Project Syndicate (24)

Experts and Inequality

When the economist and investor Sir William Petty was tasked with surveying large swaths of army land, much of which lay fallow, in seventeenth-century Ireland, he ended up personally owning much of it. The "Petty problem" is alive and well today.

The New Nuclear Danger

Since the end of the Cold War, the risk of nuclear-armed superpowers triggering Armageddon has been substantially reduced. But it has been replaced by the increasing threat of smaller countries, usually ruled by unstable or dictatorial regimes, pursuing nuclear weapons to shore up their own safety ...

Measuring the Internet for Freedom

Internet censorship enables governments to manipulate public discourse and erode citizens' rights. But a five-year-old software program called ooniprobe allows users to fight back, by finding our when, where, and how censorship is occurring.

Trump's Corporate Lackeys

For many members of US President Donald Trump's economic councils, his weak response to this month's white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the last straw. But the camel's back broke a long time ago.

The Achilles Heel of Putin's Regime

Russia's crony capitalism is weaker than it seems. In fact, President Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power has created a major potential threat to his authority, because the lack of credible property rights forces senior Russian officials and oligarchs to hold their money abroad.

Japan's Land of Opportunity'

Donald Trump's policies on immigration and foreign investment in the United States have striking parallels to Japan's historic aversion to welcoming outsiders. But as the US moves to close its doors, Japan must go in the other direction, by creating an alternative land of opportunity for talent ...

Guilty Man

By weaponizing "news," Rupert Murdoch set the stage for Brexit, Donald Trump's election, and the eruption of neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville. Murdoch is one of the truly guilty men of our times, and he must be stopped.

Why Bannon Had to Go

In many, if not most, US administrations, some figure emerges who convinces the press that the president simply couldn't function without him. But, as the dismissal of White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon has once again shown, such fixtures of the modern presidency are almost never ...

Trumpism and the Philosophy of History

With the departure of Stephen Bannon, liberals may be tempted to maintain the strategic tack they took during the presidential campaign, when they criticized Donald Trump mainly for his temperament, not his ideas, and by implication characterized his followers on the same basis. That would be a ...

China's Renewable-Energy Revolution

China is increasingly at the center of an energy- and resource-sector transformation, fueled by technological change and the falling cost of renewable-energy sources. As a result, the country is on a path toward becoming a major source of both energy demand and the cutting-edge technologies needed ...

The Guardian of the Liberal World Order

The global financial crisis, which began ten years ago this month, showed that the Western-led rules-based international order's long-term survival is not inevitable. Should that system collapse, nobody stands to lose more than Europe, which has long thrived on cooperation, and suffered under ...

The Clash of the Data Titans

Most economic activity today depends on data, much of it gathered and analyzed across borders. And yet the European and American policymakers now deciding the rules on how data should be exchanged and stored are focusing more on privacy considerations and national-security concerns than on ...

Engineering Better Refugee Health Care

Although governments and humanitarian-aid groups have made efforts to provide basic health care to refugees, they have struggled to ensure that such care is delivered reliably. Biomedical engineers have an opportunity, as well as a responsibility, to bring their expertise to bear on this problem.

A Development Investment for the Ages

Malnutrition receives less attention than most of the world's other major challenges, yet it is one area where a relatively small investment can make the biggest difference. As both a cause and an effect of poverty, malnutrition it part of a cruel cycle that can last for generations on end.

Media Capture in the Digital Age

The age of censors physically redacting newspapers is mostly over. But press freedom remains highly vulnerable, even in developed democracies, as governments and vested interests engage in a kind of soft control that resembles regulatory capture.

Are Nazis as American as Apple Pie?

Notwithstanding recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, any sober observer can see that the United States is still a long way from the fevered atmosphere of Germany in 1933. But just because US institutions are holding up does not mean that they can't be put in the service of vicious political ...

The Lost Lesson of the Financial Crisis

When the global financial crisis began ten years ago this month, policymakers in advanced economies treated it as a cyclical shock rather than an epochal event. Because they misdiagnosed the sickness, they administered the wrong medicine, and advanced economies have struggled to achieve strong, ...

Planning for Korean Reunification

Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, a collapse of Kim Jong-un's regime in North Korea could happen quite suddenly. To prepare for that contingency, the United States and South Korea need to assure China that a reunified Korea would not be its enemy, and that American troops would not suddenly be ...

The Wrong Way to Prevent Nuclear War

A vast majority of countries want to eliminate the existential threat of nuclear catastrophe by ushering in a world free of nuclear weapons altogether. But as the current effort to push through a flawed nuclear-ban treaty shows, some solutions to the problem of nuclear weapons could do more harm ...

We Weep for You, Venezuela

President Nicolás Maduro's government in Venezuela has dealt blow after blow to the country's democratic institutions. It is now incumbent on all countries, in Latin America and elsewhere, to speak up forcefully in defense of democracy and freedom, lest a new dictatorship be allowed to take hold in ...

The End of Asia's Strategic Miracle?

Asia's contemporary "economic miracle" rests on the fact that relative peace and order have been maintained in the region since the end of the Vietnam War. But the factors underpinning that stability have started to give way, which poses a serious threat to not just Asia, but the entire world.

A Trip Through Putin Country

Russia's Baikal-Amur Mainline railway is not nearly as well-known as its much older rival, the Trans-Siberian Railway. But it is the BAM – a halcyon relic from the height of the Soviet Union – that offers a more useful window onto the mood among most Russians today.

Is Trump Killing the Dollar?

For nearly a century, the US dollar has been viewed as the financial world's ultimate safe haven. But after 200 days of chaos under US President Donald Trump, the value of the dollar has declined, and global investors and central banks have begun to look for alternatives in other markets.

We Weep for You, Venezuela

President Nicolás Maduro's government in Venezuela has dealt blow after blow to that country's democratic institutions. It is now incumbent on all countries, in Latin America and elsewhere, to speak up forcefully in defense of democracy and freedom, lest a new dictatorship be allowed to take hold ...