Economics

Reconstructing Seapower

Andrew Lambert— In the late 1880s, American strategist and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan coined the term “sea power” by purposefully splitting the word “seapower,” a direct translation of the Greek thalassokratia, to sustain his agenda. The Greek word had been used by Herodotus and Thucydides to describe states which were

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Message to Democrats: Please Focus on Jobs and Wages

Isabel Sawhill— The midterm elections are over, and the Democrats have taken back the House. They now need an agenda that signals to the electorate what they are for, not just what they are against. It’s unlikely that much will get done between now and 2020, but if the next

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Why Is Climate Change An Economic Problem?

William D. Nordhaus— Begin by stepping back and asking a basic question. Why is global warming such a special problem? Why is it a global problem and not a national problem or a household problem? Why is it such a persistent problem? The economics of climate change is straightforward. Virtually

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Running on Fumes

Dieter Helm— Fast-forward to 2050—almost thirty-five years from now. What will the world look like? How will technology have transformed our daily lives? Will it be a world of robots and artificial intelligence (AI)? Of graphene, fusion, and electric transport? Now rewind—back to 1980. This was still a world of

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Global Power and US Sanctions

Victor Bulmer-Thomas— Sanctions have always played a part in conflicts among states and between states and non-state actors. However, their use by the United States government has accelerated in recent years. There are now nearly twenty countries subject to US sanctions and roughly ten sets of sanctions that are not

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A Frog Slowly Boiled

Joseph Turow— It’s said that a frog placed in a boiling pot of water will escape, but if the water is slowly heated the frog will habituate and eventually die. Although scientists dispute the accuracy of this statement, no one in the audience of marketers objected—or even said it was

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Workers of the World

Niall Kishtainy—  A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism.’ This is the first line of The Communist Manifesto, which was written in the middle of the nineteenth century and is perhaps the most famous political pamphlet ever. The spectre – something scary and menacing – was the threat to

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The Four Horsemen of Capitalist Decline

Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel— Now, however, capitalism seems to have lost its founding spirit of enterprise. Four forces that guided the economy from the 1970s assisted in reducing the scope for experimentation and innovation. They are not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, nor were they all undesirable, but

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Taming the US Shadow Banks

Tamim Bayoumi— US financial reformers faced a fundamentally different issue from those in Europe. Banks in Europe were under a flawed single system. The issues in the United States, on the other hand, centered on the dual nature of the pre-crisis banking system that contained a relatively tightly regulated core and

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Net Neutrality and The Internet of Things

Philip N. Howard— The internet of things will help bring structure to global politics, but we must work for a structure we want. This is a challenging project, but if we don’t take it on our political lives will become fully structured by algorithms we don’t understand, data flows we

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