In today’s hyper-connected world, analysis has become a mere commodity. Retrieving it – let alone information – is like drinking from a fire hydrant. For example, Googling “global economic growth" yields 61 million results; “Eurozone deflation”, 1 million; “tensions in south-east Asia”, 2 million, and so on... It should therefore come as no surprise that we get easily lost in this myriad of information and analysis.
In the face of analysis overload, it becomes invaluable to sift, select and frame the issues and opinions that matter. This is why The Monthly Barometer came up with a Weekly Selection of op-eds and articles. Each week, we select just five of them (out of hundreds that are sent to us by our network) that we frame in two or three sentences. These five pieces convey in a succinct and accessible manner the thinking of people whose opinions matter the most in a variety of macro fields: economics, geopolitics, society, environment, technology and psychology. They constitute a “formidable” shortcut to complex analysis by offering insights and snapshots that can be read in just a few minutes and are easy to digest. For those keen to make sense of today’s world, The Weekly Selections are a must-read. They constitute the best antidote to information and analysis overload.
As a new service, The Monthly Barometer is now offering to its subscribers, and a potentially much larger group, a curation of all The Weekly Selections. On any given macro issue, it will be possible to access the best thinking at the tap of key. This service should therefore be of particular interest to researchers and students enabling them as it does to grasp with ease “who said what and when”.
Subscribers of the Monthly Barometer can access curated Weekly Selections as part of their subscription.
Researchers and students who do not wish to subscribe to The Monthly Barometer can access them on a pay-as-you-wish basis. Please pay an amount that corresponds to the value you attach to the product. If you don’t want to pay, remember the following: “If something online is free, you are not the customer – you are the product” (Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government).
Curation of weekly selections – A distillation of the opinions that count!
- REVIEW OF BOOKS
Robert Kagan, "The twilight of the liberal world order"
Brookings - 25 Jan 2017
This is a long (more than 15 min), deep and pessimistic piece on the US new administration’s unwillingness to continue upholding the world order. Kagan argues that this new approach is likely “to hasten a return to the instability and clashes of previous eras. These external challenges to the liberal world order and the continuing weakness and fracturing of the liberal world from within are likely to feed on each other”.
Published in Weekly selection 27 January 2017
Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Erica Frantz, "How Democracies Fall Apart"
Foreign Affairs (metered paywall) - 5 Dec 2016
The two US political scientists argue that populism is a pathway to autocracy. Contrary to the past, today’s populists deploy a strategy that makes it hard to discern when the break with democracy actually occurs - they come to power through democratic elections and then harness discontent to gradually undermine institutional constraints on their rule, marginalize the opposition, and erode civil society. According to the authors, it is this insidiousness (they call it “authoritarianization”) that poses one of the most significant threats to democracy in the 21st century (reads in 5-7 min).
Published in Weekly selection 9 December 2016
Harold James, "Containing the populist contagion"
Project Syndicate - 24 Nov 2016
As the current wave of populism engulfing much of the rich world is exhibiting signs of contagion, the Princeton historian ponders what sort of firewall could prevent it from spreading further. Since populists refuse to engage internationally in a world where all big problems are global, he offers the intriguing idea that today’s contagious populism will create the conditions for its own destruction. Maybe regional integration and defensive regional blocs could help by setting the stage for sorely needed governance reforms (reads in 6-8 min).
Published in Weekly selection 26 November 2016
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