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The Vickers Commission’s failure

By Laurence J. Kotlikoff in Economics and Finance, October 30, 2012

The UK’s Independent Commission on Banking set out to make banking safer and to change both the structure and regulation of banking. It failed to achieve any of these aims.

China vs India: a democracy battle

By William A Callahan in Politics, October 21, 2012

The last war between Asia’s giants erupted in October 1962. Fifty years on the respective works of a Chinese and an Indian intellectual define the shape of their 21st-century contest. For both, democracy is the key issue, for good or ill, that will define Asia’s future.

Hezbollah Hedges Its Bets on Assad

By Giorgio Cafiero in Politics, October 20, 2012

Hezbollah will not disappear even if the Assad regime does. Nonetheless, if the Ba’athist order in Syria falls, Hezbollah will be compelled to operate in a more challenging environment, both domestically and regionally.

Interview with Philip Marsden

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, October 10, 2012

Philip Marsden talks about his new book “The Levelling Sea”, his career as a writer and his award-winning books: “The Crossing Place” that tracks the Armenian diaspora and “The Spirit-Wrestlers” about the ‘doukhobor’ dissenters in Russia.

Nikolai Berdyaev on Picasso

By Nikolai Berdyaev in Arts and Culture,

An essay on Picasso by the great Russian thinker Berdyaev written in 1914. “Picasso is a remarkable painter, profoundly agitating, but in him there is no attainment of beauty. He is all transitional—all crisis”. A critical but incisive look at early Picasso.

Japan’s Coming Political Earthquake

By Masahiro Matsumura in Politics,

Japan is now confronting political challenges that are as serious as any it has had to face since World War II’s end but the dearth of competent leadership means that the opportunites for change are not being seized.

Turkey’s Syria Problem

By Christopher Phillips in Politics, October 3, 2012

Christopher Phillips explains why Turkey’s recent regional resurgence in the Middle East is at risk of drowning in the Syrian quagmire. The crisis threatens Turkey’s regional ambitions and could also cause instability at home.

The Betrayal of the Republic

By Joost Douma in Features, September 27, 2012

Joost Douma examines a critical moment in ancient Roman history when the essential ingredient of the success of the Republic: the 400-year old policy of sharing the common wealth, was systematically destroyed, thus leading to the demise of the Republic and civil war.

Can Egypt Chart Its Own Course?

By Giorgio Cafiero in Politics, September 22, 2012

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has proved willing to act independently of Washington. He visited China, and Iran before the United States, deployed soldiers in the Sinai and has forced the retirement of high ranking members of the military but he’s not about to leave the fold.

India: Linchpin of the Pivot?

By Ninan Koshy in Politics,

Obama’s “Pacific pivot” gave a prominent place for India in his maiden visit to India in May, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called defense cooperation with India “a linchpin in U.S. strategy” in Asia but Indian leaders are wary about being drawn into a Cold War with China.