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“Syria Burning” by Charles Glass

By Allston Mitchell in Features, February 7, 2016

A timely and eminently understandable guide to what is happening to Syria by Charles Glass who brings decades of front-line expertise to the problem. Using reportage, analysis and history he offers a well-informed and amazingly concise analysis of the war.

China’s growth prospects

By Robert Barro in Economics and Finance, February 6, 2016

China’s diminished growth prospects are in the news and seem to spell bad news for just about everybody. Robert Barro, Professor of Economics at Harvard University assesses the evidence, arguing that China’s economic growth will be much slower from now on, reducing international trade.

Writers get bouquets, not brickbats

By L K Sharma in Arts and Culture, February 2, 2016

The business model of the Jaipur Literature Festival will be studied as a case study, the two writer-directors having successfully yoked together the rival Hindu Goddesses of wealth and wisdom.

RIP Astrit Dakli

By Allston Mitchell in Politics, February 1, 2016

We have lost a dear friend, Astrit Dakli, who has died in Rome. He will be sorely missed. We were fortunate enough to have him as a contributor to The Global Dispatches writing on Russia and Central Asia. Our best wishes to Luisa. Ciao Astrit.

Book review: The Egyptians

By Mariam Ali in Features, January 30, 2016

Jack Shenker’s The Egyptians: A Radical Story is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how and why Egypt’s revolution happened – and why it continues.

Something is rotten in the state of Tunisia

By Francis Ghilès in Politics, January 29, 2016

Tunisia’s foreign friends would do well to remember that in 2011 there was a revolution in, not of the system. The current state of stasis is not a good omen for the future.

The price of oil, China, and stock market herding

By Olivier Blanchard in Economics and Finance,

The world economy so far in 2016 is a confusing place, with stock markets plummeting. Olivier Blanchard finds the mainstream reasons – China and the oil price dip – wanting.

Turning Down the Heat

By Julian Kirchherr - Karsten Haustein in Environment,

The Paris Climate Agreement signals unprecedented momentum to combat global warming but the Earth has already warmed by 1°C since pre-industrial times: if current trends continue, the world may see a rise of 5°C.

China’s slowdown and the Chinese stock market

By Jeffrey Frankel in Economics and Finance, January 27, 2016

Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on the drop in the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index and in China’s growth rate.

Book Review: Sasha Sokolov’s ‘A School for Fools’

By Josephine von Zitzewitz in Arts and Culture, January 18, 2016

A Soviet underground classic is back in print. In a “School for Fools”, fighting conformity requires confronting the Soviet system—and our inner demons.