The Russian-Roulette Presidency

by Elizabeth Drew Added 22.06.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Unless US President Donald Trump decides that he has had enough, and returns to his gilded Manhattan tower, his presidency’s metastasizing crisis will continue to haunt him. Investigations in the United States Senate and House...

The End of the Trump Administration?

by Jorge G. Castañeda Added 16.06.2017
MEXICO CITY – The world’s view of US President Donald Trump’s administration is changing for the worse. In fact, the chaos and controversy that have marked Trump’s short time in office have deepened doubts, both inside and outside the United...

Can US States Right Trump’s Wrongs?

by Barry Eichengreen Added 13.06.2017
VENICE – US President Donald Trump, with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress, is undermining many of the fundamental values that Americans hold dear. He is jeopardizing their access to health care by seeking to repeal the 2010...

How to Prevent the UK’s Self-Destruction

by Jim O'Neill Added 13.06.2017
LONDON – If you were a Briton who had been stuck in Antarctica for the past year and a half, you might be forgiven for wishing you had stayed put. The decisions taken during your absence by British politicians, especially the leaders of the...

Defending Academic Freedom in a Populist Age

by Michael Ignatieff Added 08.06.2017
BERLIN – I am the President of Central European University, which is now under attack. CEU is fighting to remain a free institution in Budapest, Hungary’s capital, following the passage of new legislation that would, in essence, require the...

Russia’s Cold War Habit

by Vladislav Inozemtsev Added 06.06.2017
MOSCOW – A few weeks ago, Mikhail Gorbachev – the last leader of the Soviet Union and the man who did more than anyone to end the Cold War – told the German newspaper Bild that it is possible “to recognize all the features of a new cold war in...

Angela Merkel’s Challenge to Europe

by Joschka Fischer Added 06.06.2017
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never been regarded as an especially inspiring orator. In fact, she has a reputation for gently talking her audiences to sleep. But that all changed a few days ago. While campaigning in the Munich...

The Truth Behind Today’s US Inflation Numbers

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 02.06.2017
BERKELEY – In December 2015, the US Federal Reserve embarked on a monetary-tightening cycle, by raising the target range for the short-term nominal federal funds rate by 25 basis points (one-quarter of a percentage point). At the time, the...

America’s Broken Democracy

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 31.05.2017
NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump’s ravings against the 2015 Paris climate agreement are partly a product of his ignorance and narcissism. Yet they represent something more. They are a reflection of the deep corruption of the US political...

Taming the Murdochs’ Toxic Corporate Culture

by Lucy P. Marcus Added 29.05.2017
The commentary by Lucy Marcus, “Taming News Corp’s Toxic Culture,” has been corrected and revised to take account of the 2013 division of News Corporation into News Corp and 21st Century Fox, the owner of Fox News.  We apologizes for any...

Trump’s ‘Historic’ Visit To The Middle East: Much Ado About Nothing

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 28.05.2017
Sadly, President Trump’s visit to the Middle East only confirmed my skepticism about what might come out of it. Trump went to the region with nothing to offer to mitigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and received no commitment from either...

Democracy Trumps Terrorism

by Chris Patten Added 27.05.2017
LONDON – As I strolled through Paris the other day, the air was warm, the sky was blue, and I felt like I was in the best of all possible worlds. As always, Paris looked elegant and exuded confidence and cheerfulness. France had just elected a...

Rethinking the Next China

by Stephen S. Roach Added 26.05.2017
NEW HAVEN – For the past seven years, I have taught a popular class at Yale, called “The Next China.” From the start, the focus has been on the transitional imperatives of the modern Chinese economy – namely, the shift from a long-successful...

The GCC’s View of “One Belt, One Road”

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 26.05.2017

Awakening from the Trump Nightmare

by Bernard-Henri Lévy Added 24.05.2017
PARIS – The American people can escape from the ordeal of Donald Trump’s presidency in one of three ways. But if and when they do is an irreducibly political question, not one that hinges on legal possibilities. First, there’s the Nixonian...

Understanding Today’s Stagnation

by Robert J. Shiller Added 23.05.2017
NEW HAVEN – Ever since the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009, the world’s major central banks have kept short-term interest rates at near-zero levels. In the United States, even after the Federal Reserve’s recent increases, short-term rates remain...

The Iranian Opportunity

by Javier Solana Added 23.05.2017
MADRID – Last week, the people of Iran decided to continue along the path toward openness. Fifty-seven percent of voters chose to elect the reformist President Hassan Rouhani to a second term. The rest of the world should welcome Rouhani’s...

