highlights the poor longevity record of other dictatorial parties in modern times, and warns that the CPC’s current milestone may be

Read More »

Brexit Turns Five

June 24, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 24, 2021

Although it is still too soon to gauge the full impact of the United Kingdom’s momentous 2016 decision to leave the European Union, many Remainers have now resigned themselves to the fact and want Britain to do well outside the bloc. But how can the UK make the best of an unpromising situation?
In this Big Picture, Robert Skidelsky argues that the UK’s departure from an increasingly federalist EU may have been inevitable. But the University of Oxford’s Timothy Garton Ash thinks Brexit is the worst mistake that Britain has made since

Read More »

America’s Longest War

June 17, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 17, 2021

Until President Joe Biden took office, every US administration since 1971 had reaffirmed the country’s misguided and coercive drug-control policy. Having led the world into the drug war, America now has an obligation to help lead the way toward a more humane, evidence-based approach – but how?
In this Big Picture, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, and former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos of the Global Commission on Drug Policy welcome the Biden administration’s emphasis on

Read More »

Back to Health Special Edition

June 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. While some cities and countries are returning to a tenuous “old normal,” others are grappling with devastating third waves, and new virus variants continue to emerge. And yet, to bring societies worldwide back to health – and keep them that way – ending this pandemic is only the first step.
In today’s special Say More feature, four leading experts – former Rwandan Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho, Nobel laureate economist Angus Deaton, former Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden, and Vice President Social Impact of CEMEA at Visa Carl Manlan – consider what must come next.
All four of today’s featured contributors will be discussing these topics and more at Back to Health: Making Up for Lost Time, a

Read More »

China’s Population Bust

June 10, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 10, 2021

With the abolition of the one-child policy in 2015 having failed to prevent the country’s fertility rate from declining to Japanese levels, the Chinese government has announced that it will allow all families to have up to three children. What other measures can policymakers take to boost sluggish population growth – and should they even try?
In this Big Picture, Fudan University’s Zhang Jun argues that China’s rapidly falling fertility risks significantly undermining its future economic growth, and urges the government to raise the

Read More »

Biden’s Grand Tour

June 3, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 3, 2021

US President Joe Biden’s upcoming trip to Europe will include G7 and NATO summits, as well as meetings with European Union leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Repairing the damage to the transatlantic alliance caused by former President Donald Trump is crucial for Biden, not least to devise an effective response to an increasingly assertive China.
In this Big Picture, Melvyn B. Krauss of New York University argues that the Biden administration’s recent acceptance of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Germany to

Read More »

Speed the Jab

May 27, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

May 27, 2021

In response to intensifying political pressure, US President Joe Biden’s administration now supports a waiver of intellectual-property rights for COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. But an IP waiver, although urgently needed to reduce suffering in low-income countries, may not be enough to accelerate the fight against the coronavirus.
In this Big Picture, Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch accuse private drug companies of deadly rent-seeking and rebut

Read More »

Gaza’s Forever War

May 20, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

May 20, 2021

The recent upsurge in violence between Hamas and Israel shows that the Palestinian cause has not gone away, despite the recent Abraham Accords establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and four Arab states. For Israel, the real danger lies not in Hamas-controlled Gaza, but in an increasingly mobilized Arab population within its own borders.
In this Big Picture, former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami says the current hostilities – including in mixed Jewish-Arab cities in pre-1967 Israel that were supposed to be

Read More »