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When developing countries try to catch up with the developed countries, there are many challenges. Will they be allowed to protect the new industries, they are trying to set up? Can they get funding for the huge investments needed? Can they get their economic policy right? It is not easy, but history tells us that it is not impossible.
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As many developing countries are now turning to ‘developmentalism’ to close the gap to the developed countries, it is worth looking at what lessons can be learned from history regarding the failures and successes of the developmentalist state. One of the main hurdles for developmentalism is political: is it possible to create a strong political coalition and institutions that will back this policy for a prolonged period?
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As neo-liberalism has turned out not to work for developing countries, many of them are now looking elsewhere for other policy options. Which options do they have? Can they imitate what Japan, the South-East Asian ‘tigers’ and China have done? That will not be easy, but some lessons can be learned.
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Disinformation campaigns are unfortunately normal parts of political rivalry, and they are certainly even more prominent during wars. Successful disinformation can be a powerful tool. However, there is a risk that you end up believing your own disinformation, and that means that fatal decisions are taken on false premises. That is what seems to be happening in the Ukraine war. And that is extremely dangerous.
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Is the Chinese economy bigger than that of the US, or is it the other way round? Both statements are repeatedly seen in the headlines of the media. The answer boils down to whether you look at GDP in market prices or you correct for what you can buy for the money (purchasing power). But there are also other ways to measure the relative strength of the two economies and the result is the same. China inevitable comes out at the top.
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While the atrocities in Gaza continue, the Western powers, the alleged standard-bearers of civilisation against barbarians, continue supporting Israel unconditionally, while kindly asking Israel to please kill fewer civilians. Apart from losing credibility, they are nurturing future terrorists. We can only hope that the fact that quite a lot of decent people in the West are showing their solidarity with Palestine, despite their Governments, can limit this damage.
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