A British Tragedy in One Act

by Chris Patten Added 25.06.2016
".......one of Churchill’s more famous aphorisms: 'The trouble with committing political suicide is that you live to regret it.'.......In fact, many 'Leave' voters may not live to regret it. But the young Britons who voted overwhelmingly to...

Brexit is not Democracy in Action, It is Democracy in Crisis

by Ian Hughes Added 25.06.2016
".....the EU is the region in the world with the strongest protections for individual rights and the most developed systems of social democracy which provide public services regardless of ability to pay." The UK vote to leave the European Union...

Are Democrats Really Better for America’s Economy?

by Jeffrey Frankel Added 22.06.2016
CAMBRIDGE – Hillary Clinton has repeatedly claimed in recent months that the US economy does much better when a Democrat is in the White House. Coming from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, that probably sounds like political...

Brexit in Context

by Michael Spence Added 20.06.2016
MILAN – I do not believe that foreigners contribute usefully by issuing strong opinions about how a country’s citizens, or those of a larger unit like the European Union, should decide when faced with an important political choice. Our insights,...

The Return of the Jordanian Option

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 18.06.2016
TEL AVIV – France’s initiative to hold an international conference to re-launch direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians, aimed at the ever elusive “two-state solution,” is the child of a resilient fantasy. But after decades of failed...

Don’t Appease Putin

by Guy Verhofstadt Added 16.06.2016
BRUSSELS – Both US President Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the Republican party’s putative nominee to succeed him, have criticized European members of NATO in recent months for failing to fulfill their defense-spending commitments. They have a...

Putin’s Illusion of Reform

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 15.06.2016
MOSCOW – Last November, when the performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to the central door of Moscow’s Lubyanka – the headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and formerly of the Soviet Union’s security service, the KGB –...

A Tale of Two Debt Write-Downs

by Adair Turner Added 13.06.2016
SINGAPORE – At the end of 2015, Greece’s public debt was 176% of GDP, while Japan’s debt ratio was 248%. Neither government will ever repay all they owe. Write-offs and monetization are inevitable, putting both countries in a sort of global...

In Response to the Tragedy in Orlando - America Should Launch a New War - Against Intolerance and Hate Speech

by Robert Creamer Added 13.06.2016
We will not know all of the facts surrounding the unfathomable tragedy in Orlando for some time – perhaps, many days. But one thing is certain: intolerance and hatred inevitably lead to violence and death. That is why our primary response to the...

Illiberal Democracy or Undemocratic Liberalism?

by Yascha Mounk Added 11.06.2016
CAMBRIDGE – How did it come to this? In the space of a few short months, the prospect of a President Donald Trump has gone from preposterous speculation to terrifying possibility. How could a man with so little political experience and such...

Russia and the Post-Oil Economy

by Vitaly Kazakov Added 10.06.2016
MOSCOW – It is difficult to overstate the importance of the oil industry to the Russian economy. Globally, Russia is competitive in defense products, space launches, nuclear power, mineral resources, and information technology. But none of these...

What kind of loser will Bernie Sanders be? He's got three choices

by Mark McLay Added 08.06.2016
During his barnstorming rallies to massive audiences, Bernie Sanders is fond of declaring “enough is enough!” And after the latest round of primary results, many Democratic party leaders will be hoping Sanders now feels similarly about his own...

Springtime for Fascism?

by Ian Buruma Added 07.06.2016
NEW YORK – Are we seeing a new dawn of fascism? Many people are beginning to think so. Donald Trump has been compared to a fascist, as has Vladimir Putin and a variety of demagogues and right-wing loudmouths in Europe. The recent tide of...

Confronting the Global Threat to Democracy

by Ngaire Woods Added 04.06.2016
OXFORD – Across the world, populists are attracting votes with their promises to protect ordinary people from the harsh realities of globalization. The democratic establishment, they assert, cannot be trusted to fulfill this purpose, as it is...

Populists and Productivity

by Nouriel Roubini Added 04.06.2016
NEW YORK – Since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, productivity growth in the advanced economies – the United States, Europe, and Japan – has been very slow both in absolute terms and relative to previous decades. But this is at odds...

Do We Want Powerful Leaders?

by Joseph S. Nye Added 03.06.2016
"And  some commentators fear  that if Donald Trump wins the US presidency in November, he could turn out to be an 'American Mussolini.'........" ".........In the early United States, James Madison and the new country’s other founders saw that...

Uncertainty at the Fed

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 01.06.2016
BERKELEY – The US Federal Reserve is increasingly at risk of losing credibility – and for good reason. As Narayana Kocherlakota, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, recently argued, Fed officials seem be balancing their...

