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...

The Promise of E-Procurement

by Bjørn Lomborg Added 20.04.2016
COPENHAGEN – Corruption is a huge problem across the globe. In Africa, it is estimated that one-quarter of the continent’s GDP is “lost to corruption each year.” In Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank believes that corruption may...

Six Policies Obama wants Saudi Arabia to Change

by Juan Cole Added 20.04.2016
After his critical comments in an interview in The Atlantic last month, Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia  is going to be awkward, as DPA rightly says. The president accused the Gulf states of always trying to push the US into war for the...

Saudi Arabia—A Kingdom In Retreat

by Alon Ben-Meier Added 16.04.2016
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was once at the front and center of the Arab world and a significant player on the global stage due to its oil riches, has been steadily losing its regional influence and prominent role. In recent years, Saudi...

Donald Trump's nuclear threats could trash the global order

by Michelle Bentley Added 16.04.2016
Donald Trump has once again violated all mainstream thinking to advance a dangerous and deviant policy, this time on nuclear weapons. The wannabe Republican presidential nominee recently said the US needs a policy of “unpredictability”. This...

'Helicopter money' – why economists are now thinking the unthinkable

by Stewart Lansley Added 15.04.2016
"Helicopter money is now being pressed by ........a growing number of high-profile and mainstream economists...." For the 85th month in a row, the Bank of England has voted to keep interest rates at a low of 0.5%. Along with the European Central...

The Domestic Threat to US Leadership

by Jeffrey Frankel Added 13.04.2016
CAMBRIDGE – US President Barack Obama has racked up a series of foreign-policy triumphs over the last 12 months. But one that has gained less attention than others was the passage last December of legislation to reform the International Monetary...

Russia’s Middle East Success

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 13.04.2016
MADRID – After years on the sidelines, Russia is back at the center of the Middle East geostrategic game. Against the background of an equivocal United States policy, Russia’s calculated intervention in the Syrian civil war is a rare case in...

Horses for Courses? The Candidates and the Economy

by David Coates Added 13.04.2016
It may be difficult to believe right now, but eventually the nightmare will be over. The race for the presidency will end, and we will be free of the daily media diet of who is ahead, who is behind, and who might get ahead as others falter. Time...

EU referendum: British media coverage of Europe is letting voters down

by Christoph Meyer Added 13.04.2016
As the debate about Britain’s place in Europe intensifies ahead of June’s referendum on EU membership, the role of the press has come under close scrutiny. Alastair Campbell, who was director of communications to the former British prime...

Will Britain Choose Irrelevance?

by Dambisa Moyo Added 13.04.2016
"Meanwhile, Martin Dempsey, a retired army general and former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that the world has entered the most dangerous period he has ever witnessed. Developing countries are home to roughly 90% of the...

Brexit and the Balance of Power

by Joseph S. Nye Added 11.04.2016
CAMBRIDGE – Britain joined what became the European Union in 1973. This year, on June 23, it will hold a referendum on whether to leave. Should it? Current polls show a closely divided electorate. Prime Minister David Cameron claims that the...

Western Mistakes, Remade in China

by Adair Turner Added 07.04.2016
SHANGHAI – The Chinese economy faces an enormously challenging transition. To achieve its goal of joining the world’s high-income countries, the government has rightly urged a “decisive role for the market.” But, while market competition works...

Panama Papers: remarkable global media operation holds rich and powerful to account

by Paul Lashmar Added 04.04.2016
With the Panama Papers exposé perhaps we can now say the fortress walls of offshore secrecy are finally cracking. Such havens allow corruption and tax avoidance to take place on a massive international scale by some of the richest and most...

Debunking America’s Populist Narrative

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 02.04.2016
BERKELEY – One does not need to be particularly good at hearing to decipher the dog whistles being used during this year’s election campaign in the United States. Listen even briefly, and you will understand that Mexicans and Chinese are working...

