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France and the European elections

By Patrice de Beer in Politics, May 27, 2014

Both UKIP and the French National Front (FN) have rocked the political landscape of their countries. But, why are so many French voters listening to slogans they have rejected for so many years? Why are so many young people, and even immigrants, voting FN today?

In Egypt, when words lose their meaning

By Islam Abdel-Rahman in Politics, May 22, 2014

The real question everyone should be discussing in Egypt is not who will win the next elections: but how will the situation in Egypt withstand such a precarious regime? All el-Sisi has is his gun.

Ten Reasons to Love José Mujica

By Medea Benjamin in Politics, May 15, 2014

Uruguay’s president, a 78-year-old former Marxist guerrilla who spent 14 years in prison has put the country on the map as one of the world’s most exciting experiments in creative, progressive governance even offering to accept detainees from the “disgrace” at Guantanamo.

China is not yet Number One

By Jeffrey Frankel in Economics and Finance, May 12, 2014

Harpel Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on the widespread recent reports that have trumpeted: “China to overtake US as top economic power this year.” The claim is basically wrong. The US remains the world’s largest economic power by a substantial margin.

The Great War and Iraq: Britain’s poisonous legacy

By Ian Rutledge in Politics, May 11, 2014

The little-known involvement of British imperial forces in creating and controlling the state of Iraq in the wake of the first world war is a key source of the country’s later disasters.

Yemen in the Frame, Again

By Aaron Edwards in Politics, April 30, 2014

The toll of violence in Yemen continues unabated—if largely unreported. Unless the international community engages with its causes and the local parties, so it will remain. The vibrant secessionism in the south poses a significant challenge to state stability in the long term.

China’s past, China’s present

By Kerry Brown in Features, April 29, 2014

China’s rich history is a seductive resource for China’s modern politicians. But its complexity can also make it a selective one, says Kerry Brown who discusses Timothy Brook’s excellent study of China from 1279-1644 – The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties .

Review: Flashboys by Michael Lewis

By Allston Mitchell in Economics and Finance, April 21, 2014

Wall Street is rigged, and best-selling author Michael Lewis tells us how. Rollercoaster style, he recounts how a motley group takes on Wall Street, converting Goldman Sachs to the straight and narrow en route. Incredibly, morality and truth win out. Horrifying and fascinating in equal measure.

Energy descent

By Carlos Cuellar Brown in Environment, April 20, 2014

We have the opportunity to change this oil dependence and avoid peak food and peak population. Some nations have begun to do it, in the realm of regional needs, with the aid of the information age with new technologies and energy alternatives. 

The adolescent mass culture mentality of the twentieth and twenty-first century with its “only me counts generations” will have to evolve and be replaced by an empathic social model.

1592: Coining Columbus

By Michiel van Groesen in Features,

For many, the arrival of Columbus in the Americas is inextricably linked to a particular image: a small group of confident men on a tropical beach formally announcing their presence to the dumbfounded Amerindians. Michiel van Groesen explores the origins of this Eurocentric iconography.