The Secret of Putin’s Survival

by Andrei Kolesnikov Added 01.06.2016
MOSCOW – Two years ago, a long process of growing authoritarianism and isolationism under President Vladimir Putin culminated in Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But even as much of the international community condemned the move, Russians seemed...

The Sanders Phenomenon

by James J. Zogby Added 30.05.2016
"I believe that should he win in California, Sanders can make a strong case urging the party's super-delegates to support his candidacy."   There is a Sanders phenomenon. It is real and the factors that have prompted its emergence need to...

Republicans Ride the Trump Tiger

by Theda Skocpol Added 30.05.2016
"Trump’s core supporters are wrongly thought to be displaced and economically insecure blue-collar workers. In fact, his voters’ average annual income, about $72,000, is well above the US median of $56,000." CAMBRIDGE – During a typical week in...

A Post-Referendum Agenda for Britain

by Chris Patten Added 27.05.2016
LONDON – The end of the wretched campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union against the advice of our friends around the world is less than a month away. The Brexiteers, as they have come to be called, deny all evidence of the...

Three men and a vote: EU referendum is turning into a Tory boys' own story

by Dominic Wring, David Deacon and John Downey Added 25.05.2016
It would have come as something of a surprise to a fair few of the Mail on Sunday’s readers when they opened their copy of the May 22 edition and found the headline “Brexiteers' logic begins to crumble” over a story that said that the leave camp...

America’s Saving Perils

by Stephen S. Roach Added 24.05.2016
NEW HAVEN – US politicians invariably bemoan trade as the enemy of the middle class, the major source of pressure on jobs and wages. The current presidential campaign is no exception: Republicans and Democrats alike have taken aim at both China...

Sykes-Picot, the Secret Middle East Pact by Great Britain and France, Dead at 100

by Joschka Fischer Added 24.05.2016
BERLIN – On May 16, 1916, in the middle of World War I, Great Britain and France signed a secret pact in London. Officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, the deal, negotiated by the diplomats Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, has...

It's irresponsible to compare the EU to the failed demagoguery of Hitler and Napoleon

by Charles Esdaile Added 20.05.2016
It was always inevitable that history was going to take its place in the European debate: not only do historians have a duty to reach out beyond the ivory tower and engage with and inform public debate, but the last three centuries are replete...

Brexit would be death knell for British influence in the world

by Catherine Gegout Added 19.05.2016
David Cameron warned in a major foreign policy speech on May 9 that peace and stability cannot be assured in Europe if the UK leaves the European Union. The prime minister is right: the EU is a guarantee for peace in Europe. But at least as...

Preparing for President Trump

by Bill Emmott Added 18.05.2016
LONDON – As America’s friends and allies look on in astonishment at the all-but-certain prospect of a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in November’s US presidential election, they need to do more than just wring their hands. They...

The Queen’s Chinese Guests from Hell

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 17.05.2016
"Yet Chinese officials’ deportment in London on their latest visit demonstrated a particular kind of arrogance, offering insight into the way China’s leaders regard their country’s position in the world today. They seem to believe that China has...

Double Standard in Defending Christians

by James J. Zogby Added 17.05.2016
  Christians in the Levant, especially those in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, are facing grave challenges that are either misunderstood or ignored in the West. In recent years, protecting them or even acknowledging their existence has only been a...

How Turkey Became A De Facto Dictatorship

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 14.05.2016
The forced resignation of Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suggests only one thing—President Erdogan, who is totally absorbed by his lust for power, will tolerate no one in his government to deviate from any of his political positions....

Europe Sells Out

by Guy Verhofstadt Added 14.05.2016
"Yanis Varoufakis, a former Greek finance minister, said that by agreeing to the EU-Turkey deal, Europe has “lost its soul.” That seems too generous. Europe has sold its soul. As a result, it is in danger of undermining its own raison d’être."...

Helicopters on a Leash

by Adair Turner Added 12.05.2016
"It was deflation, not hyperinflation, that destroyed the Weimar Republic. Hitler’s electoral breakthrough of 1932 was achieved amid rapidly falling prices." PARIS – Faced with a slowing global economy, a number of observers – including former...

Rescaling China’s Debt Mountain

by Barry Eichengreen Added 11.05.2016
MONTREAL – There is widespread agreement on two facts about the Chinese economy. First, the slowdown has ended and growth is picking up. Second, not all is well financially. But there is no agreement on what happens next. The good news is that...

Russia’s Gloomy Prospects

by Anders Åslund and Simon Commander Added 10.05.2016
MOSCOW – Russia’s economic prospects are looking increasingly grim. Last year, plunging energy prices and international sanctions contributed to a 3.7% fall in GDP. Real wages in the country plummeted by around 10%. This year, the negative trend...

