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socialmedia

What Social Media Offers Diplomacy

By Lola Adeniyi 

Discussion of topical news events such as the Arab protests, the Wikileaks fiasco, or the 2009 Iranian student movement cannot be complete without considering the increasing relevance and impact of social media on commerce, politics and activism. From pure entertainment to business networking, the democracy of social media platforms presents an opportunity to acquire and assess the public’s perception of current events. Conversely, it provides the chance to tap into the public’s conscience on political and activist issues.

Bahrain Protests

Hijacked by Elites: Bahrain’s Protests

By Ramee Mossa 

On 14 February 2011, the pro-democracy Arab protest movement spread to the tiny Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain. While the first protests there began at a modest pace, the heavy handed military tactics of the government resulted in an explosion in the size and ferocity of the popular demonstrations which finally gained worldwide media attention.

Japan

Japan: Opportunities After the Crises

By Jacob Hershey

Last summer, Naoto Kan became Prime Minister as head of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) invested with the hopes of a nation for a new style of leader. After a line of unpopular and ineffective Prime Ministers, Kan made immediate efforts to reset foreign relations. His actions were on track to remedy pieces of Japan’s sad portfolio of economic problems, but a botched tax increase in June 2010 began the erosion of his tenure into business as usual.

Sarkozy

Sarkozy’s Change of Direction: Expediency or Political Principle?

By Roland Bensted

“Old Europe”. United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s 2003 phrase was one of the more polite, if not fully precise, American descriptions of French and German opposition to the US-UK led invasion of Iraq. It also highlighted the gap at the time between the Anglo-American attitude to military intervention more generally, and that of the French and Germans. Yet the scale of recent French intervention in Africa - notably in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire - indicates that France under President Nicolas Sarkozy has well and truly moved on from the “old Europe” tag.

North Korea

What To Do With North Korea

By Mario Battaglini

The March 2010 sinking of the South Korean vessel Cheonan, near Baengnyeong Island, and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island marked yet another in a long series of flare-ups of an entrenched conflict. 

J Street

J Street: A New Approach on Israel?

By Andrea Dessi

Almost four years have passed since J Street’s founding as a non-profit corporation and a registered lobbying organisation in Washington, DC. Calling itself “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans”, J Street has positioned itself as an alternative to the more traditional, right-leaning, Jewish lobbying organisations and is today slowly emerging as a new force within America’s Jewish community. 

Photo Credit: © Militza Zemskaya

A Triumph in the Desert: Capturing the Savitsky Collection

By Ferren Gipson Lloyd

The Desert of Forbidden Art sounds like it could be the title for a film adaptation of a lost tale from The Arabian Nights, but the documentary of Russian art collector Igor Savitsky is no fairy tale.