Trump on Islam: Neo-Orientalism and anti-Shi’ism

by Juan Cole Added 22.05.2017
Trump’s speech on Islam, written by notorious Islamophobe Stephen Miller, who used to organize Orwellian Two Minutes Hate sessions against Muslims at Duke, is just as bizarre as everything else Trump does. Miller-Trump imply, as has become...

The White House Crack-Up

by Elizabeth Drew Added 19.05.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – On both sides of the White House fence, near-nervous breakdowns abound. The White House staff is said to be in a state of near collapse – bouncing from one presidential crisis to another, trying all the while to hide from a...

A Long Way from Comey to Watergate

by Sean Wilentz Added 11.05.2017
PRINCETON – President Donald J. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is unprecedented, as is much of what Trump has undertaken as president. Despite similarities with President Richard M. Nixon’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” 44 years...

Whistling Past the Geopolitical Graveyard

by Nouriel Roubini Added 08.05.2017
NEW YORK – With Emmanuel Macron’s defeat of the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, the European Union and the euro have dodged a bullet. But geopolitical risks are continuing to proliferate. The populist...

The End of the Left/Right Divide?

by Ian Buruma Added 08.05.2017
NEW YORK – After the French Revolution of 1789, deputies in the National Assembly who supported the revolutionary gains sat on the left, while those who opposed them and hankered after the old order of monarchy and church congregated on the...

Trumpcare is the best Advertisement for Nationalizing Insurance

by Juan Cole Added 05.05.2017
The sadism and greed of the American Republican Party was on full display Thursday, as the House GOP voted to destroy Obamacare and remove the coverage for pre-existing conditions (50 million Americans suffer from them). Oh, this sabotage is...

Emmanuel Macron takes step closer to French presidency with strong performance in fiery debate

by Delia Dumitrescu Added 05.05.2017
Emmanuel Macron was a virtually unknown figure in French politics before 2012. Now, as leader of the new political movement En Marche! he finds himself in the position of being the defender of French liberal democratic values in the second round...

Where US Manufacturing Jobs Really Went

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 04.05.2017
BERKELEY – In the two decades from 1979 to 1999, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States drifted downward, from 19 million to 17 million. But over the next decade, between 1999 and 2009, the number plummeted to 12 million. That...

The French Election and Europe’s Future

by Joschka Fischer Added 29.04.2017
BERLIN – A lot can happen between now and the second round of the French presidential election on May 7, so it is still too early to celebrate. But, even with the nationalist, populist candidate Marine Le Pen still in the running, many observers...

Can North Korea Transform U.S. - China Relations?

by Daniel Wagner Added 27.04.2017
In international relations there is no such thing as coincidences, and powers of observation and gut instinct can sometimes tell more than all the intelligence at one’s disposal. Take, for example, the Kafkaesque narrative occurring in relation...

Russia’s Neo-Feudal Capitalism

by Anders Åslund Added 27.04.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Vladimir Putin’s Russia is looking more and more like the sclerotic and stagnant Soviet Union of the Leonid Brezhnev era. But in one area, Putin’s regime remains an innovator: corruption. Indeed, in this, the 18th year of...

Palestinians Prisoners Hunger Strike

by James J. Zogby Added 27.04.2017
  One thousand five hundred Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike for almost a week now. They are refusing sustenance in an effort to improve the deplorable conditions faced by the nearly 6,500 Palestinians who are currently...

A World Turned Inside Out

by Stephen S. Roach Added 27.04.2017
NEW HAVEN – Slowly but surely, a bruised and battered global economy now appears to be shaking off its deep post-crisis malaise. If the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecasts are borne out – an iffy proposition, to be sure – the nearly...

Will London Survive Brexit?

by Howard Davies Added 26.04.2017
LONDON – Brexit has set a hungry cat among the financial pigeons of the City of London. No one yet knows what kind of access to the European Union’s single financial market UK-based firms will have, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a...

Frexit: how a Le Pen victory could unleash a tsunami of economic volatility

by Panicos O. Demetriades Added 25.04.2017
With Marine Le Pen through to the second round of the French presidential elections, the prospect of Frexit, which is at the centre of her economic policies, is beginning to spook financial markets. While the possibility of Le Pen winning in the...

The Coming Technology Policy Debate

by Michael J. Boskin Added 24.04.2017
STANFORD – What do the leaks of unflattering email from the Democratic National Committee’s hacked servers during the 2016 US presidential election campaign and the deafening hour-long emergency-warning siren in Dallas, Texas, have in common?...

