Old Front, New Façade

marinelepen

The magazine Minute is not in the business of playing devil’s advocate. As the unadulterated mouthpiece of the French extreme-right, it is regularly and deliberately embroiled in controversy. Its most famous debacle came in the run up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, when it ran an article by politician Georges Frêche posing the question, ‘are there… Continue Reading ➤

Uruguay’s Clasificadores

Source: GlobalRec, Comunicado de Prensa: Una nueva Marcha de Carros de la UCRUS, September 5 2012

It’s a typically chilly July afternoon. Traffic on one of Montevideo’s busiest streets is gridlocked by dozens of horse-drawn rubbish carts. Pulling up outside the Palacio Municipal, home to Montevideo’s regional government or Intendencia, the rickety carros and their drivers cause quite a stir. These clasificadores steer their carts through the streets of Montevideo, collecting rubbish from households and more often… Continue Reading ➤

Bon Appétit: Capitalism, with a Side of Fair Trade

fairtrade

Recognizing the “fair trade” certification symbol on a favourite supermarket food item is often cause for a mental pat-on-the-back for more ethically-minded consumers. This is because this symbol often comes along with a Fairtrade Association promise that the item in your basket has been produced with “better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair… Continue Reading ➤

Uneconomical Nomads in the Negev

Wadi al Na'am, a Bedouin Village [Source: Eliyahu Hershkovitz]

In September 2011 the Israeli government embarked on a five-year economic development programme aimed at the Bedouin: a traditionally nomadic Middle Eastern people with a significant population in the country’s Negev Desert. It claims that the Prawer-Begin Plan will raise living conditions, improve access to services, and help the long-term prospects of what has long… 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 ➤

Too Pale, Too Male: Sparks Fly Over Race and Admissions

Leslie Social lecture theatre at the University of Cape Town [source: Ian Barbour]

Sophie Lalla tosses her backpack and skateboard down onto the library steps. She sits down and gazes out over the University of Cape Town (UCT)’s central campus, a scenic expanse punctuated by lush rugby fields and ivy-covered classrooms. Students are gathered in small clusters, some giggling and many hard at work—after all, they’re enrolled in… Continue Reading ➤