The Big Picture

Drawing on PS’s unique access to the world’s seminal thinkers, the Big Picture offers authoritative insights not only on topics in the news, but also on the deeper issues driving the news. The Big Picture surrounds a topic – from globalization, technological breakthroughs, and the future of work to green finance and the broader sustainability agenda – with a curated selection of 4-5 commentaries by leading policymakers, statesmen, scientists, and scholars, providing readers with a truly comprehensive view of the day’s key events, challenges, and trends.

xi jinping Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Featured in this Big Picture
  1. Lucrezia Poggetti,
  2. Paola Subacchi

With Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting Italy to secure its participation in his signature “Belt and Road Initiative,” Paola Subacchi and Lucrezia Poggetti both warn that the Italian government is about to give away much for the sake of very little.

  1. Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Angus Deaton,
    2. Mariana Mazzucato,
    3. Raghuram G. Rajan,
    4. Joseph E. Stiglitz,
    5. Yanis Varoufakis,
    6. Ngaire Woods

    Given the long history of creative destruction since the Industrial Revolution, it may be a truism that capitalism’s current woes won’t be the last. But just because crises are the norm doesn't mean that every crisis is normal.

  2. Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Mohamed A. El-Erian,
    2. Jayati Ghosh,
    3. Jim O'Neill,
    4. Edmund S. Phelps,
    5. Dani Rodrik

    Economics has long drawn criticism for its academic insularity, claims of objective truth, and privileged influence in policymaking circles. But now that economists rank among the least-trusted professions, it's time for the high priests to do some soul searching.

  3. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Shahid Javed Burki,
    2. Brahma Chellaney,
    3. Richard N. Haass,
    4. Shashi Tharoor

    A recent military clash between India and Pakistan has brought the two nuclear powers’ long-simmering acrimony back to a boil. And whether further escalation is avoidable may depend on who is really calling the shots.

  4. Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Lina Abirafeh,
    2. Francesca Binda,
    3. Senait Fisseha,
    4. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
    5. Jayati Ghosh,
    6. Arancha González,
    7. Mario Pezzini,
    8. Gabriela Ramos,
    9. Anne-Marie Slaughter,
    10. Hannah Storm

    In the age of #MeToo, women's rights and gender inequality are no longer languishing at the margins of public debate. But meaningful change will take more than a hashtag.

  5. THOMAS PETER/AFP/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Martin Feldstein,
    2. Xiao Geng,
    3. Minxin Pei,
    4. Stephen S. Roach,
    5. Andrew Sheng

    Though US President Donald Trump plans to extend his trade-war "truce" with China, negotiators from both countries remain under intense pressure to finalize a deal. But is any agreement that satisfies both sides now likely to last?

  6. Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Diane Coyle,
    2. Anantha Duraiappah,
    3. Zakri Abdul Hamid,
    4. Philipp Lepenies,
    5. Urs Rohner,
    6. Joseph E. Stiglitz

    The search for a successor to GDP has been gaining new recruits in recent years, owing to a growing recognition that material output has become an inadequate proxy for a society’s welfare. But the debate over alternative metrics reveals that the choice of a new indicator is as much a moral question as it is a technical issue.

  7. Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images/Patrick Pleul/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Bjørn Lomborg,
    2. Carroll Muffett,
    3. José Antonio Ocampo,
    4. Joseph E. Stiglitz,
    5. Adair Turner

    As the world heats up, so, too, have debates about how best to address the climate crisis. Is the standard policy framework for combating global warming actually making the problem worse?

  8. Adam Berry/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Jeffrey Frankel,
    2. Stefan Gerlach,
    3. Daniel Gros,
    4. Lucrezia Reichlin

    With economic conditions deteriorating and populist movements mobilizing for the European Parliament elections in May, Europe may be in for a rough year. But the recent 20th anniversary of the euro reminds us not to underestimate the Union’s resilience and capacity for crisis management.

  9. Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Sigmar Gabriel,
    2. Zaki Laïdi,
    3. Janusz Reiter

    A new pact reaffirming Franco-German friendship and cooperation seeks to revive the engine of European integration, particularly in the security field. But Sigmar Gabriel, a former German foreign minister, and Zaki Laidi, a leading French strategist, disagree about just what the Treaty of Aachen accomplishes.

  10. Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Brahma Chellaney,
    2. Richard N. Haass,
    3. Ashley Jackson,
    4. Anne-Marie Slaughter,
    5. Ramesh Thakur

    Having clinched a preliminary deal with the Taliban to bring an end to the fighting in Afghanistan, US President Donald Trump will no doubt claim to have succeeded where his predecessors failed. But there is reason to worry that the “Dealmaker-in-Chief” has been bested in yet another high-stakes negotiation.

  11. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Caroline Conroy,
    2. Kemal Derviş,
    3. Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz,
    4. Roger E.A. Farmer,
    5. José Antonio Ocampo,
    6. Dani Rodrik,
    7. Gillian Tans

    Across Western democracies, rising inequality and ballooning public debt have put tax policy back on the agenda. But, after four decades of neoliberal economic policy, the obstacles to raising tax rates and strengthening enforcement are as much ideological as they are operational.

  12. Jack Taylor/Getty Images
    Featured in this Big Picture
    1. Bill Emmott,
    2. Simon Johnson,
    3. Anatole Kaletsky,
    4. Jacek Rostowski,
    5. Yanis Varoufakis

    Two and a half years after voting to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is more divided and uncertain than ever about its future. And Britain’ s dysfunctional political class is likely to prolong the agony until the bitter end.

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