Robert Skidelsky
Join our Mailing List
to be notified of any updates

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow me on Twitter
Bookmark and Share

The Varieties of Populist Experience
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Wednesday, May 17, 2017

 
Emmanuel Macron’s decisive defeat of Marine Le Pen in the French presidential runoff was a major victory for liberal Europe. But it was a battle, not a war. The idea that one in three French citizens would vote for the National Front’s Le Pen was inconceivable only a few years ago.
 
Commentators have affixed the “populist” label to the wave of demagogic politics sweeping Europe (and much of the rest of the world). But, beyond the raucous style common to populists, what do these movements share? After all, Spain’s Podemos and Greece’s Syriza are of the left. France’s National Front, the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom, and Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) are of the right. Beppe Grillo, the leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement,

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Trump’s War Policy in Syria
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Thursday, April 20, 2017

 
 LONDON – Clearly, the last word has not been said about the chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province, Syria, on April 4, which left 85 dead and an estimated 555 injured. But three points – concerning responsibility for the attack, the United States’ military response to it, and the episode’s effect on the course of Syria’s civil war – need to be made.
 
First, all governments lie, not congenitally, but when it suits them and they think they can get away with it. This must be the premise of any effort to establish the truth about what happened. A good starting point is that democratic governments lie less often than authoritarian regimes, because they are less likely to get away with it. So one should prefer Russian

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Russia’s Nonprofit Spies
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 
LONDON – Nothing so riles Western opinion about Russia today as its law on foreign agents. Enacted in July 2012, the law requires all non-commercial organizations (NCOs) engaged in (undefined) “political activities” to register with the Ministry of Justice as “carrying functions of a foreign agent.” A follow-up measure in 2015, the Undesirable Organizations law, required any such NCO to identify itself publicly as a “foreign agent.”

The wording is peculiar and significant. What, after all, are the “functions of a foreign agent,” in common parlance, except to serve the interests of a foreign power? Indeed, Russia’s law effectively prevents NCOs not under state control from carrying out any activities in the country. Certainly, the

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Another Reset with Russia?
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Tuesday, January 24, 2017

 
LONDON – The question of the West’s relationship with Russia has been buried by media stories of hacking, sex scandals, and potential blackmail. The dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele about US President Donald Trump’s activities in Moscow some years ago may turn out to be as credible as the claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction – or it may not. We simply don’t know. What is clear is that such stories have distracted attention from the task of bridging the diplomatic chasm now dividing Russia and the West.

It’s hard for a Westerner, even one of Russian ancestry like me, to warm to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I hate the way his government has used the “foreign agent” law to harass and effectively close

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share

Economists versus the Economy
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Friday, December 23, 2016

 
LONDON – Let’s be honest: no one knows what is happening in the world economy today. Recovery from the collapse of 2008 has been unexpectedly slow. Are we on the road to full health or mired in “secular stagnation”? Is globalization coming or going?
 
Policymakers don’t know what to do. They press the usual (and unusual) levers and nothing happens. Quantitative easing was supposed to bring inflation “back to target.” It didn't. Fiscal contraction was supposed to restore confidence. It didn’t. Earlier this month, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, delivered a speech called “The specter of monetarism.” Of course, monetarism was supposed to save us from the specter of Keynesianism!
 
With virtually no usable macroeconomic tools,

Continue reading...
Bookmark and Share
Page 1 of 113 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »