Boosting earnings and the dignity of work requires strengthening bargaining power and supplying good jobs to those who most need them.
The public’s business
‘Stakeholder capitalism’ has been promoted to balance the market and society but ultimately the only solution is to make firms more democratic.
New firms for a new era
Societies should not allow firms’ owners and their agents to drive the discussion about reforming corporate governance.
Should we worry about income gaps within or between countries?
The rise of populist nationalism throughout the west has been fuelled partly by a clash between the objectives of equity in rich countries and higher living standards in poor countries.
What’s driving populism?
If authoritarian populism is rooted in economics, then the appropriate remedy is a populism of another kind—targeting economic injustice and inclusion—but pluralist in its politics and not necessarily damaging to democracy.
Can Trade Agreements Be A Friend To Labour?
Labour advocates have long complained that international trade agreements are driven by corporate agendas and pay little attention to the interests of working people. The preamble of the World Trade Organization Agreement mentions the objective of “full employment,” but otherwise labour standards remain outside the scope of the multilateral trade regime. The only exception is a clause, […]
How To Avoid A Trade War
Defying common sense as well as business and financial elites, US President Donald Trump seems to relish the prospect of a trade war. On July 6, his latest trade restrictions – 25% tariffs on about $34 billion of Chinese imports – took effect. They were promptly met by retaliatory tariffs on an equivalent volume of […]
How Democratic Is The Euro?
When Italy’s president recently vetoed the appointment of the Euroskeptic Paolo Savona as finance minister in the government proposed by the Five Star Movement-League party alliance, did he safeguard or undermine his country’s democracy? Beyond constitutional strictures specific to the Italian context, the question goes to the heart of democratic legitimacy. The difficult issues it […]
The Double Standard Of America’s China Trade Policy
A high-profile United States trade delegation appears to have returned empty-handed from its mission in China. The result is hardly a surprise, given the scale and one-sided nature of the US demands. The Americans pushed for a wholesale remaking of China’s industrial policies and intellectual property rules, while asking China’s government to refrain from any […]
Globalisation: New Deal On Labour Mobility
What do you think is the crisis of globalisation and how did it come about? The crisis is the result of a lot of people not being particularly happy about the way that globalisation has gone. I think it’s rooted in the highly asymmetric effects that globalisation has had in societies around the world – […]
What’s Been Stopping The Left?
Why were democratic political systems not responsive early enough to the grievances that autocratic populists have successfully exploited – inequality and economic anxiety, decline of perceived social status, the chasm between elites and ordinary citizens? Had political parties, particularly of the center left, pursued a bolder agenda, perhaps the rise of right-wing, nativist political movements […]
The Double Threat To Liberal Democracy
The crisis of liberal democracy is roundly decried today. Donald Trump’s presidency, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and the electoral rise of other populists in Europe have underscored the threat posed by “illiberal democracy” – a kind of authoritarian politics featuring popular elections but little respect for the rule of law or the […]
In Defence Of Economic Populism
Populists abhor restraints on the political executive. Since they claim to represent “the people” writ large, they regard limits on their exercise of power as necessarily undermining the popular will. Such constraints can only serve the “enemies of the people” – minorities and foreigners (for right-wing populists) or financial elites (in the case of left-wing […]
Does Europe Really Need Fiscal And Political Union?
Greece’s combative former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, and his nemesis, former German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, were at loggerheads on Greek debt throughout Varoufakis’s term in office. But they were in full agreement when it came to the central question of the eurozone’s future. Monetary union required political union. No middle way was possible. This […]
Rescuing Economics From Neoliberalism
As even its harshest critics concede, neoliberalism is hard to pin down. In broad terms, it denotes a preference for markets over government, economic incentives over social or cultural norms, and private entrepreneurship over collective or community action. It has been used to describe a wide range of phenomena—from Augusto Pinochet to Margaret Thatcher and […]
Macron’s Labour Gambit
At the end of August, French president Emmanuel Macron unveiled the labour-market overhaul that will make or break his presidency – and may well determine the future of the eurozone. His goal is to bring down France’s stubbornly high rate of unemployment, just a shade below 10%, and energize an economy that badly needs a […]
Can Macron Pull It Off?
Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen was much-needed good news for anyone who favors open, liberal democratic societies over their nativist, xenophobic counterparts. But the battle against right-wing populism is far from won. Le Pen received more than a third of the second-round vote, even though only one party other than her own National […]
How Much Europe Can Europe Take?
This month the European Union will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding treaty, the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community. There certainly is much to celebrate. After centuries of war, upheaval, and mass killings, Europe is peaceful and democratic. The EU has brought 11 former Soviet-bloc countries into its fold, successfully […]
Global Citizens, National Shirkers
Last October, British Prime Minister Theresa May shocked many when she disparaged the idea of global citizenship. “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world,” she said, “you’re a citizen of nowhere.” Her statement was met with derision and alarm in the financial media and among liberal commentators. “The most useful form of citizenship these […]
Don’t Cry Over Dead Trade Agreements
The seven decades since the end of World War II were an era of trade agreements. The world’s major economies were in a perpetual state of trade negotiations, concluding two major global multilateral deals: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the treaty establishing the World Trade Organization. In addition, more than 500 […]
The Wallonia Mouse And ‘Undemocratic’ Trade Deals
It appears Belgium’s Wallonia has put a nail in the coffin of the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) by vetoing it. The reasons, The Economist puts it, “are hard to understand.” Well, yes and no. Canada is one of the most progressive trade partners you could hope to have, and it is hard to believe that […]