PS. In Theory: Rethinking Austerity (Project-Syndicate)

For a half-century, many Western economists have sought to prove that government spending is either destructive or futile. But while lower deficits and reduced debt may help to promote long-term economic health, it is increasingly being recognized that the costs of austerity often far outweigh the benefits.


Xi Jinping, Senegal, and China’s West Africa drive (The Interpreter)

Xi Jinping’s choice of Senegal for a state visit on 20–21 July, his first visit to West Africa, en route to the BRICS summit in South Africa, suggests that China seeks to deepen cooperation in a region that has seen comparatively less Chinese engagements than elsewhere in Africa. In using Senegal as a springboard, China seeks to advance strategic goals: bringing West Africa into the “Belt and Road” orbit and consolidating influence in a historically French-dominated region.

Cornelia Tremann

A blueprint for India–Australia economic relations (The Interpreter)

Few people are as qualified as Peter Varghese to draw up a timely, sound, and realistic blueprint to build a dynamic yet sustainable economic partnership between India and Australia.

Shyam Saran

The many voices of Hong Kong (The Interpreter)

Speaking English might be a waste of time for Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, but that definitely isn’t the case for Hong Kong actress Stephy Tang who was recently awarded the Screen International Rising Star Asia Award at the New York Asia Film Festival.

Vivienne Chow

Myanmar’s fourth estate (The Interpreter)

The arrest in Myanmar of two Reuters journalists, accused of possessing secret government papers, has put the spotlight on the freedom of the press and the country’s weak justice system. A court last week upheld the charges and the case will shortly go to trial.

Elliot Brennan

Governing a fragmented world economy: Towards inclusive multilateralism (VOX)

International economic cooperation is in crisis. The global economy faces fragmentation across institutional, economic, and social dimensions. This column argues that the task of the G20 is to revamp international economic cooperation and to promote a multilateral approach that addresses the key concerns of our citizens starting with greater inclusiveness and fairness. Europe can play a leading role in a world in search of a new anchor.

Marco Buti, Mirco Tomasi

Evaluating the case for supporting renewable electricity (VOX)

The cost of supporting the production of renewable energy seems eye-watering. This column argues, however, that the alternative of a future energy system lacking the benefits of low-cost zero-carbon technologies is even more costly. While most renewable technologies are not yet competitive on cost with mature carbon-intensive technologies, support for renewables can be justified by learning spillovers.

David Newbery