Iran’s precision engineered elections

By Potkin Azarmehr in Politics

For the presidential candidates, the Guardian Council does not actually disqualify any of the candidates, but the twelve unelected members appointed by the Supreme Leader, concoct a short list that includes not only the candidate they deem most suitable to be the president for the next four years, but also the rival candidates. In order […]

Something’s rotten in the United Kingdom

By Nick Clegg in Politics

It’s a delight to be here on a Saturday morning in the middle of possibly the most listless, soulless, and dreary general election campaigns I can ever remember. So the title of our session “what do we do about our democracy?” is very, very timely. I will, in the short time available try and explain […]

Adults in the Room, by Yanis Varoufakis

By Paul Tyson in Features

“ ‘There are two kinds of politicians,’ he said: ‘insiders and outsiders. The outsiders prioritize their freedom to speak their version of the truth. The price of their freedom is that they are ignored by the insiders, who make the important decisions. The insiders, for their part, follow a sacrosanct rule: never turn against other […]

Old country, young president

By Patrice de Beer in Politics

The election of a 39-year old president represents no less than a sea change in a country as traditional as France. The country of the French Revolution, the Motherland of Human Rights, as the French love to call their nation, remains unwilling and uneasy confronted by inexorable change. Blocked by her own contradictions between lofty […]

Thoreau and I

By Wei An in Environment

Thoreau’s name is forever linked with his book Walden. The first time I heard about the book was in the winter of 1986, when the poet Hai Zi told me that it was the best book he had read that year. Before that, I knew nothing of the book nor of Thoreau. Hai Zi had […]

Autocrats Have an Ally in Trump

By Phyllis Bennis in Politics

President Donald Trump’s speech last week in Saudi Arabia was touted as opening a bold new strategic plan, a Trump-style answer to President Barack Obama’s historic 2009 speech in Cairo. The speech, given at the Arab Islamic American Summit, was the centerpiece of Trump’s Middle East junket, his first trip abroad as president. It was […]

Newsletter – May 2017

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Yanis Varoufakis discusses the inevitability of the introduction of Universal Basic Income; Joanna Lewis and Li Shuo look at the task facing China to take up the mantle of leadership in the climate change debate; Umut Ozkirimli, Professor of Political Science at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies […]

Why Turkification will never work

By Umut Ozkirimli in Politics

For all the hype surrounding it, the outcome of the 16 April constitutional referendum in Turkey was, ‘officially speaking’, a foregone conclusion. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, overbearing president of the republic and the architect of the draconian draft that has been presented to the people, had made it clear that he would accept no expression of […]

Nuclear waste: Planning for the next million years

By Ruby Russell in Environment

It’s been over 60 years since the first nuclear power plant was switched on in Russia and exactly 31 years since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Yet despite the decades-long history of nuclear power, most countries still haven’t agreed on a way to safely store nuclear waste. Leading the way is Finland with the world’s first […]

Why universal basic income is a necessity

By Yanis Varoufakis in Economics and Finance

In this video former finance minister of Greece, professor of economics, author and founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), Yanis Varoufakis, argues why the Basic Income is a necessity today. His arguments take into account a macro socio-economic, psychological, philosophical and moral perspective. Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece, […]

China must step up on climate leadership

By Joanna Lewis - Li Shuo in Environment

Presidents Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet today at Mar-a Lago, Florida, and given the tense state of US-China relations and the political leanings of the Trump administration there is much at stake for cooperation between the countries on the climate agenda – the most important bilateral relationship in the world. To maintain it, both […]

French tragedy or farce: Part 1

By Philippe Marlière in Politics

Phillipe Marlière introduced his blow by blow account of the 2012 French presidential elections thus: ‘Charles de Gaulle once said that the French presidential election was “an encounter between the nation and a man” (sic). There is much more to it though. I invite you to follow my journey: analysis of results, as well as […]

Gertrude Bell: the tragedy of her Baghdad letters

By Tony Curzon Price in Features

The conservative historian David Pryce-Jones says that “those who marched in European capitals to demonstrate against the war with Saddam Hussein were Gertrude Bell’s heirs, even if they have no idea who she might have been”. It is not a compliment coming from him. The quote is from his book, “The Treason of the Heart” […]

Why is she “frit”?

By Anthony Barnett in Politics

So, the prime minister is for turning. The reason Theresa May gave for her ‘cut and run’ general election does not convince. The personal cost to her will be very great. Huge, of course, if she loses. This is most unlikely – but nothing is impossible if Labour pro-remain voters swing behind the Lib Dems […]

Newsletter – April 2017

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Bahar Hamedani looks back on the life of the iconic Iranian singer Elahe; Bendicò reviews the latest movie by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki “The Other Side of Hope”; Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and author of Is the EU Doomed? looks at who […]

Elahe – Voice of an Angel

By Mitra Hooshiar in Arts and Culture

I spent most of my childhood in Hamadan, a cold, windy city in the mountains southwest of Tehran. I was the youngest member of my family, growing up among adults in the 60s and 70s, and there was nothing for kids to do on cold afternoons except stay home. While my mother worked away at […]