How rupture with mainland Europe caused Britain to falter for hundreds of years

by Stephen Church Added 29.03.2017
By triggering Article 50 to start Britain’s process of exiting the European Union, Theresa May will launch the country into the unknown. History provides examples of Britain leaving Europe – and sometimes Europe leaving Britain – that help give...

Serbian Presidential Election: Next Battle in War to Defend Democratic Values in Europe

by Robert Creamer Added 29.03.2017
  Throughout Europe, democratic values have been under assault. Generally these attacks have come from forces of the authoritarian, nationalist right – in Poland, Hungary, Russia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, even Britain -- and...

The Temptations of a Resilient China

by Stephen S. Roach Added 28.03.2017
NEW HAVEN – Another growth scare has come and gone for the Chinese economy. This, of course, is very much at odds with Western conventional wisdom, which has long expected a hard landing in China. Once again, the Western perspective missed the...

Britain’s Messy Divorce

by Chris Patten Added 27.03.2017
LONDON – As Britain formally triggers the doleful negotiations to exclude itself from the mainstream of European politics and economics, Prime Minister Theresa May refuses to use the word “divorce” to describe what is happening. My wife, a...

The World’s Airports and Airlines Need More Human Intelligence

by Daniel Wagner Added 25.03.2017
This week’s restrictions on larger electronic devices in carry-on luggage from many of the Middle East and North Africa’s largest airports by the governments of the US and UK is an effort at making it more difficult for terrorists to attempt to...

Robotization Without Taxation?

by Robert J. Shiller Added 24.03.2017
NEW HAVEN – The idea of a tax on robots was raised last May in a draft report to the European Parliament prepared by MEP Mady Delvaux from the Committee on Legal Affairs. Emphasizing how robots could boost inequality, the report proposed that...

It is Comey who should be Investigated

by Juan Cole Added 21.03.2017
FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that his agency has since last summer been investigating the circle of Donald J. Trump for their contacts with the Russian Federation during last year’s election campaign. He also denied Trump’s...

Can Israel Fight A War On Three Fronts? A Nightmarish Scenario

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 18.03.2017
Although Prime Minister Netanyahu is known for his focus on the Palestinian and Iranian threats to Israel’s national security, in recent months he has increasingly sounded the alarm over Iran in particular rather than the Palestinians. As the...

Wind Power Juggernaut Really doing for 100K Workers what Trump only Promised

by Juan Cole Added 18.03.2017
Big news on the wind power front. First, it has emerged in the US as the number one renewable energy source, generating more electricity than hydro-electric for the first time. This milestone came in 2016 after 8,727 megawatts (MW) of new wind...

Fund management mega merger shows the easyJet effect is hitting the City

by John Colley Added 18.03.2017
Some of the financial sector’s biggest firms are feeling the pinch. The rise of low-cost investment products which simply track markets is forcing some dramatic moves and the proposed £11 billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset...

Globalization and the Rise of “Smart” Protectionism

by Daniel Wagner Added 15.03.2017
Globalization was intended to eliminate borders for the benefit of the free flow of trade, investment, information and people. It has had a good degree of success in accomplishing that, but the blowback from the globalization process has had a...

War Against the West

by Ian Buruma Added 13.03.2017
NEW YORK – In 1938, Aurel Kolnai, a Hungarian philosopher of Jewish origin living in exile, published his most famous book, The War Against the West, an investigation of the ideas underpinning National Socialism. Kolnai seems to have read every...

Malaysia’s Future Role in Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Military Alliance

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 10.03.2017
Saudi King Salman is currently on a three-week tour across six Asian countries. The duration of the trip underscores the commercial and geopolitical importance which Saudi Arabia attributes to Asia. It comes at a time when the kingdom is...

Has Trump Lost It?

by Joe Peyronnin Added 09.03.2017
“The best defense is a strong offense” is a centuries old military tactic that can lead to a strategic advantage. But it is hard to understand how President Donald Trump benefits from tweeting as a fact Saturday that President Barack Obama had...

Putin’s Dance with the Taliban

by Brahma Chellaney Added 09.03.2017
NEW DELHI – Russia may be in decline economically and demographically, but, in strategic terms, it is a resurgent power, pursuing a major military rearmament program that will enable it to continue expanding its global influence. One of the...

Trade Truths for Trumpians and Brexiteers

by Jim O'Neill Added 08.03.2017
LONDON – Here’s a reality check for British and American policymakers, and for the many pundits who frequently comment on world trade without understanding its realities: data on Germany’s total exports and imports in 2016 indicate that its...

