Analysis

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

Why is my awareness here, while yours is over there? Why is the universe split in two for each of us, into a subject and an infinity of objects? Tam Hunt The Conversation How is each of us our own center of experience, receiving information about the rest of the world out there? Why are some things conscious and others apparently not? Is a rat conscious? A gnat? A bacterium? These questions are all aspects of the ancient “mind-body problem,” which ... Read More »

Is a U.S.-China Clash Over Taiwan Inevitable?

With Beijing long viewing Taiwan as a red-line and Washington continuing to consider the defense of Taiwan as a core component of its Asia policy, the room for error is getting dangerously slim. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest At a time when the trade war between Washington and Beijing shows no signs of abating and China’s policy in the South China Sea remains a major irritant in the bilateral relationship, events like the U.S.-China Diplomatic and… Defense Secretary Jim ... Read More »

Democracy is at risk in Latin America and the far right is moving in – here’s how it went wrong for the left

Latin American democracy is in peril, a crisis driven by rising social polarisation and a growing intolerance of dissent. Pia Riggirozzi The Conversation Institutional mistrust is also rising and risks deepening the disconnect between citizens and government. According to the Latin American Economic Outlook 2018, three out of four Latin Americans have very low confidence in institutions and show little or no confidence in their national governments. Likewise, a recent survey published by Intal/Latinbarometro, found that people believe that the most reliable ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Australians are the richest people in the world

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Shayanne Gal & Hilary Brueck Business Insider A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. But a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story. While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster ... Read More »

What mass shootings do to those not shot: Social consequences of mass gun violence

Mass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in the American life. They happen too often, and in very unexpected places. Concerts, movie theaters, places of worship, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation Often, and especially when a person who is not a minority or Muslim perpetrates a mass shooting, mental health is raised as a real concern or, critics say, a diversion from the real issue easy access ... Read More »

‘One China’ means different things to different people. It also might mean war

The “One China” policy means there is only one Chinese nation and that it is governed from Beijing. ABC – RN – By Antony Funnell for Rear Vision Right? Wrong. In fact, the policy allows for the existence of two separate Chinese entities, not one. They are People’s Republic of China (PRC), governed by the Communist Party from Beijing, and the Republic of China (ROC), based on the island of Taiwan and governed by the Democratic Progressive Party. If that sounds confusing, it’s because ... Read More »

South Sudan faces collapse if peace pact fails again. This can be averted

South Sudan is arguably the most fragile state in the world. Lacking an institutional legacy at its creation in 2011, political, security, economic, and social indicators have all deteriorated amid civil conflict. Luka Kuol The Conversation As state legitimacy has eroded, the number of armed factions and tribal militias has increased rapidly, now exceeding 40 such groups. One consequence of the prolonged conflict is that South Sudan – a nation of over 13 million people – is now one of the main sources of ... Read More »

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Has a First-World Problem

The world’s biggest SWF wants to cut back on the diversification of its fixed-income portfolio. It deserves a hearing, whatever the experts say. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg It’s the very definition of a first-world problem, but Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund is wrestling with whether to make its investment portfolio less diverse. It’s a subject that cuts to the heart of the “active manager versus passive index” debate. As part of a long-running review, which will lift the fund’s equity ... Read More »

The Possibility of US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty

It is no secret that the modern globalised world is increasingly dependent on the quality of states implementing international agreements that regulate relations between countries. ISF This is of particular importance in fields such as human rights, the environment, and, of course, disarmament and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) prohibition. On October 20 Donald Trump stated that the US decided to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to start developing weapons prohibited under the treaty. This ... Read More »

Women candidates break records in the 2018 US midterm elections

The 2018 midterms broke the records on female candidates in US elections More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives. Jennifer Mathers The Conversation If we also consider state elections for executive roles such as governor as well as state legislatures, the number of female candidates in 2018 rises by another 3,500. The results mean that several states (including Arizonaand Tennessee) will now send their first ever women to the Senate, and more than ... Read More »

Rebuke but not rejection gives Trump hope for a second term

New York: The US midterm elections should deliver a blaring wake-up call to both Donald Trump and to the Democratic Party. Matthew Knott Brisbane Times The question is whether either Trump or his political opponents possess the self-reflection required to turn the results into a springboard to victory at the 2020 presidential election. Firstly, the President. While Trump will try to focus on the Republicans’ strong performance in the Senate, there is no escaping the fact that voters have delivered a ... Read More »

Uzi: The Israeli Super Machine Gun That Conquered the World

Uzi was a textbook example of a simple project successfully completed by a nascent arms industry. Kyle Mizokami The National Interest A well-designed, reliable submachine gun made of stamped parts, it was simple to build and had universal appeal. Although mostly out of service, the Uzi’s profile will be recognizable for decades to come. Outside of Israel the Uzi proliferated widely, contributing to its global image. Countries as diverse as Japan, Germany, Belgium, Peru and Brazil all used the Uzi ... Read More »

Macron criticizes ‘ultra-liberal’ Europe

French president points the finger at all those who have resisted his plans. By ZACHARY YOUNG AND NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico PARIS — Emmanuel Macron is gearing up to win back his popularity and influence in the European Union — by railing against “ultra-liberals” who he says have failed the bloc’s working people. In his first appearance on a radio talk show since he was sworn in, the increasingly unpopular French president came out swinging against an EU he is better known for defending against ... Read More »

The United Arab Emirates in the Horn of Africa

The UAE, together with its ally Saudi Arabia, played a highly visible role in helping make peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. ICG As its footprint across the Horn of Africa grows, the UAE should avoid having intra-Gulf competition colour its engagement. What’s new?  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding its role in the Horn of Africa. Along with other Gulf powers, it is broadening its ties to the region. Strategic rivalries, including those within the Gulf Cooperation Council ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: how states are increasingly repressing dissidents beyond their borders

Authoritarian states have long tried to suppress dissidents who oppose the regime But in the age of globalisation, they are increasingly able to mobilise beyond their territorial borders and target political opponents overseas. Aurhors: The Conversation The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi regime insider who became a critic in self exile of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an extreme example of this new reality. Although the precise details of Khashoggi’s murder have yet to be proved, his grim fate – he ... Read More »