“Fora Temer – eleições diretas já!” Brazil’s political rupture and the left’s opportunity Alfredo Saad-Filho

The Brazilian Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) won the country’s presidential elections four times in a row; first with Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-06, 2007-10), then with his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff (2011-14, 2015-16). During its 13 years in office, the PT changed Brazil in many ways; four are principally worth mentioning, as they would come to play key roles in the elite conspiracy to impeach Dilma Rousseff and destroy her party. First, the PT democratised the state. It implemented the social and civic rights included in the 1988 ‘Citizen’s Constitution’, and advanced Brazil’s emerging welfare state across…

One Belt, One Road, One grand design? Jayati Ghosh

It is a truism of history that rising powers tend to be the ones valorising “free” trade and more open and integrated national economies, just as waning powers tend to turn inwards. So it is no surprise that over the past half year, as the United States elected a President with an avowedly protectionist agenda (even if relatively little has been acted upon so far), China’s President has become the chief advocate of globalisation and more extensive trade and investment links across countries. This drumbeat reached a crescendo in mid-May 2017, at a summit in Beijing to celebrate the official…

The New Normal Servaas Storm

The U.S. economy is suffering from two interrelated diseases: secular stagnation rather than growth, and polarization of jobs and incomes. The two disorders have a common root in the demand shortfall, originating from the ‘unbalanced’ growth between technologically ‘dynamic’ and ‘stagnant’ sectors. In this context, to assume that potential output growth is determined by exogenous factors of ‘technology’ and ‘demography’, while demand growth is simply irrelevant in the long run, can be a mistake. Click to read the full article

The End of Globalization? Prabhat Patnaik

Donald Trump’s recipe for reviving employment in the U.S. economy is to impose restrictions on imports from other countries. If at the same time he had taken steps to increase the level of aggregate demand in the U.S. in other ways, such as through increasing State expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit, then restricting imports from other countries would not lead to a reduction in the magnitude of such imports in absolute terms. It would not, in such a case, cause any unemployment in other countries for the sake of boosting employment in the U.S. Put differently, it would not…

Brexit, the City, and the Crisis of Conservatism Alan Freeman & Radhika Desai

In this report, the authors argue that, underneath the surface of liberal dismay and right wing triumphalism which characterizes much commentary on Brexit, two sets of developments- the electoral crisis of the Conservative Party and the British financial sector are critical to understanding the British vote on leaving the European Union. Brexit_the_City (Download the full text in PDF format) (The article was originally published in the Valdai Discussion Club)

Colombia: The search for elusive peace Jayati Ghosh

They march in tens of thousands, every Wednesday, through the streets of central Bogota: young and old; students and teachers; well-paid professionals, trade unionists and informal workers; healthy and disabled; urban and rural residents; family members and friends of the countless numbers who have been killed or maimed or have simply disappeared during this apparently endless war. They march for peace, and for a renewed attempt to find an agreement to settle the decades-old war between named and unnamed protagonists. Ever since the peace agreement painfully negotiated between FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the government was rejected…