November 30, 2022

Interviews

Bittersweet Tides

Chile, Brazil, and the future of the Latin American Left

The recent victories of left parties across Latin America—most recently the election of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil—have prompted comparisons with the Pink Tide of the early 2000s. But with narrow margins of victory against far-right opponents, fragile coalitions, and the effects of global economic disruption fueling discontent, the current moment looks…

Longform

November 19, 2022

Analysis

The Wall Street Consensus at COP27

The derisking roll-out at COP27

At COP26, US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry sanguinely declared the need to “de-risk the investment, and create the capacity to have bankable deals. That’s doable for water, it’s doable for electricity, it’s doable for transportation.” UN Special Envoy…

November 16, 2022

Reviews

Transatlantic Ties

On Jeremy Green’s The Political Economy of the Special Relationship

Bretton Woods is often associated with les Trente Glorieuses, the triumph of a certain kind of social democratic governance system, and American hegemony in Western Europe. The postwar system of monetary governance represented a form of “regulated” international capitalism subordinate…

November 9, 2022

Analysis

A New Non-Alignment

How developing countries are flouting Western Sanctions and playing the great powers off each other

This essay first appeared in GREEN, a journal from Groupe d’études géopolitiques. In March of this year, as Russia’s war in Ukraine intensified, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a trip to New Delhi to speak with his Indian counterpart…

November 2, 2022

Interviews

Cyborg Trucking

An interview with Karen Levy on surveillance and automation in the trucking industry

The supply and demand whiplashes of the Covid-19 pandemic snarled global supply chains, shaking up labor markets and well-established migration patterns. In the process, existing cracks in logistics and infrastructure systems widened, making these systems newly visible. In the US…

October 26, 2022

Analysis

Town & City

Reading Brazil’s first round election results

Earlier this month, Brazilians went to the polls in an election billed as the most momentous since democratization in 1985. Far-right president Jair Bolsonaro faced off against former two-term president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. Though Lula did win the…

October 19, 2022

Interviews

Ventures & Networks

An interview with Sebastian Mallaby on venture capital

The past year of rampant inflation and energy system chaos is a clear indication that we need paradigmatic change. Any new economic system is going to be anchored by major scientific innovations; historically, spurring these technological transformations has required a…

October 13, 2022

Interviews

The Geopolitics of Stuff

A discussion on supply chains, commodities, and climate

The material economy is back. Economists and commentators in recent decades had heralded (or lamented) the arrival of an automated, redundant, frictionless system of international commerce. But over the past two years, multiple global crises have exposed the fragile physical…

October 12, 2022

Interviews

Who Pays for Inflation?

A conversation on monetary policy, labor, and the definition of inflation

The inflation of the past year has reshaped the political economic landscape in the United States and around the globe. While the IMF and World Bank echo UN calls about the recession risk of globally-synchronized rate hikes, the debate over…

September 28, 2022

Interviews

Bottom-up Bargaining

An interview with Xiao Ma on the politics of China’s high-speed railways

China’s high-speed railway network is one of the largest infrastructure programs in human history. Though today international headlines emphasize the decline in China’s growth—lagging behind the rest of Asia for the first time since 1990—for more than two decades, the…

September 24, 2022

Analysis

Africa’s Century of Growth?

On Morten Jerven’s The Wealth and Poverty of African States

On May 1, 2014, Nigeria’s then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, addressed a crowd of workers in the country’s capital Abuja.  He declared that “the challenge of the country is not poverty, but redistribution of wealth.” The prompt for his comment was a…

Shortform

November 19, 2022

Sources

In September, Hurricane Ian devastated southwestern Florida, with floodwater and power outages causing significant damage to homes and businesses. Rebuilding efforts have since revealed gaps in flood insurance policies.  

November 18, 2022

Analysis

Collective Action and Climate Finance

Can the COP move markets?

At UN climate summits, the items that appear on the agenda are usually those that advocates have fought hard to include. This year’s COP27 meeting in Egypt is no exception. Years of effort have culminated in getting loss and damage—finance…

November 12, 2022

Sources

Following years of government subsidies, the Chinese aluminum extrusion industry now threatens to wipe out domestic producers in the EU, UK, and US should tariff rates fall too low (the UK is most at risk, with 10.1% rates compared to the EU’s 22.1%…

November 12, 2022

Analysis

The Sacrifice Zone

Mining communities in the wake of Chile’s constitutional referendum

In September 2022, 62 percent of Chilean voters rejected the country’s proposed new constitution. The defeat took many by surprise—the demands to rewrite the existing charter had been loud and seemingly unanimous. For followers of Chile’s extractive industries, however, the…

November 5, 2022

Sources

Earlier this year, India increased its coal production in response to heat wave-induced electricity shortages. The power crisis prompted new concerns around India’s efforts towards transitioning to renewable energy, and it exposed deep vulnerabilities in country’s fragmented electricity sector.  

November 3, 2022

Analysis

Domestic Politics & Planetary Change

Will a Lula victory be better for the climate than anything that happens at COP27?

Will a Lula victory be better for the climate than anything that happens at COP27?

October 29, 2022

Sources

In recent months, over 230,000 claimants have sued multinational conglomerate 3M for faulty products, launching the largest mass tort litigation in US history. In response, the company resorted to the infamous “Texas Two-Step,” a bankruptcy scheme which allows companies to sidestep allegations by dividing…

October 22, 2022

Sources

Last week, Egypt reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF to receive its fourth loan in six years. The nation struggles with a high debt-to-GDP ratio, and its net foreign reserves have plummeted in value since 2019. 

October 20, 2022

Analysis

An Introduction

An introduction to The Polycrisis

What crisis? A year ago, one might be forgiven for thinking there was a moment of relative calm for wealthy countries: a year of vaccinations had made the pandemic less acute, inflation hadn’t yet provoked interest rate hikes, and labor…

October 15, 2022

Sources

In late September, India was projected to overtake the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy. Though it has since been modified, the country’s expected growth rate reflects a steady upswing since the late 1980s.


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Series are collections of works published by Phenomenal World on a single subject or area of research. Series are commissioned to analyze particular issues or historical moments, and are either ongoing projects or collected as one-time volumes.

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