Russian interference could be the greatest threat to European democracy

by Richard Maher Added 04.03.2017
With important national elections scheduled this year in the Netherlands, France and Germany, European officials on edge about possible Russian interference are pursuing various measures to counter it. But with a daily onslaught of fake and...

Rethinking Productivity Growth

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 04.03.2017
BERKELEY – Today, the world’s population is, on average, about 20 times richer than it was during the long Agrarian Age. Between 7000 BC and AD 1500, resources were scarce, technological progress was slow, and Malthusian pressures kept almost...

Realism About Trumpism

by Joschka Fischer Added 28.02.2017
BERLIN – Little more than a month after US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, it has become clear that nothing good will come of his presidency. Unfortunately, the pessimists turned out to be realists: things really are as bad as they said...

Don’t Cry for Corporate America

by Stephen S. Roach Added 27.02.2017
NEW HAVEN – Corporate tax cuts are coming in the United States. While this push pre-dates last November’s presidential election, President Donald Trump’s Make-America-Great-Again mantra has sealed the deal. Beleaguered US businesses, goes the...

Baltic Dread

by Imbi Paju Added 25.02.2017
TALLINN – News media nowadays are rife with speculation about whether – if not when – US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will divide the world between them. We in Estonia and the other Baltic states now fear being...

Populism Versus the Media

by Chris Patten Added 23.02.2017
LONDON – I am old enough to remember when the best thing about populism was that it was not popular. Nativism, in any form, did not hit many political bull’s-eyes. Economic protectionists didn’t win elections. Voters, even those concerned about...

Trump And Netanyahu: Embracing Illusions, Ignoring Reality

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 22.02.2017
President Trump remained true to his customary flip-flopping on just about every issue when he stated during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu that he is “looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both...

Trump/Netanyahu Meet: an Exercise in Fawning, Fantasy, and Anti-Palestinian Incitement

by James J. Zogby Added 22.02.2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Donald Trump was overshadowed by dramatic and unsettling events that preceded and followed their perfectly bizarre press conference.    The week began with the forced...

How Trumpocracy Corrupts Democracy

by Sandra Navidi Added 21.02.2017
MUNICH – American democracy is a complex, self-organizing system. In terms of network science, President Donald Trump is a “superhub”: the most well-connected human “node,” located in the center of the network. While Trump does not have control...

Trump's Russia scandals could be about to get much, much worse

by Luca Trenta Added 20.02.2017
Whatever one thinks of the Trump administration’s policies, it is difficult to ignore that the new president’s tenure has so far been characterised by incompetence and carelessness. And while it’s easy to laugh at daft missteps such as an aide...

Trump Should Tackle America’s Infrastructure Crisis Head On

by Daniel Wagner Added 19.02.2017
This weekend’s mandatory evacuation order for residents downstream from California’s Oroville Dam is a reminder of what a perilous state so much of America’s infrastructure is in. In 2005,  three environmental groups filed a motion with the...

The European Union First

by Javier Solana Added 19.02.2017
MUNICH – The world needs the European Union now more than ever. Despite recent crises and the hard blow dealt by the Brexit vote, the EU may well be the world’s best line of defense against today’s most serious threats: isolationism,...

Ensuring Euro-Atlantic Security

by Des Browne, Wolfgang Ischinger, Igor S. Ivanov, and Sam Nunn Added 16.02.2017
MUNICH – The chasm between Russia and the West appears to be wider now than at any point since the Cold War. But, despite stark differences, there are areas of existential common interest. As we did during the darkest days of the Cold War,...

Questions about Judgement:  Trump appointed Flynn in the First Place

by Juan Cole Added 14.02.2017
"Every time Trump dances away from criticizing Putin, you have to wonder if he was in the same basket with Flynn. Kompromat." The sudden resignation of Trump National Security Adviser Mike Flynn on Monday evening clearly was actually a firing....

The European Unraveling?

by Ana Palacio Added 13.02.2017
".....Trump’s first weeks in office convey a singular ideological perspective – the one long espoused by White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, an ultra-nationalist, acolyte of the Italian fascist philosopher Julius Evola, and long-time...

Navigating the Trumpscape

by Michael Mandelbaum Added 12.02.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – To say that US President Donald Trump’s administration made waves in its initial weeks would be an understatement. Large protests across the United States and around the world attended his inauguration, and have continued since....

Why Trump Can’t Bully China

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 09.02.2017
CAMBRIDGE – As US President Donald Trump proceeds to destabilize the post-war global economic order, much of the world is collectively holding its breath. Commentators search for words to describe his assault on conventional norms of leadership...

