Politics

Bahrain

Bahrain: A New Front in the Battle between Sunni and Shia Muslims

By Tallha Abdulrazaq

The wave of popular unrest sweeping across the Middle East is paving the way for opportunistic power politicking. In Tunisia, decades of oppressive rule combined with corruption, lack of jobs, and increased food prices began this chain reaction of events that has led to the downfall of several of the Middle East’s old guard, including Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, we can now see from the UN Security Council sanctioned no-fly zone in Libya that the old Arab regimes are beginning to crumble one by one. It is in this sort of environment that players interested in exploiting the chaos are attempting to expand their influence and power via the use of religious ideology.

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Italy at 150: The Need for a New Momentum

By Lorenzo Piras 

Italy turned 150 on 17 March 2011. The celebrations, preceded by bitter controversy, were marked by important public figures and common citizens alike in a lukewarm manner. 

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Are the Winds of the Peoples Revolution Likely to Blow to Sub-Saharan Africa?

By Njoki Wamai

When 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze on 17 December 2010 in Sidi Bouzid, never would he have imagined the repercussions this single act could have. 

AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Will Democracy Finally Arrive in Egypt?

By Tamer Aziz Hassan

For all its rich history, Egypt has never had an elected leader, let alone a fair election. Many argue that King Farouk I was the last King of Egypt, but the reality is that there has always been a monarchy. 

AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch

Will the Mideast Unrest Reach Latin America?

By Antonio Corrales

Looking at the Latin America’s current position in the Human Development Index (HDI), which was created by the UN to measure life expectancy at birth, the adult literacy rate and a decent standard of living based on GDP, the general situation looks promising. Most of the countries rank between high and medium on the HDI. Apart from Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru, most of the region’s countries have leftist governments. Some countries have created their own independent groups, such as the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), which is a proposed alternative to the US-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Tough Challenges Loom for Liberia’s Leader

By Lauren Meryl Williamson

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is no stranger to political challenges, but the 72 year old is about to have her leadership tested even further in this final year of her term. 

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Arab Democracy: Too Early to Celebrate!

By Manar Rachwani

“It is the fourth wave of democracy”, writes an Arab sociologist after the success of the Egyptian uprising (or revolution) in forcing former President Hosni Mubarak to step down last month. Just weeks after the unexpected Jasmine Revolution that toppled the brutal Tunisian dictator, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.