Newsletter – March 2014

Mitra Hooshiar looks back at the life of the Illustrious Iranian writer, dramatist and teacher to generations of students at Tehran University, Khosro Hakim-Rabet; Rodric Braithwaite, former British Ambassador to Moscow and author of Afgantsy asks in his article “Blood and Treasure”: Can an invasion of Afghanistan ever be considered to be a mission accomplished?; Daniel Wagner and Giorgio Cafiero discuss the growing alliance between Turkey and Iran; Ludovico Pisani on Ching Shih, the greatest and most successful pirate that ever lived who began life as a prostitute in Canton and ended up commanding a fleet of 60,000 pirates.

And much more, see you next month.

Iran’s Maestro of Dramatic Arts
By Mitra Hooshiar

Illustrious Iranian writer, dramatist and teacher to generations of students at Tehran University, Khosro Hakim-Rabet has lived through turbulent times. Mitra Hooshiar uses his book of memoirs “The Seventh Day” to explore his long and eventful life.

Blood and Treasure
By Rodric Braithwaite

Former British Ambassador to Moscow and author of "Afgantsy" asks: Can an invasion of Afghanistan ever be considered to be a mission accomplished? The British in the 19th century, the Soviets in the 20th and now 21st century ISAF is pulling out its troops. What have they achieved and what is likely to happen afterwards?

Turkey And Iran’s Growing Alliance
By Daniel Wagner - Giorgio Cafiero

The Turkish Prime Minister's recent visit to Iran respresents a significant shift in the foreign policy of both countries. The potential opening up of Iran offers both economic and political opportunites for Ankara but both Turkey and Iran have more to gain than lose by continuing to build stronger ties.

The Pirate Ching Shih
By Ludovico Pisani

Ching Shih, the greatest and most successful pirate that ever lived was a woman who began life as a prostitute in Canton and ended up commanding a fleet of 60,000 pirates, ending her life in genteel retirement, phenomenally rich, running a gambling hall and brothel.

The UN’s Green Climate Fund
By Oscar Reyes

As the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board prepares to meet in Bali, Oscar Reyes identifies some of the key issues that will shape an institution that is expected to become central in providing international climate finance.

Afghanistan, then and now
By Anatol Lieven

Modern urban versus traditional rural Afghanistan, then and now. Time may have moved on, but the problems are big enough to be extremely concerning. The positions of the Afghan state in 1989 and 2014 are in certain respects very similar – too similar for comfort.

Why Japan’s Debt Hasn’t Wreaked Havoc Yet
By Charles Yuji Horioka, Takaaki Nomoto, Akiko Terada-Hagiwara,

Japan’s sovereign debt-to-GDP ratio is higher than any country in Europe and more than twice the OECD average.

The Spanish Numbers Game
By Allston Mitchell

A positive spin can clearly be put on recent financial data coming out of Spain but many Spaniards are cynical about the “success story” being trumpeted by the government. This enthusiasm for the “tough decisions” of austerity comes at a high price for ordinary Spaniards.

The Subaltern Can Speak
By L K Sharma

The Jaipur Literature Festival has not just grown; it has evolved into an Indian show. The global meets local will be one way of describing this transformation. The literature in Indian languages, the culture of the state of Rajasthan and even the endangered languages figured prominently in the event this year.

In Hollywood with Nathanael West
By Marion Meade

Marion Meade, author of Lonelyhearts, a biography about West, takes a look at his life in Hollywood and the story behind his most famous work, The Day of the Locust, which remains the gold standard for Hollywood fiction.

Homage to Asturias, Aragon and Catalonia
By Nick Lalaguna

2014 is the 80th anniversary of the workers uprising in Asturias, Spain and its subsequent brutalisation. But it was an uprising that led to a revolution on a massive scale across the country.

GDP turns 80. Time to retire!
By Lorenzo Fioramonti

As GDP systematically disregards key sectors in the economy and neglects critical costs, no reasonable businessman would use it to run a company. GDP has come to represent a model of society, influencing not only economic, but also political and cultural processes.

Can “Peace” Last in the Philippines?
By Daniel Wagner and Edsel Tupaz

When the Moro National Liberation Front declared independence in August last year, many thought that President Aquino’s latest peace deal with the Moro insurgents in Mindanao would need to be scuttled.

 
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