The New Anti-Semitism

by Ian Buruma Added 08.02.2017
NEW YORK – Those who have been telling us that Islam, not just revolutionary Islamism, is a lethal threat to Western civilization should now feel satisfied: the President of the United States, and his main advisers, agree with them. In the...

Illiberal Israel

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 07.02.2017
NEW YORK – After a half-century of occupying Palestinian territory, Israel is succumbing to its deepest ethno-centrist impulses, and increasingly rejecting recognized boundaries. Israel is now on its way to join the growing club of illiberal...

It’s Not Just a Muslim Ban, It’s Much Worse

by James J. Zogby Added 06.02.2017
  With a stroke of the pen on a misdirected and, I believe, malicious Executive Order (EO), President Donald Trump unleashed a dynamic that will, I fear, have consequences as far-reaching and damaging to my country and my community as the Bush...

Rising Political Risk in Asia

by Daniel Wagner Added 06.02.2017
As the world continues to gyrate from the political paradigm shift under way with the rise of ‘alternative’ political movements, many countries will struggle to adjust to the ‘new normal’. For developing nations and emerging markets, the stakes...

Why the EU Must Be Generous to Britain

by Hans-Werner Sinn Added 06.02.2017
MUNICH – British Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed it. The United Kingdom will, without a doubt, leave the European Union and negotiate new trade agreements. The question is what kind of agreement the EU will accept. Britain, May has made...

It's dangerous to flatter Trump's narcissism with too much attention

by Michail Theodosiadis Added 31.01.2017
Almost three decades ago, in his book The Culture of Narcissism, the iconoclastic American thinker Christopher Lasch wrote that in postwar America emerged a certain type of being, which in clinical terms falls under the category of “narcissistic...

The Sadism of Racist Exclusion:  Courts Temporarily Block Trump

by Juan Cole Added 30.01.2017
Picking on immigrants and refugees is the act of a sadistic bully, since they are the one fairly large group of residents of the United States whose constitutional rights are disputed. The executive order Trump signed late on Friday suspending...

Germany in the Age of Trump

by Joschka Fischer Added 27.01.2017
BERLIN – Donald Trump is now the 45th President of the United States, and in his inaugural address he made it clear to the assembled US establishment that his administration does not intend to pursue business as usual. His motto, “America...

How Dangerous Is Putin?

by Robert Harvey Added 26.01.2017
LONDON – Is US President Donald Trump right to be sympathetic toward Russia? At first blush, it certainly does not seem so. In Russia, elections are rigged, and organized opposition is suppressed. And under President Vladimir Putin, the country...

The Pending U.S.-Russia Reset: Birth of a New Business Model?

by Daniel Wagner Added 26.01.2017
Certain guiding principles have proven instrumental in shaping our views of the world. Among them, for many Americans and Russians, is the belief that Russia and the U.S. are natural enemies, and will remain so. For many, that perspective did...

China’s Big Sticks

by Stephen S. Roach Added 25.01.2017
NEW HAVEN – US President Donald Trump’s administration is making a major miscalculation by going after China. It appears to be contemplating a wide range of economic and political sanctions – from imposing punitive tariffs and designating China...

#spicerfacts: how the White House's relationship with the press will play out

by Jon Herbert Added 25.01.2017
Journalists would have anticipated the first press conference of the Trump presidency with some trepidation. Not only had his briefing at Trump Tower as president-elect been something of a shambles as Trump excoriated some journalists and...

How America’s Asian Allies Can Survive Trump

by Anne-Marie Slaughter and Mira Rapp-Hooper Added 24.01.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Judging by US President Donald Trump’s behavior since his election, and by the explicitly isolationist message of his inaugural address, it seems safe to assume that his administration’s foreign policy will upend many long-held...

Donald Trump’s “Big Con”

by Robert Creamer Added 24.01.2017
      In 1973, Robert Redford and the late Paul Newman starred in the Academy Award winning movie, “The Sting.”  It was a story about how two professional grifters conned a mob boss – an exploit they referred to as their “big – or long - con.”...

Translating Trump’s inaugural Speech from the original German

by Juan Cole Added 21.01.2017
Donald Trump’s inaugural speech, like the candidate himself, was a chain of falsehoods, saber-rattling and scary Neofascist uber-nationalism. But it could be difficult to follow because so much of it seemed stolen from the mass politics of the...

Brexit Into Trumpland

by Philippe Legrain Added 20.01.2017
LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May is leading the United Kingdom toward a very “hard” Brexit in 2019 – and potentially off a cliff, if the UK leaves the European Union without an exit or trade deal. In her January 17 speech, May...

