In the modern world, our perceptions of reality are largely shaped by economic and financial considerations, and our policy conversations are largely built around intellectual categories and evaluative criteria that pertain to the economics discipline. Yet a long-term view shows that ‘The world in 2018’ is in a significantly different place than what economists typically claim, and than what many of us want to believe.
Mainstream economics seems to have learned little and changed nothing in the last decade, despite the fact that the financial crisis and its aftermath laid bare a number of important issues with its theories and models. Failure to address these issues is making the economics discipline increasingly incapable of informing us about the trajectory and situation of our world.
‘The World in 2018’ is a world full of concerns about the future, yet a world that seems to be getting slightly more optimistic about its economic prospects. Ten years after the onset of the financial crisis, there are hopes that the global economy may have turned the corner and could finally be starting to pick up after years of slow growth. Are we seeing light at the end of the tunnel – or rather getting deeper into the fog?
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change has sparked a global uproar. Yet America’s reluctance to reduce its use of fossil fuels is, in fact, logical. Not only because of the U.S. president’s overt denial of man-made climate change, but also and more fundamentally because it reflects America’s historical essence and trajectory.
The ‘surprise’ election of Donald Trump to succeed Barack Obama in the White House is rocking the foundations of the American political system and of the international order. But the anti-establishment uprising it symbolises and that is spreading across the Western world also signals that democracy as a system of human governance may have entered a period of protracted decline and decay.
Le vote britannique en faveur d’une sortie de l’UE a plongé le Royaume-Uni dans le chaos politique et choqué l’Europe et le monde. Les conséquences à long terme de ce vote sont imprévisibles, mais certains craignent qu’il puisse mener à un éclatement du Royaume-Uni et accélérer la désintégration de l’Union européenne. Beaucoup voient dans ce résultat une nouvelle victoire pour la vague populiste qui monte dans la majeure partie du monde occidental. Un phénomène bien plus fondamental, cependant, pourrait être à l’œuvre.
Jihadist networks have struck again in Europe, this time in Brussels. After the terrorist attacks that shook France in 2015, European societies are once again confronted with their high vulnerability to Islamic terrorism. As after the previous attacks, we vow to never give in and stand united against those who want to divide us. As after the previous attacks, we vow to keep going and change nothing, or as little as possible. As after the previous attacks, we will slowly get back to thinking about something else. As after the previous attacks, and as usual.
Les terroristes islamistes ont à nouveau frappé en Europe, cette fois-ci à Bruxelles. Comme après les attentats commis en France en 2015, les sociétés européennes sont confrontées à leur grande vulnérabilité face aux réseaux djihadistes. Comme après les précédents attentats, on fait preuve de défiance et on promet de rester unis face à ceux qui s’attaquent à notre « vivre ensemble ». Comme après les précédents attentats, on fait vœu de ne rien céder, de ne rien changer, ou le moins possible. Comme après les précédents attentats, on va lentement se remettre à penser à autre chose. Comme après les précédents attentats, comme d’habitude…
The huge gains of France’s far-right National Front in the first round of regional elections have stunned the country’s ruling elites and shocked much of Europe. The party could win several regional executives in the second round, a major step forward in its march towards power at national level. The country’s mainstream parties now scramble to halt the party’s rise, but they are unlikely to succeed as they still largely fail to understand its root causes.
The November 13 carnage in Paris leaves France in a state of shock, mired in anguish, grief, and anger. These new terrorist attacks should come as no surprise, though; they were largely predictable and predicted, almost expected. For jihadists around the world, France has indeed become the Western world’s weakest link, and hence the number one target.