United Kingdom

Spain is the New Greece

April 29, 2012 by

Nearly one Spaniard in four is unemployed, according to data released on Friday, as the country’s economic and financial predicament prompted a government minister to talk of a “crisis of enormous proportions”. The data from the National Statistics Institute showed 367,000 people lost their jobs in the first three months of the year. At this pace, Spanish job losses are equivalent to 1 million per month in the United States.

Opening the Other Eye: Charles Taylor and Selective Criminal Accountability

April 27, 2012 by

From all that we know Charles Taylor deserves to be held criminally accountable for his role in the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during the period 1998-2002. Taylor was then President of Liberia, and did his best to encourage violent uprisings against the governments in neighboring countries so as to finance his own bloody schemes and extend his regional influence.

Burma’s Reform: an Opportunity or a Threat?

April 27, 2012 by

Luminaries smelled blood. Hillary Clinton, Kevin Rudd, and David Cameron came and went, openly advocating for continued democratic reform. All met with Ms. Aung Sun Suu Kyi. In the aftermath of grandiose state visits from such luminaries to Burma (officially known as Myanmar), Aung Sun Suu Kyi and military leaders face a long and difficult task to bring about political, social, and economic reforms in a country that has remained under a brutal military junta and isolated from most of the world since 1960.

Income Inequality and the Rise of European Separatist Movements

April 19, 2012 by

Separatist movements typically flourish during times of economic or political distress. While in the recent past separatism has been associated most with emerging or failed states and linked with armed conflict and insurgencies, the west’s economic dislocation and the ‘rise of the rest’ has coincided with a surge in political movements and a desire for autonomy and independence – not only among violence-prone regions of the world, but among the strongest of emerging states, and the EU.

The Promise of Colombia

April 10, 2012 by

While much of the globe has been mired in an economic malaise, the simultaneous growth of Latin America has been well chronicled. Most of the attention given to Latin America’s rise has focused on Brazil, which recently surpassed Great Britain to become the world’s sixth largest economy. The attention has been justified given Brazil’s remarkable turnaround, its economic growth, potential growth, and forthcoming global spotlight by way of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

See You in Nuclear Tehran

April 6, 2012 by

If someone wanted to back out of the April 13-14 meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, here is an excuse – Tehran has suddenly asked to move the venue from Istanbul to Baghdad. Now the question is whether the key participant in the talks, the United States, wants talks to go forward and why. On the one hand, one gets the impression that the Obama administration considers any form of communication with Tehran to be distasteful and would like to have an excuse to back out of talks. But, on the other hand, failing to produce any results is no good either.

The Foreign Policy President?

April 3, 2012 by

Elections are decided by economics. Voters respond to pocketbook issues and are swayed by the huge sums that candidates lavish on advertising. Foreign policy issues, by contrast, are what the British call “noises off,” those sounds from off-stage that you hear occasionally to punctuate the main actions, sounds like exploding bombs and the distant cries of suffering people. According to recent polling, global issues barely register at all with Americans right now.

Sri Lanka: International Governments Must Take the Lead in Investigating War Crimes

March 15, 2012 by

There is a growing danger that the political leaders responsible for the greatest single atrocity of recent years will suffer no consequences. Journalists, not governments, have taken a lead in raising the issue to the international agenda of command responsibility for violations of humanitarian law in Sri Lanka. The UK’s Channel Four has now screened the second of two hard-hitting documentaries, containing compelling visual evidence that civilians were knowingly targeted, and surrendering prisoners executed, on orders issued in a direct chain of command from the country’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Compliance and the Counter-Revolutionary State: The Case of the United States

March 14, 2012 by

Many adversarial relationships exist in politics. On the domestic level, political parties frequently compete with each other to gain control of coveted offices. A contest, which transpires on the international level during periods of international revolution, is counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states spreading opposing doctrines.

Somalia: The International Community can’t afford to get it wrong

February 28, 2012 by

In a February article published on International Policy Digest (IPD), Somalia’s Special Envoy to United States, Abukar Arman, wrote, “Since the collapse of the military government 21 years ago, Somalia went through various levels of problems perpetuated by clan militias, warlords, economic-lords, religious-lords, regional-lords, and a group that I would refer to as the Ghost-lords.”

Post-Fukushima Japan’s Energy Market

February 28, 2012 by

In a few weeks it will be the one year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, which had all but soured the Japanese public’s appetite for nuclear energy. What once supplied 25% of the country’s energy needs, nuclear power plants are being decommissioned one by one. As of February 2011, only two of the country’s 54 commercial reactors remained functioning.

The Enigma of the London Conference on Somalia

February 28, 2012 by

If there is any consensus on the nature and the outcome of the London Conference on Somalia - that brought together representatives of over 50 nations, including a number of Muslim nations, it must be the fact that it was a puzzling event that raised much speculation. Now that the fanfare has ended, it is time for an objective appraisal.

War of Words over the Falklands

February 19, 2012 by

Recently, Argentina and the United Kingdom found themselves in a diplomatic row over the Falkland Islands regarding their respective claims of sovereignty over this small piece of real estate. The diplomatic curfufle began last Tuesday when Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, accused the U.K. of militarizing the Falklands with the planned deployment of the HMS Dauntless off its coast.

Sixty Years of Elizabeth II: An Ideal Queen in a Flawed Monarchy

February 7, 2012 by

Sixty years ago, on February 6, Queen Elizabeth II was proclaimed sovereign of the Commonwealth following the death of her father King George VI. Her Majesty is the oldest monarch in Europe, and in just three years she will surpass the reign of Queen Victoria, who ruled the British Empire for 63 years. Health permitting, in the spring of 2024 she could become the world’s longest reigning monarch, breaking the record set by Louis XIV, the Sun King, who occupied the French throne for over 72 years.

On Capitalism and Responsibility

January 29, 2012 by

A few days before the annual gathering of business and political elites at the World Economic Forum at Davos, British prime minister David Cameron set out his vision of capitalism that is popular and responsible. At a time of acute crisis, Cameron put up a staunch defense of capitalism. He asserted his belief that open markets and free enterprise were the best imaginable force for improving human wealth and happiness.

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