The Italian Spring

Renzi

The demolisher The Italians love nicknames, and their politicians are not exempted. After il Divo Andreotti, il Cavaliere Berlusconi, il Professore Monti, now comes il Rottamatore—‘the demolisher’—Matteo Renzi. And how he has lived up to his name. Renzi has demolished the typical path of an Italian political career. By the time Matteo Renzi’s image finally flashed across major global news outlets, driving… Continue Reading ➤

Dangerous, Dirty and Demanding: China’s Migrant Workers Under the Hukou System

A Chinese migrant worker in her dormitory [source: World Bank Photo Collection]

China’s portentous and sustained economic growth has impressed commentators all over the world, and is widely considered to be a history of success. Lured by double-digit GDP growth, enthusiasts and apologists failed for decades to see the human cost of China’s economic miracle, a cost brought mostly by the millions of rural migrant workers who… Continue Reading ➤

The Controversial Legacy of Ariel Sharon

controversial sharon

After spending eight years in a coma, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on 11 January from multiple organ failure. Following his death, Sharon’s legacy has once again come under scrutiny. This article examines the divided opinions regarding this controversial political figure. “Didn’t I tell you that he will be consigned to the trash… Continue Reading ➤

Westminster’s Empathy Deficit: Shifting down the political spectrum

Source: CNN.com; September 18, 2013

I’ve got it. I know where we’re going wrong. I’ve solved politics. Hold your revolution, Russell Brand; it all hinges on one crucial point – the difference between “sympathy” and “empathy”. The solution is beautifully simple: changing those two little letters could turn political disillusionment on its head. SYMPATHY Noun: Feelings of pity and sorrow for… Continue Reading ➤

Passing The Buck: Can democracies ever handle debt?

Source: Jay Mallin, Bloomberg News

The ability to raise capital by issuing debt is a double-edged sword for democratic governments. ‘Sovereign debt’ can finance national-building investments, or buy immediate popular support by putting off painful fiscal choices. The line between the two can be difficult to draw. However, recent American paroxysms over the debt limit and the rolling Eurozone debt… Continue Reading ➤