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Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

By Daphne Wysham in Environment, July 6, 2013

The World Bank is phasing out of coal and ramping up support for “fracked” natural gas, even though research suggests that climate impacts of fracking may be even worse than coal in terms of its full life-cycle carbon footprint according to a Cornell University study.

Turkey, Alcohol and Islam

By Sami Zubaida in Features, July 5, 2013

Now, after a decade of electoral success and economic growth, governing without a coalition, the army neutralised, in control of the media, the judiciary and the police, Erdogan feels free to move on this crucial symbolic issue of alcohol and its venues.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Subprime Borrowers

By Joseph E. Stiglitz - Hamid Rashid in Economics and Finance, July 1, 2013

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and Hamid Rashid, a senior economic adviser at the UN examine why an increasing number of African states are resorting to sovereign bonds.

The Meaning of Rouhani

By Abolghasem Bayyenat in Politics,

“Rouhani’s electoral victory—and the general consensus among Iranian political elites today on the need to address Iran’s economic problems and to pursue a more cautious foreign policy—should not be understood to mean that Iran will be more willing to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.”

Brazil, a crisis of representation

By Arthur Ituassu in Politics, June 24, 2013

A protest wave in Brazil embodies new ideas of political community that challenge the country’s old social practices and centralised structures, says Arthur Ituassu, a leading Brazilian scholar of social and political science and Professor at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro.

Unwinding QE

By Stephen Grenville in Economics and Finance, June 22, 2013

Bernanke’s hints about the end of quantitative easing (QE) have produced volatility in financial markets which were startled because an end to QE is likely to cause capital losses for bond holders since term premium is substantially negative. This is teamed with widespread confusion among market participants about how QE actually works.

Europe’s Twin Sisters

By Igor Torbakov in Politics, June 15, 2013

Russia and Turkey are both former imperial powers with one foot in Europe and one in Asia. Igor Torbakov argues that imperialism is still alive and well in both countries; even as they talk about modernisation, they seem reluctant to leave the past behind.

Sierra Leone: From Swords into Ploughshares

By Tiago Faia in Politics, June 13, 2013

Just a decade ago, Sierra Leone was immersed in one of the most gruesome conflicts of modern times. The Supreme Court has now pronounced on the contested presidential election, so what now?

Masaccio’s “Holy Trinity”

By Bendicò in Arts and Culture, June 11, 2013

Florence produced many masters during the Renaissance, a miraculous feat given its 50,000 inhabitants but Masaccio stands out as a radical and innovative genius who changed the history of painting forever, leaving behind the stiffness of international gothic and inventing a new naturalness and vivacity.

After the Gold Rush

By Nouriel Roubini in Economics and Finance, June 9, 2013

Nouriel Roubini on why the gold bubble has burst and why gold is likely headed towards $1,000 in 2015. We may see some volatility in coming months but the underlying trend will be downwards, Gold remains John Maynard Keynes’s “barbarous relic,” with no intrinsic value and used mainly as a hedge against mostly irrational fear and panic. The gold rush is over.