Preparing for Europe’s Next Recession

by Jean Pisani-Ferry Added 02.04.2016
PARIS – If you do not understand what is happening to the eurozone economy, you are not alone. One day we are told that growth is definitely passé; the next that recovery is on track; and the third that the European Central Bank is considering...

Is Belgium's nuclear security up to scratch?

by Robert J Downes and Daniel Salisbury Added 02.04.2016
Belgium’s counter-terrorism efforts are once again being called into question following the recent tragedies in Brussels. The attacks were carried out against soft targets – the public check-in area of Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station...

Unconventional Monetary Policy on Stilts

by Nouriel Roubini Added 01.04.2016
NEW YORK – With most advanced economies experiencing anemic recoveries from the 2008 financial crisis, their central banks have been forced to move from conventional monetary policy – reducing policy rates via open-market purchases of short-term...

The Putins of the EU

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 29.03.2016
MOSCOW – One of the saddest ironies of this year’s commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union is that Hungary and Poland, always the most restless of the Soviet empire’s captured nations, are now led by men...

China’s Economic Identity Crisis

by Stephen S. Roach Added 29.03.2016
BEIJING – Unlike the West, where former US President George H.W. Bush once mockingly referred to “the vision thing,” China takes economic strategy very seriously. That much was clear at the recent China Development Forum (CDF) in Beijing, an...

Jerusalem First

by Laura Wharton Added 29.03.2016
JERUSALEM – Jerusalem is not one city, but two. Nearly 50 years after Israel captured East Jerusalem, the city remains as divided as ever. As its neighborhoods suffer from a new wave of violence, acknowledging this reality is becoming...

Europe’s Emerging Bubbles

by Hans-Werner Sinn Added 29.03.2016
MUNICH – The European Central Bank’s latest policy moves have shocked many observers. While the goal – to prevent deflation and spur growth – is clear, the policies themselves are setting the stage for severe instability. The policies in...

Ted Cruz, not Donald Trump, is the scariest candidate standing

by Randall Stephens Added 23.03.2016
The 2016 Republican primary is now essentially a two-man race. Donald Trump has tallied an astonishing 678 delegates, while Ted Cruz, the dogmatic, far-right Texas Republican, who apparently gets along with no one in his own party, has garnered...

America Returns to Cuba

by Jeffrey D. Sachs and Hannah Sachs Added 22.03.2016
BEIJING – Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba is the first by a US president since Calvin Coolidge went in 1928. American investors, expat Cubans, tourists, scholars, and scam artists will follow in Obama’s wake. Normalization of the bilateral...

Brexit’s Questions for Europe

by Javier Solana Added 22.03.2016
MADRID – In three months, British citizens will have to decide whether or not to remain in the European Union. But they are not the only ones who must consider their political future. The upcoming referendum also poses two important questions...

Why Donald Trump’s China-Bashing Makes No Sense

by Daniel Wagner Added 22.03.2016
China bashing has become as much a part of the modern American political tradition as criticizing foreign producers of oil. The American electorate has regrettably become accustomed to the predictable torrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric from...

The ECB Goes Rogue

by Sylvester Eijffinger Added 19.03.2016
"…the ECB policy results in a substantial redistribution of wealth from savers (including retirees) in the stronger northern eurozone countries – namely, Germany, Finland, and the Netherlands – to the debtors in the southern eurozone countries,...

Meltdown Earth: the shocking reality of climate change kicks in – but who is listening?

by James Dyke Added 19.03.2016
And another one bites the dust. The year 2014 was the warmest ever recorded by humans. Then 2015 was warmer still. January 2016 broke the record for the largest monthly temperature anomaly. Then came last month. February didn’t break climate...

From Tolstoy to Trump

by Chris Patten Added 19.03.2016
LONDON – One of Leo Tolstoy’s preoccupations was the nature and limits of power. What was it that made France so formidable an enemy, particularly of Russia? This question was at the heart of his greatest novel, War and Peace – so much so that...

