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Return of history (2)

By remarkable coincidence, Kishore Mahbubani, with whom I have in the past exchanged views both in Singapore and by email, wrote in yesterday’s Financial Times, making the identical point that my post made: we are seeing played out in Georgia, “the return of history” – not its end and not the “triumph of western civilisation”.… » read more

Return of history

Francis Fukiyama was wrong. We have not been witnessing the end of history, but the return of history. One reason for this is that we have not learned the lessons of history. But who did not at least think that 1989 had brought to an end four decades of Cold War in Europe and the… » read more

EU will grow own rice

As global food prices are soaring, the Doha trade liberalization talks are dead, more and more countries are going back to self-reliance in food. Western European investors are just discovering Romania’s rice paddies, which were build under the rule of Nicolae Ceausescu. The dictator himself prided Romania as a self-sustainable country. As the world price… » read more

Barack Obama goes home

Kuwait – Afghanistan – Iraq – Jordan – Israel – West Bank – Berlin – Paris – London, was the Barack Obama itinerary for the past week. The ‘celebrity tour’ element was a great success. However, the tour was part of his American electoral campaign, and the degree of its success will be seen in… » read more

Ahead of the Democrat Presidential candidate’s current foreign trip, Barack Obama laid out his ‘national security strategy’ in Washington on 15 July. His inspiration for the renewal of the global order is George Marshall. Needed then and needed again now is “a new overarching strategy to meet the challenges of a new and dangerous world.”… » read more

G8: an anachronism

Now that Hokkaido island has returns to normality, we should read the lengthy communiqués very carefully, as the Japanese bill for the summit is apparently €381m. Africa: The leaders re-committed themselves to the promises made three years ago at Gleneagles. Whether or not the agreed emission targets are sufficient, what is the mechanism to ensure… » read more

What is happening in Zimbabwe is horrific and unforgivable. The proposed sanctions resolution on Zimbabwe, rejected by the UN Security Council after vetoes by Russia and China on 11 July, is the latest example of a diplomatic and economic weapon that has a distinctly mixed history of success and failure. Whatever the true reasons for… » read more

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, signed by 189 countries (but not India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea) has been a dismal failure. Its objective is to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, but at the same time the nuclear powers agreed to reduce their stockpiles (which they have failed to do). […] Original post… » read more

I commend to you this week’s first leader in The Economist, the beginning of which is reproduced below. “Global institutions are an outdated muddle; the rise of Asia makes their reform a priority for the West CLUBS are all too often full of people prattling on about things they no longer know about. On July… » read more

Corruption requires at least two parties. There is constant criticism of corrupt Middle Eastern and African governments. However, six EU Member States have still not ratified the October 2003 UN Convention against Corruption, including two G8 members, Germany and Italy. Japan, another G8 member has also not ratified. Transparency International has just published a damning… » read more

The Central European Initiative is holding its two-days summit on this weekend. The rather loose regional co-operation is not very high on the international political agenda. The first news I found in English was from the Chinese Xinhua agency. The only news they produced on the Hungarian radio is who abstained from the meeting. The… » read more

When it comes to a new enlargement round in eastern Europe, the EU can’t go forward and can’t go back writes Krzysztof Bobinski. (SPRING 2008) In Ukraine, the EU’s failure to encourage the government in its European aspirations risks creating a growing disillusionment with the West. That would strengthen Russia’s position in Ukraine, where Moscow… » read more

The Atlantic Review has a useful mesh-up on France’s defence policy. France has signaled over the past few months that it may pursue reintegration into the NATO command structure, which President Charles de Gaulle left in 1966. The more positive reading of this policy shift is that after re-integration Europe will be stronger within NATO… » read more

The economies of Central and South America offer huge opportunities for European business. But Carlo Secchi doubts whether the EU is doing enough to develop its relationship with the region SPRING 2008 By 2050 Brazil and Mexico will be among the world’s six leading economies. Does the European Union care? Perhaps, but almost certainly not… » read more

Globalisation connects people, societies and economies in an unprecedented way, so it is very useful to analyise the stability of countries in a comparative way. The most recent global toolkit is Jane’s Country Risk, which puts the EU in general into a favorable light, but it also highlights possible risks that will effect the lives… » read more

Globalisation connects people, societies and economies in an unprecedented way, so it is very useful to analyise the stability of countries in a comparative way. The most recent global toolkit is Jane’s Country Risk, which puts the EU in general into a favorable light, but it also highlights possible risks that will effect the lives… » read more

Globalisation connects people, societies and economies in an unprecedented way, so it is very useful to analyise the stability of countries in a comparative way. The most recent global toolkit is Jane’s Country Risk, which puts the EU in general into a favorable light, but it also highlights possible risks that will effect the lives… » read more

Central and Eastern Europe are full with arguments about how many and what kind of precedents the secession of Kosovo mean for the international community. International relations need precedents, because agreements are slow to take shape, and there are no permanent global institutions to enforce them. In the Kosovo crisis a positive and successful precedent… » read more

There must be something fundamentally wrong with a world when • submortgage losses are estimated at $300-400bn • one stealth bomber costs $1.2bn • one country is spending annually $150bn in Iraq • over one million people do not have access to clean water. Original post by crossick

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