Eritrea, a generation in flight

By Selam Kidane in

In two separate incidents in early October 2013, the hopes of Africans attempting to reach Europe on crowded boats across the Mediterranean were destroyed when their dangerous vessels sank near the Italian island of Lamedusa. At least 339 died in the first incident, on 3 October, and thirty-four in the second, on 11 October. These […]

A Czech election with consequences

By Jan Hornát in

Only a few months ago, no one would have expected that 2013 would turn out to be an election “super-year” for the Czech Republic. The first-ever presidential elections took place in January, while legislative elections were originally scheduled for the spring of 2014. But then the political scandal broke involving Prime Minister Petr Necas. The whole cabinet was […]

A Dangerous Man in the Pantheon

By Allston Mitchell 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/ ======================================== It was about time. Three hundred years after his birth Denis Diderot is in line for receiving the highest honour France has to bestow on one of her own. President Francois […]

Democracy in Neat Packages

By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in

Why does a formally democratic country, an official EU candidate with regular elections in a multi-party system need “democratic packages”? Probably because, as yet, it is not all that democratic and still needs to catch up with modern democratic standards. At least for Turkey that is certainly the case. The Turkish constitution is far from being up to modern […]

Newsletter – October 2013

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month we have Daniel Levy, the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council of Foreign Relations writing on Benjamin Netanyahu, Charles Perrow, Professor of Sociology at Yale University on the increasing dangers at the Fukushima nuclear reactor; Rodric Braithwaite who was British ambassador […]

Maximum Bibi

By Daniel Levy in

On Monday, 30 September, US President Barack Obama will welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House for the first time in 18 months. Much has changed in the intervening period – both leaders have been re-elected, Obama has made his first visit as president to Israel, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been relaunched, […]

Fukushima Forever

By Charles Perrow in

Recent disclosures of tons of radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima reactors spilling into the ocean are just the latest evidence of the continuing incompetence of the Japanese utility, TEPCO. The announcement that the Japanese government will step in is also not reassuring since it was the Japanese government that failed to regulate the utility […]

The Potemkin village is inhabited

By Rodric Braithwaite in

The Tenth Anniversary Conference of the “Valdai Club” was held in a resort in the countryside halfway between Moscow and St Petersburg. We were taken there by special train from Moscow to a tiny station apparently built for the occasion, and then deep into the forest by bus along newly asphalted roads to a comparatively […]

The Banded Stilt Project

By Alastair Wood in

Slogging knee-deep through brine on soft, pebble-strewn mud, we kept a sharp eye on the crèche away over to our left. They’d already seen us, two hulking shapes rising out of the vastness of the lake, and were flat out paddling, straining to reach open water before we could cut them off. The crèche, a […]

No “Cake Walk” for Kenya in Somalia

By David Zarembka in

When Kenya invaded Somalia in October 2011, it overturned a wise, 48-year-old policy of not involving itself in the armed conflicts of its neighbors—and Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia have all had times of conflict. In the best cases—as with South Sudan’s secession from Sudan—Kenya, as a neutral country, was able to broker […]

A Brief History of Climate Change

By Alice Bell in

First, some history. Because although it wasn’t until 1975 that we really got the term “global warming” – US scientist Wallace Broecker used it in the title of a scientific paper – we’ve had a sense of the phenomenon the term describes for a lot longer. We’ve also been making social changes and political statements […]

The Middle East: a long-term view

By Foulath Hadid - Mishana Hosseinioun in

A few days after this article was completed, its co-author – the respected Iraqi-born scholar and honorary fellow at St Antony’s College Oxford, Foulath Hadid – died on 29 September 2012. The article is published here to honour his memory. Arabs walk in the shadow of a glorious past, which makes their present all the […]

16 days in Australian politics

By Felicity Ruby in

While counting for some seats continues, Australians have voted a conservative Liberal / National Coalition government into power.  Australia now has a Cabinet of twenty that includes only one woman and no Ministries for Science, Housing, Disability, Youth, Climate Change, Energy or Status of Women. The aid budget has been cut by $4.5 billion and […]

Newsletter – September 2013

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches This month we have a fascinating history of the Cossacks by Vlad Chorazy; Alessandra Quattrocchi follows the project to take Handel to Bhutan with a performance of Acis and Galatea; Fred Lawson, author of Global Security Watch—Syria (2013) and Why Syria Goes to War (1996) on what awaits the US […]

Newsletter – September 2013

By Allston Mitchell in

Welcome to The Global Dispatches This month we have a fascinating history of the Cossacks by Vlad Chorazy; Alessandra Quattrocchi follows the project to take Handel to Bhutan with a performance of Acis and Galatea; Fred Lawson, author of Global Security Watch—Syria (2013) and Why Syria Goes to War (1996) on what awaits the US […]

Handel in Bhutan

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in

Do you know about Bhutan? If you do, the chances are you have only heard about it in the last couple of years. That’s when the tiny kingdom, tucked away between Nepal and India, first became fashionable in travel magazines. Although to be fair, economists have been talking about Bhutan since the year 1972, when […]