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Asia’s Mad Arms Race

By Conn Hallinan in Features, May 24, 2012

Asia is currently in the middle of an unprecedented arms race that is not only sharpening tensions in the region but also competing with efforts by Asian countries to address poverty and growing economic disparity.

Busting the Myths of the FTT

By David Hillman - Christina Ashford in Economics and Finance, May 13, 2012

The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) would be an effective way to redress the imbalance in the current financial crisis. Ordinary citizens have borne the brunt of the huge costs incurred in bailing out the banks – with massive job losses and sweeping cuts to public services.

“The Great Sea” by David Abulafia

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture,

David Abulafia, Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University and author of the authoritative biography of Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen, has written a masterly, entertaining and eminently readable human history of the Mediterranean.

Elections and Instability in Algeria

By Wided Khadraoui in Uncategorized,

The May 10 elections are not a sign that the Arab Spring is coming to Algeria. Algeria’s current political system, is entirely dominated by the FLN, and allows almost no room for any type of genuine democratic practice. “Algerian rulers have missed another opportunity and are playing with fire.”

Has Austerity Gone too Far?

By Giancarlo Corsetti in Economics and Finance, April 17, 2012

Giancarlo Corsetti, Professor of macroeconomics at the University of Cambridge asks “Is austerity self-defeating? Is it keeping Europeans under-employed for years and destroying the very growth needed to pay off the debt? Or is it steering nations clear of Greek-like tragedies?”

The State of Somali Union

By Abdinur Mohamud in Politics,

Abdinur Mohamud, former Somalia Minister of Education argues that if Somalia is to become a politically stable, economically viable, and peaceful nation that can compete with other African countries, clan-dominated federal states must be made a thing of the past.

“Europe in the Looking Glass”

By Allston Mitchell in Travel Writing, April 6, 2012

Robert Byron’s first book written at the age of 21 has just been republished. It has been out of print for over 80 years but fans of “The Road to Oxiana” may have their loyalty sorely tested!

Sex and Myth in Ancient Rome

By Ludovico Pisani in Features, April 5, 2012

An entertaining and informative look at the background to the myth of Romulus and Remus, with flying phalluses appearing from chimneys and sexuality in the Roman Empire; the innumerable brothels and the Roman obsession with subjugation – of all kinds.

Mali’s Tuareg Rebellion

By Andy Morgan in Politics, March 27, 2012

This interview with Andy Morgan offers a detailed and fascinating look at the background to the Tuareg conflict in Mali. Tracing the unrest back over 50 years, he looks at the outside influences of Muammar Gaddafi, local Al Qaeda groups, Algeria and Mauritania.

Carbon Blood Money in Honduras

By Rosie Wong in Environment, March 25, 2012

A grim reminder of how market schemes designed to “offset” carbon emissions play out when they encounter the complicated reality on the ground.