Macron and Le Pen to face off for French presidency – but she won't be pleased with first round result

by Paul Smith Added 24.04.2017
In the end, the polls were right. Emmanuel Macron will go into the second round of the French presidential election against Marine Le Pen. For a while it seemed as though a dead heat were on the cards but, in the end, Macron took first place,...

Why China is serious about becoming the global leader on climate change

by David Tyfield Added 15.04.2017
The Trump administration’s hostility towards climate action and research leaves a void in global climate politics. Could China step up? The world’s largest absolute emitter could certainly use US inaction as an excuse to backslide on its...

40% of California Grid Power from Solar, Sometimes Costs less than Nothing

by Juan Cole Added 15.04.2017
For the first time, on the day of March 23, 40% of Californian grid power between 11 am and 2 pm was generated by utility-scale solar plants. This proportion was a seasonal effect but not a fluke, and it certainly points to what will be routine...

Why states are pushing ahead with clean energy despite Trump's embrace of coal

by Bill Ritter, Jr. Added 15.04.2017
Alamosa Photovoltaic Plan, south-central Colorado. Energy.gov/Flickr On Tuesday, March 28, President Trump traveled to the Environmental Protection Agency to sign an executive order rolling back a number of climate-related regulations that have...

Trump the War President?

by Ian Buruma Added 12.04.2017
NEW YORK – Nothing seemed to be going right for Donald Trump during the first 11 weeks of his presidency. Federal courts blocked his attempts to ban citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. He failed to repeal former...

A Fiscal Reality Test for US Republicans

by Nouriel Roubini Added 11.04.2017
NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump’s first major legislative goal – to “repeal and replace” the 2010 Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) – has already imploded, owing to Trump and congressional Republicans’ naiveté about the complexities of...

The Trump Divide

by James J. Zogby Added 11.04.2017
    Over the years, there have been many divides that have defined the American social, cultural, or political landscape. Some have been philosophical, regional, issue-based, racial, economic, gender or age-related. But none have been as deep or...

Crouching Donald, Paper Tiger

by Barry Eichengreen Added 10.04.2017
BERKELEY – Donald Trump’s comments about China during the US presidential campaign didn’t exactly bolster high hopes for Sino-American relations once he was elected. Trump denounced China for “taking our jobs,” and “[stealing] hundreds of...

Storm Clouds Over Korea

by Joschka Fischer Added 09.04.2017
BERLIN – Decades after the end of the Korean War and the partition of Korea, the conflict on the Korean Peninsula remains one of the most dangerous and intractable problems of our time. And today it is more dangerous – and seemingly intractable...

Delivering on Promises to the Middle Class

by Michael Spence and David Brady Added 08.04.2017
MILAN – US President Donald Trump owes his electoral victory largely to the older white middle- and working-class voters who have missed out on many of the benefits of the economic-growth patterns of the last three decades. Yet his...

The Battle Over Syria’s Future

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 01.04.2017
As we approach the sixth year of Syria’s civil war, the whole international community remains completely inept and has failed to join together in the search for a solution that could end the horrifying slaughter of thousands of innocent...

Why Past Performance is Fast Becoming Worth Ignoring

by Daniel Wagner Added 01.04.2017
How many times in the recent past have pollsters, stock pickers, and political prognosticators been wrong – even spectacularly wrong – in their predictions, having relied upon history and past performance to attempt to predict the future? The...

There is a jobs crisis brewing that the Trump administration should not ignore

by Jeff Greene and Vivek Wadhwa Added 01.04.2017
Everyone has heard the old anecdote about the frog in a pot of water. If the temperature is raised slowly, the frog won’t react, eventually allowing itself to get boiled. That’s where we’re heading as a country when it comes to technological...

America's evangelical Christian right isn't the political force it once was

by Benjamin Huskinson Added 01.04.2017
Anyone who has been reading about how evangelical Christians were “crucial” to Donald Trump’s victory in November 2016 would probably be forgiven for assuming that the US’s religious right still wields enormous clout, whether as a political bloc...

Trump - American vertigo. Global disaster.

by Bernard-Henri Lévy Added 30.03.2017
PARIS – Donald Trump’s presidency is presenting the world with countless problems. That the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating his campaign and that close associates (his son-in-law and close White House adviser Jared Kushner) will...

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...
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What Sharia law means: Five questions answered

by Asma Afsaruddin Added 20.06.2017
A note by the Editor of The Convesration: A conservative grassroots organization, ACT for America, organized a “March against Sharia” in at least 20 cities across the United States on Saturday, June 10. Professor of Islamic Studies at Indiana...

