LSE Comment

In this section you can read recent expert commentary from LSE academics on important issues around American Politics and Policy. This section also contains reviews of recent books by LSE academics and book reviews from LSE staff and alumni.

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    The US shows the unequal world we are heading for – and we don’t seem to care

The US shows the unequal world we are heading for – and we don’t seem to care

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Income inequality is on the rise, a fact which many academics and commentators suggest is an important part of the election of populist figures like Donald Trump. And yet, studies show that people are actually becoming less concerned about inequality as it increases. In new research, Jonathan Mijs describes how inequality has reshaped the social landscape and how, as […]

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    Will Dysfunctional Politics Finally End the American Century?

Will Dysfunctional Politics Finally End the American Century?

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The United States has dominated international politics since the end of the Second World War. And while it retains tremendous wealth and military strength, the domestic hyper-partisanship which has characterized the post-Cold War era is draining the country’s ‘usable power’ argue Peter Trubowitz and Peter Harris.

Can the United States continue to shape international politics as it has done for the […]

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    Despite claims to the contrary, US air raids against Afghanistan’s drugs labs have had little to no impact

Despite claims to the contrary, US air raids against Afghanistan’s drugs labs have had little to no impact

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In 2017 and 2018 US forces based in Afghanistan mounted air raids against drug processing facilities. While it was hoped that targeting these facilities would starve the Taliban of revenue – much as similar operations against Islamic State in Syria had done previously – new research from David Mansfield concludes that this has not been the case, despite their very high cost. Using a […]

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    Financial innovation in mortgage products spurred the rapid increase in credit and house price growth during the last housing boom

Financial innovation in mortgage products spurred the rapid increase in credit and house price growth during the last housing boom

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Ahead of the global financial crisis of 2007-08, house sales and prices boomed. In new research, Lindsay Relihan and coauthors examine whether this boom was the cause or result of the large increase in take-up of non-traditional mortgage products around the same time. Comparing house prices and the use of alternative mortgage products in housing markets across the US, […]

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    Five minutes with Peter Trubowitz: “Mueller has left a big question mark hanging over the president’s head“

Five minutes with Peter Trubowitz: “Mueller has left a big question mark hanging over the president’s head“

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Last Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his final report to the US Attorney General, William Barr, who then sent a short summary of the report to Congress. LSE US Centre Director, Peter Trubowitz writes that while Trump has avoided the worst – charges of collusion between his 2016 election campaign and Russia were found to be without merit […]

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    Trump is learning the wrong lessons from Ronald Reagan – innovation policy is better than protectionism

Trump is learning the wrong lessons from Ronald Reagan – innovation policy is better than protectionism

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Donald Trump has cited the example of one of his US presidential predecessors, Ronald Reagan, in support of his protectionist policies. But as research by Ufuk Akcigit, Sina Ates and Giammario Impullitti shows, it was the Reagan administration’s innovation policy – not a retreat from globalisation – that promoted long-run growth in the US economy.

In March 2018, […]

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    Book Review: Industry of Anonymity: Inside the Business of Cybercrime by Jonathan Lusthaus

Book Review: Industry of Anonymity: Inside the Business of Cybercrime by Jonathan Lusthaus

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In Industry of Anonymity: Inside the Business of Cybercrime, Jonathan Lusthaus deftly unveils how the industrialisation of cybercrime has occurred despite some of the challenges of functioning behind a shield of anonymity for cybercriminals. This is an appealingly non-technical work that will inspire readers to rethink some of their assumptions about the operations of cybercriminals and will be of interest […]

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    China’s Great Wall reminds us that walls are not good or evil. What’s important is who controls who flows through them.

China’s Great Wall reminds us that walls are not good or evil. What’s important is who controls who flows through them.

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Walls have very much been in the news of late, with President Trump pushing for a “big, beautiful wall” on the border with Mexico to prevent the entry of undocumented immigrants. But not all walls are inherently bad, writes William A. Callahan. Using China’s Great Wall as an example, he argues that we need to understand them as gateways […]

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    Trump’s immigration speech shows he knows he is losing the shutdown

Trump’s immigration speech shows he knows he is losing the shutdown

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Last night President Trump gave the first national televised address of his presidency, calling on Congress to end the ongoing government shutdown by funding his plans for $5.7 billion wall at the US-Mexico border. Director of the LSE’s US Centre, Peter Trubowitz, writes that the president’s decision to make the speech now is an acknowledgement from Trump that time is […]

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    This is what 2019 likely has in store for US politics and policy

This is what 2019 likely has in store for US politics and policy

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With 2018 now done and dusted, Chris Gilson looks ahead to what 2019 is likely to have in store for US state and national politics and policy. Read our review of 2018 in US politics and policy, here. 

If we thought that 2018 was eventful, then as the gateway year to the next presidential election, 2019 promises little respite from […]

This work by LSE USAPP blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.