The GDP Elephant Jayati Ghosh

National income is hard to estimate in India where so much activity and employment is in the informal sector. Much of GDP calculation is not purely “technocratic” but relies on judgments and assumptions. As long as our system of national accounting does not clarify the real impact on the economy and the actual degree of deceleration of economic activity, we will remain in the dark. GDP_Elephant (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in Quatrz India: June 5, 2017)

A Note on Development under Risk in the Arab World Ali Kadri

Of the countries that are off-track on the road to sound development, many are situated in the Arab World. The worst hits are either in conflict, near conflict or post conflict zones. Even when not undergoing the war disaster, the fragility of their development is further compounded by the prospects of war. In addition to the actual or potential woes of conflicts, their slow rate of progress is characteristic of small risky markets or capital scarce structures that have adopted unconditional liberalisation measures (real capital scarce and not financial capital).  For the most part, these countries still depend for their…

Crisis and Recovery in the German Economy: The real lessons Servaas Storm and C.W.M. Naastepad

The main lesson to draw from Germany's rebound from crisis is that if a country's technological competitiveness is stronger and consensual macro-governance structure is more effective, the country will more likely weather a crisis. German_Economy (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the journal, "Structural Change and Economic Dynamics", 32 (2015) 11-24.)

Overthrowing Dilma Rousseff: It’s class war, and their class is winning Alfredo Saad-Filho

Every so often, the bourgeois political system runs into crisis. The machinery of the state jams; the veils of consent are torn asunder and the tools of power appear disturbingly naked. Brazil is living through one of those moments: it is dreamland for social scientists; a nightmare for everyone else. Dilma Rousseff was elected President in 2010, with a 56-44 per cent majority against the right-wing neoliberal PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party) opposition candidate. She was re-elected four years later with a diminished yet convincing majority of 52-48 per cent, or a difference of 3.5 million votes. Dilma’s second victory…

Avinash Persaud’s Reinvention of Financial Regulation Andrew Cornford

The work on financial regulation of governments and intergovernmental organisation rolls on with final outcomes promised but seemingly always just over the horizon. Overviews are few owing no doubt both to the complexity of the agenda’s components and to the difficulty of analysing a target still subject to continuous revision. So the new book of Avinash Persaud (Persaud, 2015), which attempts such an overview, is a particularly welcome event, though his assessment is inevitably provisional. Persaud’s career has spanned executive positions at a number of major banks, teaching and managerial positions in academe, and analysis and proposals concerning the financial…

Islam and the West Akeel Bilgrami

The Chairman of the World Public Forum has asked me to speak on the relations between Islam and the West and to consider this from the point of view of the framework of a ‘world order’ as well as to consider whether such a framework provides prospects for more peaceful solutions involving a dialogue between civilizations that seem to be at odds.  I am not sure I can manage to bring these diverse topics together in an entirely coherent way in the few minutes I have but let me make an honourable stab at it. ‘World order’ is an expression…

Economics and the Two Concepts of Nationalism Prabhat Patnaik

The Westphalian peace treaties in 1648 which ended the thirty years’ and the eighty years’ wars in Europe are considered to have ushered in the era of nationalism and nation-States in that continent. But the concept of “nationalism” that emerged there was a non-secular majoritarian concept, which invoked both Christianity, and a sense of “otherness”, shading into oppression, towards various domestic minorities. Such nationalism did not preclude colonial conquests directed at other people. Within months of the Westphalian treaties, Oliver Cromwell’s army had conquered Ireland and confiscated most of its land. And Spanish conquistadores had brought in vast amounts of…