Storm in a Samovar: The Unlikely Wonders of Russian Revolutionary Porcelain

Plate with Suprematist Composition by Kasimir Malevich, (1923). Photo © The Petr Aven Collection.

Pyotr Aven, whose porcelain formed part of an acclaimed exhibition at the Royal Academy last year, came to Cambridge last month to speak about his collection publicly for the first time.  Of all the words in the English language that have ever been paired with ‘revolutionary’, it is hard to think of one more deadeningly prosaic than… Continue Reading ➤

Have we finally run out of luck?

Source: Jerry Cummins

Human existence is frustratingly and sometimes terrifyingly arbitrary. Society seems to change chaotically. Nature throws us major curve balls all-too-often, with tsunamis, floods and earthquakes causing utter devastation and loss of life with little or no warning. The world can be a scarily unpredictable place, and for many people, the point of politics is to… Continue Reading ➤

Inequality in resilience to environmental shocks: now more important than ever?

Freetown, Sierra Leone, after a landslide in August 2017 which left  1,141 dead or missing. 
Source: Flickr

Although natural disasters strike indiscriminately, the extent of the damage caused is anything but random. Similar events still produce disparate levels of destruction according to the development of the affected country, and as is the case with many global tragedies, the countries worst affected tend to be those that are least developed. Natural disasters are… Continue Reading ➤

Germany’s Dilemma: The Disastrous 2017 Election & Its Consequences

Merkel in 2017. Photo: EU2017EE via Flickr.

Four months after the 2017 federal election, when Germany finally formed a government through a coalition of Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU and Martin Schulz’s SPD, the nation breathed a sigh of relief. The election season had been gruelling. But despite the resolution of its electoral crisis, Germany, once seen as the ever-constant giant holding together… Continue Reading ➤

Has the sun set on Japanese-style development?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1960, a mere 15 years since Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of a war-torn Japan, newly inaugurated Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda announced a bold initiative to spur on further development in the Japanese economy, that despite post-war reforms and improvements, still lagged behind leading Western economies. This initiative was the Income Doubling Plan, and… Continue Reading ➤

After the deal, what lies ahead for Germany and Europe?

Martin Schulz campaigning in 2017. Photo: SDP Saar via Flickr

It took five months, the failure of a “Jamaica” coalition and the threat of new elections, but, as of earlier this month, Germany finally has a government. However, the announcement that Angela Merkel’s CDU (as well as the CSU, its Bavarian sister party) have reached yet another coalition agreement with the social-democratic SPD seems to… Continue Reading ➤

The Next Financial Crisis – Unregulated Fintech?

Fintech picture

With the aftershocks of the last global recession just beginning to subside it seems prudent to turn our thoughts to the future and, in particular, to the risks facing global financial systems over the next few years.  The landscape of the financial industry greatly differs from how it looked the last time crisis permeated the… Continue Reading ➤

Interview: Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell as Secretary of State for International Development in Tunisia, 2011. Photo: Department for International Development/Kate Joseph.

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP served as Secretary of State for International Development from 2010 to 2012, and has since continued to be a leading voice in international development. He is a member of the faculty of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, and a Senior Research Associate specialising in International Development… Continue Reading ➤