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Archive for the tag “Project Syndicate”

Remembering The Man Who Was Killed 50 Years Ago

November 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For people alive at the time, it was one of those events that are so shocking that you remember where you were when you heard the news.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Pakistan’s Tipping Point

Pakistan’s moment of political truth is fast approaching. On May 11, some 40-50 million voters will elect a new national assembly. The outcome, preceded by a spike in extremist violence, is likely to reverberate far and wide.

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Let’s Get Real About North Korea

The world’s task in addressing North Korea’s saber rattling is made no easier by the fact that it confronts an impoverished and effectively defeated country. On the contrary, it is in such circumstances that calm foresight is most necessary. The genius of the Habsburg Empire’s Prince Klemens von Metternich in framing a new international order after the Napoleonic Wars was that he did not push a defeated France into a corner. Although Metternich sought to deter any possible French resurgence, he restored France’s prewar frontiers.

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China’s Hidden Democratization

Since Xi Jinping was anointed as China’s new president, reports of official repression of dissent have hardly abated. But, while criticism of China’s human rights record clearly has merit, it is important not to lose sight of the extent of genuine political change in China.

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A Metaphor for Obama

As US President Barack Obama begins his second term, he needs a simple way to express his vision and policies for the economy – a metaphor around which support for his policies might crystallize, thereby boosting his administration’s political effectiveness. So, what makes a successful metaphor work?

The 2008 Obama campaign used the slogan “Change we can believe in.” But “change” is not a metaphor for a new government: it does not stand for any policies. Nor does “Hope” or “Yes we can!” The 2012 Obama campaign used the one-word slogan “Forward!” Once again, it signifies nothing about policies or their underlying philosophy. Every politician, whether liberal or conservative, wants to move forward, not backward. Obama’s slogans are examples of “dead metaphors”: they are not part of an overall conceptual scheme.

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Immigration and American Power

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Except for a small number of Native Americans, everyone is originally from somewhere else, and even recent immigrants can rise to top economic and political roles. President Franklin Roosevelt once famously addressed the Daughters of the American Revolution – a group that prided itself on the early arrival of its ancestors – as “fellow immigrants.”

In recent years, however, US politics has had a strong anti-immigration slant, and the issue played an important role in the Republican Party’s presidential nomination battle in 2012. But Barack Obama’s re-election demonstrated the electoral power of Latino voters, who rejected Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by a 3-1 majority, as did Asian-Americans.

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Europe’s Plan A

Europe’s politicians nowadays are desperately looking for someone to blame for the euro crisis. Germany blames France, and vice versa. Even lawyers are getting into the act, trying to identify legal responsibility for the monetary union’s design flaws.

Meanwhile, as the crisis has deepened, a new consensus about Europe’s monetary union has emerged. The euro, according to this view, was devised in a fit of giddy and irresponsible optimism – or, alternatively, panic at the prospect of German hegemony over Europe – in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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The Second Coming of Barack Obama

The race was tough, but US President Barack Obama has won re-election. The question now, for the United States and the world, is what will he do with a fresh four-year term?
To win re-election with a still-weak economy and unemployment close to 8% was not easy. Many leaders – Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero come to mind – have been swept away by economic discontent in recent years. Although the financial disaster erupted on George W. Bush’s watch, after eight years of a Republican presidency, Obama had to carry the burden of an anemic recovery.
Read Here – Project Syndicate

 

What’s Troubling India?

India’s recent fall from macroeconomic grace is a lamentable turn of events. After many years of outperformance, GDP growth has slowed sharply. Annual output will most likely rise by less than 5% this year, down from 6.8% in 2011 and 10.1% in 2010.

Reform has stalled amid profound political paralysis. All of the major emerging economies face weakening external demand, but India’s slowdown has been exacerbated by a drop in investment that reflects a deeper loss of official direction and business confidence. Even the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of a modest improvement in 2013 is predicated on the government’s ability to breathe life into a spate of stalled economic reforms.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Burma to Myanmar and Back?

In ways big and small, Asia is still living with the tainted legacy of imperialism. Consider the debate now underway in Myanmar – or Burma to some. Because the imperial tongue found it difficult to pronounce “Myanmar,” the country’s no-nonsense British masters renamed it Burma (redrawing its borders as well for good measure).

The new name stuck until the military regime that ruled the country for decades restored the original one in 1989. Ironically, however, the newly empowered democratic opposition would like to bring back the name Burma, viewing “Myanmar” as emblematic of the dictatorship that they wish to leave behind.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

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