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Will a European Tobin tax be efficient?

By Donato Masciandaro - Francesco Passarelli in Economics and Finance, March 16, 2012

Italy’s prime minister, Mario Monti, is the latest in a growing line of senior public figures to support the idea of a financial transaction tax – also known as a Tobin tax or Robin Hood tax.

The Philosopher in Christian Art

By Raffaela Fazio Smith in Arts and Culture,

An excerpt from the recently published book by Art Historian Raffaela Fazio Smith “Face of Faith” that looks at the iconography of the figure of the philosopher and teacher in classical, Jewish and Christian art.

China’s Foreign Policy Deciphered

By John Lee in Politics, February 25, 2012

A conversation with Dr John Lee about the intricacies of China’s foreign policy: how it is changing in the light of the country’s new economic strength, the underlying political philosophy and the current state of relations with Africa, Myanmar, North Korea and India.

Women Talking to Women

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in Features, February 24, 2012

The cartoonist Alison Bechdel invented the Bechdel Test in the 80s to put movies to a simple test. Does the movie have at least two female characters, who talk to one another, but not about a man? How do this year’s Oscar nominations fare and indeed some literary classics?

Afghanistan Exit: Think India

By Amitai Etzioni in Politics, February 20, 2012

Amitai Etzioni, Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University discusses a possible solution to the Afghan debacle. First, solve the India-Pakistan conflict – but that would mean the US could no longer use India as a counterweight to China. Difficult but not impossible.

Brazil’s Winning Streak

By Gabriel Paquette in Features,

Brazil has recently shot to “superpower” status in the eyes of the world. Gabriel Paquette looks at the country’s apparent immunity from the global recession, its new self confidence but also at some of the more long standing problems: the corruption and the deforestation of the Amazon.

The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb

By Raffaela Fazio Smith in Arts and Culture, February 15, 2012

The 24-panel altarpiece in the Cathedral of Saint Bavo in Ghent is a masterpiece of Flemish art by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. Art historian Raffaela Fazio Smith examines the theme of the Christ-Eucharist in the panel of the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.

Contagion and Greek debt

By Jakob de Haan - Mark Mink in Economics and Finance, February 14, 2012

Why does news about Greek public finances not affect Eurozone bank stock prices, but news about a Greek bailout does? This suggests that markets consider news about a Greek bailout to be a signal of Eurozone countries’ willingness to use public funds to combat the financial crisis.

Is China Reentering the Great Game?

By Dong Yu in Politics,

Afghanistan, apart from having a strategic geo-political position also has abundant mineral resources, which makes it an attractive prospect for resource-hungry China. Afghanistan has seen a massive increase in investment from China.

Blood on the Kazakh Oilfields

By Astrit Dakli in Politics, February 11, 2012

December’s massacre of striking oilfield workers in the city of Zhanaozen caused few ripples in the international community, unwilling to challenge a strategic partner with such abundant oil resources. The response of the new Kazakh government has been to crack down on the opposition.