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Biden inauguration Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images

Biden to the Rescue?

Featured in this Big Picture

Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and engineering an economic recovery are only two of the challenges facing new US President Joe Biden. Amid deep social divisions and the continued threat of right-wing extremist violence, Biden must also try to re-establish democratic political norms and restore trust in American leadership at home and abroad.

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  1. Biden Xi meeting Lintao Zhang/AFP via Getty Images

    Doing Business with China

    US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration may initially be too preoccupied with trying to calm America’s domestic turmoil to unite the world’s democracies in standing up to China. But, given European and Asian countries’ eagerness to strengthen their trade and investment ties with China, adhering to the Trump administration’s confrontational approach may be the right strategy.

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  2. Trump Capitol mob Samuel Corum/Getty Images

    Trump’s Failed Putsch

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Ian Buruma,
    2. J. Bradford DeLong,
    3. Jeffrey D. Sachs

    US President Donald Trump’s single term in office is ending, as many suspected it would, in infamy. The storming and occupation of the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, just hours after the Democrats won control of the Senate, distilled the essence of Trump’s presidency: a cult of personality that has confirmed the Republican Party as an anti-democratic force.

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  3. Wuhan street Getty Images

    The Legacy of 2020

    Although there will be a temptation to forget this pandemic-ridden year as quickly as we can, the COVID-19 crisis holds useful lessons that must not be neglected. A major question for 2021 is which of the significant changes wrought in 2020 will prove to be temporary, and which deeper and longer-lasting.

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  4. Boston vaccine Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

    The Gift of a COVID Vaccine?

    The world received the blessings of cutting-edge science this holiday season with the record-fast development of effective COVID-19 vaccines that promise to end a pandemic that has so far killed more than 1.7 million people and caused the worst economic crisis in generations. But the rush by rich-country governments to secure enough doses for their own citizens threatens to prolong the agony for the developing world.

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  5. alex wong_getty images_yellen Alex Wong/Getty Images

    America’s Looming Fiscal Battle

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Michael J. Boskin,
    2. Todd G. Buchholz,
    3. Lenny Mendonca,
    4. Dani Rodrik,
    5. Joseph E. Stiglitz,
    6. John B. Taylor,
    7. Laura Tyson

    Few would dispute that US President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will face a daunting task in 2021 as it tries to engineer a sustainable post-pandemic recovery. And, as the months-long failure to enact a second COVID-19 relief package showed, a major factor underlying the challenge is the depth of disagreement about how much the federal government should spend and how. 

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  6. peshkov_getty images_graph peshkov/Getty Images

    The Sovereign-Debt Crunch

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Daron Acemoglu,
    2. Shamshad Akhtar,
    3. Willem H. Buiter,
    4. Kevin P. Gallagher,
    5. Hamid Rashid,
    6. Anne Sibert,
    7. Joseph E. Stiglitz,
    8. Paola Subacchi,
    9. Ulrich Volz

    The steep economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will likely trigger a wave of defaults among highly indebted developing and emerging-market countries. An orderly international sovereign debt restructuring mechanism is arguably needed now more than ever – but will private creditors sign up?

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  7. climate net zero Visual China Group via Getty Images

    Destination Net-Zero

    China and the European Union will need to undergo massive and urgent economic transitions in order to fulfill their recent pledges to become carbon neutral within the next few decades. But peer pressure and policy convergence could yet make these ambitions achievable – especially if the United States rejoins the global fight against climate change.

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  8. Poland EU Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Europe’s Populist High Noon

    Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States has dealt a serious blow to the illiberal nationalist governments of Hungary and Poland. But the ongoing dispute over the European Union’s new budget and COVID-19 recovery fund suggests that Europe’s right-wing populist leaders – and their attacks on the rule of law – are not about to fade away.

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  9. Palestine BP Yousef Masoud/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

    Palestine’s Agony

    Arab governments argued for decades that an Israeli-Palestinian peace should be the precondition for normalization of relations with the Jewish state. But the recent diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain suggests a major regional shift that threatens to leave the Palestinians out in the cold.

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  10. white house podium Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Waiting for Biden

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Kemal Derviş,
    2. John B. Emerson,
    3. Sigmar Gabriel,
    4. Daniel Gros,
    5. Josef Joffe,
    6. Joseph S. Nye, Jr.,
    7. Ana Palacio,
    8. Sebastián Strauss

    US President-elect Joe Biden’s victory has fueled hopes of renewed international cooperation after four years of President Donald Trump’s zero-sum “America First” approach to the world. But although Biden will undoubtedly improve the tone of US foreign policy, America’s allies and adversaries alike should be prepared for some hard bargaining in tackling major global threats.

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  11. count every vote Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    The Trumpian Persuasion

    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Willem H. Buiter,
    2. Richard Haass,
    3. Nina L. Khrushcheva,
    4. Eric Posner,
    5. Anne Sibert

    The 2020 US presidential election has confounded many on the American left, with President Donald Trump receiving millions more votes than he did four years ago despite his administration’s disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. Even if Trump loses, as seems likely, his distinctive brand of divisive populism will remain a potent force in American politics.

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  1. op_skidelsky5_Chris RatcliffeGetty Images_rhodes must fall Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

    History at the Barricades

    Robert Skidelsky

    Optimists might claim that the West’s current history-fueled culture war reflects an enlightened moral sensibility. What has really happened is that yesterday’s imperial victors have lost their beliefs, while former losers are full of passionate convictions about the past.

    shows why today's heated debates about the past are as much a historiographical matter as a historical one.
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  2. Biden inauguration Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images

    Biden to the Rescue?

    Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and engineering an economic recovery are only two of the challenges facing new US President Joe Biden. Amid deep social divisions and the continued threat of right-wing extremist violence, Biden must also try to re-establish democratic political norms and restore trust in American leadership at home and abroad.

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