Putin Crafts Spectacle for Re-election Landslide

Source: Wikimedia commons

It is election day in Russia and the country’s incumbent president, Vladimir Putin, has his victory in the bag. The impending 2018-2024 term is expected to be Putin’s fourth in power, since the former KGB agent, once deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, relieved a widely unpopular Boris Yeltsin of the presidential sceptre in 2000. Nevertheless,… 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 ➤

Inverting Democracy: Gerrymandering in America

Source: Wikipedia

It might seem a truism to say that voters should choose their representatives, but in the USA gerrymandering has got this precisely the wrong way round. Frank Mascara had served for three decades as an elected official of Washington county, which covers southern Pittsburgh. The last eight of those had been in the House of… 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 ➤

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 ➤

A Transport Revolution? Don’t Bet on It

Take-off from London Heathrow (Source: Benson Kua)

“The biggest road building program since the Romans”, the “most extensive overhaul of our railways since the Victorians” and “modern aviation fit for the modern world”. Sound familiar? These are just some of the bold claims politicians have pedalled over the years about the need to modernise transport infrastructure in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the reality… Continue Reading ➤