19 May 2019

Harold James

Professor of History at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation.
  • International bodies such as the World Economic Forum now organize their annual meetings around the quest for a new “narrative” to replace neoliberalism. Photo: Bloomberg

    Stories that can’t end well

    - May 8, 2019 1:55pm
    In today’s irrational world of fake news and bad-faith politics, a new mantra has emerged: It’s all about narratives. Power today lies in one’s ability to tell a story. As a case in point, consider Ukrainian...
  • Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) advances an alternative vision of globalization, based on an integrated system of physical infrastructure. Photo: Reuters

    The new-old globalization

    - Apr 3, 2019 10:36am
    Once upon a time, everyone assumed that there was a single phenomenon called globalization, whereby cross-border flows of financial capital drove innovation, industrialization, development, and trade. But Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)...
  • Anti-Brexit activists demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Photo: AFP

    Brexit is hell

    - Mar 5, 2019 9:57am
    European Council President Donald Tusk recently sparked controversy by saying there is a “special place in hell” for those who advocated Brexit “without a plan”. To angry Brexiteers, the statement epitomizes the unfeeling, moralistic attitude of...
  • Visitors take pictures of the 18th Century Baroque Trevi Fountain and the 16th Century Palazzo Poli in downtown Rome. Italy developed a cultural style that is still uniquely influential to this day. Photo: AFP

    Italy’s writing on the wall

    - Jan 10, 2019 10:35am
    As the home of both the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, Italy has long been at the forefront of cultural developments in Europe and Western Eurasia.  But it has also long served as an example of...
  • After decades of membership in the European regulatory regime, achieving a clean break for Britain will require a tedious and complicated rewriting of innumerable rules. Photo: Reuters

    The ghost of Brexit past

    - Dec 5, 2018 9:58am
    The European Union has gained member-state approval for an agreement setting the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the bloc. But it is still unclear whether a majority of British parliamentarians will approve the deal,...
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May's "Chequers plan" has rejected not just by the European Union and the opposition Labour Party, but also by enough Conservative MPs to ensure that it would fail a parliamentary vote. Photo: Xinhua

    Winter is coming to the UK

    - Nov 2, 2018 8:42am
    The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is rapidly unraveling. The “Chequers plan” upon which British Prime Minister Theresa May has based her negotiating strategy is dead on arrival. It has been rejected not just...
  • The US economy is roaring and the stock market is soaring. But it is only a question of when, not if, the economic reckoning will come. Photo: AFP

    Road runner populism

    - Oct 3, 2018 10:11am
    Populist economics has rarely had it so good. The US economy is roaring, the stock market is soaring, and the Trump administration’s protectionism has apparently had a negligible impact on growth. Trump’s dictum that “trade wars...
  • Lehman Brothers' collapse revealed a flaw not just in finance, but in 21st-century politics and society, says Harold James. Photo: Bloomberg

    What Lehman Brothers’ failure means today

    - Sep 5, 2018 10:16am
      So far this year, the world has marked the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring (and its suppression), the centennial of the end of World War I, and the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth. Against...
  • As Trump has roiled the transatlantic alliance, Europe and Canada may feel they have no choice but to seek out a more open – or at least more stable – partner. Photo: Reuters

    America’s Neville Chamberlain

    - Aug 2, 2018 10:26am
      When countries get nervous about their security, they often insist that they need to reduce their dependence on foreign products, shorten supply chains, and produce more goods domestically. But does protectionism really improve security? Now...
  • We will need to develop an approach that advances innovation within a framework of coordinated deliberation about future social and political arrangements. Photo: Reuters

    Reimagining security and rethinking economics

    - Apr 9, 2018 9:39am
    Now that the world is facing a trade war and the growing possibility that the West could find itself in a real war, we would do well to reconsider the lessons of the interwar period. Many...
  • Franco-German vision for Europe must be fresh and bold enough to capture the popular imagination, observers say. Photo: Bloomberg

    Europe’s Bretton Woods moment

    - Mar 2, 2018 10:47am
    After years of paralysis during the debt crisis that began in 2009, the European Union seems to have regained some momentum. In France last year, Emmanuel Macron and his La République En Marche! won the presidency...
  • We have already reached the point where a bitcoin crash could have serious global implications. Photo: Bloomberg

    The bitcoin threat

    - Feb 5, 2018 9:27am
    The extraordinary volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has become a threat not just to the international financial system, but also to political order. The blockchain technology upon which cryptocurrencies are based promises a better and...
  • AI and automation have obvious implications for employment. But they will also affect the human mind. Photo: Reuters

    The stupid economy

    - Jan 23, 2018 9:56am
      Most discussions about the march of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have understandably concentrated on fears of massive job losses. But the implications of these technologies are actually far more terrifying. We have been brought...
  • An Anti-Brexit protestor waves EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 5. British politics in the age of Brexit has come to resemble a soap opera, says an observer. Photo: Reuters

    The Brexit tragicomedy

    - Dec 5, 2017 9:39am
    As the rest of the world looks on with a mixture of amusement and pity, British politics in the age of Brexit has come to resemble a soap opera. Can the chaos that is descending on...
  • French President Emmanuel Macron (L) talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an EU summit in Brussels on October 20. France and Germany urgently need to develop a shared vision that transcends their own national politics. Photo: Reuters

    Europe’s hard core problem

    - Nov 2, 2017 10:08am
    President Emmanuel Macron’s election in France and the likely continuation of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship in Germany are dramatically at odds with developments in the rest of Europe, which has become increasingly unstable and unpredictable. One wonders...
  • Germany's Angela Merket (left) is convinced her country can do it when it comes to her policy of welcoming Syrian refugees. Photo: Reuters

    The European art of the deal

    - Apr 6, 2017 10:49am
    It has been almost a decade since the 2008 financial crisis, and the confrontational politics that emerged in its aftermath remain ubiquitous in the West. But despite similarities between the United States and the European Union,...
  • The UK's connection with Europe has long been semi-detached. Photo: cxotoday

    Brexit fudge

    - Aug 3, 2016 9:43am
    “Brexit means Brexit,” Theresa May, the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, insists. It is a simple and powerful slogan that sends an unmistakable message to all who have been hoping for a reevaluation of June’s referendum...
  • Whichever way the vote in the Brexit referendum goes, Britain faces years, if not decades, of political division and stalemate. Photo: Bloomberg

    Brexit referendum breeding a divided society in Britain

    - May 10, 2016 8:30am
    Democracy everywhere is facing serious challenges. The United States is gripped by the most bizarre presidential primary campaign in living memory, with populist outsiders threatening to topple established party machines. Brazil is paralyzed by constitutional crisis....
  • Britain doesn't have a cohesive national identity -- much of what is associated with the country in people's minds is actually related to England, just one of its components. Photo: internet

    Can Britain survive Brexit?

    - Jan 6, 2016 8:36am
    The upcoming referendum on Britain’s continued membership in the European Union, almost certain to be held this year, could turn out to be yet another major catastrophe to hit Europe. If, as seems increasingly plausible, British...
  • Migrants from Bulgaria and Romania are seeking a better life in richer European countries. Photo: Spectator

    A globalized economic crisis

    - Sep 4, 2015 8:51am
    If there is a bright side to the turmoil that has roiled the global economy since 2008, it is that not every part of the world has erupted simultaneously. The first blow was the subprime mortgage...

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