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International Affairs

China’s Silk Road Revival

|By Shashi Tharoor| NEW DELHI – The phrase “Silk Road” evokes a romantic image – half history, half myth – of tented camel caravans winding their way across the trackless deserts and mountains of Central Asia. But the Silk Road is not just part of a fabled past; it is an important feature of China’s current foreign policy. The historical ...

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President Barack Obama

America’s Never-Ending War

|By Brahma Chellaney| NEW DELHI – It is official: US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama is at war again. After toppling Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi and bombing targets in Somalia and Yemen, Obama has initiated airstrikes in northern Iraq, effectively declaring war on the Islamic State – a decision that will involve infringing on the sovereign, if ...

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Great British break off averted, but can a new deal for the UK really be cooked up like this?

|By Mark Elliott |The Conversation| An article of faith in the Scottish independence debate has – quite rightly – been that it was for Scotland, and only Scotland, to decide whether it should remain part of the UK. But it is equally clear, now that Scotland has rejected independence, that a broader debate is necessary. That debate will reverberate throughout ...

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The Price of Scottish Independence

By Jeffrey D. Sachs NEW YORK – Though the world’s eyes now are on Scotland’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom, Scotland is not alone in seeking to redraw national boundaries. There are independence movements in many other parts of the world; indeed, 39 new states have joined the United Nations since 1980. The Scottish pro-independence campaign is based ...

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A Great Breakdown?

|By Kemal Derviş| ISTANBUL – This month – the centenary of the outbreak of World War I – is an opportune time to reflect on big risks. As Michael Spence recently warned, the international order’s widening security deficit, reflecting the weakening of whatever global governance we have, is fast becoming the biggest risk facing the world economy. The same point could ...

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Twitter tiffs and celebrity clashes as stars wade into Gaza debate

|By Mark Wheeler, London Metropolitan University|The Conversation| Celebrity humanitarians have had a profound impact upon the practice of international political communication. New forms of political participation have emerged as celebrity activists have reconfigured politics for a more fragmented and image-conscious public arena. But until the current controversy concerning Israel’s military action within Gaza, celebrities have largely steered clear of the ...

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The Other Nigeria

|By Paul Collier and Acha Leke| LAGOS – Nigeria has been getting a lot of bad press lately, owing largely to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April, part of a brutal campaign of kidnappings, bombings, and murder But, while these developments certainly merit international concern, they should not be allowed to obscure ...

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Unholy War

|By Naomi Wolf| New York – As the bombardment of Gaza continues, and the civilian death toll rises above 1,200 – with children comprising one-quarter of the victims – the world has become polarized. Supporters of Israel’s actions invoke its right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks. Opponents argue that nothing justifies the mass killing of civilians and the destruction ...

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Why remember the past? The case of Tiananmen

|By John Keane, University of Sydney| The Conversation| Most people know from daily experience that memories are vital for their sense of well-being. Memory is the bearer of lavish gifts. It strengthens our capacity for living in the present. Memory brings direction. It prompts us to move on, to imagine different futures.When it comes to whole political orders, the remembrance of ...

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Words, words and more damned words

|By Mari Marcel Thekaekara | New Internationalist| The news of the 286 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram has provoked universal condemnation. If, sitting safely in our homes, secure in the knowledge that such a thing could never happen to our children, we can feel such a sense of anger and outrage, imagine the plight of the girls and their families. ...

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