April 2014

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Julian Barnes on a  somewhat surreal encounter between two literary heavyweights, Swinburne and de Maupassant.  We take an in-depth look at the Crimean crisis, from three different points of view with Anatol Lieven, Vlad Chorazy and Taras Kuzio. Ivan Briscoe, a fellow of the Conflict Research Unit on […]

An Unlikely Lunch: When Maupassant met Swinburne

By Julian Barnes in Arts and Culture

This article was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. If you wish to reuse it please see:http://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ ======================================== In the first half of the 19th century, the British began to discover Normandy. Previously, the point of entry into France for most travellers had been Calais, which felt safely half-English, […]

A geopolitical chess game in Crimea

By Vlad Chorazy in Politics

Developments in Ukraine have highlighted the precariousness of the world order that was established as recently as the early 1990s. Quite a critical time span for world peace, if one remembers 1918-1939/41, but long enough for a new generation with short memories to grow up. Remarkably, the fresh cracks in the post-Cold War world order […]

Venezuela: taking the counter- out of revolution

By Ivan Briscoe in Politics

“Before, we wanted to change the world. Now we’re going to see if we can pave a few roads.” This epithet of José Mujica, avuncular president of Uruguay and former urban guerrilla, sums up the hard-earned wisdom of the Latin American left in power—in Chile, Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere. For the last 15 years, however, […]

Big Brother is cashing in on you

By Caroline Baylon in Features

On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.’ This has been touted as an internet mantra since The New Yorker ran its famous cartoon of two hounds using a computer in 1993. By not requiring individuals to provide identifying information, the web gave internet users an unprecedented sense of anonymity in its early days. Cyberspace […]

Opposition, AKP and democracy in Turkey

By A.Kadir Yildirim in Politics

The latest episode in Turkish politics is instructive on the role of the opposition in democratic forms of governance. The Opposition features as perhaps the most important institutional guarantee of a democratic regime; it helps ensure accountability by providing the threat of losing office. In systems where the opposition is no more than window dressing, […]

Vietnam and the Philippines Confront China

By Walden Bello in Politics

Last year, the Philippines brought a complaint against China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal. The Chinese “were really unprepared for that and were really embarrassed by it,” one of Vietnam’s top experts on Chinese diplomacy told me during my recent visit to Hanoi. It was a master […]

Trading Away Democracy

By Andrew Erwin in Politics

Earlier this month in Brussels, U.S. and EU negotiators held a fourth round of secret talks on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The agreement would remove so-called “trade barriers” between the United States and Europe by eliminating tariffs and weakening the regulatory authority of nation states. The talks in Brussels come on […]

Crimea: From Playground to Battleground

By Taras Kuzio in Politics

On 27 February the Crimean crisis escalated as armed protesters, denounced by the Ukrainian authorities as ‘terrorists,’ took control of the regional parliament and government. During the clashes between pro-Ukrainian and Russian separatist groups, two people died and over thirty were wounded. If the Ukrainian authorities over-react with force this could lead to Russian intervention […]

Yemen’s troubled transition

By Aaron Edwards in Politics

On December 5th 2013, 52 people were killed in an Al Qaeda attack on the hospital inside the Ministry of Defence complex in Sana’a. In the deadliest episode in the capital since May 2012, a suicide bomber rammed the gates in a truck laden with explosives. Over the city’s ancient skyline the cloud of smoke […]

Obama Shouldn’t Fall for Putin’s Ukrainian Folly

By Anatol Lieven in Politics

We’re now witnessing the consequences of how grossly both Russia and the West have overplayed their hands in Ukraine. It is urgently necessary that both should find ways of withdrawing from some of the positions that they have taken. Otherwise, the result could very easily be civil war, Russian invasion, the partition of Ukraine, and […]

How Abe makes Washington listen

By François Godement in Politics

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has achieved success in Washington. He will not be called “cold pizza”, as was one of his predecessors. And he is making Washington issue a warning to China. He has managed it not by preaching democratic values, although he does talk about shared ideals. Instead, he has made his point […]

Burkina Faso’s “West African Spring”

By Sam Badger - Giorgio Cafiero in Politics

Since January, tensions have flared between the West African country’s authoritarian government and the impoverished masses yearning for democratic reforms. Depending on how developments unfold, the protests in Burkina Faso could serve as a catalyst for further uprisings in the region. On January 18, over 10,000 Burkinabe citizens rallied in the nation’s capital, Ouagadougou (WAH-gah-DOO-goo), […]

Newsletter – March 2014

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Mitra Hooshiar looks back at the life of the Illustrious Iranian writer, dramatist and teacher to generations of students at Tehran University, Khosro Hakim-Rabet; Rodric Braithwaite, former British Ambassador to Moscow and author of Afgantsy asks in his article “Blood and Treasure”: Can an invasion of Afghanistan ever be considered to be a mission accomplished?; […]

Iran’s Maestro of Dramatic Arts

By Mitra Hooshiar in Features

From darkness into blackness, going from the bottom of the deep pits in Shemiranat in Tehran to the infinitely dark, fathomless Zirab mine in Manzandaran. The miraculous workings of the mind have transported me from that darkness into this blackness. It’s nearly a one-kilometre walk into the heart of the mountain and it feels like […]

Blood and Treasure

By Rodric Braithwaite in Politics

On 16 December 2013 David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, told British soldiers in Helmand in Afghanistan that they had accomplished their mission, and that they could come home in 2014 with their heads held high. He begged an important question: What was that mission? Was it the same as the mission with which the […]