Newsletter – February 2014

Welcome to the Global Dispatches,

This month we have a varied selection of articles ranging from an impassioned look at the Scottish independence referendum by playwright Peter Arnott, to the poetry of Charles Baudelaire by Daniel Finch-Race. Olivier Blanchard, the Chief IMF Economist, also elucidates the global markets for us and Edward Rielly talks us through the 1906 biography of Apache warrior Geronimo - and much more. See you next month.

Baudelaire’s Parisian Scenes
By Daniel Finch-Race

Charles Baudelaire's poetic masterpiece, Les Fleurs du mal, underwent extensive reworking between 1857 and 1868, as did the French capital in which he was writing. Daniel Finch-Race explores the ecopoetic implications of such upheaval in 'Le cygne', a poem torn between antiquity and modernity.

Geronimo: The Warrior
By Edward Rielly

In 1906 Geronimo published his autobiography recounting the fascinating story of his life, from his years as a resistance fighter, to his capture and subsequent period of celebrity in which he appeared at the 1904 St Louis World Fair and met President Roosevelt.

Scotland 2014 : Getting the Sovereignty Habit
By Peter Arnott

As the political heat increases in the UK over Scotland's independence referendum, Scottish playwright Peter Arnott takes an impassioned look at the issues involved.

Is the world recovery really strengthening?
By Olivier Blanchard

The global economy seems to be on the mend. IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard provides a quick overview of the likely developments.

France’s European spleen
By Aurelien Mondon

As is now common in France, the biggest shock in the Euro elections will come from the far-right Front National, emboldened by a change in perception towards the party from many French voters. However, it may turn out that abstention becomes the largest 'party' in France.

Thailand’s Deep Divide
By Walden Bello

Thailand's anti-corruption protesters appear to have lost faith in the key tenet of representative democracy: rule by people or parties elected by the majority of citizens. For many on both sides, it is no longer a question of if but when this deep-seated civil conflict descends into outright civil war.

Goodbye Childhood
By Paul N. Avakian

A review of "Adiós Niño: The Gangs of Guatemala City and the Politics of Death", by Deborah T. Levenson. "Guatemala has long been a country where social and political problems are resolved by death in one way or another and the morbid killing in the country’s 1960-1996 internal conflict has produced a youth shell-shocked by the bloodletting, and now inclined toward it".

Clouds over Honduras
By Sam Badger - Giorgio Cafiero

Honduras' new president, Juan Orlando Hernández, takes office amid rising tensions between developers on one side and indigenous and campesino communities on the other. But there are still unanswered questions about the legitimacy of his victory in November.

An Interview with Ai Weiwei
By Ai Weiwei and En Liang Khong

Still denied his passport after nearly three years, Ai Weiwei exists in a strange purgatory. In this exclusive openDemocracy interview, the artist explains that China’s exploitative processes of development demand great responsibility from the nation’s intellectual and artistic currents.

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