State of the Empire in 2015

By Peter Certo in Politics

The Obama administration has never been one for grand State of the Union addresses. And once the commentariat has had its fun picking apart the subtle jabs, the applause lines, the body language, and whatever else, there’s often not a whole lot of oxygen left to dig into anything else. So like a lot of […]

The ECB’s QE decision

By Marco Annunziata in Economics and Finance

The launch of Eurozone QE (ECB 2015) was eagerly awaited by investors and preceded by contentious discussions in Eurozone policy circles. Countries still struggling with weak growth saw it as a necessary step to help a recovery, while Germany and other northern EZ members were worried that ECB purchases of government bonds would ‘mutualise’ government […]

Schönberg and Stravinsky

By Enzo Restagno in Arts and Culture

The Schönberg-Stravinsky binomial – by ‘binomial’ I mean the aesthetic and ideological opposition that for over sixty years exerted a rather insistent influence on the reception of their music – had better be left to a period in the history of culture marked by forces that have now lost their raison d’être. It is not […]

Inspiration behind “The Museum of Innocence”

By Orhan Pamuk in Features

In a famous article in the “Paris Review”, Hemingway made a list of the literary figures who had influenced him or taught him something important. Around the time, aged twenty-three, when I decided to give up painting and become an author, I was enthralled to read Hemingway’s list and see musicians like Bach and Mozart […]

Handel in Bhutan

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in Arts and Culture

Do you know about Bhutan? If you do, the chances are you have only heard about it in the last couple of years. That’s when the tiny kingdom, tucked away between Nepal and India, first became fashionable in travel magazines. Although to be fair, economists have been talking about Bhutan since the year 1972, when […]

Newsletter – January 2015

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches and Happy New Year from us, This month a heavy dose of politics to kick off the year: Eva Nanopoulos, College Lecturer in Law at King’s College, University of Cambridge explains that a defeat of the radical left party Syriza in the upcoming Greek elections would not only mean a […]

Greek Elections

By Eva Nanopoulos in Politics

It is an important moment for the Greek people, probably a once-in-a-life-time moment. The Greek parliament has failed to vote for the proposed new president Stavros Dimas put forward by Antonis Samaras, the current prime minister and leader of conservative party New Democracy. The Greek MPs failed to elect Dimas no fewer than three times […]

Is Turkey Holding Up a Resolution in Syria?

By Conn Hallinan in Politics

The pieces for a political resolution of the Syrian civil war are finally coming together. But the situation is extremely fragile, which is not good news in a region where sabotaging agreements and derailing initiatives comes easier than sober compromise. While many of the key players have already begun backing away from their previous “red […]

China, Questions of Loyalty

By Kerry Brown in Politics

John Le Carré’s A Perfect Spy, published in 1986, is sometimes praised as the best novel in the English writer’s distinguished oeuvre. The story of the secret agent Magnus Pym, and his meltdown after being trapped by conflicting loyalties, captures something of the ambiguity of anyone who trades in intelligence – or, for that matter, […]

Great Gamble on the Mekong

By Nathaniel Eisen in Environment

Fishers and farmers have for some time tried to block a proposed dam on the Mekong River in southern Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Most recently, they made their views known at a public consultation on the Don Sahong dam. In all likelihood, however, they will lose and the dam will be built. Great […]

Tunisia: the Arab exception’s test

By Francis Ghilès in Politics

The Arab revolts which started four years ago ushered in a period of change in the Middle East and north Africa which has been more violent and chaotic that most observers foresaw at the time. Syria is self-destructing. Egypt has reverted to military rule. The brutal Islamic State has emerged, leading to growing sectarian division […]

The Method in Israel’s Madness

By Deborah Maccoby in Features

Israel’s assault on Gaza this summer—its third in six years—killed more than 2,000 people, nearly a quarter of them children. The devastation was, and remains, immense. ‘A whole indigenous economy has been all but destroyed’, reported Harvard’s Dr. Sara Roy in the aftermath of the massacre. ‘Gazan society has been reduced to almost complete aid […]

UN climate talks stumble on rich, poor divide

By Joydeep Gupta - Liu Hongqiao in Environment

The more that the global climate changes, carbon concentrations rise, and temperatures increase, the more it seems like climate negotiations are stuck in a rut. By Friday, the last day of scheduled talks in Lima, 192 governments plus the European Union had failed to agree on more than a few sentences of the final resolution, […]

Newsletter – December 2014

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month we review Philip Marsden’s new book Rising Ground, a search for the spirit of place in Cornwall; Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith on British Perfidy in Greece recounting when the British Army, at war with Germany switched its allegiance, opening fire on a civilian crowd in Syntagma Square, […]

Review: “Rising Ground” by Philip Marsden

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture

Philip Marsden is still in Cornwall but he has turned his gaze inland. Having set his previous book “The Levelling Sea” in Falmouth, he now takes us, and indeed himself, up the Fal River to uncover the mysteries of Cornwall with its strangely potent ritual landscapes, some dating back as far as the Neolithic period. […]

What “Free Trade” Has Done to Central America

By Manuel Perez-Rocha - Julia Paley in Politics

With Republicans winning big in the midterm elections, the debate over so-called “free-trade” agreements could again take center stage in Washington. President Barack Obama has been angling for “fast-track” authority that would enable him to push the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP—a massive free-trade agreement between the United States and a host of Pacific Rim countries—through […]