This is the Way the World Ends

Photo: Wikipedia

As the Syrian conflict drags on, it becomes possible to speculate about how it might end.  As the first major conflict to emerge in a world context of universal communication and limitless reproduction of the stories and imagery of war, it has cemented itself in the imagination like no other conflict of recent times.  This… Continue Reading ➤

Interview: Nick Cohen

Photo: YouTube

Nick Cohen is a writer and political commentator. He contributes to the Observer, Guardian, Spectator, Time and Standpoint magazine. Nick has published a number of books, including What’s Left? How the Left Lost Its Way (2007) which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing. Alastair: We’d like to start off by talking about liberalism and… Continue Reading ➤

The Land of Make Believe: Federalism in Russia

“Let’s meet at the cafe on the right,” read the note in my hand. “It’s the one where they don’t sell cigarettes.” I stood on the corner of Rue La Bruyère and Rue Jean-Baptiste-Pigalle in the Saint-Georges district of Paris. The byzantine domes of Sacré Coeur could be glimpsed at a distance, their impressive alabaster gently piercing the ultramarine sky,… Continue Reading ➤

Interview: Sir Jeremy Greenstock

Photo: Wikipedia

Sir Jeremy Greenstock is one of Britain’s most distinguished diplomats. He has spent much of his career occupied with the Middle East and US/Western European relations.  His diplomatic career culminated as the UK Special Envoy for Iraq from September 2003 to March 2004 following five years between 1998 and 2003 as the UK Permanent Representative… Continue Reading ➤

Alternatives for East Germany

Konrad Adam, Frauke Petry and Bernd Lucke

Perhaps one of the most iconic images of the 20th century is that of East Berliners joyfully chipping away at the wall which had kept them prisoner for 28 years.  Around 5000 people are believed to have attempted to escape over the wall, while countless other East Germans illegally watched West German television, many fascinated by the… Continue Reading ➤

From the darling of the West to accusations of a 30-year dictatorship: Museveni’s persistence in the face of electoral fraud

Photo: Gabriel White

Sceptical Ugandans cite corruption and continually rigged elections as hindrances to the development of the ‘pearl of Africa’ in the months after Dr Kizza Besigye’s latest failed run for presidency. ‘Vote Museveni’ t-shirts, with the President’s faded but smiling face, and the washed out election posters covering any and all available outside spaces provide a… Continue Reading ➤

Kwan-li-so: unspoken, unchallenged

Korea image

Hoeryong concentration camp, northeast North Korea: officially named Kwan-li-so, No. 22. A Russian doll of obscurity, the camp is within a valley, with many side valleys, enclosed by 1,300 – 2,300 ft. high mountains. From the macro to the micro, the camp measures 225km2 in area, skirted by an inner 33,000 volt electric fence and… Continue Reading ➤

Uncovering Chernobyl, Thirty Years On

Photo: Hugh Mitton

“I personally think that Chernobyl contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union,” said Dr. Galia Ackerman, taking a sip of her café allongé. The Franco-Russian journalist and I sat in her living room in Paris on the morning of 28 April, just two days after the 30th anniversary of the catastrophic explosion at the… Continue Reading ➤

‘Vote Leave, take control’ – the misleading promise of the Brexiteers

Photo: Ken Mayer

The assertions of the ‘Leave’ campaign that an exit from the European Union would allow Britain to regain full control of its own borders, seize back decision making from Brussels, and ‘make Britain great again’, tied immigration control and national sovereignty in a manner that resonated with enough of the population to secure a victory… Continue Reading ➤

Bubbling up: How the thawing out of Siberian permafrost spells trouble for curbing climatic meltdown

Photo: Wikipedia

With both scientific and media discourse dominated by talk of global warming, permafrost is a reminder that we are still transitioning out of an ice age that has shaped life on this planet for the past two and a half million years. Consisting primarily of a frozen mixture of frozen earth, peat, methane and water,… Continue Reading ➤