Russia: Aggressor in the Baltics?

Московский Кремль [source: Pedro J Pacheco]

NATO’s 10-day TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 exercise came to a close on Monday 17 November amidst growing fears that the Kremlin’s alleged military intervention in Ukraine will be followed by a campaign of intimidation and psychological diminishment in the Baltics, in what is seen as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to reaffirm Russia’s status in its former sphere… Continue Reading ➤

What next for the Union?

[source: Wikipedia]

How fitting that last week, just when the Yes campaign looked like it might win and Westminster burst into flames of panic, J.M. W. Turner’s ‘The Burning of Parliament’ took centre stage in the Tate Britain’s new exhibition of our greatest artist’s late masterpieces. Turner witnessed the blaze at first hand in 1834, and it… Continue Reading ➤

Factory Bound: Gender Inequality in China

Foxlink factory in China [source: flickr]

China under Mao is remembered as a time of ideological chauvinism and societal paranoia, but also of radical commitment to gender egalitarianism: according to the Communist leadership, true socialism would come only if women participated in society on a par with men. This egalitarian ethos was certainly enlightened, but it was by no means perfect…. Continue Reading ➤

The Italian Spring


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 ➤