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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Society”

The 28 People Who Are Shaping, Shaking And Stirring Europe

It’s impossible to know what the coming year holds for the European Union. But one thing is certain: The bloc’s leaders will spend much of the next 12 months wrestling with its future. That’s why Christian Lindner tops our list of the 28 people who will shape Europe in 2018. The pugnacious liberal leader occupies a key place in Germany’s politics: at the head of a conservative, Euro-cautious segment of the electorate. By pulling the plug on coalition talks in November, Lindner cast his country into political turmoil and ensured his place at the centre of the ensuing debate.

Read Here – Politico Europe

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After 30 Years In A Coma, The Real Saudi ‘Awakening’ Begins Now

It was not an ordinary statement or pledge; not only because it was made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but also because of what it implied — and it was followed only two weeks later with an exceptional, earth-shattering move.

Read Here – Arab News

Japan’s Abandoned Land To Be Size Of Sri Lanka, Costing Country $52bn

Around 11% of Japan’s land is “unclaimed” — plots that cannot be traced back to their owners. The figure is expected to jump to 19% by 2040, according to an expert study group. To put that into perspective, currently 41,000 sq km of land, equivalent to the Japanese island of Kyushu, or slightly smaller than Taiwan, is unclaimed. That will expand to 72,000 sq km, equivalent to the bigger Japanese island of Hokkaido, or larger than Sri Lanka.

Read Here – Nikkei Asian Review

Broad Support For Representative And Direct Democracy Globally, But Many Also Endorse Non-Democratic Alternatives

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country. Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military.

Read Here – Pew Research

As Hong Kong dims, Asia Can Learn Much From Singapore, East Timor And Bhutan

The story of Asia today remains very much one driven by its largest nations and economies. An increasingly assertive China, a slow-growing Japan, a rising India and a still emerging Indonesia dominate the headlines, along with mounting tensions from the Korean peninsula. Yet, all of “Asia rising” can take a lesson from some of the region’s smallest countries.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Saudi Arabia Must Prepare For The Post-Petroleum Order

What’s the larger picture of Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer? The prince is trying to prepare Saudi Arabia for a post-petroleum order, in theory by unlocking competitiveness and creativity. His plan is detailed in Vision 2030. It includes reducing the number of royal family members on the government payroll. It also increases domestic tourism—based on the premises that the under-thirty generation has fewer resources to travel abroad for entertainment and tourism, and a desire to keep Saudi money within the kingdom.

Read Here – The National Interest

Return of The City-State

Photo by Alex Jodoin on Unsplash

We are just as deluded that our model of living in ‘countries’ is inevitable and eternal. Yes, there are dictatorships and democracies, but the whole world is made up of nation-states. This means a blend of ‘nation’ (people with common attributes and characteristics) and ‘state’ (an organised political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states). Try to imagine a world without countries – you can’t. Our sense of who we are, our loyalties, our rights and obligations, are bound up in them.

Read Here – Aeon

Iran’s ‘City Of Mullahs’ Has A Surprising Side

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate… Qom became the bedrock of Iran’s theocracy and remains one of the country’s holiest places — home to 200,000 religious scholars, a destination for Shiite Muslim pilgrims and a center of Islamic thought in a country whose political system is controlled by the clerical establishment. But the city of about 1 million is no longer single-mindedly religious, and its clerics are not immune to the anxieties bubbling beneath the surface of modern Iran.

Read Here – The Los Angeles Times

Sikhs in America: A History of Hate

The 1907 episode in a seaside timber town in Washington came to be known as the Bellingham Riots. Really, though, there were no riots. There was a pogrom. At the time, the U.S. was suffering through deep economic distress, a panic-filled recession that had begun the year before. Angry anti-immigrant sentiment was ascendant. And hundreds of Sikh men who had traveled from India to Bellingham to toil in the lumber mills paid the price.

Read Here – ProPublica

Does China’s Money Threaten Canada’s Sovereignty?

What does China want from Canada? And should Canadians, contrary to their welcoming prime minister, be worried about China’s interest in this land, particularly its urban real estate? No Canadian region is more impacted by Mainland Chinese capital than Metro Vancouver, a relatively small city of 2.5 million.

Read Here – Vancouver Sun

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