Geographies
Sectarianism in Yemen

Sectarianism in Yemen

Media analysts frequently overemphasize Sunni-Shi’i divisions in Yemen, as though they are longstanding religious problems, with crude, irrational origins. Such discourse purposefully clouds the complex tribal, regional, and structural conflicts in the country. More»

Late Night Nostalgia

Late Night Nostalgia

Like many Americans, I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about David Letterman’s final shows. But it wasn’t until the past few days that I actually watched them “live”. Aside from sporting events, I almost never watch television in a traditional way anymore. So when I finally managed to tune into our local CBS affiliate at 10:30pm, it felt almost like time travel. More»

UKIP and the Far-Right

UKIP and the Far-Right

It’d a landmark achievement. UKIP won 3.8 million votes, and secured one parliamentary seat, as well as control of Thanet Council. Nigel Farage lost his bid for South Thanet, as Mark Reckless lost his seat, leaving Tory defector Douglas Carswell to hold on in Clacton. This right-of-centre party has broken into the mainstream after two decades on the margins. More»

The Shame of Malls

The Shame of Malls

For my birthday last week, I received three T-shirts featuring Walter Benjamin. It’s hard to imagine a better example of “long tail” marketing. I was delighted. But one of them made me uneasy. Playing off the now-ubiquitous religious slogan, it asks, “What would Benjamin do?” The truth, though, is that few thinkers have been less invested in getting things done. More»

Germany in Palestine

Germany in Palestine

So passed the days of our training, swiftly, monotonously, until the fateful December morning when the news came like a thunderbolt that Turkey was about to join hands with Germany. We had had reports of the war—of a kind. Copies of telegrams from Constantinople, printed in Arabic, were circulated among us, giving accounts of endless German victories. More»

Early '90s Flashback

Early ’90s Flashback

The pub was packed to the gills with people, who had just finished work, but wanted to jeer at the ultimate blood-sport. My pal and I assessed the odds: I settled on an inky stout, he bought a large whiskey. The first exit poll conducted by Ipsos Mori was announced at 10 PM on Thursday night. The results came as a shock to seasoned observers, who had been expecting a close race. More»

The Uzbekistan Elections

The Uzbekistan Elections

On March 29, presidential elections were held in Uzbekistan. As expected, the current president, Islam Karimov, was reelected. The 77-year old  has been in power for over a quarter of a century, and just began his fourth consecutive term, despite the fact that Uzbek constitution limits presidents to two. More»

Dead Labour

Dead Labour

The last ‘debate’ was somewhat uneventful. Except for one instance, Ed Miliband said he would not have a Labour government if it meant cutting a deal with the SNP. The statement has shocked progressives, but it has been welcomed by Blairites like Martin Kettle. Finally, the Labour leader had emitted yelping noises at the right pitch and sufficiently demonstrated his subservience. More»

Small Was Beautiful

Small Was Beautiful

The Etonian scribbler James Delingpole likes to describe the Greens as watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside. Today’s Green Party is well to the Left of the trilateral consensus, and its policies have shocked many minds ensnared by conventional wisdom. But it wasn’t always the case. All parties are coalitions, and coalitions mutate over time. More»

Maryland, My Maryland

Maryland, My Maryland

When my family moved to Maryland in the summer of 1979, I was only eleven years old. Yet I already knew enough American history to be intrigued by the prospect of living south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I had absorbed enough from family vacations to have a pretty clear sense of what that would have meant in a state like Georgia or South Carolina. Maryland, though, confused me. More»

White Identity Politics

White Identity Politics

As the media has inflated UKIP’s popularity, all analyses should come with a series of clarifications. The party is the fourth in the country in terms of council seats won, but it lags far behind in terms of parliamentary seats. The main gains have been in the European Parliament thanks to low turnout and a proportional electoral system. More»

Shelf Life Justice

Shelf Life Justice

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions,” Shakespeare once wrote. And so it has been in Britain this week, as massacres in Malaya and Malawi, and dark deeds during Northern Ireland’s Troubles appeared to be catching up with the establishment. More»