The Lib Dems’ big problem: and how to solve it

A Lib Dem 'Facebook flashmob' in Trafalgar Square before the 2010 election, when Lib Dem fortunes were at their apex. But a failure to articulate a clear message is making this election battle significantly more difficult.

Becoming a Lib Dem was never a fashionable choice. But never in my lifetime has my party been as unpopular as it currently is. Much of the dissatisfaction arises from our decision to join – and, to some extent, our priorities during – a Coalition which our leader always said he was open to considering,… Continue Reading ➤

Iraq: A lost cause?

A US Marine in Anbar, conducting a security patrol around combat outpost Viking, Iraq, in 2009

As Hegel famously observed: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” Perhaps anyone involved in Western foreign policy in the Middle East should recite this every morning before they go to work, because right now we are sleepwalking into the mistakes of the past. On 16 March, the… Continue Reading ➤

Taipei’s Eslite bookstore: Microcosm of an industry in flux

The Eslite bookstore in Taipei

A bookstore might seem like the last place for young people to be Saturday nights, but the scene at Eslite in central Taiwan is anything but quiet. Towering five stories high, the Eslite flagship store seems to transcend all stereotypes: not only is it attracting customers of all ages and backgrounds, but it has seemingly shrugged… Continue Reading ➤

Ripple effects: oil prices, politics and power

The Nigerian capital, Lagos. What impact will falling oil prices have on the country's economy?

Oil plays an integral part in the landscapes of the global and local economy. The price of oil holds great importance for the public’s fuel bills, for countries’ currencies and budgets and for the general health of the macro-economy. Since June 2014, the price of Brent crude has fallen by over 55%. The principal reason… Continue Reading ➤

English: a global language, but a language nonetheless

A language laboratory in Huaihua College's Western Campus in Huaihua, Hunan, China. The rigid teaching of English in some Asian nations is hampering learners' abilities to make creative use of the language, thus harming cross-cultural communication

In the occasional but ever-growing English language fancies of South Korean TV, there is an instructional approach to answering the question “How are you?” A celebrity on a variety quiz show, a reporter interviewing an American musician or a TV character traveling through Sydney will answer all the same, verbatim, in a monotone, “I am… Continue Reading ➤

The Greens: unprincipled and incompetent?

Credit: Ben Waters

“They have fine ideals, they’re just very naïve.” So remarks a resident of Brighton & Hove about the Greens, the party running the local council. Even a cursory glance at how the authority has been managed since 2011 when the Greens took office reveals a great deal to support this view. They doubled parking charges… Continue Reading ➤

BBC Russian’s Seva Novgorodsev: my method was compassion

Seva Novgorodsev: "I was told on numerous occasions that I was the one who brought [the Soviet Union] down".

“I suppose it started in 1956 with ‘Rock around the Clock’,” says Seva Novogorodsev MBE, chuckling in a bout of reminiscence. The 74-year-old BBC Russian presenter sits across from me in a studio at BBC New Broadcasting House in London. It is the day of our interview for The Cambridge Globalist and I am, expectedly, overcome by emotion. What an honour it is… Continue Reading ➤

What next for Nigeria?

The Marina on Lagos Island in Nigeria's capital: the developed façade of a society undergoing profound change

Radios across Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city with a staggering 21 million people, are alive with fiery political debate, catchy political jingles and celebrity endorsements. Election fever has hit the city, and the entire country; albeit over a longer period than first imagined. The election was actually due to take place under the auspices of… Continue Reading ➤

Fourth past the post: what 2015 could mean for electoral reform

Credit: Ben Waters

With the general election now six weeks away, the political landscape of the United Kingdom could hardly seem more fractured. Divided between the establishment parties and the surging forces of UKIP, Green and SNP, it is seeming increasingly unlikely that the electorate will provide a clear winner on May 7th. This chaotic state of affairs… Continue Reading ➤

Brazil’s modernist dream

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Brasília, the capital of Brazil, emerges out of the country’s vast central plains like a modernist dream, with its sweeping concrete parabolas and blown open skies. Built in the late 1950s, it was the crown jewel of Brazil’s modernising project, which promised fifty years of development in five. Brasília now rises up as a spectre… Continue Reading ➤