Dr. Kortunow (Russian Council) : Potentials for a cooperation between the EU and Russia


Published in accordance with the MOU between IISES and RIAC

After the Russian Council published ideas about a German-Chinese axis which should be transformed in a Eurasian triangle with Russia, Andrej Kortunow, director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) gave an interview outlining the potentials for an cooperation and coordination between the EU and Russia. The interview is avaiable here.

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Economics Can’t Explain Why Inequality Decreases


A problem with Piketty’s explanation

In September I went to an international conference in Vienna, Austria, The Haves and the Have Nots: Exploring the Global History of Wealth and Income Inequality. One thing I learned at the conference is that, apparently, economists don’t really know why inequality increases and decreases. Especially, why it decreases. 

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Too much inequality impedes support for public goods


Too much inequality impedes support for public goods, according to research published in Nature.

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How Do the Economic Elites Get the Idea That They ‘Deserve’ More?


The natural tendency toward discrimination and inequality 

The ‘haves’ of the world are always convinced that they deserve their wealth. That their gargantuan income reflects their ingenuity, ‘human capital’, the risks they (or their parents) took, their work ethic, their acumen, their application, their good luck even. The economists (especially members of the so-called Chicago School. e.g. Gary Becker) aid and abet the self-serving beliefs of the powerful by arguing that arbitrary discrimination in the distribution of wealth and social roles cannot survive for long the pressures of competition (i.e. that, sooner or later, people will be rewarded in proportion to their contribution to society). Most of the rest of us suspect that this is plainly false. That the distribution of power and wealth can be, and usually is, highly arbitrary and independent of ‘marginal productivity’, ‘risk taking’ or, indeed, any personal characteristic of those who rise to the top.

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Steaming back into the Indo-Pacific


Europe - India - Russia: an Alternative Perspective

An exchange in 1964 between U.S. diplomat Chester Bowles and Triloki Nath Kaul, India’s then Ambassador to Moscow, offers a fascinating insight into contemporary geopolitics. While discussing South East Asia, Bowles said, “it would be a good thing if India could try to bring the Soviet and American points of view closer… India’s friendship with both could act as a sort of bridge between them.” He “hoped that it would be possible for [the] USA and USSR, with the help of India, to come to some kind of understanding about preventing Chinese expansionism and infiltration in South East Asia.” Kaul replied, “India would be glad to bring the U.S. and Soviet points of view closer as far as lay within our ability. In fact this was our present policy.” This response reflected India’s then geostrategy to position itself as an area of agreement between the superpowers. 

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The rise of modernmonetary theory



Published with the kind permission of the author

Much of what is new in MMT is unconvincing and a dangeroustemplate for public policy

Many of the Democratic party contenders forthe US Presidency have endorsed a set of economicpolicies promoted by purveyors ofwhat is called “Modern Monetary Theory” (MMT).The charismatic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, who though too young to run for Presidentherself, has already set part of the Democrat’s agendawith the Green New Deal, has now endorsed MMT asthe basis for the Democrat’s economic policy. In thisshe joins Stephanie Kelton, a professor at Stony BrookUniversity, who was an advisor to Bernie Sanders in2016 after serving as the chief economist in the USSenate Budget Committee in 2015. The archbishop ofMMT is Herman Minsky’s student, L Randall Wray,whose Modern Money Theory ,(2nd edtn, PalgraveMacmillan, 2015) provides the best consolidatedaccount of the “theory” and policyprescriptions of MMT.

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Indian economy strongest in 300 years, investor confidence at historic high: Narayana Murthy


Murthy said patriotism implies working for the country, putting its interests ahead of one's personal interests. 

Infosys (NSE 0.96 %) co-founder N R Narayana Murthy on Thursday said India has for the first time in 300 years an economic environment that breeds confidence and optimism that its poverty can be eliminated.  

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Jamia organises lecture on 'Sanskrit in India and Abroad'


International delegates grace a Sanskrit event, 'Sanskrit in India and Abroad' at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Department of Sanskrit and Sanskrit Research Council of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have organised the first lecture of a year-long special lecture series on 'Sanskrit in India and Abroad'. Prof. Najma Akhtar, Vice-Chancellor, JMI, who was also the Chief Guest, said, "Sanskrit is not only a language but also a carrier of great Indian civilisation which is spreading and influencing the whole world". 

