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Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Mark Blyth

Blyth on Bloomberg: Predicting Another EU Setback

October 25, 2011

As European Union leaders prepared for what was hoped to be a breakthrough summit on the EU financial crisis on Wednesday (and with the sudden cancellation of the finance ministers' actual preparatory meeting), Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth was wondering aloud, on Bloomberg, “breakthrough or breakdown?”


Blyth in German Media: Bank Bailouts = New Business Model

October 18, 2011

“We face another Lehman moment,” Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth writes this month on the website of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. “The sea is rising and the wall isn't high enough so it should be in the self-interest of the core banks to take precautions and raise more capital to withstand the flood – right? Haven't they learned anything from 2008?”


On Australian Radio: Blyth Lays out Case against Deepening Austerity Measures

September 29, 2011

As governments around the world enact deep spending cuts in to diminish their debt, people are taking to the streets. Protests against austerity measures are commonplace, particularly in Europe, where many countries have already tightened their belts – and now the European Commission is asking governments to do even more. But is austerity a “dangerous idea?” Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth thinks so, and, appearing on Australian radio in late September, he explained why.


Blyth on Marketplace: Prepare for Greek Default

September 25, 2011

Despite G20 leaders’ assurances last week that they will avert Europe’s financial meltdown and its global spread, Greece is headed toward defaulting on its debt, according to Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth. “If there is a solution, it is to push banks to build up capital for the day that Greece cannot pay,” he said on Friday’s Marketplace public radio program. Blyth’s prescription: Let the insolvent banks go and push the others to recapitalize right now. Countries that are instead trying to protect their banks are the ones keeping this crisis from being solved.


Blyth Channels Brothers Grimm, Blogs Global Crisis

September 20, 2011

Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth, who is currently writing a book about how austerity became the policy response to the global financial crisis, tested out his theory in the form of a children's fable, a la Brothers Grimm, in his regular blog on Triple Crisis.


Blyth in the Media in Summer of Crises

August 15, 2011

In media ranging from CNN to the Financial Times, Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth has held forth over the summer on issues including the Middle East, the Greek and US debt crises, and gold-versus-paper currency.


On China Radio International: Blyth Ranks Obama Trip to UK

May 25, 2011

On China Radio International, Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth yesterday analyzed the “special relationship” between the US and UK on the occasion of President Obama’s trip to Britain. Blyth’s view is that while ties run deep and the strategic nature of relationship is still somewhat important, over time the UK becomes less important to the United States as the world becomes more multipolar.


In Foreign Affairs: Blyth Asks Why the Perennial Political Surprise

May 3, 2011

Why is surprise the permanent condition of the US political and economic elite? So ask Institute Professor Mark Blyth and his co-author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professor of risk engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, in an article in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs. The critical issue in both the recent global financial crisis and more recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, they say, is the artificial suppression of volatility in the name of stability. “Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks.”


Blyth Takes Austerity Argument to Wisconsin

March 21, 2011

“I see something which is superficially appealing, individually rational perhaps, and ultimately collectively disastrous.” This is how Watson Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth describes austerity policy, a debt-reduction approach gaining ground internationally, nationally, and in American states like Wisconsin, where protests against such policies have been particularly strong. His remarks were broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio and around the country, on the public radio program, To the Best of Our Knowledge. Blyth is author of a book called Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).


IR and DS Undergraduate Programs Updated

February 15, 2011

The International Relations and Development Studies programs based at the Watson Institute have been restructured “to make these concentrations more streamlined, integrated, and better-suited to actual student interests,” according to Professor Mark Blyth, director of both programs.


Blyth Paints Year-End Financial Picture

January 3, 2011

As the world took a year-end look at its financial health, Watson Institute Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth weighed in on matters of global, US, UK, and even gender economics.


Video Describes Watson Work with AGORA Network on Global Economic Policy

December 6, 2010

In recent months, the Watson Institute has been working with the Alliance for Governance Research and Analysis (AGORA),  formed by Watson, Warwick University’s Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, the Global Governance program at the Robert S. Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI), the International Center for Business and Politics (CBP) at the Copenhagen Business School, and the Centre for Governance and Public Policy (CGPP) at Griffith University, Queensland.


On NPR: Blyth Warns Against Austerity Policy

October 25, 2010

Britain's use of austerity is a dangerous idea that will ultimately lead to reducing the economy overall, according to Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth. And if the United States government tries it, the same people who paid for the bailouts are going to pay for austerity as well, he said in an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered program on Sunday.


BRICs Workshop Looks Beyond Washington Consensus

October 4, 2010

With global flows of trade and power in flux, scholars of and from Brazil, Russia, India, and China gathered at the Watson Institute in late September for a workshop on “Dreaming with the BRICs: Neoliberal Ideas and Policy Change Outside the Core.” The main objective of the workshop was to explore the rise and ambiguous denouement of the Washington Consensus from an interdisciplinary perspective and with a special focus on the BRIC countries. The workshop brought together sociologists and political scientists who have studied the history of this economic policy paradigm over time.


Video on Austerity Policy Launches New Media Initiative

September 27, 2010

With governments formulating policies of austerity as the global economic crisis recedes, a new animated video short describes the thinking behind such policies as inherently flawed. Austerity features Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth, an international political economist whose views are captured by director Joe Posner ‘07.


Institute Roster Features New Faculty Appointments and Visitors

September 20, 2010

The Institute is entering this academic year with new faculty appointments and visiting scholars. Watson is building new research capacity in such areas as finance and religion in international relations, among others, as it also continues to host a changing cohort of visiting faculty and fellows from around the world to bring a diversity of views and expertise to bear on its exploration of the range of its global issues.


In the Times: Blyth Describes Public's Disillusion

July 20, 2010

The American public is suffering a crisis of confidence as it watches long-running debate over financial regulatory reform and the slow-motion solution of the BP oil spill, according to the New York Times’ Week in Review last Sunday.  “There’s this feeling in both cases that you were forced to watch them make sausages for several months,” Watson Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth said in an interview.


Blyth Describes Impact of UK Election

May 8, 2010

"You could hardly have engineered a worse result," Watson Faculty Fellow Mark Blyth told NPR following Thursday’s election in the UK, citing difficulties in forming a new coalition government among the implications. In the runup to the election, Blyth also co-authored an article for Foreign Affairs calling it a referendum on the country’s last 30 years of evolution from a manufacturing economy to a center of global finance. The article “Labour Pains,” concludes that: “Languishing in recession, unable to project force, and unwilling to engage with others, Britain may turn inward and rethink its legacies – institutional and economic, domestic and foreign. The upcoming election is nothing less than a referendum on leaders and policies past. The outcome of that referendum will become the frame for where the United Kingdom will go next.”