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Industrial Policy Is Back. Now What?

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PS editors, Jakob Hafele, Célestin Monga, Tano Santos, Luigi Zingales, Dani Rodrik, James K. Galbraith

How to design effective industrial policies has suddenly become a hot – and divisive – topic among economists and policymakers. Even those who agree that governments should intervene in the economy to bolster productivity, increase competitiveness, and tackle social and environmental challenges differ sharply on the details.

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    A Far-Right Resurgence in Europe?

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    PS editors , Sławomir Sierakowski , Michael Ehrenreich , Zaki Laïdi , Philippe Legrain , Soňa Muzikárová , Slavoj Žižek

    Many observers breathed a sigh of relief at the results of the European Parliament elections, because the widely predicted far-right surge did not dislodge traditional conservatives. But even if far-right forces do not dominate the next European Parliament, they have gained ground, particularly in France and Germany. Can mainstream politicians and parties reverse this trend?

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    AI: Hope or Hype?

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    Angela Huyue Zhang , S. Alex Yang , Michael R. Strain , Anne-Marie Slaughter , Avni Patel Thompson , Jamie Metzl , Simon Johnson , Eric Hazan , Daron Acemoglu

    Whether generative artificial intelligence will do more harm or good to our families, economies, and societies remains an open question. In devising strategies for harnessing the technology, optimism is undoubtedly warranted, but it should not come at the expense of realism.

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    What Comes After Neoliberalism?

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    Mehrsa Baradaran , Anne O. Krueger , Mariana Mazzucato , Dani Rodrik , Joseph E. Stiglitz , Michael R. Strain

    Governments that had spent nearly a half-century preaching the virtues of free trade, deregulation, and hyperglobalization are now imposing import tariffs and export restrictions, adopting industrial policies, and lavishing subsidies on domestic firms in favored sectors, like green tech. With many observers heralding the death of neoliberalism, we asked PS commentators what comes next.

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    The US-China Trade War Heats Up

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    Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg , Carl Bildt , Dani Rodrik , Qiyuan Xu , Arvind Subramanian

    A spate of new US tariffs on Chinese goods has raised the specter of full economic decoupling between the world’s two largest economies. For many observers, the measures are not only misguided, but also counter-productive, with the potential to undermine economic dynamism, hamper climate action, and trigger geopolitical conflict.

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    Will India’s Election Destroy Its Democracy?

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    Gaurav Dalmia , Ashoka Mody , Shashi Tharoor , Pranab Bardhan , Debasish Roy Chowdhury

    Since taking power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have stoked Hindu nationalism, hollowed out India’s democracy, and overseen an economy that is probably performing far worse than official figures suggest. And yet Modi and the BJP are genuinely popular, making them likely – though not certain – to emerge victorious when the ongoing parliamentary election concludes in June.

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    Trump on Trial

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    Nancy Isenberg , Eric Posner , Reed Galen , Richard K. Sherwin , William L. Silber

    From a long list of criminal indictments to unfavorable voter demographics, there is plenty standing between presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump and a second term in the White House. But a Trump victory in the November election remains a distinct possibility – and a cause for serious economic concern.

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    An Iran-Israel War?

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    Daoud Kuttab , Gareth Evans , Dennis Ross , Joschka Fischer

    Iran’s mass ballistic missile and drone attack on Israel last week raised anew the specter of a widening Middle East war that draws in Iran and its proxies, as well as Western countries like the United States. The urgent need to defuse tensions – starting by ending Israel’s war in Gaza and pursuing a lasting political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – is obvious, but can it be done?

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    Can China Get Out of Its Rut?

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    Yang Yao , Yu Yongding , Nouriel Roubini , Yi Fuxian , Stephen S. Roach , Nancy Qian

    China’s authorities have powerful economic-policy levers at their disposal to achieve their 5% growth target this year and put the economy on a more sustainable long-term growth path. But several trends – from the shift toward state capitalism to population aging to the loss of goodwill between Chinese and Americans – could thwart China’s ambition to join the ranks of high-income countries by mid-century.

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    The Immigration Tinderbox

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    Alison L. LaCroix , Nancy Qian , Anne O. Krueger , Soňa Muzikárová , Federico Fubini

    In the United States and Europe, immigration tends to divide people into opposing camps: those who claim that newcomers undermine economic opportunity and security for locals, and those who argue that welcoming migrants and refugees is a moral and economic imperative. How should one make sense of a debate that is often based on motivated reasoning, with emotion and underlying biases affecting the selection and interpretation of evidence?

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    The Global Economy’s Biggest Untapped Resource

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    Indermit Gill , Tea Trumbic , Nadia Calviño , Kristalina Georgieva , Odile Renaud-Basso , Rudo Kayombo , Yanis Varoufakis

    At the current rate of progress, it will take about 300 years to end child marriage, 286 years to deliver full gender equality under the law, and 140 years to achieve equal representation in leadership positions in the workplace, the United Nations reports. This moral failure is compounded by its enormous opportunity cost: a massive improvement in human welfare.

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    How Resilient Is Putin?

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    Anastassia Fedyk , Yuriy Gorodnichenko , Michael R. Strain , Nina L. Khrushcheva , Robin Brooks , Simon Johnson , Ian Buruma

    As Russia prepares for another sham presidential election, the West is introducing new sanctions over the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, considering seizing some $300 billion of Russian central-bank assets, and struggling to overcome political hurdles to continued support for Ukraine. How, if at all, will these developments affect Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grip on political power?

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    Europe Must Defend Itself

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    Joschka Fischer , Philippe Legrain , Mark Leonard , Daniela Schwarzer

    Donald Trump – who spent his presidency lambasting NATO – recently suggested that he would encourage Russian aggression against NATO allies that had not met their commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense. With Trump vying for another term in the White House – and the Ukraine war still raging on the European Union’s doorstep – EU countries can no longer ignore the difficult but essential task of taking charge of their own security.

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