September 15, 2022

Analysis

Technocracy and Crisis

Stagnation and technocratic rule in Italy

On September 25, Italians will be called to elect a new Parliament. The snap election follows on the heels of the forced resignation of the government in late July, led by former European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. That the country would dismiss such an esteemed prime minister to go to early elections—and while…

Longform

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…

September 20, 2022

Analysis

The Finance Gap

Poverty finance from colonial Kenya to microcredit markets

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ foreword to the UN’s Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development’s 2021 Financing for Sustainable Development report, speaks to a prevalent piece of common sense in global development: Financing for sustainable development is at a crossroads.…

September 2, 2022

Reviews

Politics and Expertise

On Elizabeth Popp Berman’s Thinking Like an Economist and Paul Sabin’s Public Citizens

Explanations for the rise of neoliberal policymaking in the United States commonly take one of two forms: a political history or an intellectual history. The first focuses on the overlapping crises of the 1970s and the rebalancing political coalitions competing…

August 13, 2022

Analysis

Rating Sovereigns

Sovereign ratings in a financialized world

As dark clouds gather on the horizon of the global economy in the third year of the pandemic—with debt stocks swollen, interest costs rising, and growth undermined by energy insecurity and war—policy makers and pundits are anxiously watching sovereign credit…

August 5, 2022

Analysis

Pragmatic Prices

An excerpt from How China Escaped Shock Therapy

European and American traditions of economic theorizing on price control are intimately connected with war—practices and debates over price control peaked amid the two world wars. The experience of the First World War had been one of inflation and limited…

July 28, 2022

Reviews

The Last Days of Sound Finance

On Karen Petrou’s “Engine of Inequality”

When the Federal Reserve turned to unconventional monetary policy in 2008, many feared that we would soon see a return to the wage-price spiral of the 1970s. The combination of deficit spending and monetary ease raised the old specter of…

July 23, 2022

Interviews

Resource Nationalism and Decarbonization

Revisiting “resource nationalism” in a new era of raw minerals demand

Across Latin America, a recent wave of left electoral victories has drawn comparisons to “Pink Tide” of the early 2000s. The current moment, however, coincides with a global push towards decarbonization, and much of the world’s supply of commodities essential…

July 20, 2022

Interviews

The Economic Style

An interview with Beth Popp Berman

For some, neoliberalism is to blame for most, if not all, of our societal problems, as well as for the resistance to progressive changes that characterizes contemporary policymaking. This is for good reason. As has been extensively documented, the neoliberal…

July 16, 2022

Analysis

Development Engines

NAFTA, electric vehicles, and the evolution of Mexico’s auto industry

In December 2021, President Joe Biden announced a proposed consumer tax incentive for electric vehicles (EV) made in the US by unionized autoworkers. The tax incentive aims at tackling climate change while also strengthening unionized jobs. It promises to support…

July 9, 2022

Analysis

A New Labor Regime

The BJP’s new labor reforms, the construction industry, and the mounting challenges for India’s trade unions

Since coming to power in 2014, India’s right-wing government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced sweeping reforms aimed at strengthening the union government at the expense of the states, and catering to large corporations over smaller establishments and…

Shortform

September 10, 2022

Sources

The recent floods in Pakistan have brought attention to the viability of the country’s hydropower projects and the debated role of dams in flood management. 

September 3, 2022

Sources

Mikhail Gorbachev’s death has prompted renewed reflections on his domestic, regional, and international legacy.This legacy is of particular interest in light of recent trajectory of the Russian economy.

August 27, 2022

Sources

Last month, Bangladesh requested a $4.5 billion loan from the IMF in order to deal with its foreign exchange reserves alongside a crisis of rising food and energy prices. The nation’s concerns have drawn comparisons to emergencies in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, leading some to question its status as a “development…

August 24, 2022

Analysis

A Permanent Bailout?

Central bank interventions in noncrisis times

The 2008 crisis heralded a new age in central banking. The scale and nature of central bankers’ interventions was unprecedented. Traditionally, as lenders of last resort, central banks lend at escalating rates against good collateral to solvent institutions in times…

August 20, 2022

Sources

In recent months, the UK’s rising living costs and stagnant wages have given rise to a series of strikes across railways, hospitals, and Amazon warehouses.A 1995 article by BEVERLY SILVER considers the relationship between labor unrest and economic cycles, drawing on a database of…

August 13, 2022

Sources

Last October, the US was instrumental in the signing of a landmark global tax agreement which mandated the imposition of a 15% corporate tax floor on multinational enterprises. The modified Inflation Reduction Act, however, introduces significant loopholes to this standard.

August 6, 2022

Sources

The past few months have seen record-breaking heat waves across the globe. In India, a deadly heat wave in May renewed questions around the nation’s health, safety, and economy.

July 30, 2022

Sources

This week, Russia’s state-run energy company Gazprom drastically cut gas supplies— delivered via the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 1 pipeline—to Europe. The move amplified longstanding concerns around European dependence on Russian energy.

July 30, 2022

Analysis

Odious Debts

Iraq, Haiti, and the politics of illegitimate debt

In the aftermath of its 2003 invasion of Iraq, the United States was eager to restructure the ailing country’s sovereign debt. International sanctions since the Gulf War meant that Iraq was economically isolated, yet the country had a large stock…

July 23, 2022

Sources

This month China narrowly missed its growth targets, sparking speculation over the economic impacts of its zero-Covid policy. The contraction was heavily shaped by local governments, who, struggling to get loans from institutional bond investors, have begun to offer high…


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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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