The Illusions Driving Up US Asset Prices

by Robert J. Shiller Added 19.01.2017
NEW HAVEN – Speculative markets have always been vulnerable to illusion. But seeing the folly in markets provides no clear advantage in forecasting outcomes, because changes in the force of the illusion are difficult to predict. In the United...
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Touch in infancy is important for healthy brain development

by Harriet Dempsey-Jones Added 25.03.2017
Touch underpins our social world and, evidence suggests, it may even help to reduce anxiety and provide pain relief. But can touch shape the actual organisation of our brains? Research is now revealing that experiences with touch – especially in...

How the right diet can control diabetes and reduce its massive economic costs

by Chris Proud, Grant Brinkworth and Manny Noakes Added 24.03.2017
More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from type 2 diabetes. The condition is already rampant in several Western countries and numbers are now rising fast in emerging economies, such as India and China. But the right kind of dietary...

Sugar isn't just empty, fattening calories -- it's making us sick

by Robert Lustig Added 24.03.2017
Children are manifesting increased rates of adult diseases like hypertension or high triglycerides. And they are getting diseases that used to be unheard of in children, like Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. So why is this happening?...

Wisdom and Creativity

by David Galenson Added 22.03.2017
Academic psychologists have promulgated the myth that wisdom hinders creativity. Robert Sternberg, for example, contended that “the kinds of thinking required to be creative and wise are different.” In his opinion, “Creative thinking is often...

Wilders vs. Spinoza

by Steven Nadler Added 18.03.2017
MADISON – A Dutch demagogue stirs up his followers in a campaign against immigrants. Appealing to the public’s fears and nativist passions, he declares the culture of the immigrants antithetical to Dutch values and denounces their religion,...

Gut bacteria play a role in long-term weight gain

by Ana Valdes Added 18.03.2017
Weight gain happens when we consume more food than we can burn, and weight loss happens when we burn more energy than we consume. But why do some people seem to eat whatever they want and not gain weight, and others appear to gain weight even if...

A Life that Mattered

by Peter Singer Added 15.03.2017
PRINCETON – On January 1, Derek Parfit, one of the greatest philosophers of my generation, died. Just a year earlier, in a poll on a leading philosophy website, Parfit had been voted the most important living Anglophone philosopher. Of all the...

Is there a link between diet, obesity and Alzheimer’s?

by Catherine Itsiopoulos Added 11.03.2017
Alzheimer’s disease is more common among older people but it’s not a normal part of ageing. And as the global population ages, the rate of Alzheimer’s is expected to rise – from 36 million to 115 million sufferers by 2050. The definitive cause...

Exercise changes the way our bodies work at a molecular level

by Andrew Thomas Added 09.03.2017
Exercise is good for you, this we know. It helps build muscle, burn fat and make us all into happier, healthier people. But long before you start looking the way you want, there are other hidden, more immediate, molecular and immunological...

Trumpism And Anti-Semitism

by Sam Ben-Meir Added 06.03.2017
The United States is witnessing a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic acts, which are sweeping over the country in wave after wave. In St. Louis, more than a hundred tombstones were tipped over; similar hate crimes have taken place in Philadelphia...
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ESCAPE VELOCITY: An author’s battle to conquer an Emersonian orbit

by Jack Kohl Added 06.02.2017
During all of my adult life as an author and pianist, Ralph Waldo Emerson has been for me the supreme and unremitting guide to the Western canon. Emerson’s writings have dominated so much of my thought that the routines I have given to the study...

Author Jack Kohl just ‘stole it from life’

by Michael Johnson Added 01.02.2017
Rarely does a musician with a Juilliard background and a Ph.D. in piano performance find the energy, much less the time, to conceive, plot, write and publish a series of well-constructed novels. Jack Kohl, by Michael Johnson. After I read Jack...

Fact-Checking the WSJ [Editor's note: re Mark Twain]

by David Galenson Added 24.01.2017
The Wall Street Journal has made an egregious error. I'm not talking about their coverage of Donald Trump, Russian hacking, or any other such ephemera. This concerns something much more serious: classic literature. Mark Twain, ca. 1907. Image...

Elie Wiesel’s Early Work: Four Novels

by Mary L. Tabor Added 07.01.2017
A Talmudic question has much intrigued me: Two men are stranded in the desert. Only one has water. If he shares it, they both die; if he keeps it, he lives and his companion dies. What should he do? Rabbi Akiva taught that the man has the right...