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Between Polycentrism and Bipolarity



The concept of multipolarity, at least in Russia, remains an eclectic assortment of general political statements and observations concerning important, but separate, global development trends. Multipolarity, as an inevitable and desired state of the international system (a new world order), has been put on hold until an increasingly distant future and is clearly evolving (especially in official political narratives) towards the old Soviet-era bipolar outlook on world politics. This evolution, different aspects of which are analyzed in this article, creates substantial potential challenges to Russia’s positioning in the emerging system of international relations and slows down the development of the Russian theory of international relations. A convincing alternative to the multipolar concept is a multilateral one. The differences between the two are identified and analyzed in the final section of this article. 

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The National Factor in Europe Today


The national factor — and the risk of its dislocation within larger entities — invites us to reflect on the crucial political challenge of our time: the independence of Europe. Since the second world war, the European Union and its member countries have not been sovereign subjects of international relations but rather more often objects moved by greater outside powers. 

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Fourth Industrial Revolution


Decay of Liberalism and Withering Away of the Left

The technology-driven revolution is fundamentally affecting the relationship between capital and labour. This fundamental change is driving right-wing populism across the globe. The left, on the other hand, has remained a laggard, and will have no future if it continues to be opiated by liberalism. While, with liberalism as its political ally, the imperial “gentlemanly capitalism” has killed millions for resources and profits in the 20th century, the 21st-century “surveillance capitalism” with the far right as its political hitman is likely to be more lethal and ruthless.

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Nobel Economist Says Inequality is Destroying Democratic Capitalism


Taking the free out of free markets is making a mockery of democracy. 

At the launch of the IFS Deaton Review, a 5-year review of rising inequalities in the UK, Sir Angus Deaton decried extreme inequality and the system that allows it. “As it is, capitalism is not delivering to large fractions of the population.” 

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The misuse of language and Brexit


Published with the kind permission of the author

Two words ‘populist’ and ‘illiberal’ are being used by those enraged by the words and actions of Donald Trump and Brexiteers.

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How Can Developing Countries Pay for the SDGs?


With official development assistance under strain, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require developing countries to rely increasingly on their own resources. To that end, they should implement strong institutional constraints on executive authority. 

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Europe’s Greens as Future Strategic Partners of Russia


When analyzing last month’s European Parliament elections, most observers primarily focus on the impressive results of the right-wing populists and Eurosceptics. Naturally, the advance of the right-wing parties is a major factor in the current political life of Europe. However, a factor that is of no lesser importance is the rather unexpected rise of Europe’s Greens, who were able to compete successfully with both right- and left-wing radicals and with the leading European centrist parties. 

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Is Plutocracy Really the Problem?


After the 2008 financial crisis, economic policymakers in the United States did enough to avert another Great Depression, but fell far short of what was needed to ensure a strong recovery. Attributing that failure to the malign influence of the plutocracy is tempting, but it misses the root of the problem. 

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Rethinking India’s Approach toChina’s Belt and Road Initiative


The second Belt and Road Forumfor International Cooperation in April 2019 witnessed a transformeddiscourse on China’s grand connectivityinitiative. Evoking an agreeablegeo-economic vision, the joint communiquespoke of “extensive consultation,”“green,” “people-centred and sustainabledevelopment” as well as “high quality,sustainable infrastructure” that is “inclusiveand broadly benefi cial” (Belt andRoad Forum 2019a). There is little doubtthat China viewed the forum as a platformto exude more responsive and multilateralnorms, with Xi Jinping himself acknowledgingsome of the problems with theinitiative. There are three broader trendsthat might have convinced Beijing thatthe time was ripe for an adjustment. 

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Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America


Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean 

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Evolving Asia, US Policy and the Bishkek Summit


The recent Bishkek Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has illustrated the rapid changes taking place in Asia and Eurasia (from Beijing to Kaliningrad) and their potential to influence the global scenario. The clear and persistent reference on the part of Russia and China to the need for a new international trading system not centered on the US dollar, but instead on a basket including the Yuan, the Ruble and the Euro was not opposed by any of the participating leaders who feel the pressure from Trump’s Washington to fall in line with American views and projects for reframing the global system in the interest of the US ruling class. 

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The EU Global Strategy 2020


As grand strategies go, the 2016 EU Global Strategy is a good document. It defines the vital interests of the Union, outlines the principles according to which the EU will act, and sets five clear priorities that constitute an agenda for action. If we want the EU to continue on the course charted by the Global Strategy, we will have to review the Global Strategy. Once the new Commission is in place following the May 2019 European elections, work should start on writing the EU Global Strategy 2020. 

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