Newsletter – August 2013

Welcome to The Global Dispatches,
This month we publish some flash fiction micro-stories by Iranian writer Mitra Hooshiar; also Jeremy Fox finds 'nourishment for prejudice' in his look at the mythical conservative thinker Edmund Burke; Ludovico Pisani on the remarkable paintings in the Ajanta caves in India; Greg Burris examines the ongoing sparring match between the two philosophical heavyweights Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Žižek; political analyst Giorgio Cafiero on what future Mali may be facing after the recent political elections; we publish the farewell remarks of Pascal Lamy after his eight years as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation; Emily Boulter on the political turmoil in Algeria following President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s disappearance due to illness; Walden Bello on the descent of the Asia-Pacific region into a period of destabilizing conflict; Çağlar Köseoğlu examines the aftermath of the Uledere massacre in Turkey and Francesco Caselli, Massimo Morelli and Dominic Rohner on the relationship between natural resources and military conflict.

Flash Fiction
By Mitra Hooshiar

With the advent of internet, short fiction has come into its own - encapsulating as it does two essential prerequisites for Web success: brevity and entertainment. TGD publishes six of Iranian-born Mitra Hooshiar’s micro-stories. The art form itself is nothing new: Aesop’s Fables for example date from the time of Ancient Greece - perhaps even earlier.

Edmund Burke: an unspoken villainy
By Jeremy Fox

Burke has been much discussed recently, on both left and right, yet beneath the verbosity and pomp is a host of highly unsavoury views. "Burke would probably have shrunk into a footnote of history if a handful of politicians and scholars had not found nourishment in his works for their prejudices."

The Ajanta Cave Paintings
By Ludovico Pisani

The paintings and rock sculptures in the Ajanta caves, a Buddhist monastic complex in the Maharashta state of India, are a testimony to the golden age of Buddhism in India and a unique artistic achievement.

Chomsky or Žižek: can’t we have both?
By Greg Burris

The sparring match between the two began when Chomsky was asked to comment on Derrida, Lacan and Žižek. Without mincing words, Chomsky derided their work as empty posturing, juxtaposing their style and methods against the “empirically testable propositions” of the hard sciences.

Can Mali Reunite?
By Giorgio Cafiero

Al-Qaeda's power has waned in Mali, but unresolved ethnic conflicts still threaten the country after 16 months of civil war, a military coup, and French military intervention. Now that Mali has held its first election, the prospects for peaceful reunification are on the minds of many. It may not be too late for Mali’s newly elected leaders to convince the Tuaregs that it is in their interest to disarm and partake in the reunification of Mali.

Looking back, moving forward
By Pascal Lamy

After eight years as the Director-General of the WTO, Pascal Lamy offers his farewell remarks. We republish his speech in full. "Despite global turmoil including the Great Trade Collapse and an historic shift of economic power towards emerging markets, the WTO is larger and stronger."

Critical Times for Algeria
By Emily Boulter

The Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika vanished from the country’s political scene for two months. He was reported to have suffered a mild stroke. He reappeared in a French hospital and subsequently returned to Algiers for a period of recovery. Algerians are looking to the future.

A Brewing Storm in the Western Pacific
By Walden Bello

China’s aggressive territorial claims, Washington's "pivot" to Asia and attempt to contain China, and Japan’s hawkish bluster add up to a volatile brew in the Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region is descending into a period of destabilizing conflict.

Uludere: victim of civil-military relations
By Çağlar Köseoğlu

The AKP's much criticized undemocratic tendencies are not particular to its interaction with civil society. This has proven to be disastrous for the surviving families of the Uludere massacre.

Asymmetric oil: Fuel for conflict
By Francesco Caselli, Massimo Morelli, Dominic Rohner

Oil has often been linked to interstate wars. Asymmetries in endowments of natural resources are important determinants of territorial conflict. When one country has oil near its border with an oil-less country, the probability of conflict is between three and four times as large as when neither country has oil.

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