Articles

Academic articles by CFR fellows and experts.

Puerto Rico Debt Legislation Provides Fiscal Oversight Without Overreaching

Author: Brad W. Setser
The Hill

The core of any deal to address Puerto Rico’s imminent debt default long has been clear:  strong fiscal oversight, paired with powerful tools to facilitate a necessary debt restructuring.     But oversight should not overreach, and the new restructuring tools should respect the differences created by existing contracts.   The legislation (PROMESA) that emerged from the House achieves the needed balance; it needs to pass the Senate quickly.

See more in Puerto Rico; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

The Reality Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Ignores

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

In the wake of the horror in Orlando, discussion has once again focused on the idea of placing a 'ban' on all Muslims entering the United States. The idea is to keep Muslims out of America and to go further by banning all entrants from countries with a "proven history of terrorism" against this country.

See more in United States; Religion

Will Brexit Affect U.S. Consumer Confidence? The Outcome May Determine Our Next President

Authors: Benn Steil and Emma Smith
PBS NewsHour

Benn Steil’s June 24 op-ed on the PBS NewsHour Making$ense site, co-authored with Emma Smith, shows the strong relationship between consumer confidence and presidential elections going back to 1952. Current readings suggest an 80% chance of a Clinton victory, but the Brexit aftermath threatens to knock that down significantly.

See more in United States; United Kingdom; Elections; International Organizations and Alliances

Britain’s Awful Vote May Be a Tipping Point

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

The British vote to leave the European Union may come to be seen as a tipping point in global politics, perhaps more consequential than anything since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It may mark the moment when Europe comes face to face with its own constitutional dysfunction, when the idea of the “West” finally ceases to be plausible and when the United States is confirmed in its sense that its interests lie more in Asia than in its traditional Atlantic sphere of influence.

See more in United Kingdom; Treaties and Agreements

Brexit in Context

Author: A. Michael Spence
Project Syndicate

I do not believe that foreigners contribute usefully by issuing strong opinions about how a country’s citizens, or those of a larger unit like the European Union, should decide when faced with an important political choice. Our insights, based on international experience, may sometimes be helpful; but there should never be any confusion about the asymmetry of roles.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances

Some Parts of the Brazilian Government Actually Aren’t Corrupt. Here’s What They Have in Common.

Authors: Katherine Bersch, Sérgio Praça, and Matthew M. Taylor
Washington Post

The massive “Lava Jato” (car wash) corruption scandal cut a wide swath across the Brazilian political landscape, contributing to public outcry against President Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s Senate voted to suspend Rousseff in May, pending her impeachment trial on alleged budgetary improprieties.

See more in Brazil; Corruption and Bribery; Politics and Strategy

Do Americans Want a New ‘Grand Strategy’ or Less Overseas Engagement?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Few things make professors happier than thinking that the public has finally begun to agree with them. No surprise, then, that John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard open their article in Foreign Affairs—in which they propose a new “grand strategy” for the United States—by observing that “[f]or the first time in recent memory, a large number of Americans” are saying they want the same thing.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy

E.U. Referendum Exposes Britain’s Political Decay

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

An isolationist bent to British politics, what Sebastian Mallaby refers to as “little Englandism,” is not new to the British political tradition. While this perspective has long been counter-balanced by a Gladstonian internationalism, debates around Brexit have been conspicuously devoid of such idealism, speaking in a language that appeals only to pocketbooks rather than to common decency.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances; Politics and Strategy