Newsletter – July 2013

Welcome to The Global Dispatches
This month we have a review of Jamil Ahmad’s excellent book 'The Wandering Falcon'; François Godement, Professor of political science at Sciences Po in Paris explains the wide-ranging ramifications of the Edward Snowden-NSA case; Colin Conor recounts the fascinating and idyllic life of his grandfather, the owner and 'King' of Frigate Island in the Seychelles in the early twentieth century; Daphne Wysham, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies on The World Bank’s shift away towards the phasing out of coal and the ramping up support for "fracked" natural gas; Sami Zubaida, emeritus professor of politics and sociology at Birkbeck College, London on 'Turkey, Alcohol and Islam'; Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and Hamid Rashid, a senior economic adviser at the UN examine why an increasing number of African states are resorting to sovereign bonds; Abolghasem Bayyenat on the 'Meaning of Rouhani'; Arthur Ituassu a leading Brazilian scholar of social and political science on the crisis in Brazil; Stephen Grenville, a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy explains the potential pitfalls of the unwinding of Quantitative Easing; Igor Torbakov, Senior Fellow at the Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University, in Sweden on the current similarities between the two former empires, Turkey and Russia; Tiago Faia, author of the book 'Exporting paradise?' on Sierra Leone and of course Beat Box.

Beat Box
By MC Ledbetter

Updated for August 2017. Every month we recommend a few classic music CDs that rarely see the light of day. This month sees: Incredible Bongo Band, Jesus Guerrero, Budos Band, Dead Combo, Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos, Ali Khattab and The Cairo Jazz Band get main billing.

“The Wandering Falcon”
By Allston Mitchell

A captivating book by Jamil Ahmad, a 78-year-old retired civil servant from Pakistan who spent much of his working life in the Tribal Areas. The stories reveal the human drama of the lyrical and often merciless tribal world, without descending either into romanticism or facile moralism.

The NSA and Snowden: the boomerang flies on
By François Godement

Edward Snowden may become the most famous civil rights case this century, and throw up issues of data protection, intelligence and the relationship of allies that concern citizens of all free states.

Frigate Island – My Island
By Colin Conor

“When I went to my island I did so from a purely necessary point of view to buy a coconut plantation, which just happened to be upon an island. It was only after I had come to live there that the full charm of this wonderful little island grew upon me.”

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire
By Daphne Wysham

The World Bank is phasing out of coal and ramping up support for "fracked" natural gas, even though research suggests that climate impacts of fracking may be even worse than coal in terms of its full life-cycle carbon footprint according to a Cornell University study.

Turkey, Alcohol and Islam
By Sami Zubaida

Now, after a decade of electoral success and economic growth, governing without a coalition, the army neutralised, in control of the media, the judiciary and the police, Erdogan feels free to move on this crucial symbolic issue of alcohol and its venues.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Subprime Borrowers
By Joseph E. Stiglitz - Hamid Rashid

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and Hamid Rashid, a senior economic adviser at the UN examine why an increasing number of African states are resorting to sovereign bonds.

The Meaning of Rouhani
By Abolghasem Bayyenat

"Rouhani’s electoral victory—and the general consensus among Iranian political elites today on the need to address Iran’s economic problems and to pursue a more cautious foreign policy—should not be understood to mean that Iran will be more willing to suspend its uranium enrichment activities."

Brazil, a crisis of representation
By Arthur Ituassu

A protest wave in Brazil embodies new ideas of political community that challenge the country's old social practices and centralised structures, says Arthur Ituassu, a leading Brazilian scholar of social and political science and Professor at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro.

Unwinding QE
By Stephen Grenville

Bernanke’s hints about the end of quantitative easing (QE) have produced volatility in financial markets which were startled because an end to QE is likely to cause capital losses for bond holders since term premium is substantially negative. This is teamed with widespread confusion among market participants about how QE actually works.

Europe’s Twin Sisters
By Igor Torbakov

Russia and Turkey are both former imperial powers with one foot in Europe and one in Asia. Igor Torbakov argues that imperialism is still alive and well in both countries; even as they talk about modernisation, they seem reluctant to leave the past behind.

Sierra Leone: From Swords into Ploughshares
By Tiago Faia

Just a decade ago, Sierra Leone was immersed in one of the most gruesome conflicts of modern times. The Supreme Court has now pronounced on the contested presidential election, so what now?

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