Project Syndicate | The Daily Star
  • Why is Bangladesh booming?

    Bangladesh has become one of Asia's most remarkable and unexpected success stories in recent years. Once one of the poorest regions of Pakistan, Bangladesh remained an economic basket case—wracked by poverty and famine—for many years after independence in 1971. In fact, by 2006, conditions seemed so hopeless that when Bangladesh registered faster growth than Pakistan, it was dismissed as a fluke.

  • The West's Crisis of Confidence

    In an age defined by US President Donald Trump's rage, Russian President Vladimir Putin's revisionism, and Chinese President Xi Jinping's unbridled ambition, the international order is becoming increasingly disorderly, dysfunctional, and even dangerous. How did we arrive at this state of affairs? And how can we leave it behind?

  • Fifty Shades of Trump

    Last week was a most unusual one for President Donald Trump's administration. There was no high-level firing: the only dismissal of any note was that of the White House aide in charge of homeland security, who was forced out at the behest of John Bolton, who had just taken over as Trump's third national security adviser in 15 months. Nonetheless, it may well have been the most turbulent week yet of Trump's presidency.

  • South Korea and the end of US credibility

    The US-South Korea alliance has been one of the most dramatic geopolitical success stories of the post-war years.

  • Xi's strong hand against Trump

    The world will soon witness a historic test of wills between China and the United States, two superpowers whose leaders see themselves as supreme.

  • India's Big Leaky Data

    India has no coltan or rare earths, little oil, and not enough water. What it does have is people—1.3 billion and counting. That makes

  • Can a trade war be averted?

    Probably the question most frequently asked of international economists these days is: “Are we seeing the start of a trade war?” This is not a question that admits of a simple yes-or-no answer. In contrast to a shooting war, there's no government declaration to mark the official outbreak of hostilities. Tariffs have been raised and lowered throughout history, for reasons both good and bad.

  • Saudi Arabia's Perilous Pivot

    The most dangerous moment for a bad government,” the nineteenth-century French statesman and historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed, “is usually when it begins to reform itself.” Reform, after all, implies that traditional norms and institutions may have already been discredited, but that alternative structures have yet to be firmly established.

  • Trump's trade confusion

    The trade skirmish between the United States and China on steel, aluminium, and other goods is a product of US President Donald Trump's scorn for multilateral trade arrangements and the World Trade Organization, an institution that was created to adjudicate trade disputes.

  • Crisis, Rinse, Repeat

    Later this century, when economic historians compare the “Great Recession” that started in 2007 with the Great Depression that started in 1929, they will arrive at two basic conclusions.

  • Breaking the Brexit stalemate

    March 29 marked exactly one year since British Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, thus launching the formal two-year legal process by which the United Kingdom will withdraw from the European Union. In the first year, it is fair to say that the Brexit negotiations have had their ups and downs. But, on a positive note, substantial progress has been made in recent weeks.

  • How Asia should respond to US protectionism

    Over the last five decades or so, Asia's economies have relied largely on an export-oriented development model to support rapid economic transformation and growth. But with US President Donald Trump fulfilling his promise to adopt a more protectionist approach to trade—an effort that could spur retaliatory measures by other countries—that model is coming under increasing strain.

  • India's war on antimicrobial resistance

    Last year, a 30-year-old teacher suffering from a severe bloodstream infection arrived in my emergency room for treatment. The woman had been in and out of local clinics with a stubborn chest infection and fever, and by the time I examined her, she was receiving chemotherapy for blood cancer.

  • Macron takes aim at European politics

    UNTIL the terrorist attack at a market in southern France on March 23, French President Emmanuel Macron had been planning to launch a new European-level political campaign. Though the official rollout has now been postponed, Macron's latest project remains central to his presidency and to his conception of power.

  • Theresa May

    The Brexit threat to British security

    Some moments in history are steeped in irony. To glimpse a current example, look no further than the United Kingdom.

  • Memory laws and nationalist lies

    A controversial law recently enacted by Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has attracted a tremendous amount of attention around the world for its criminalisation of expressions like “Polish death camps.” But the law is intended to be much more than a means to get people to mind their language.

  • Could the Kim-Trump summit succeed?

    Last year, North Korea's Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump were hurling kindergarten insults at each other—“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission,” said Trump of Kim; “mentally deranged US dotard,” Kim retorted—while threatening to reduce East Asia to a post-atomic wasteland.

  • When shall we overcome?

    In 1967, riots erupted in cities throughout the United States, from Newark, New Jersey, to Detroit and Minneapolis in the Midwest—all two years after the Watts neighbourhood of Los Angeles exploded in violence. In response, President Lyndon B Johnson appointed a commission, headed by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, to investigate the causes and propose measures to address them.

  • Education in the Digital Age

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution stands out from its predecessors in a critical way: rather than making it easier for humans to use their surroundings more effectively for their own benefit, technology is displacing humans in the workplace. The question is who will benefit now.

  • Bibi's Faustian bargain

    On February 13, after an investigation that began in 2016, the Israeli police recommended charges against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. Now, the spotlight is on Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who must decide whether to issue a formal indictment against a man who has become virtually synonymous with modern Israeli politics.

  • Prisoners of the American Dream

    To many observers, US Republicans' recent passage of a sweeping tax bill was out of step with the country's needs. With inequality

  • The sexual harassment reckoning

    Deeds, not words!” Britain's suffragettes shouted, as they fought for—and won—the right to vote 100 years ago. Today, that call to arms seems more apt than ever. For all the advances that women have made in the last century, the tendency to pay lip service to women's rights and dignity, without doing what is necessary truly to protect them, is more obvious than ever.

  • The power of dialogue in a disrupted world

    Closing the divides in our fractured world will require collaboration among many stakeholders.

  • Donald Trump is playing to lose

    America certainly has a different kind of president than what it is used to. What distinguishes Donald Trump from his predecessors is not just his temperament and generalised ignorance, but also his approach to policymaking.

  • Human nutrition

    Putting nutrition back on the menu

    Human nutrition is of increasing importance to science.

  • The Point of Sharp Power

    Despite these immense investments, however, observers—including Nye himself — have scratched their heads, wondering why these authoritarian regimes continue to suffer a deep soft-power deficit, even as they have grown more assertive internationally.

  • Post-Davos Depression

    I have been attending the World Economic Forum's annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, where the so-called global elite convenes to discuss the world's problems, since 1995.

  • Social media's junkies and dealers

    We were warned.

  • A year of successes in global health

    In the field of human development, the year that just ended was better than many predicted it would be.

  • Securing the digital transition

    Every year, the World Economic Forum publishes a Global Risks Report, which distills the views of experts and policymakers from around the world.

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