Reinventing Europe

by Joschka Fischer Added 07.05.2016
"The euro might not survive. Despite signs of a moderate economic recovery in the eurozone, the gap between Germany and most other eurozone countries is widening and deepening.................And yet it is clear that if the euro fails, the whole...

The Making of Euro-Jihadism

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 07.05.2016
"........the Islam scholar Tariq Ramadan, a grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, is a Swiss citizen and a resident of the United Kingdom.........argues that Islamic ethics and values should be injected into the European...

Russia and Israel’s Middle East Dance

by Daniel Wagner Added 07.05.2016
Russia and Israel have a long history of diplomatic and military collaboration in the Middle East, dating back to the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, when Israel’s triumph over its neighbors was largely attributable to Moscow’s military support....

Sadiq Khan: British dream now a reality for London's first Muslim mayor

by Parveen Akhtar Added 07.05.2016
In Pakistan, the chances that the son of a bus or rickshaw driver could secure a high-ranking political position in the country’s capital city are minuscule. But now, the people of London have elected Sadiq Khan – the son of an immigrant...

Harnessing the Genomics Revolution

by Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez Added 05.05.2016
CAMBRIDGE – Just 13 years after the successful completion of the Human Genome Project, the power of genomics applications to spur innovation is already becoming apparent. Indeed, though the genomics revolution is just getting underway, it is...

Anti-Semitism From the Left

by Ian Buruma Added 03.05.2016
NEW YORK – The former London mayor and left-wing Labour politician Ken Livingstone has been suspended from his party for claiming that Hitler was a Zionist in the early 1930s. According to Livingstone, “before he went mad and ended up killing...

The Global Growth Funk

by Nouriel Roubini Added 03.05.2016
NEW YORK – The International Monetary Fund and others have recently revised downward their forecasts for global growth – yet again. Little wonder: The world economy has few bright spots – and many that are dimming rapidly. Among advanced...

From Cairo to Goldberg

by James J. Zogby Added 02.05.2016
  Earlier this month "The Atlantic" magazine featured a cover story, "The Obama Doctrine", written by Jeffery Goldberg. Based on the author's many hours of interviews with President Obama, it represents an attempt to find a coherent framework...

Clinton or Trump Would Offer a Similar Foreign Policy

by Daniel Wagner Added 30.04.2016
For many decades the U.S. has vacillated between interventionism and isolationism, so the stark contrast between George W. Bush’s brash ‘engagement’ with the world versus Barack Obama’s ‘withdrawal’ from the world is not outside the historical...

A 'serious' foreign policy speech doesn't make Trump any less terrifying

by John M Thompson Added 30.04.2016
After a clean sweep of convincing wins in the latest slew of primaries, Donald Trump looks better placed than ever to secure enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination. As Trump put it, with characteristic swagger, he...

Don’t Do Stupid Economic Stuff

by Jean Pisani-Ferry Added 29.04.2016
PARIS – On August 30, 2013, the United States was about to launch air strikes on Syria, where more than a thousand civilians had died in a sarin gas attack perpetrated by the army of President Bashar al-Assad. But a few hours before the strikes...

Rescue Helicopters for Stranded Economies

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 29.04.2016
BERKELEY – For countries where nominal interest rates are at or near zero, fiscal stimulus should be a no-brainer. As long as the interest rate at which a government borrows is less than the sum of inflation, labor-force growth, and...

What’s Wrong with Normal?

by Chris Patten Added 26.04.2016
LONDON – In Britain these days, one can’t avoid hearing and seeing more and more about the wretched campaign to spit in the face of the world (and of reality) and quit the European Union. Visiting the United States, as I recently did, provides...

Betting markets declare the Sanders campaign all but dead

by Leighton Vaughan Williams Added 26.04.2016
“The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight,” declared Hillary Clinton in the victory speech heralding her resounding New York primary triumph over Bernie Sanders. If anything, that’s an understatement....

How Germany Views Brexit

by Clemens Fuest Added 23.04.2016
MUNICH – On June 23, voters in the United Kingdom will decide whether their country will leave the European Union. They alone will cast ballots, but the political and economic impact of a vote to leave (“Brexit”) would be felt across the EU, if...

Obama's disdain for Europe's 'free riders' makes this an awkward transatlantic trip

by Scott Lucas Added 22.04.2016
Barack Obama’s visit to Britain, brings with it plenty of chatter about the so-called “special relationship” between the US and the UK. Coming as Britain prepares for a referendum on European Union membership, the visit has already kicked off a...
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Letter from the Editor

Is the outcome of the U.K. Referendum final?

