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Chomsky or Žižek: can’t we have both?

By Greg Burris in Arts and Culture, August 6, 2013

The sparring match between the two began when Chomsky was asked to comment on Derrida, Lacan and Žižek. Without mincing words, Chomsky derided their work as empty posturing, juxtaposing their style and methods against the “empirically testable propositions” of the hard sciences.

Can Mali Reunite?

By Giorgio Cafiero in Politics,

Al-Qaeda’s power has waned in Mali, but unresolved ethnic conflicts still threaten the country after 16 months of civil war, a military coup, and French military intervention. Now that Mali has held its first election, the prospects for peaceful reunification are on the minds of many. It may not be too late for Mali’s newly elected leaders to convince the Tuaregs that it is in their interest to disarm and partake in the reunification of Mali.

Looking back, moving forward

By Pascal Lamy in Features, July 29, 2013

After eight years as the Director-General of the WTO, Pascal Lamy offers his farewell remarks. We republish his speech in full. “Despite global turmoil including the Great Trade Collapse and an historic shift of economic power towards emerging markets, the WTO is larger and stronger.”

Critical Times for Algeria

By Emily Boulter in Politics, July 27, 2013

The Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika vanished from the country’s political scene for two months. He was reported to have suffered a mild stroke. He reappeared in a French hospital and subsequently returned to Algiers for a period of recovery. Algerians are looking to the future.

A Brewing Storm in the Western Pacific

By Walden Bello in Politics, July 26, 2013

China’s aggressive territorial claims, Washington’s “pivot” to Asia and attempt to contain China, and Japan’s hawkish bluster add up to a volatile brew in the Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific region is descending into a period of destabilizing conflict.

Uludere: victim of civil-military relations

By Çağlar Köseoğlu in Politics,

The AKP’s much criticized undemocratic tendencies are not particular to its interaction with civil society. This has proven to be disastrous for the surviving families of the Uludere massacre.

Asymmetric oil: Fuel for conflict

By Francesco Caselli, Massimo Morelli, Dominic Rohner in Economics and Finance, July 25, 2013

Oil has often been linked to interstate wars. Asymmetries in endowments of natural resources are important determinants of territorial conflict. When one country has oil near its border with an oil-less country, the probability of conflict is between three and four times as large as when neither country has oil.

“The Wandering Falcon”

By Allston Mitchell in Arts and Culture, July 10, 2013

A captivating book by Jamil Ahmad, a 78-year-old retired civil servant from Pakistan who spent much of his working life in the Tribal Areas. The stories reveal the human drama of the lyrical and often merciless tribal world, without descending either into romanticism or facile moralism.

The NSA and Snowden: the boomerang flies on

By François Godement in Politics,

Edward Snowden may become the most famous civil rights case this century, and throw up issues of data protection, intelligence and the relationship of allies that concern citizens of all free states.

Frigate Island – My Island

By Colin Conor in Travel Writing, July 7, 2013

“When I went to my island I did so from a purely necessary point of view to buy a coconut plantation, which just happened to be upon an island. It was only after I had come to live there that the full charm of this wonderful little island grew upon me.”