Capitalising the Future

By Ronen Palan in Economics and Finance

Like all paradigm shifting theories, Thomas Piketty’s argument is at heart extraordinarily simple.  When the rate on return on capital (i.e. the return on profits, dividends, interest and rent, or ‘r’) is consistently higher than the rate of overall economic growth (i.e. output, or ‘g’), capital becomes concentrated in ever fewer hands. Piketty’s important statistical […]

The 100 Years War and the Making of Modern Europe

By David Green in Features

The first thing anyone learns about the Hundred Years War is that it didn’t last one hundred years. Tradition dates it from 1337 to 1453, but it is more helpful to view this longest of European wars as one phase of a much longer struggle between England and France, spanning the Norman Conquest of 1066 […]

Opening wounds

By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in Features

The Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG) is nothing special, architecturally speaking – just a series of functional buildings, the dominant colour being grey. Room 15 of the Faculty of Social Sciences is on the ground floor – a small classroom for about 20 students. This time however, it is not the usual lecture. There […]

Israel’s Spinning Moral Compass

By Daniel Levy in Features

This article was first published by Middle East Eye. The latest round of devastation in Gaza has been accompanied by another disturbing and somewhat eyebrow-raising phenomenon: the almost wall-to-wall consensus in favour of the military action among the Israeli public. A not atypical poll by the Israel Democracy Institute suggested 95% public support for the justness of […]

China tests its neighbours’ patience

By Isabel Hilton in Politics

Control of water, including navigation rights, resource extraction and the exploitation of shared watercourses is at the heart of today’s geopolitical tensions in Asia. China’s recent actions in the South China Sea and Himalayas have given rise to further—and at times violent—conflict over the region’s natural resources. So will water insecurity lead to greater partnership […]

Why the UK has no foreign policy

By Kirsty Hughes in Politics

The sharp critique of Cameron’s policy failures and inadequacies in the Middle East from the Bishop of Leeds, Nicholas Baines this weekend underlines a wider problem: Cameron’s government has had no serious foreign policy throughout its time in office. While the UK was in recession, and the EU was embroiled in the related euro crisis, […]

‘Caviar diplomacy’ hides human rights abuse in Azerbaijan

By Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska - Adam Bodnar in Politics

President Aleksandr Lukashenka of Belarus has recently released Ales Bielatski, a well-known human rights activist; such decisions are not taken without an agenda. It is easy to predict that Lukashenka is busking for scraps of positive reactions from Western states; and wants to demonstrate a certain level of independence from Vladimir Putin. However, another dictator […]

How many minutes to midnight?

By Noam Chomsky in Features

If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this […]

Secret Prisons, Disappearances and Torture

By Rory O’Connell in Features

On 24 July the European Court of Human Rights released two important Chamber judgments: Al Nashiri and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v Poland (applications 28761/11 and 7511/13). While Poland is the respondent state, the focus of the judgments is on detailing the profound abrogation of fundamental human-rights norms during the US-led global “war on terror”, announced […]

If only Turkey were Thrace …

By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in Politics

This is an unusual situation for Turkey. The president of the local AKP branch in Edirne in Eastern Thrace, struggles to explain why Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan, Turkey’s current prime minister and the AKP’s presidential candidate, will only win between 30 and 35 percent of the vote in this city: “Probably so far we haven’t been […]

Newsletter – August 2014

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to the Global Dispatches, This month Raji Sourani, the Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, in his article with Electronic Intifada, explains that a ceasefire is not enough. Palestinians cannot just return to being prisoners in a cage that Israel rattles when it chooses with brutal destructive offensives. Poet and essayist Will […]

Gaza: a Ceasefire is not Enough

By Raji Sourani in Politics

The death and destruction being inflicted on the Gaza Strip is impossible to describe. Sitting here in Gaza, it is hard to even understand what is happening. Last week, we witnessed another attack on a United Nations compound where civilians were sheltering — 17 dead, 120 injured — and an attack on a market in […]

The democratic drift

By Jean-Pierre Lehmann in Features

In a year in which hundreds of millions of Indians and Indonesians have flocked to the polls, the point is driven home how today, a significantly greater proportion of humanity lives in democracies – defined as societies where contestable elections regularly take place – than in dictatorships. Indeed if the narrative of the twentieth century, […]

Is Japan’s Peace Constitution Dead?

By John Feffer in Politics

Japan has functioned under its “peace constitution” for nearly 70 years. The distinctive Article 9, which prevents the country from conducting war as a means of resolving international conflict, is showing its age. Over the last several decades, after repeated “reinterpretations,” the peace constitution has become increasingly enfeebled. With its latest decision, the government of […]

Rethinking African Solar Power for Europe

By Emanuele Massetti - Elena Ricci in Environment

The DESERTEC Foundation has suggested that up to 20% of power demand in Europe can be obtained by connecting African deserts to European cities (Figure 1). The idea is to build a large number of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA) countries, and to transmit electricity to Europe by […]

Encounter at the crossroads of Europe

By Will Stone in Arts and Culture

This article was originally published in The Public Domain Review Encounter at the crossroads of Europe – the fellowship of Zweig and Verhaeren was originally published by Will Stone in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. If you wish to reuse it please see: ===================================== In Berlin, apart from […]