In the end it is for the U.K. Parliament to decide whether to send the resignation letter to Brussels. Many members of the Parliament will have to decide whether he or she is a representative of the electorate, like a lawyer is of his client, or...

How ageing affects the way we make decisions

by Wändi Bruine de Bruin Added 24.06.2016
Around the world, people are living longer than ever before, with a recent report from Public Health England revealing that the average 65-year-old man can expect to live another 19 years, while a 65-year-old woman has got a further 21 years to...

How neoliberalism's moral order feeds fraud and corruption

by Jörg Wiegratz and David Whyte Added 21.06.2016
Corporate fraud is not just present, but is widespread in many neoliberalised economies of both income-rich and income-poor countries. Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal is perhaps the most recent and most startling example, but the...

Exploiting the Nightmare of Orlando

by James J. Zogby Added 20.06.2016
  We woke up last Sunday morning to news of the senseless slaughter of 49 innocents at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Because many of the victims were gay, it appeared that this had been a hate crime. It wasn't long before the killer was...

The amazing artificial intelligence we were promised is coming, finally

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 18.06.2016
We have been hearing predictions for decades of a takeover of the world by artificial intelligence. In 1957, Herbert A. Simon predicted that within 10 years a digital computer would be the world’s chess champion.  That didn’t happen until 1996....

The Agony of the Republicans

by Elizabeth Drew Added 16.06.2016
"Despite all the talk about Republican unity, only 11 of the party’s 54 senators have endorsed Trump. In the House, just 27 of 246 Republicans have done so." WASHINGTON, DC – This is a grim time for America’s Republican Party. While most of the...

Trump’s response to Orlando massacre proves just how dangerous he is

by Adam Quinn Added 16.06.2016
Those who’ve been wondering when Donald Trump would switch from the wild bombast of his primary campaign to the sober mode traditionally demanded by a general election now have their answer: never. The dreadful gun massacre at the Pulse club in...

Donald Trump’s Dangerous, Panic-Stricken Speech on the Orlando Massacre

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 15.06.2016
One should never shout fire in a crowded theater. In his panic-stricken response to the horrifying massacre that occurred over the weekend at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Donald Trump has come close to doing just that. Crises demand a...

Dump Trump

by James J. Zogby Added 13.06.2016
  Recent Trump outrages have thrown the GOP establishment into a tizzy. Reactions have been varied, ranging from a few brave souls who have denounced their nominee's bigotry to those who continue to hope against hope that Trump will begin to...

History Once as Tragedy, Twice as Farce? American lessons from a British referendum

by David Coates Added 11.06.2016
  The United States is not alone in being in campaign mode. The United Kingdom is as well. Not for the British a general election in November, as here. Rather, a June 23rd referendum on whether to remain, or whether to leave, the European Union...

Why we shouldn't dismiss Bilderberg conspiracies so lightly

by Martin Parker Added 10.06.2016
We live in an age of conspiracies about a world shaped by shadowy plots, secret organisations and deals made behind closed doors. And while they are often viewed as the fictions of sad people wearing anoraks and tin foil hats, they can relate to...
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What grammar pedants and fashion victims have in common

by Rob Drummond Added 05.03.2016
Language pedants who take pleasure in policing other people’s use of grammar often have an air of respectability about them, but it’s usually a sheen hiding something more pernicious. Rather than actual rules of language, pedantry deals in...

War and Peace: a user's guide

by Sarah Hudspith Added 09.01.2016
War and Peace is more than a novel. It’s a reflection of Leo Tolstoy’s strongly held beliefs – a philosophical tract, not just about politics, war, love, marriage and property, but about history itself and the way the affairs of society are...

How does autobiography work in fiction?

by Mary L. Tabor Added 08.12.2015
You know the line: Truth is stranger than fiction? I have a twist on that. I’ve learned through the writing of three books and a fourth in process as I write this essay that the fictional account of my stories have greater emotional truth and...

Alexievich’s Achievement

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 23.10.2015
NEW YORK – It was 1985, and change was in the air in the Soviet Union. Aging general secretaries were dropping like flies. Elem Klimov’s cinematic magnum opus “Come and See” depicted World War II without the heroics on which we were reared,...

Why Satin Island should win the Man Booker Prize

by David Rudrum Added 25.09.2015
How many novels can truly be called epoch-defining? Ulysses, obviously. Don Quixote, War and Peace and maybe The Sorrows of Young Werther. Beyond Europe’s insular frontiers, The Tale of Genji defined its epoch way back in 11th century Japan....

