The Unended Recessional

Zimbabwe's crisis has incited an unsettling feeling of déja vu . The reason is clear: it is, thankfully, no longer fashionable to decry colonialism's evils in assigning blame for every national misfortune. The imperial statues are toppled, cities and streets renamed, the vestiges of foreign rule either abandoned or adapted. With the sole exception of Zimbabwe, no leading politician in any post-imperial country has made a notable speech in recent years attacking colonialism. That great staple of political rhetoric appears to have been buried across the developing world.

Internationally, colonialism is even more passé. Once, the votaries of one kind of new international order or another decried the evils of imperialism (sometimes, but not always, prefixed with a ``neo-'') in justifying demands for a more just dispensation. That theme has died out in diplomatic discourse. Yet followers of world affairs would be unwise to consign colonialism to the proverbial dustbin of history, for it remains a factor in understanding our world's problems and dangers.

To begin, residual problems from the end of the earlier era of colonization, usually the result of untidy exits by the colonial power, still remain dangerously stalemated. The events in East Timor in 1999 remain fresh in memory, and difficulties linger. But at least closure seems in sight, unlike those messy legacies of European colonialism: Western Sahara, Cyprus, and Palestine.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/wMwl3tW;
  1. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

    The Brexit Surrender

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have given the go-ahead to talks with Britain on post-Brexit trade relations. But, as European Council President Donald Tusk has said, the most difficult challenge – forging a workable deal that secures broad political support on both sides – still lies ahead.

  2. The Great US Tax Debate

    ROBERT J. BARRO vs. JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS on the impact of the GOP tax  overhaul.


    • Congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax-reform package that will reshape the business environment by lowering the corporate-tax rate and overhauling deductions. 

    • But will the plan's far-reaching changes provide the boost to investment and growth that its backers promise?


    ROBERT J. BARRO | How US Corporate Tax Reform Will Boost Growth

    JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS | Robert Barro's Tax Reform Advocacy: A Response

  3. Murdoch's Last Stand?

    Rupert Murdoch’s sale of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Disney for $66 billion may mark the end of the media mogul’s career, which will long be remembered for its corrosive effect on democratic discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    From enabling the rise of Donald Trump to hacking the telephone of a murdered British schoolgirl, Murdoch’s media empire has staked its success on stoking populist rage.

  4. Bank of England Leon Neal/Getty Images

    The Dangerous Delusion of Price Stability

    Since the hyperinflation of the 1970s, which central banks were right to combat by whatever means necessary, maintaining positive but low inflation has become a monetary-policy obsession. But, because the world economy has changed dramatically since then, central bankers have started to miss the monetary-policy forest for the trees.

  5. Harvard’s Jeffrey Frankel Measures the GOP’s Tax Plan

    Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, outlines the five criteria he uses to judge the efficacy of tax reform efforts. And in his view, the US Republicans’ most recent offering fails miserably.

  6. A box containing viles of human embryonic Stem Cell cultures Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

    The Holy Grail of Genetic Engineering

    CRISPR-Cas – a gene-editing technique that is far more precise and efficient than any that has come before it – is poised to change the world. But ensuring that those changes are positive – helping to fight tumors and mosquito-borne illnesses, for example – will require scientists to apply the utmost caution.

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now