Geographies
SYRIZA, Take Two

SYRIZA, Take Two

Few ruling parties have their legacies written and the successes and failures declared in less than a month’s time in power, but left-wing critics have decided there are new rules for SYRIZA, the radical left coalition elected in Greece at the end of January. More»

It's All Greece To Me

It’s All Greece To Me

Ever since the midterm elections in the United States, not a day goes by without news of some new offensive by the Right on a “hard” target of the modern welfare state: labor unions, environmental protections and, most prominently, public education. To some, the pace and power of the attacks signal the dawn of a political age; to others, they simply represent another stage in the Reagan Revolution. More»

Stalin Was Here

Stalin Was Here

Georgia’s blazing summers are occasionally interrupted by hailstorms which smash grapes from the vines and wreck the tomato farmers’ crops. It was while we were sheltering from one of these in the shop – the centre of village gossip – that I heard about the trouble in nearby Tsromi, a larger village in the same Shida Kartli region of central Georgia. More»

Mali and the Sahel

Mali and the Sahel

“You want to cut hands? Here are two! Cut them!” So dares a fishmonger to the occupiers of her hometown, theatrically presenting the officer leading them with her fileting knife. The scene is one of the most memorable from the Franco-Mauritanian Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, released in December 2014. More»

Ukraine in Half-Sentences

Ukraine in Half-Sentences

‘When talking about Ukraine, the Western left rarely talks about the Ukrainians’. These words, spoken by a Ukrainian expatriate in London, have resonated since the start of the crisis, as those of all political sympathies or none have formed convictions and preconceptions on where they should stand. More»

Going to Auschwitz

Going to Auschwitz

War is hell, or so the adage goes. Especially when we think back to the twentieth century, to events like Dresden, and Hiroshima. 2014 was an especially poignant year in this regard, as Europe observed the 100th anniversary of WWI, and Russia went to war again, in the Ukraine. 100 years didn’t seem like a long time, in the grand scheme of things. The world remained stuck on the cusp of the 19th century. More»

Favelas in Lisbon

Favelas in Lisbon

Last Thursday night, Portuguese police once again embroiled themselves in brutal violence in the outskirts of Lisbon. Officers have been known to beat and shoot civilians, as well as known social and anti-racist activists, in Cova da Moura. More»

Trade Versus Democracy

Trade Versus Democracy

It was in late March last year that LBC Radio hosted a debate between Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, and UKIP chief Nigel Farage, over whether the UK should leave the European Union. It was meant to be a reasoned debate, where the opposing cases on the EU could be heard and judged by the British public. But, as to be expected, it failed. More»

The Right To Be Wrong

The Right To Be Wrong

The horrifying quality of the attacks at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and at the Hyper Cacher market in Porte de Vincennes continues to roil Europe. The immediate aftermath saw outpourings of support for the periodical, in particular, and for “free speech” in general, although the definition of the latter was (and continues to be) a matter of some debate. More»

Feminising Islamic Militarism

Feminising Islamic Militarism

Since the War on Terror began, and especially since the rise of Islamic State, analysts have been alarmed by female jihadists. Maybe “alarmed” is the wrong word. Bewildered seems more appropriate. Regardless, the topic is quickly becoming an industry in its own right. More»

Someone Else's Problem

Someone Else’s Problem

Sometimes it’s easier to perceive a country’s most pressing problems when you don’t speak the language. It was August, 1986. I had only been in Germany a few weeks. All I could really say were sentences like “It is X” and “I am Y”. Understanding others was even harder. But I had already figured out that the words Obdachlosen and Asylanten were crucial for understanding the nation’s future. More»

How Not to Analyze Yemen

How Not to Analyze Yemen

The situation in Yemen continues to degenerate faster than the media can analyze it. Since the Houthi seizure of power on Tuesday, there has been a flurry of negotiations, protests, counterattacks, and even outright declarations of independence in the restive south.  More»