Category: Uncategorized

Revista Española de Estudios Norteamericanos

I am glad to say that I have been invited to be a member of the editorial board of REDEN (Revista Española de Estudios Norteamericanos) a peer-reviewed academic journal published in English by the Instituto Franklin at the University of Alcala’ de Henares, Spain.

Here is the full list of the names of the members of the board:

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Module Overview: American Politics Today

Interested in finding out more about our MA in American Politics & Foreign Policy? Check out this short introduction to the module ‘American Politics Today’.

 

More info on the Master Program to be found here.

Economic Clout 2018

It is reasonable to say that the World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international summit featuring the most influential actors in the global economy.

If this is in fact the case, then the number of national delegates taking part in WEF discussions can be seen as a proxy for a state’s current economic clout.

Here is an image describing the number of national delegates who took part at the recent WEF summit in Davos:

 

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Two data catch the eye:

a) the United States (782) is by far the most represented country followed by the UK (259), Switzerland (229), and China (120)

b) Western Europe and the United States form the biggest bloc of countries, having approximately more than half the delegates of all the other regions of the world combined

If the assumption about the role of national delegates as a proxy for economic clout is correct then it should be clear where the center of power in the global economy lies.

But is this really the case? Or is national representation at the WEF misleading?

How has global economic inequality evolved in recent decades?

The 2018 World Inequality Report is finally out.

This comprehensive report shows how global inequality has evolved from the 1980s to present day. The report reveals that income inequality has recently increased in nearly all world regions, although at different speeds. That inequality levels are significantly different, even among countries that share similar levels of development, points to the important roles that national policies and institutions have in shaping inequality.

Among the report’s main findings:

-Since 1980, the richest 0.1% of the world’s population (about 7 million) have increased their combined wealth by as much as the poorest 50% (about 3.8 billion). Meanwhile, the global middle class (which contains all of the poorest 90% income groups in the European Union and the United States) has been squeezed.

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-The combination of large privatizations and increasing income inequality within countries has fueled the rise of wealth inequality among individuals. In Russia and the United States, the rise in wealth inequality has been extreme. In the United States the richest 1% accounted for 39% of the nation’s wealth in 2014 [the latest year available], up from 22% in 1980. Whereas in Europe it has been more moderate. Wealth inequality has not yet returned to its extremely high early-twentieth-century level in rich countries.

Is increasing inequality inevitable?

The report argues it is not. Especially if national governments acted to bring in progressive income tax. According to the report, such a move would not only reduce post-tax inequality but also shrink pre-tax inequality “by discouraging top earners from capturing higher shares of growth via aggressive bargaining for higher pay.”

Moreover, the report maintains that taxation alone is not enough to tackle economic inequality as the wealthy are best placed to avoid and evade taxes, as evidenced by the recent investigation into the Panama Papers. In fact, a tenth of the world’s wealth is said to be held in tax havens.

What about the United States?

Well, according to a recent article published in the New Yorker, the final Republicans’ tax bill “is a recipe for even more inequality”. Read the original article here.

You can also access the full 2018 World Inequality Report here.

The Trump Project is finally Live!

The 2016 US presidential campaign and the eventual election of Donald Trump to the White House generated a renewed interest in American Studies. This was the context that led the UCD Clinton Institute to organize an international conference that would examine the political and cultural significance of Trump’s election as president of the United States and consider the first 100 days of his administration. Titled “Trump’s America”, the conference discussed a variety of fascinating topics ranging from populism through foreign policy and immigration to the concept of post-truth (The full list of the speakers and their relative papers can be accessed through the Clinton Institute website)

The “Trump’s America” conference was also the catalyst event for the creation of the “Trump Project”. The “Trump Project” brings together a number of international scholars with a diverse range of expertise in US politics and foreign policy, including Robert K. Brigham, Professor of History and International Relations at Vassar College, and Inderjeet Parmar, Professor of International Politics at City University London. The Trump Project aims at creating an international network which will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and analyses over topical issues in international affairs in relation to the Trump presidency. As a first step, a Trump Project website has been created in order to provide a platform to develop future research, teaching, and outreach programs (further information about the individual project members and their research interests can be found on the Trump Project website)

Newsletter 30/10/17

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Summer 2018 Associate Programme at RAND
The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. Over seven decades, we have earned a reputation for excellence through our focus on high-quality, objective research and analysis. The RAND Summer Associate Program introduces outstanding graduate students to the RAND Corporation, an institution that conducts research on a wide range of domestic and international social policy issues and national security problems. RAND employs about 800 researchers in Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC; Pittsburgh, PA; and Boston, MA. RAND researchers publish their work in various types of reports and numerous peer-reviewed journals. For eligibility visit the website. Deadline 4 December.