Sanders’s Silence on Israel

by Dov Waxman Added 18.03.2016
BOSTON – No foreign country features as prominently in American presidential election campaigns as Israel, and those aspiring to occupy the world’s most powerful political office, whether Republican or Democrat, routinely proclaim their support...

Is Russia’s National Character Authoritarian?

by Robert J. Shiller Added 14.03.2016
NEW HAVEN – Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the Russian public’s acquiescence in direct government control of news media have many people wondering if Russians are predisposed to authoritarianism. It seems like a sensible question. But I...

The Fear Factor in Global Markets

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 11.03.2016
CAMBRIDGE – The phenomenal market volatility of the past year owes much to genuine risks and uncertainties about factors such as Chinese growth, European banks, and the oil glut. For the first two months of this year, many investors were...

The Brexit Conspiracy

by Noëlle Lenoir Added 11.03.2016
PARIS – The possibility that Britain may exit the European Union is undeniable. For decades, prominent British politicians have propounded their disdain for Europe; as a result, euroskepticism in the United Kingdom has become entrenched. When...

Are Central Banks Really Out of Ammunition?

by Adair Turner Added 11.03.2016
LONDON – The global economy faces a chronic problem of deficient nominal demand. Japan is suffering near-zero growth and minimal inflation. Eurozone inflation has again turned negative, and British inflation is zero and economic growth is...

What the Trump Phenomenon Means for Israel

by Lawrence Davidson Added 11.03.2016
Trump and Israel On 3 March 2016 Chemi Shaley, the U.S. correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote an interesting piece on what the Donald Trump phenomenon means for U.S.-Israeli relations. Here are some of his points:  1. Trump’s...

Israel Unbound

by Shlomo Ben-Ami Added 09.03.2016
TEL AVIV – Israel’s persistent occupation of Palestinian lands is irreparably damaging its international standing – or so the conventional wisdom goes. In fact, Israel currently enjoys a degree of global influence unprecedented in its history,...

Netanyahu GOP Policy in Tatters, he snubs White House Invitation

by Juan Cole Added 09.03.2016
A year ago, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intervened in US politics in a big way, addressing a Republican-dominated Congress and lobbying it against the UN Security Council deal with Iran forestalling that country’s civilian nuclear...

The Limits of Capitalism with Communist Characteristics

by Brahma Chellaney Added 07.03.2016
NEW DELHI – As US President Barack Obama prepares to embark on an historic visit to Cuba, the future of the communist-ruled island is the subject of widespread speculation. Some observers are hoping that the ongoing shift toward capitalism,...

The EU holds the trump card – if the UK wants a friendly Brexit deal, free movement of people will have to continue

by Giacomo Benedetto Added 05.03.2016
The stage is now set for the British people to vote on whether they want to remain in the European Union or to leave. Campaigners backing a Brexit would like to pretend that freedom from the meddling union is just a ballot box away and that...

2008 Revisited?

by Nouriel Roubini Added 03.03.2016
NEW YORK – The question I am asked most often nowadays is this: Are we back to 2008 and another global financial crisis and recession? My answer is a straightforward no, but that the recent episode of global financial market turmoil is likely to...

Ever Closer Union or Common Market?

by Joschka Fischer Added 03.03.2016
BERLIN – At stake in the United Kingdom’s upcoming referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union is the nature of the EU itself. The UK wants a different kind of Europe than the one that the EU currently represents. Its...

A Russian Fire-Sale Privatization?

by Sergei Guriev Added 03.03.2016
PARIS – Squeezed by low oil prices and Western sanctions, Russia’s fiscal position is crumbling fast, forcing the government to take increasingly drastic measures to contain the budget deficit’s growth. Government spending has already been cut...
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Letter from the Editor

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We'll keep you in the loop - if you you allow us. Each new article posted on Facts & Arts is announced on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook. Each Friday a newsletter is sent out listing articles of the past week: For Twitter, please click here....

