Narendra Modi: Pragmatist or Ideologue?

By Rajan Menon in

The Congress Party took a beating in India’s recent parliamentary election and has now been sidelined by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party, or BJP). The spotlight is on Narendra Modi, the BJP’s leader who will be the next prime minister. A former tea vendor, Modi’s humble origins place him in a […]

The Cost of Justice in Japan

By Anthony Head in

For most of his life Iwao Hakamada had awoken every morning not knowing if it would be the day when word was given and his prison guards marched him off to the gallows. In Japan the machinery of judicial death operates in obscurity, with prior notice of executions given to death-row inmates only on the […]

France and the European elections

By Patrice de Beer in

There can hardly be two neighbouring countries more different than France and the United Kingdom. But now, after the rcent May 2014 European elections, these ‘sweet enemies’ are faced with the same evil dilemma, the rise of populist, nationalist if not xenophobic – and anyway anti-European – forces which have rocked a decades-old dominance of […]

In Egypt, when words lose their meaning

By Islam Abdel-Rahman in

In Egypt, things are not as they first appear on the surface. Take schooling for example; free education is a right supposedly guaranteed by the constitution for all Egyptians. Yet, you will find an overwhelming number of Egyptian students undertaking expensive private tuition to make up for the abysmal education they receive in state schools. […]

Ten Reasons to Love José Mujica

By Medea Benjamin in

President José Mujica of Uruguay, a 78-year-old former Marxist guerrilla who spent 14 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, recently visited the United States to meet with President Obama and speak at a variety of venues. He told Obama that Americans should smoke less and learn more languages. He lectured a roomful of businessmen […]

China is not yet Number One

By Jeffrey Frankel in

Many claim that China will soon overtake the US. This article argues that this claim is based on a misuse of statistics. ICP price data is necessary to compare living standards, since a dollar’s worth of yuan buys more in China than a dollar buys in the US. But the fact that rice and clothes […]

The Great War and Iraq: Britain’s poisonous legacy

By Ian Rutledge in

As the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War of 1914-18 approaches, the media in Britain have begun to present substantial coverage of this dreadful catastrophe. The BBC is, as might be expected, in the lead; it has already scheduled a total of sixty-six Great War-related programmes to be broadcast over the next four […]

Newsletter – May 2014

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Olga Jazzarelli, returning to China after several years absence, describes the dramatic changes in China’s social, cultural and physical landscapes as she tours the Shanxi and Sichuan provinces; we have a review of Michael Lewis’s new book Flashboys that reveals just how badly Wall Street is rigged; Nick […]

Yemen in the Frame, Again

By Aaron Edwards in

Recent drone strikes and aerial bombardment by Yemeni forces against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in which 55 militants were killed, highlight the daily death and destruction in one of the world’s failed states. For months the murder of Yemeni soldiers and civilians has passed largely unnoticed by western media preoccupied with chaos in […]

China’s past, China’s present

By Kerry Brown in

Chinese leaders often declare that they are proud of their country’s history. President Xi Jinping, in several speeches during his visit to the European Union in March-April 2014, spoke at length about the importance of the past and of his country’s 5,000 years of continuous civilisation. It sounds impressive but – once the patterns and […]

Review: Flashboys by Michael Lewis

By Allston Mitchell in

Michael Lewis has made a name and probably a considerable fortune recounting the nefarious deeds of Wall Street in his books: Liar’s Poker, Boomerang and The Big Short. This time he has caught them in the act.  It might have been safe to presume that given the massive economic crisis we are all working our […]

Energy descent


By Carlos Cuellar Brown in

The concept of energy descent usually refers to the progressive reduction of fossil fuel energy and material consumption as society retracts from oil and gas, particularly as supply approaches its limits or ‘peak oil’. Cheap oil and easy drilling have become a thing of the past; today the technical difficulties of offshore sea-drilling and the […]

1592: Coining Columbus

By Michiel van Groesen in

This article was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. If you wish to reuse it please see:http://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ ======================================== Theodore de Bry, born in the Prince-Bishopric of Liege in 1528, lived and worked in Strasbourg, Antwerp, and London before he ultimately settled in Frankfurt, the centre of the European book […]

AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly

By Nick Turse in

What the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things — especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa. For years, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has maintained a veil of secrecy about much of the command’s activities and mission locations, consistently downplaying the […]

How to Address Inequality

By Jeffrey Frankel in

Inequality has received a lot of attention lately, particularly in two arenas where it had not previously received as much: American public debate and the International Monetary Fund. A major driver is the observation in the US that income inequality has now returned to the extreme levels of the Gilded Age (Piketty 2014). • The […]

The “Heraldo de Madrid” Returns

By Allston Mitchell in

A group of journalists and independent news media from Spain have published a commemorative issue of the Heraldo de Madrid, the staunchly Republican newspaper forcibly closed down by Fascist troops, who seized the paper’s offices and printing presses when they stormed Madrid in 1939. Francisco Franco considered the Heraldo a threat to his attempt to […]