Newsletter – January 2016

Welcome to The Global Dispatches and Happy New Year!

This month, John Feffer, the director of Foreign Policy In Focus writes on the geopolitics of cheap oil and the consequences for the environment; Susan de Muth focuses on the Saudi Arabian Defence Minister who appears to be dragging his country into reckless adventures; Tatyana Ivanova looks at the uneasy relationship between the Nobel Prize winner, Svetlana Alexievich and the Belarusian regime; Marta Tycner examines Poland's "Right Turn", in particular its frontal attack on the Constitutional Court and on the independence of the media. And much more.

See you next month.

The Reckless Power Behind the Throne
By Susan de Muth

King Salman's son Mohammad seems to be piloting Saudi Arabia into a series of ever more risky adventures. At the heart of all Sunni Saudi Arabia’s current woes is its longstanding sectarian and political rivalry with the Shi’a republic of Iran.

The Nobel Laureate vs. the Dictator
By Tatyana Ivanova

Nobel Prize Winner Svetlana Alexievich is challenging both a dictator and a bad case of historical amnesia. Svetlana Alexievich criticizes dictatorship and dictators of all kinds, including Lukashenko. She debunks their fraudulent elections and wars.

A Roadmap for Peace in South Sudan
By Daniel P. Sullivan

As the world's youngest country enters its third year of civil war, there are new hopes for a durable peace.

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil
By John Feffer

Economists said the market would save the planet. It didn't. The nosedive in oil prices has been good news for a lot of people and a lot of countries. But it’s not good news for the planet.

Islamic Reformation?
By Sami Zubaida

We keep hearing calls for an ‘Islamic Reformation’, but the Protestant Reformation was not a liberal enterprise: it was the original ‘fundamentalism’, whence the label now applied to Islam.

Fiscal crisis in Brazil: a tale of two inflations
By João Ricardo Mendes Gonçalves Costa Filho

Surviving an impeachment will be a herculean task for Dilma Rousseff. With economic contraction and growing expenditure, the fiscal deficit will increase. There is no more room for gambling.

Poland’s right turn
By Marta Tycner

Western commentators see the 'sudden' right-wing turn of Poland as a so-passé mixture of nationalism, populism and deficits of democracy. But the truth is very different. Is it inexplicable madness or a rational response? The new government inaugurated its tenure with a series of outrageous anti-democratic moves, including a frontal attack on the Constitutional Court and on the independence of the media.

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