Daniel Munoz / Reuters A woman walks past a pawn office in central Sydney, May 7, 2009.

Will We Survive Slow Growth?

Foreign Affairs' Brain Trust Weighs In

The lead package of the March/April 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs, available on ForeignAffairs.com tomorrow, deals with the slow-growth world. To complement the individual articles, we decided to ask a broad pool of experts for their take. As with previous surveys, we approached dozens of authorities with deep specialized expertise relevant to the question at hand, together with a few leading generalists in the field. Participants were asked to state whether they agreed or disagreed with a proposition and to rate their confidence level in their opinion; the answers from those who responded are below:

Most of the world’s major economies are facing a sustained period of slow-to-no economic growth—and there’s nothing that governments can do about it.


Slow Growth

Full Responses:

JEREMY ADELMAN is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and Director of the Global History Lab at Princeton University.    
Disagree, Confidence Level 7


TYSON BARKER served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department in 2014 and 2015.
Strongly Disagree, Confidence Level 7         
I'm a Europe guy, so let me focus there. Europe in particular has the potential to unlock pockets of growth, innovation, and untapped productivity. It's easy to get caught on Europe's anemic demography rather than focus on structural reforms, venture capital culture and investment, and innovation incentives. Rather than slow growth, we're looking at a period of uneven growth. Look at the Irish and Spanish economies today. As The Economist said in January, it looks like “PIIGS can fly after all.”

In the BRICS countries and Turkey, there was bound to be a reckoning from the money swishing around as a result of quantitative easing. But never underestimate the power of the “catch-up” game. Believing that Brazil, for instance, will have .1 percent growth in perpetuity is foolish. Policymakers will respond (and are responding) to new realities. I have (some) faith.

DEREK C. M. VAN BEVER is Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and

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