Banker Bashing Is Useless

By Pablo de Orellana

In the aftermath of the Great Depression and World War II, social democratic ideals including welfare, social rights and moves towards equality became the basis for the transformation of European and North American societies through governmental intervention in social and economic dynamics. Considering present US reticence to federal taxation and spending, it is hard to believe Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. In the present crisis, the state of emergency is thwarting democratic debate to the extent that realist urgency, emergency and necessity are fast becoming the only currency of political debate, the only valid principles. 


Sound and Fury: Kirchner and the Falklands

By Joe Attwood

On 27 June 2012, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner stood at a podium and ad-libbed a farewell speech to her country’s Olympic team as they made final preparations for their departure to the London 2012 Games. Kirchner reassured her nation that despite the recent increase in tensions over the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute, and despite competing in the capital city of the country with whom the dispute exists, neither her government nor the Olympic team would do anything during the Games that does not have to do with sports. During the competition, said Kirchner, Argentina would compete, represent its flag, and not do anything outside of sport to draw attention to itself.


The Founding of a Republic: Rewriting the Epic Story of China

By Pablo de Orellana

The Founding of a Republic, a Chinese state-sponsored film celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and the victory of communism over the Kuomintang, is a rather spectacular production. Jackie Chan as well as every nationally and internationally renowned Chinese actor and actress was recruited to raise its profile through minor cameos. Its greatest achievements, however, are firstly the beautifully texturised accuracy of the historical rendition, and most importantly how it avoids discussing the essence of communism.


The Fight for Competent Criminal Justice in South Africa Continues

By Sarah Logan

Recent weeks have seen South Africa’s crime intelligence boss, Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli, suspended, reinstated, and suspended for a career third time by the Acting National Police Commissioner, Major General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, pending an ongoing court inquiry into the 1999 murder of Mdluli’s former lover’s husband, Oupa Ramogibe.


Is Europe’s Problem German Strength or Weakness?

By Roland Bensted

The election in March 2012 of Joachim Gauck as Germany’s President demonstrates a remarkable achievement of recent German history. For the first time since unification in October 1990, Germany has a Chancellor and President from the former East Germany. Widely admired both for the size of its export oriented economy, Europe’s largest, and for its more enlightened way of doing capitalism, Germany had the capability and the necessary goodwill before the start of the Eurozone crisis to take a positive leadership role during the downturn. Its voice within the EU is very strong, as it has been since the EU’s inception. Yet Germany has squandered these advantages.

Atlantic Community

Partners in Democracy, Partners in Security: NATO and the Arab Spring

By Alexander Corbeil, Gillian Kennedy, Geoffrey Levin, Vivien Pertusot, Josiah Surface

The Arab Spring has created significant challenges and unprecedented opportunities for NATO and its partners in the Mediterranean region. New security issues have emerged alongside new regimes and regional instability looms. State failure, civil conflict, and institutional collapse could present a number of major security threats, among them the creation of a refugee crisis affecting NATO members, increased illegal arms trafficking, and a breeding ground for militant groups in a Somali-like setting near European shores.


The Race for City Hall

By Roland Bensted

An outside observer to the race for Mayor of London could be forgiven for wondering how little has changed since 2008. With the election for what is sometimes said to be the second most powerful role in British politics due to take place on 3 May alongside the election of members to the Greater London Assembly, the three main parties have selected the same candidates who contested the May 2008 Mayoral ballot. Yet, outside of the Mayoral race itself, the UK and London, have faced significant economic and social turbulence since the May 2008 ballot.