Tag Archives: Politics

On Comparing Chavez to a Communist-era Eastern European Dictator

Mariya Ivancheva in CriticAtac To make an analogy between Chávez’s social democracy and the “totalitarian” socialism in Eastern Europe is an easy task mostly for the representatives of organizations and media who side with the Venezuelan opposition. Students and NGO activists sponsored by international organizations have traveled across the Western world campaigning against the so-called… Read More »

Delivering Development: Lessons from Globalization’s Shoreline

I review Edward R. Carr’s book for SAIS Review. An excerpt: Underlying typical research is the assumption that a more intense integration into the global market economy is the solution to development problems, and that GDP growth brings an improvement in the well-being of a country’s citizens. Most existing development indicators have these same assumptions… Read More »

Democracy is back – how awkward

Gideon Rachman of FT writes: It is ironic that the democratic movements in the Arab world broke out just as autocracy seemed to be coming back into fashion. Francis Fukuyama, whose “end of history” thesis epitomised the democratic triumphalism of 1989, recently wrote an article for this newspaper that lauded China’s ability to “make large… Read More »

How far back to go in telling the stories

A guest post from Benson Eluma, a NigeriansTalk contributor. WHAT ARE THE differences between Achebe and Hart? Achebe says we have to go back 500 years to understand the problem of Africa; Hart says no, the required span is ‘the last century’. I feel that by the time we get to the start of Hart’s… Read More »

Germany and immigrants

The Economist has a nice article on immigration in Germany. If you can recall, Angela Merkel recently said that multiculturalism has utterly failed in Germany. This was following the furore that was raised by the publication of a book that claimed that immigrants and muslims were causing the downfall of Germany. The book was written… Read More »

On Google, China and neo-informationalism

Remember the Google and China issue? I recently came across part of the text of a keynote address delivered by Tricia Wang, ethnographer and PhD candidate in sociology at UC San Diego, at the New Direction in the Humanities Conference, UCLA. Her take on the China and Google saga is encapsulated in this excerpt: And… Read More »

How did sport get so big?

A well-researched piece in Intelligent Life Magazine. Concludes with: Sport has infected other fields with its values. Everything from hairdressing to accountancy now has its own awards ceremony, making mere workers into winners and losers. The recent British election was dominated by televised debates between the main party leaders, which turned a four-week campaign into… Read More »

A sensible editorial on Paul Kagame

Considering that Rwanda witnessed one of the most appalling waves of barbarity in history just 16 years ago, when around 800,000 people were hacked to death in three months, the efficiency is extraordinary. So much has gone admirably right in terms of development. But a lot is going depressingly wrong in politics. Mr Kagame has… Read More »

Hoisted from comments: On Ayaan Hirsi Ali – “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he doesn’t become a monster”

A reader writes: Without undermining the intellectual capabilities and the personal achievements of Ms Hirsi Ali, she often comes accross as self-overestimating and excessively self-benefitting. Since she stepped out of the islamic faith, she seems extremely obsessed with projecting islam in a negative light. For a self-proclaimed islam expert, I would appreciate a discuss that… Read More »

The perils of studying economics

I think that basic economics, the way it is taught today, tends to give people reflexive pro-free market, anti-government positions — positions that arenot held by people with a deeper exposure to economic thinking. When your understanding of government finances is based on reading the newspaper, it’s somewhat eye-opening to come to college and learn… Read More »