Why Bob Dylan deserves his Nobel prize in literature

by Richard Brown Added 14.10.2016
To the surprise of many, Bob Dylan has become the first singer-songwriter to win the Nobel prize in literature. As the news broke, I was in the middle of teaching James Joyce to some undergraduates – an author who did not win the Nobel, but is...

The man behind Matilda – what Roald Dahl was really like

by Pojana Maneeyingsakul Added 13.09.2016
It is 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – considered by many to be the world’s number one storyteller. His books have received enthusiastic responses from millions of children all around the world. And his tales of the unexpected continue...

Three alternative romantic fiction authors that will heat up any beach trip

by Zoe Strimpel Added 04.07.2016
There’s no better way to escape the stresses and strains of work and – for many at the current juncture – the acute anxiety of geopolitics, than to put your reading into “romance” gear. Britain versus the world is a gloomy real-world problem;...
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Review of Seattle Opera’s production of Katya Kabanova

by James Bash Added 08.03.2017
Tragedy can happen anywhere. That’s why the 1950s setting in the United States looked comfortably appropriate in Seattle Opera’s production of “Katya Kabanova.” Designed by Genevieve Blanchett and Mark Howett, the white picket fence, the...

Relax, it’s just contemporary music

by Michael Johnson Added 02.03.2017
A friend of mine in Italy who has recorded some of John Cage’s prepared piano pieces struggles with many of the new keyboard works coming down the pike, devoting hours of practice to the mind-bending notation. He concludes, alas, that the level...

Voltaire comes home with an American accent

by Michael Johnson Added 28.01.2017
The Leonard Bernstein incidental music for Voltaire’s Candide seems even fresher today than it did 60 years ago when it flopped on Broadway. Over time the production has been reworked, massaged and matured, and now is finding remarkable...

Impresario Leiser fears young piano talent will get left behind

by Michael Johnson Added 17.12.2016
  Veteran impresario Jacques Leiser, summing up his 60 years of toil with some of the world’s greatest performers, is worried about today’s drift in the music business. He believes that too many young artists fail in their first few years...

Young Russian brings personal élan to Mussorgsky’s Pictures

by Michael Johnson Added 13.12.2016
  Ilya Rashkovsky is a rising young Siberian pianist, now based in Paris, whose new CD injects fresh élan into Modeste Mussorgsky’s delightful Pictures at an Exhibition. The performance shows no sign of battle fatigue despite being a mainstay of...

Angelich revives a Beethoven warhorse

by Michael Johnson Added 18.11.2016
The Franco-American pianist Nicholas Angelich delivered a freshly crafted version of a Beethoven warhorse, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat, Op. 73, together with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine conducted by Paul Daniel, in the...

Big Songs – the Power Behind the Old Broadway Musicals

by Michael Johnson Added 03.11.2016

Three Delightful Sides of Thomas Adès

by Michael Johnson Added 01.11.2016
Visiting star composer-pianist-conductor Thomas Adès put on a bold show of musical versatility Sunday afternoon at Jordan Hall, joining the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in selections ranging from Purcell to Stravinsky. Thomas Adès A true...

Soprano Nadja Michael stars in stellar production of “The Makropulos Case” at San Francisco Opera

by James Bash Added 21.10.2016
Humans have always had the desire to live forever. Even today there are those wealthy enough to have their bodies frozen in a cryogenic state and others who fervently believe that the wizards of Silicon Valley will preserve them digitally. Leoš...

Why Pianist Roberto Plano turned his back on Italy

by Michael Johnson Added 13.10.2016
  Italian piano virtuoso Roberto Plano has made the big career move so many artists dream of – leaving home to find a better musical life elsewhere. Plano’s move leaves Italy behind and takes him to the United States, to an environment that he...
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La La Land deserves its 14 Oscar nominations for asking us, quite simply, to feel

by Rebecca Harrison Added 24.02.2017
Having won five BAFTAs, including coveted awards for Best Film, Best Director (Damien Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), La La Land is likely to win more statuettes at the Oscars – it has a record-equalling 14 nominations. Both lauded as...

Scorsese’s Silence is admirably faithful to the original Japanese novel

by Mark Williams Added 07.01.2017
The blogosphere has been awash this month with reviews of Martin Scorsese’s latest movie, Silence. The work represents a powerful reworking of the novel of the same name by the Japanese novelist, Endō Shūsaku and I, for one, shall never forget...

The Crown may be inaccurate but it's a cracking period drama

by Gabriele Neher Added 16.11.2016
The Crown, Netflix’s most ambitious and expensive original drama, had a reported budget of over US$100 million. The ten-part series charts the ascension of Elizabeth Windsor to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II, and follows the young monarch as...
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