The Improbable Reformers

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 29.04.2016
MOSCOW – Over the last few years, Pope Francis has reinvigorated the Catholic Church’s core message with passionate criticism of unbridled capitalism and a new, more progressive worldview. In the United States primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie...

Mathematical Ageism

by David Galenson Added 27.04.2016
For nearly two decades, I have studied the life cycles of creativity: when in their lives do innovators make their greatest contributions? I have discovered - contrary to the conventional wisdom - that in many intellectual activities, there are...

Prince and Princess and Misplaced Priorities

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 26.04.2016
"We fashion a myth and then mourn the loss of our creation, which has little to do with the person who died. We have created a secular religion, complete with our messiahs. But in creating a demigod, we lose the real human behind the illusion……"...

Charles Koch Likes Hillary Clinton: What Does It Mean?

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 25.04.2016
On Sunday, April 24, billionaire Charles Koch — by some estimates the ninth-wealthiest person in the world — gave an interview to ABC News. It was, I must confess my grudging respect, brilliant political theater. Koch struck a high-minded pose...

How open science can help solve Zika and prepare us for the next pandemic

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 23.04.2016
"A growing number of vocal researchers have advocated that all research funded with public funds is open sourced, and not just the articles but the actual research data sets." With the advent of synthetic biology and gene editing tools, there...

Liberals Losing Perspective

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 19.04.2016
I doubt many would question my liberal credentials, probably best defined by epithets from those right of center who object to my writings and background. To them I am a liberal elitist, left-wing extremist, godless sinner and, one of my...

Why I Support Bernie Sanders

by James J. Zogby Added 19.04.2016
In 2003, while I was teaching at Davidson College in North Carolina, I saw an ad in the local newspaper announcing a "Going Out of Business" sale of Utica Linen products. The mill that had been making these linens was closing and relocating to...

When Bernie Met Francis

by Charles J. Reid, Jr. Added 18.04.2016
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took time off from the campaign trail on April 15 to address the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a kind of think tank located at the Vatican. How to describe the address? It will likely have little direct...

Ted Cruz the Closer

by Joe Peyronnin Added 13.04.2016
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has run a very impressive campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. In fact, it is amazing to see he has done so well given his duplicity and polarizing nature. Cruz has been shrewd in his approach to securing...

Unobtrusive Genius

by David Galenson Added 13.04.2016
The best exhibition of visual art currently on display in London is not at the National Gallery or the Tates, but at the Victoria and Albert Museum. If you visit London before July 4, be sure to see the magnificent retrospective of the...
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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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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...

The chill winds of Schubert’s Winterreise

by Michael Johnson Added 20.02.2016
It’s a crowded field, but to my mind there are never too many variations of Franz Schubert’s late masterpiece, the Winterreise (Winter Journey) song cycle. Each singer and each pianist brings personal touches to bear on these 24 songs and the...

Alexander Paley interview: ‘Classical music is not for everybody’

by Michael Johnson Added 09.02.2016
Pianist Alexander Paley’s new CD of Medtner and Rachmaninov couples the works of two great friends whose lives evolved in similar ways. Both enjoyed early success but Rachmaninov’s sense of melody won larger acclaim from the international...

A perfect pairing: Rachmaninov with his friend Medtner

by Michael Johnson Added 09.02.2016
Pianist Alexander Paley brings together some rarely heard and nicely coherent pieces by Sergei Rachmaninov and Nikolai Medtner, close friends from their Moscow student days, in a new CD (La Musica LMU005). The 14 selections call for a wide range...
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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...

Spectre review: James Bond makes his mark in an age of cybersecurity

by Joseph Oldham Added 30.10.2015
Daniel Craig’s entry into the Bond world was more than a change of face: he also brought in an abrupt about turn in style, from the fantastical to the gritty. The fourth Craig Bond, Spectre, takes us further down this road: unambiguously into a...
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