Why Saudi Extremism, Instability is an Argument for EVs, Wind and Solar Energy

by Juan Cole Added 16.06.2017
Saudi Arabia has gotten too big for its britches, and the oil-producing Middle East is turning even more unstable. Not to mention that global warming is getting worse and worse because of burning fossil fuels like petroleum. And it is your...

Cities can jump-start climate progress by plugging in their vehicles

by Daniel Cohan Added 16.06.2017
  President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate agreement reaffirmed what was already clear: The federal government is no longer leading American efforts to shrink our carbon footprint. But many state and local governments – along...

Why leadership looks weak and wobbly at Uber, Snap and Twitter

by John Colley Added 14.06.2017
Silicon Valley has not had a great year for governance, and ride-sharing business Uber has been struggling more than most. The company’s culture has come under sustained attack for macho and sexist elements leading CEO Travis Kalanick to fire...

Why Universal Basic Income and tax breaks won’t save us from the jobless future

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 11.06.2017
In Amazon’s warehouses, there is a beehive of activity, and robots are increasingly doing more of the work. In less than five years, they will load self-driving trucks that transport goods to local distribution centers where drones will make...

What will the world actually look like at 1.5°C of warming?

by Richard Betts Added 02.06.2017
The high ambition of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to “well below 2°C”, was driven by concern over long-term sea level rise. A warmer climate inevitably means melting ice – you don’t need a computer model to predict this, it is...

Is AI the end of jobs or a new beginning?

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 01.06.2017
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is advancing so rapidly that even its developers are being caught off guard. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in Davos, Switzerland, in January that it “touches every single one of our main projects, ranging from...

Donald Trump Will Not Go Gently

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 21.05.2017
  As Donald Trump traverses the Middle East and Europe on his first international trip, there is considerable discussion domestically concerning the possibility that he might be removed from office, either involuntarily through impeachment, or...

Karel Appel in Context

by David Galenson Added 21.05.2017
Karel Appel was born in Amsterdam in 1921, the son of a barber in a poor neighborhood. As a child, he painted with his uncle, an amateur artist. In 1942, he entered Amsterdam’s Royal Academy of Visual Art. In 1947, he and a classmate, the...

Edward Hopper: the artist who evoked urban loneliness and disappointment with beautiful clarity

by James Peacock Added 21.05.2017
Automat (1927). Irina/Flickr When Edward Hopper’s retrospective at Tate Modern in London closed in September 2004, more than 420,000 tickets had been sold. Up to that point, only the acclaimed duo of Matisse and Picasso had beat this record. It...
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‘Wrong Notes’ – the skeleton key to free thinking

by Jack Kohl Added 09.06.2017
  As a pianist, I have spent a lifetime reading interviews with other pianists. But I would know, above all, what it is precisely that others think about when they play. People often ask me that question. I do not know if I have ever answered...

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...
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Vengerov and Saïtkoulov wow a formal-dress Bordeaux audience

by Michael Johnson Added 21.06.2017
  One of the world’s greatest living violinists, Maxim Vengerov, accompanied by an equally accomplished pianist Roustem Saïtkoulov, dazzled a full house at the 18th century Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux Sunday night (18 June) with a faultless...

Bergmann interview: Unlocking music from the unconscious mind

by Michael Johnson Added 17.06.2017
  A classical-trained German pianist working in a range of musical disciplines has just launched his most audacious experiment yet – an original piano sonata consisting almost entirely of creations from his unconscious mind. Boris Bergmann’s...

Sounds of Soviet Russia  are revived  in Bordeaux

by Michael Johnson Added 05.06.2017
  The Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine added another feather to its cap last week (June 1-2) with the engagement of a leading international guest conductor, Michail Jurowski, who led the ONBA in two demanding orchestral pieces, the...

François Dumont interviewed: The music never stops

by Michael Johnson Added 24.05.2017
Taking a break in gaps between a Mozart piano concerto in Izmir, Turkey, (No. 9, “Jeunehomme”), a recording session of three Mozart concertos in Rennes, France (Nos. 1, 24 and 27), and a performance tour in China, François Dumont graciously...

Uchida in fine form with a Mozart classic

by Michael Johnson Added 15.04.2017
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida delivered a sparkling Mozart piano concerto No. 20 in D minor (K.466) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons on Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend, to an enthusiastic full house at Symphony Hall. Ms....

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...
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Sofia Coppola emerges from her father's shadow with Cannes triumph for The Beguiled

by Fiona Handyside Added 08.06.2017
Sofia Coppola’s triumphant win at Cannes as best director for The Beguiled is the latest in a series of notable successes for a director quietly but forcefully blazing her own trail as a female director in a film world in which most of the...

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...
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