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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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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 would be both momentous and dangerous. In the spring of 2021, the triangle of EU-US-China relations has taken on a

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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

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The Green New Deal’s time has come – but what’s happened to Labour’s radicalism?

The party risks a dead end with its ‘Little Britain’ thinking, in marked contrast to the bolder path taken by Joe Biden What a difference power makes. The past 18 months saw political defeats for the left on both sides of the Atlantic. Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party came to an end after a resounding Conservative victory. The Bernie Sanders campaign went down at the hands of the

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Zeit Online
The Limits of Victory

Joe Biden may have won the election, but the U.S. is still divided and the Republicans are ready to block his every move, even as the country faces grave crises. On Sat., Nov. 7, 2020,

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The political economy of Trump

The United States can protect itself against turbulence, but doing so against a great recession is a lot more difficult, and that is the danger if the Democrats get to the White House but fail

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