Aki Kaurismaki’s “The Other Side of Hope”

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture

Aki Kaurismaki has returned with the second part of his trilogy that began with  the 2011 Le Havre in which a down-at-heel shoe-shiner helps a young African boy steer clear of the police. In “The Other Side of Hope” migrants are again the centre of the story.  Khaled (acted by Sherwan Haji), is a Syrian […]

Brexit: yes, you will suffer as well

By Jan Zielonka in Politics

It is official now. The United Kingdom has invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and will leave the European Union. Don’t take it lightly — this is not fake news, this is a historic event which will change Europe and your own situation dramatically. Disintegration of the continent is moving at full speed and […]

Samskara: A Rite for a Dead Man

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture

Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy’s masterpiece was originally published in 1965.  The title is a complex affair with multiple meanings including: funeral rites; refinement; purification and a ceremony. The translation of the book is by the poet and scholar  A.K. Ramanujan who brings to life this struggle between the sacred and profane, the pure and impure and […]

Economic growth in the US: A tale of two countries

By Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman in Economics and Finance

The rise of economic inequality is one of the most hotly debated issues today in the US (Furman 2016) and indeed in the world. Yet economists and policymakers alike face important limitations when trying to measure and understand the rise of inequality. One major problem is the disconnect between macroeconomics and the study of economic […]

The war in Yemen: two years old and maturing?

By Helen Lackner in Politics

Two years ago, on 26 March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition started aerial attacks on Yemen, transforming a civil war into an international conflict with the predictable result: humanitarian disaster, intensification of the fighting, a far higher casualty toll, no exit strategy, much nonsense in international political circles and the media. Officially there are now some […]

Send them to Egypt

By Jack Shenker in Politics

I never knew Giulio Regeni. I wish I had; his research was important and fascinating, and everyone close to him recalls a funny, warm and deeply humane young man. But when news of his disappearance first spread in those sickening days following the January 25 anniversary in 2016, I felt like I knew him. Part of the reason I felt that way, I think, is […]

Modi marches on amid hope and fear

By L K Sharma in Politics

Any foreign correspondent who came to India to cover the state elections must stay on to report on this land of miracles. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being called ‘Magic Man’ after he won the largest state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) for his Hindu nationalist party, the BJP. The voters gave an overwhelming mandate to […]

Newsletter – March 2017

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month we are a bit top-heavy politically speaking which may come as no surprise. Mehmet Ugur Professor of Economics and Institutions at the University of Greenwich takes us through tumultuous events in Turkey; a couple of articles by John Feffer, Director of Foreign Policy In Focus, on the current […]

Turkey, sick man of Europe, reappears?

By Mehmet Ugur in Politics

In 1852, John Russell was using his political sabbatical to make the case for the approaching Crimean War with Russia. To add spice to his writings, he revealed that the Russian Tsar described the Ottoman Empire as the ‘Sick Man of Europe’. In the same year, in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Marx articulated […]

The Dutch elections – making sense of its fractures

By Markha Valenta in Politics

Much to everyone’s surprise, it turns out that this is not the election we expected. At the start of the campaign season, with the right-wing populist Geert Wilders riding high in the polls, the prediction had been that it would come down to a race between the conservative Liberals and Geert Wilders’ populist, right-wing Party […]

Trump and Russia: Shortest Reset Ever

By John Feffer in Politics

It has all the hallmarks of a compelling thriller. A U.S. president willing to put his reputation on the line in the interests of peace and prosperity prepares to reach out to Russia. The Kremlin shows some cautious interest. But before the president can propose anything substantial, his opponents do everything possible to derail his […]

The truth about London’s killer fog

By Peter Thorsheim in Environment

In December 1952, London experienced a catastrophe. As depicted in the Netflix series The Crown (which last year aired on Chinese streaming sites) the disaster seemingly came out of nowhere, as sunny blue skies suddenly gave way to a choking, blinding, fog that enveloped the city and was more severe than anything many had seen before. […]

Uncertain comma Texas

By Tony Curzon Price in Features

Uncertain” is the story of redemption brought into the lives of three men – and of hope brought to a whole town … and eventually all of humanity. And it is a documentary. A writer of fiction would have been so lucky to have assembled the layered richness of meaning and interpretation we find in […]

Making America Mediocre Again

By John Feffer in Features

The first signs of decline are physical. Citizens don’t grow as tall. They don’t live as long. They start killing each other in large numbers. Sounds like the post-mortem for a society that disappeared long ago, a conclusion that archaeologists deliver after sifting through bone fragments and pottery shards. Why, the puzzled scholars ask, did […]

Will Japan Stand in Splendid Isolation?

By Walden Bello in Politics

Two names explain Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s current tour of South East Asia: Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump. Just a year ago, things were, as the British would put it, “going swimmingly” for Abe. He had rammed through his unilateral interpretation that “collective defense,” which would involve Japan in military operations with allies outside its […]

When the IMF evaluates the IMF

By Charles Wyplosz in Economics and Finance

The IMF has now released its self-evaluation report on the programme for Greece between 2012 and 2016 (IMF 2017). This report admits most, if not all, of the glaring mistakes and calls for significant changes. Unfortunately, it does not always get to the bottom of why these mistakes were made. The requirement that the IMF […]