Newsletter – April 2013

This month is a bumper issue! Richard Trillo takes a fascinating and in-depth look at the recent election in Kenya; Mohamed A. El-Erian, the CEO of the global investment company PIMCO has his say on the global markets; Anna Theofilopoulou assesses developments in the Western Sahara negotiations; Gary Burnett on the mythical bluesman Robert Johnson; Aisha Maniar on the hunger strike which is currently ongoing at the Guantanamo Bay prison; Joy Gordon, author of 'Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions' takes a look at the mess left behind by the US in Iraq; Nan Chen discusses whether or not China will wear out its welcome in Africa; Conn Hallinan asks if Egypt is being primed for a coup; there is also an in-depth look at Scandinavia, Johanna Korhonen looks at Finland's consensus culture and the author Göran Rosenberg examines the Swedish concept of 'Folkhemmet'; Emily Boulter highlights the attempt at rapprochement by Egypt and Iran; Charles Wyplosz criticizes the Cyprus bail-out and levy; Valeria Costa-Kostritsky on the work at the UN in the Commission of the Status of Women and of course Beat Box.

Global Markets’ Time Factor
By Mohamed A. El-Erian

In recent months, booming financial markets have been colliding head-on with dysfunctional politics. The key to success will be in the timing and the timekeepers are the Central Banks who do not always get it right especially if they are faced with further political headwinds.

Kenya’s Electoral Trials
By Richard Trillo

The Supreme Court of Kenya has just announced its decision that Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in the presidential elections should stand. Richard Trillo explains the background to Kenya's current political circumstances.

Western Sahara and the UN – 22 years later
By Anna Theofilopoulou

The UN is persevering, but time is running out. The real cause for concern should be the growing number of young and disaffected people in the region.

Robert Johnson’s Hellhound on My Trail
By Gary Burnett

Robert Johnson is a mythical figure in the history of the blues. The details of his life are sketchy but his versatility and invention make him the most influential blues singer ever.

The Guantánamo Bay Hunger Strike
By Aisha Maniar

The majority of the remaining 166 prisoners at Guantanamo have been on hunger strike since early February, mostly held without charge or trial, yet there has been a continued media silence on the issue. This flagrant abuse of justice must be challenged.

America’s Other Dark Legacy In Iraq
By Joy Gordon

The author of "Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions", Joy Gordon, explains that even putting aside Iraq's horrifying descent into sectarian violence, the United States did a spectacularly poor job of governing the country.

Will China Wear Out Its Welcome in Africa?
By Nan Chen

In 2009, China overtook the USA as Africa’s biggest trading partner. In 2000, the total Sino-African trade volume was approximately US $10bn; it is now closer to $200bn per year.

Is Egypt Being Primed for a Coup?
By Conn Hallinan

When an important leader of the political opposition hints that a military coup might be preferable to the current chaos, and when a major financial organization proposes an economic program certain to spark a social explosion, something is afoot.

The crumbling of Finland’s consensus culture
By Johanna Korhonen

Finland underwent a spectacular populist upheaval in 2011, when the True Finns won over nearly one fifth of the vote and became the main opposition party to the current government.

By Göran Rosenberg

In this excerpt from ‘Sweden: the reluctant nation’, published as part of Counterpoint’s ‘Europe’s Reluctant Radicals’ project, Göran Rosenberg explores the history of the Swedish political ideal of ‘folkhemmet’ [the people’s home]. The rhetoric of nostalgia has always been a potent force in Swedish politics.

Iran and Egypt: An Unrequited Union
By Emily Boulter

It is still a mystery why President Morsi of Egypt has begun a rapprochement with Iran, a country with which it has little in common, given the country's poor reputation in the Middle East and the mutual suspicion that exists along the Sunni-Shiite divide.

Cyprus: The next blunder
By Charles Wyplosz

Charles Wyplosz, Professor of International Economics, examines the The Cyprus bailout package and its tax on bank deposits. "It is a seriously dangerous policy, It is a radical change that potentially undermines a perfectly reasonable deposit guarantee and the euro itself."

Will the global women’s rights movement prevail?
By Valeria Costa-Kostritsky

“Violence against women and girls is not in anyone's culture, tradition or religion. This is about power, inequality, a lack of political will and courage to work towards a better world," says Shareen Gokal.

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