Newsletter – January 2018

Welcome to The Global Dispatches,

This month Michel Serafinelli and Guido Tabellini trace the relationship between innovation and geographic areas, or ‘creative clusters’, examining data on famous births that reveals the dynamics of creativity in European cities between the 11th and 19th centuries; Afrah Nasser, the multi-award winning independent freelance Yemeni journalist, and founder and editor-in-chief of “Sana’a Review” e-magazine takes a look back at a catastrophic year for Yemen; Lakhdar Ghettas a North Africa affairs analyst and conflict transformation consultant looks at the Tunisian revolution seven years on; Des Freedman, Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London looks at the relationship between big money and big media and much more...

Tree of the Wooden Clogs
By Robert Arnold

Robert Arnold looks back at Italian director Ermanno Olmi's masterpiece "The Tree of Wooden Clogs" (L'Albero degli Zoccoli), winner of 14 awards including the Palme d'Or for Best film at Cannes in 1978 and the César Award in the same year for Best Foreign Film.

Creativity and freedom
By Michel Serafinelli, Guido Tabellini

Innovation is often concentrated in certain geographic areas, or ‘creative clusters’. Data on famous births reveals the dynamics of creativity in European cities between the 11th and 19th centuries.

Yemen: 2017 in review
By Afrah Nasser

2017 has been a year of utter despair in light of countless human rights atrocities committed on multi-fronts. Both key international allies to Saudi Arabia; the US and the UK have found Yemen's war to be a lucrative business, profiting massively from the financial rewards of their arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The Tunisian revolution seven years on
By Lakhdar Ghettas

Seven years after the Tunisian revolution one can dissect four main conflict issues in Tunisia today.

A 17th Century battle of wits. Libertines v Jesuits
By Edward Muir

Gabriel Naudé, the French free-thinker and Cardinal Mazarin’s librarian, famously claimed that seventeenth-century Italy was “full of libertines, atheists, and people who believe in nothing.

Reminiscences of a Trainee Tea Buyer
By Colin Conor

A look back at a bygone era, when the drinking of tea involved ceremony and respect for the plant. Colin Conor recalls his life as a trainee tea buyer in London and offers an almost foolproof method for brewing the perfect cup of tea.

Catalonia’s December 21 elections
By Patrice de Beer

It is time for the Spanish establishment to realise that their country, like any other democracy, can’t be maintained harmoniously only by threatening the use of force and prison sentences.

Big media and big money in 2017
By Des Freedman

From Disney/Murdoch to Net Neutrality. This week’s events have shown that the new digital media landscape is every bit as monopolistic as the old one. And what’s Murdoch up to now?

A Tale of Two Faltering Unions
By Yanis Varoufakis

An address at the Oxford Guild, Oxford University, on passionate believers who are troublemakers, Brexit negotiations, simulating a federation and other conundrums.

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