Posts by Helen Thompson

Helen Thompson, Honorary Research Fellow, SPERI, Professor in Political Economy, University of Cambridge

Why political analysis needs probability and history to address uncertainty

Unexpected political outcomes are more understandable if we locate political life in a historical and international context.  This is the fourth post in our series exploring uncertainty and the challenges it poses to social science Political punditry has had a bad couple of years. Indeed, the failure to predict the dramatic political outcomes of a number of elections and referendums … Continue reading

9 October 2017 by Helen Thompson
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , ,

Trump, the Russia sanctions and Europe’s energy future

The significant deterioration in US-Russia relations and new sanctions could profoundly impact the EU and its energy needs The melodrama around Donald Trump has obscured the significance of recent events in American politics to the energy future of Europe. At the end of July President Trump signed into law a bill passed with near unanimity by Congress that, among other … Continue reading

24 August 2017 by Helen Thompson
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2016 and the return of the nation-state

Whilst the turbulence of this year has caused political shocks the apparent resurgence of the nation-state should be no surprise Much of the political rhetoric that has been deployed during this period of political turbulence can make 2016 appear as the year the nation-state returned.  Yet for all the shock value associated with the year’s political events this apparent resurgence … Continue reading

21 December 2016 by Helen Thompson
Categories: SPERI Comment Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Coming Crisis: we’re not in Kansas any more

Helen Thompson

In the surreal world of post-2008 financial markets and monetary policy ‘black swan’ events shouldn’t surprise us any more The western economic and political world that was in place before 2008 no longer exists and it is not coming back. In retrospect the last supposed boom of the middle years of the first decade of the twenty first century was … Continue reading

25 May 2016 by Helen Thompson
Categories: SPERI Comment, The coming crisis

The dirty little secret of the euro zone crisis: the German banks

Helen Thompson

Germany’s response to the crisis reflects its commitment to protect its own banks We are frequently told by supporters and critics of German economic policy alike that the future of the euro zone depends on the relationship of Germany’s economic success to other euro zone states.  In these terms a sustainable European currency requires either the export of the foundations … Continue reading

11 November 2013 by Helen Thompson
Categories: Europe and the EU, Finance, SPERI Comment

The UK’s very dangerous banks

Helen Thompson

Banks are being asked to lead the recovery despite the fact that they continue to pose the biggest single threat to the British economy Probably nothing matters more for the immediate future of the UK economy than what is happening in the banking sector. In macro-economic policy terms most of the attention devoted to restoring growth to the economy has … Continue reading

7 May 2013 by Helen Thompson
Categories: British growth crisis, Finance, SPERI Comment