Politics

Stuxnet

The Begin Doctrine Revisited

By Daniela Richterova

On 7 June 1981, Iraq’s nuclear programme suffered a literal blow when its nuclear reactor in Osirak was levelled to the ground. Almost immediately after the operation, Israel admitted to orchestrating the attack to protect its citizens from a potential nuclear threat. Osirak was the first practical demonstration of what came to be known as the Begin Doctrine, named after Menachem Begin, the then Israeli Prime Minister, who ordered the 1981 attack. 

AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Is the Marriage of Convenience Heading for Divorce?

By Roland Bensted

Formed within five days of the 6 May 2010 UK general election, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) coalition government was a new and unlikely development in British politics. One year on, with the British electorate having delivered a comprehensive “No” in the May 2011 referendum on whether to switch the voting system to the Alternative Vote (AV) and with the Lib Dems having suffered huge losses in English local elections and elections to the devolved Scottish and Welsh parliaments, this unlikely partnership is enduring a rocky patch. Many analysts are predicting imminent divorce.

Slater

Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth

By Lauren Meryl Williamson

For author Robert Slater, it really is all about the oil. From manipulative government tactics, to aggressive moves by multinationals, to the minute diplomatic endeavours of politicians, the quest for oil lies at the centre of it all. While the book Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth is clearly slanted toward the resource narrative, the substantiating evidence Slater provides makes the bias seem justified.

Mexico-Violence

Mexico, the Military and Human Rights

By Sarah Johnstone

Last month British deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Mexican President Felipe Calderón. In addition to the improvement of trade, the two leaders also agreed for their countries to tackle together such global concerns as security and human rights. Yet while Calderón is intending to address these issues on an international level, the Mexican people are facing serious domestic difficulties.

Vittorio

The Martyrdom of Reason

By Andrea Dessi

Two men, one dream: justice, peace and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. Both dedicated their lives to this dream and both ultimately had theirs taken in its pursuit. April has been a tragic month for all who fight for reason, dialogue and humanity in the face of injustice and oppression. On 4 April, Juliano Mer-Khamis - an Arab-Israeli political activist, director and actor - was brutally gunned down in Jenin. Ten days later, Vittorio Arrigoni - an Italian journalist and peace activist affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) - was abducted and later executed by a fringe group of Salafi militants in Gaza City.

Palestinian Reconciliation

What Are the Potential Outcomes of Hamas and Fatah’s Reconciliation?

By Tallha Abdulrazaq

The Egyptian intelligence-brokered reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have apparently finally borne fruit. On 27 April, Egyptian intelligence announced that the two Palestinian rivals have finally agreed on forming an interim government, and have made such progress that they will now fix a date for a general election. In addition, it appears that both parties have agreed to release their respective prisoners with Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior political figure in Hamas, confirming that Hamas will release all who have a non-criminal background; a clear hint at political prisoners.

EU

Europe Through the Looking Glass: Could the Debt Crisis Negate Decades of Integration?

By Panos Stasinopoulos 

Those of us engaged in research in the field of European studies are, it is safe to say, “Europhiles”. In many cases this is owing to a story we have relating to the EU, or an 8-year-old’s memory of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the birth of EU citizenship. There are many other reasons, historical and cultural, of course, but these are not a panacea; what we perceive as Eurosceptism is now growing. This is apparent not only in the UK, a traditionally distant bedfellow of the European experiment, but in other, more pro-EU member states.