Dinnertime storytelling makes kids voracious reader

by Anne Fishel Added 18.09.2015
"Rare words, those that go beyond the 3,000 most common ones, are 10 times more likely to show up in dinner conversation than in storybooks. " As a young child, I loved to imagine myself as a pioneer girl in Little House in the Big Woods, eating...

Lore Segal on How to Think About Virtue: An Interview

by Mary L. Tabor Added 06.09.2015
Lore Segal, author of Shakespeare’s Kitchen , Her First American and Other People’s Houses , talked with Mary L. Tabor on thinking about questions of goodness and virtue, a conversation that began in 1997 while Segal was working on Shakespeare’s...
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Drawing on musical emotion --- it’s all in the eyes

by Michael Johnson Added 28.05.2016
For the past few years I have focused my critical sense mainly on piano music and my artwork on the performers who struggle to play it. The faces of some pianists mirror the creative process and thereby inspire my approach to their portraits. My...

Sendak restorations highlight “The Magic Flute” in Portland Opera production

by James Bash Added 14.05.2016
Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” sounded better than ever in Portland Opera’s opening night performance (May 6th) because of the sets that were designed by Maurice Sendak, the beloved children’s book illustrator and author who created “Where the Wild...

Big hair: Classical pianism meets show business

by Michael Johnson Added 06.05.2016
Many young pianists, increasingly desperate to draw attention to themselves, are resorting to new levels of flamboyance at the keyboard – sometimes in their interpretations, more often in excessive showboating antics. It would seem that everyone...

Prokofiev on fire in Bordeaux

by Michael Johnson Added 29.04.2016
“Alexander Nevsky”, the cantata version of Sergei Prokofiev’s film score from 1938, captivated a full house at the Bordeaux Auditorium last night (Thursday, April 28) with a degree of fire and heart that other orchestras often lack. Paul Daniel...

The pianist’s hidden secret: a great tuner -- man or woman

by Michael Johnson Added 07.04.2016
Tanglewood chief piano technician Barbara Renner once won a $50 bet by proving to a male tuner that she could manipulate the nine-foot Steinway Model D as well as any man. And she has gone on to thrive in this man’s world of piano tuning, never...

Sharp contrasts and rarefied beauty from the Cantata Singers

by Michael Johnson Added 04.04.2016
In an adventurous programming gambit Friday night (April 1) the Cantata Singers and Ensemble under David Hoose matched up two opposites – Johann Sebastian Bach and Anton Webern – and concluded with the monumental Brahms Requiem, all impeccably...

Nagano’s Quebec orchestra triumphs in Boston

by Michael Johnson Added 18.03.2016
Kent Nagano made a triumphal return to Boston Wednesday evening (March 16) with his Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, conducting there for the first time in many years before a wildly enthusiastic audience. Amid the seven curtain calls and two...

Soprano substitute wins the day in Seattle Opera’s “Maria Stuarda”

by James Bash Added 17.03.2016
Joyce El-Khoury [picture below] made her Seattle Opera debut in grand style, replacing an ill Serena Farnocchia with just a couple of days’ notice, and sang her heart out in the title role of Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda” (“Mary Stuart”) on...

Georges Cziffra’s ‘tiny hot pearls’

by Michael Johnson Added 07.03.2016
Pianist Georges Cziffra couldn’t believe his eyes when a young soldier delivered an upright piano to him on a military base in Hungary in 1942. The soldier called it “that little cupboard you tap on to make music – sorry, I don’t know the word...

In the Service: Koussevitzky of Boston

by Michael Johnson Added 01.03.2016
"[......] music-lovers watched the obituary columns to guess when new subscription seats might become available." A few months ago I set out to piece together the true story of Serge Koussevitzky, the complex, flawed and almost forgotten genius...
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Versailles, a new ten-part drama serial about Louis XIV by Canal Plus on the BBC

by Guy Rowlands Added 01.06.2016
Versailles, the new ten-part drama serial about Louis XIV of France, is to begin showing on UK television on BBC Two on June 1. Made by French group Canal Plus to mark the tercentenary of the legendary Sun King’s death in 1715, it tells the...

SPOTLIGHT illuminates the unique power of journalism to uncover societal scandals

by David Pilgrim Added 04.02.2016
Like All The President’s Men before it, Spotlight, which was released recently to critical acclaim, reassures its audience that the American mass media is not all soundbites and superficiality at the behest of owners. Both films are stories of...

The Danish Girl: all skirt and no substance

by Clare Tebbutt Added 02.01.2016
It was with some trepidation that I went to watch The Danish Girl. Prior to its release the film had already attracted accusations of transphobia for director Tom Hooper’s decision to cast the cisgender actor Eddie Redmayne in the title role of...
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