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The Gatekeeper

Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman. Norton, 444 pp., £13.99, February, 978 0 393 54132 8 Paul​ Krugman’s latest collection of essays, Arguing with Zombies, first appeared in January 2020. Not only was it quickly buried by Covid, but he missed out on a thing all too rare for a pundit: the opportunity to declare victory. A year later, in Joe Biden’s Washington, Krugmanism rules. The gigantic scale of the $1.9 trillion Biden rescue plan, and now the proposed $2 trillion infrastructure investment programme, are testament to a rearrangement of the relationship between economic expertise and politics in the Democratic Party, a rearrangement which Krugman anticipated and for which Arguing with Zombies makes a powerful case. In the 1990s the lines were clearly drawn. The Democrats were a party of fiscal rectitude and trade globalisation. They had the weight of academic economic

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Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi Have One Last Job

The U.S. treasury secretary and the Italian prime minister have spent decades shaping this economy. But can they control what comes next? In recent years, the world has been regaled with stories about the crisis of expertise. The era of the liberal technocrat was over, we were told, killed off by the financial crisis and populism. But if democracies find it hard to live with expertise, it seems they can’t live without it either. At the start of 2021, two of the most contentious capitalist democracies in the world, Italy and the United States, turned to familiar experts to chart a way out of novel political situations. If there is such a thing as a technocrat, Janet Yellen, the new U.S. treasury secretary, and Mario Draghi, Italy’s new prime minister, are it. For the last 30 years, both Yellen and Draghi have held positions of

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Europe’s decarbonisation challenge? ‘Wir schaffen das’

In the 18th century, Europe was the cradle of the fossil-fuel revolution. Now, we are calling time on the energy sources which have hitherto defined modern history. If we achieve net-zero carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050, it will be a remarkable achievement. If we do not, we have reason to believe that the basic conditions of our existence will be in question. Even in the best case, stabilising with 1.5-2C degrees of warming, the world will be a much more dangerous and unpredictable place. The stakes are huge. But how big is the transition required? In hard times, realism all too easily shades into pessimism. Reasonable evaluation of worst-case scenarios gives rise to gothic imagining of catastrophe. We are, after all, setting ourselves to defy the laws of thermodynamics—converting a civilisation based on concentrated energy to rely instead on the power of the wind and the

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How the Pandemic Changed Europe

An interview with Isaac Chotiner on the the vaccine rollout and shifting politics in the E.U. Isaac Chotiner: Europe has faced a number of challenges in the last dozen or so years, from the financial crisis, to Brexit, to the rise of right-wing populism. Do you see the stumbles around

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internationale politik quarterly

The Fragility of Europe’s China Strategy

In its dealings with Beijing, the United States has turned to classic grand strategy with the aim of safeguarding its primacy. In contrast, the EU has been pursuing a less consistent, but much more suitable multi-track approach. China’s latest actions may push the Europeans to full alignments with the US—which

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Where is Britain in its economic history?

A conversation with Ben Judah with the Atlantic Council on Britain since 1990, the megatrends framing Brexit and the historical role played by the Bank of England shaping the present. View the recording here: https://www.pscp.tv/b_judah/1zqKVXrQZWpJB

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Inflation: Sind die Sorgen berechtigt?

Mit Beginn des neuen Jahres mussten Verbraucher mehr Geld beispielsweise für Süßwaren, aber auch Benzin oder Diesel ausgeben. Die Inflationsrate lag in Deutschland nach Zahlen des Statistischen Bundesamts im Februar bei 1,3 Prozent. Wirtschaftsredakteurin Lisa Splanemann und Wirtschaftshistoriker Adam Tooze sprechen über die Frage, inwieweit etwas Wahres in derzeitigen Inflationssorgen

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on bookshelves

Look out for Adam’s next books, Shutdown: The Global Crises of 2020 coming to print in 2021, and Carbon, out in 2023.

on air

Discussion with Wolfgang Schäuble

WEF 2020: Why Protests Are An Integral Part Of Democracy

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer – Is a 2nd Great Depression Coming?

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on the blog
Journalism & Interviews
London Review of Books Logo

The Gatekeeper

Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman. Norton, 444 pp., £13.99, February, 978 0 393 54132 8 Paul​ Krugman’s latest collection of essays,

Read More »

Chartbook

Sign up below for Adam’s bi-weekly newsletter, which includes economic data, images, & stories that matter.

on bookshelves

Look out for Adam’s next books, Shutdown: The Global Crises of 2020 coming to print in 2021, and Carbon, out in 2023.

on air

Discussion with Wolfgang Schäuble

WEF 2020: Why Protests Are An Integral Part Of Democracy

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer – Is a 2nd Great Depression Coming?

on record
on the blog