April 2014

Welcome to The Global Dispatches,

This month Julian Barnes on a  somewhat surreal encounter between two literary heavyweights, Swinburne and de Maupassant.  We take an in-depth look at the Crimean crisis, from three different points of view with Anatol Lieven, Vlad Chorazy and Taras Kuzio. Ivan Briscoe, a fellow of the Conflict Research Unit on the disintegrating suggestion in Venezuela; A.Kadir Yildirim, assistant professor of political science at Furman University unravels a complicated situation in Turkey; Caroline Baylon, Research Associate, Science, Technology and Cyber Security, at the Chatham House International Security Department with an unnerving article on the 90 billion dollar industry of Internet user data sales....and much more

An Unlikely Lunch: When Maupassant met Swinburne
By Julian Barnes

A young de Maupassant was invited to lunch at the holiday cottage of Swinburne. The encounter included: a flayed human hand, pornography, monkey meat, and inordinate amounts of alcohol.

A geopolitical chess game in Crimea
By Vlad Chorazy

The “onboarding” of Crimea exacerbates Russia’s political and economic vulnerability. However, costs will be high for all parties, as they will have to adapt to new geopolitical realities that will weigh on regional and international relations throughout the entire 21st century.

Venezuela: taking the counter- out of revolution
By Ivan Briscoe

Venezuela is politically polarised and so is much of the coverage of it. But just as the violence is now kaleidoscopic the international response must become more complex.

Big Brother is cashing in on you
By Caroline Baylon

The internet’s cookie monsters are harvesting your secrets. A £90 billion industry is going unregulated and unchecked, gathering seemingly unrelated information for trade and profit. Data brokers buy information from companies that are selling data on the internet users who visit their websites.

Opposition, AKP and democracy in Turkey
By A.Kadir Yildirim

Political life in Turkey is increasingly undemocratic and authoritarian. How can this institutional weakness be overcome?

Vietnam and the Philippines Confront China
By Walden Bello

The Philippines and Vietnam are natural allies in their common territorial struggles against China. But they should leave Washington out of it.

Trading Away Democracy
By Andrew Erwin

The proposed “free trade” agreement between the USA and the European Union undermines the democratic process. A provision called ISDS would allow foreign corporations to sue governments before special international tribunals over domestic laws that interfere with corporate profits.

Crimea: From Playground to Battleground
By Taras Kuzio

Journalistic speculation about Crimea becoming independent is rife. However, the real dangers lie elsewhere…

Yemen’s troubled transition
By Aaron Edwards

In Yemen a transition towards a new political dispensation is threatened by Islamist violence, drone strikes, southern secessionism and tribal militancy. But concentrating on the first alone and failing to understand the wider context will not secure it.

Obama Shouldn’t Fall for Putin’s Ukrainian Folly
By Anatol Lieven

We’re now witnessing the consequences of how grossly both Russia and the West have overplayed their hands in Ukraine.

How Abe makes Washington listen
By François Godement

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives Washington a wakeup call about potential conflict in East Asia, now that immobility is no longer a viable option for dealing with China. Sooner or later, settlements must be found, or territorial disputes will turn into open conflict.

Burkina Faso’s “West African Spring”
By Sam Badger - Giorgio Cafiero

Anti-government rallies in Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela have captured the attention of millions but large pro-democracy demonstrations in Burkina Faso last month escaped the media’s radar.

 
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