Africa at a fork in the road

By Ernesto Zedillo in

Not long ago, some called Africa’s growth performance the worst economic disaster of the 20th century. Indeed, by any measure, African countries’ economic record since around the time of the 1973 oil shock was dismal. The secular malaise of Africa’s economy started to abate around the mid-1990s, becoming a new trend of growth revival by […]

The Yellow River: a history of China’s water crisis

By David A. Pietz in

During the hot, dry month of August 1992 the farmers of Baishan village in Hebei province and Panyang village in Henan came to blows. Residents from each village hurled insults and rudimentary explosives at the other across the Zhang River – the river that feeds the Red Flag Canal Irrigation System and forms the border […]

The siren song of financial realism

By Paul Tyson in

Ulysses’ encounter with the Sirens speaks of the fatal attraction humanity has towards enticing enchantments. I am going to try and convince you that we too are being seduced towards our own destruction by an enticing yet predatory enchantment. I call this enchantment “financial realism.” This song, intoning the iron mechanics of global financial reality, […]

Magna Carta: a beggarly thing, a mess of pottage

By Denis Galligan in

That in 2015, we still commemorate an agreement between the king and the barons of England reached 800 years ago, probably on the 15th June 1215, is a cause for wonder. Magna Carta, the Great Charter, as that agreement has come to be known, is held to be a milestone in the course of western constitutional thought. Its […]

Newsletter – August 2015

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches This month we have Peter Oborne, the former chief political commentator of the Telegraph explaining that George Osborne and his neoliberal backers are not just attacking the BBC. They are launching a concerted assault on Britain’s democratic public culture. Fernando Betancor on how Germany is not an unstoppable juggernaut as […]

Blueprint for Change

By Carlos Cuellar Brown in

Change In the case of the individual, we resist change because it takes us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to a new normal. The great futurist thinker Jacques Fresco reminds us that the survival of any social system ultimately depends upon its ability to allow for appropriate change. In this sense the […]

China – climate hero or villain?

By Joe Curtin in

China is sometimes characterised as a climate villain. This claim is based on its rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and status as the largest single emitter since 2005, the year when it inherited this mantle from the US. There is no denying China’s growing responsibility for climate change. However, emissions per capita, its historic responsibility […]

Time to fight for the BBC

By Peter Oborne in

John Whittingdale, newly appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is one of the more devout followers of Margaret Thatcher. As a young man he worked in her office, and was inside Number 10 Downing Street at the time of her political assassination in November 1990. He has always been clear that he […]

The crisis of democracy in Japan

By Shujiro Yazawa in

What do you know about Japan? Answers to this question vary, but I can guess how familiar someone is with Japan by paying attention to the Japanese loanwords he or she uses. I am sure you know the following words: sukiyaki, tofu, tempura, sushi (foods), karaoke, bonsai, manga, otaku (cultural terms), kaizen, kanban, karoshi (business […]

Publisher of the European Renaissance

By Mario Infelise in

Culturally exhausted and economically weakened from years of crisis, Europe tends to lose sight of what it once was. Devoid of a political vision and lacking the ability to reflect on its role from even a historical perspective, Europe faces the risk of dealing badly with the current revolution in information technology. This technology, which […]

North African diversities

By Francis Ghilès in

The education I received in England, Tunisia and France was unashamedly secular. Religion played no part in the schools I attended: the nursery founded and supervised by Anna Freud, Sigmund’s sixth and youngest child, in Hampstead in 1948, the école primaire and the lycée in Carthage in 1951-57, and then the Lycée Charles de Gaulle […]

Germany’s demographic challenge

By Fernando Betancor in

The recent history of the Greek crisis has conclusively demonstrated that Germany runs Europe. Although the Teutonic nation neither desires nor wields complete and unchallenged mastery, Berlin can impose its will on its European partners when the country feels its vital interests are at stake. This was the case with Greece: the Germans had worked […]

Seven trends dominating Egyptian media

By Ahmed Magdy Youssef in

July 3 marks the two year anniversary of the ‘popular’ ouster of the former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi. It’s quite evident that Egypt’s state-run and privately owned media outlets are trapped in a web of biases; embracing president Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his regime’s perspective as they step into ethical and professional quandaries. Moreover, […]

The new E.U.

By Charles Wyplosz in

The Summit of 12 July faced the risk of making two mistakes: inadvertently pushing Greece out of the Eurozone, and agreeing on a mistaken strategy. It achieved the amazing feat of making both mistakes and radically altering the monetary union. The reason why the Heads of States and Governments were meeting once again was that […]

Newsletter – July 2015

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, The former President of Uruguay José “Pepe” Mujica offers some advice to Europe’s intellectuals; and clearly this month there is much about Greece, Professor Charles Wyplosz looks at the string of errors committed by the ECB and Ashoka Mody, Visiting Professor in International Economic Policy at Princeton University explains that […]

Spain’s Democratic Spring

By Oscar Reyes in

Imagine that the Occupy Movement stood for election in New York and won, or that anti-gentrification activists took over the city hall in San Francisco. That’s what just happened in Spain, where citizens’ groups with roots in the anti-austerity indignados movement performed so well in recent municipal elections that they now lead governments in the […]