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Articles by PS Commentators

Big Tech’s Big Test

4 days ago

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Digital technology’s strengths and weaknesses have been on full display during the pandemic, with the unprecedented shift to online work, education, and shopping being accompanied by a sharp increase in cyberattacks. How can policymakers best mitigate threats to the integrity of the Internet while encouraging innovation and expansion of the digital economy?
In this Big Picture, Michael Chertoff, Latha Reddy, and Alexander Klimburg of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace urge governments to adopt new global norms prohibiting attacks on Internet infrastructure.

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The United States Blues

11 days ago

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Four months before a critical election, the United States finds itself facing multiple crises – a seemingly out-of-control pandemic, a deep economic recession, rampant inequality, and a popular reckoning with racism – with a polarizing and unpopular president at the helm. Can policymakers mount the bold response needed to return the US to a position of global leadership, or is America’s strategic decline now inevitable?
In this Big Picture, New York University’s Nouriel Roubini views the ongoing protests in many American cities partly as a revolt by a growing “precariat” of alienated,

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The Gendered Pandemic

18 days ago

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Governments simultaneously trying to address the public-health and economic shocks caused by COVID-19 risk overlooking the immediate effects of the crisis on women and girls. How can policymakers mitigate these threats and foster longer-term progress toward gender parity?
In this Big Picture, Swedish foreign minister Ann Linde and her Spanish counterpart, Arancha González, argue that measures to tackle the COVID-19 crisis must address increasing risks to women and girls in the home, the health-care sector, and the labor market. Princeton University’s Beth English and Kelly Pike of York

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Who Can Check China?

25 days ago

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From Hong Kong to the Himalayas, China under President Xi Jinping appears increasingly willing to assert its strategic interests forcefully, with seemingly little concern for the possible economic and diplomatic consequences. How should other leading powers, preoccupied with the COVID-19 crisis and other issues, respond to Xi’s increasingly provocative behavior?
In this Big Picture, Javier Solana and Óscar Fernández of EsadeGeo urge both China and the United States to avoid needlessly hostile rhetoric, warning that increasing talk of a looming Sino-American confrontation risks becoming a

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The Great Divergence?

June 12, 2020

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Besides being the biggest global public-health crisis in a century, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a rethink of existing economic growth models. Which major economies will make the structural shifts needed to ensure future prosperity, and which will persist with the status quo?
In this Big Picture, the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Jules Kortenhorst says that Europe and China will be the big winners, and contrasts their investments in competitive clean-energy sectors with America’s continued support for older, carbon-intensive industries. But like it or not, says Dalia Marin of the

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America Boils Over

June 5, 2020

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George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer has triggered protests across the United States and laid bare the country’s racial, economic, and political divisions. How, if at all, might America heal – and does history offer any guide?
In this Big Picture, Harvard’s Khalil Gibran Muhammad traces today’s crisis to the United States’ founding and argues that overcoming it will require fundamental political and economic reforms. Above all, elected US officials should put racial justice at the center of their vision for a new America.
Focusing on America’s long-standing problem of

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China’s Hong Kong Gamble

May 29, 2020

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By ordering China’s rubber-stamp parliament to draft a strict new security law for Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping’s regime has struck its heaviest blow yet against the city, effectively overturning the “one country, two systems” principle that has prevailed since the territory returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. But will China pay a price for its aggressive gambit?
In this Big Picture, Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, argues that the West has a vital stake in the ongoing struggle in the city, and that liberal democracies must stand up for themselves if governance

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Deglobalization’s Dangers

May 22, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled growing calls from political leaders in rich countries for an overhaul of global production and trade. But reshoring and protectionism are unlikely to be a panacea for a depressed and disrupted world economy.
In this Big Picture, Harvard’s Dani Rodrik is optimistic, noting that although the retreat from hyper-globalism could potentially endanger human prosperity, it could also result in a more sensible, less intrusive model that focuses on areas where international cooperation truly pays off. Richard N. Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations hopes so,

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The Euro’s German Question

May 15, 2020

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The German Federal Constitutional Court’s recent ruling against the European Central Bank shocked many observers and could have far-reaching implications for the eurozone. What are the likely consequences of the court’s assertion of authority, and how should the ECB and the European Union respond?
In this Big Picture, Columbia University’s Willem H. Buiter says that the court’s ruling threatens to hamper the ECB’s efforts to assist distressed eurozone member states and could cause one or more countries to crash out of the monetary union. Katharina Pistor of Columbia Law School goes further,

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