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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Busy Day: Posts are Coming

    Both work and home issues have kept occupied all day, but several posts are being worked on; stay tuned for late tonight and/or tomorrow.

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  • The World

    FT podcast: World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

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  • Moneybox

    Bezos Says 2014 Is off to a 'Kinetic Start'

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  • Moneybox

    Is It OK to Invest in a Company if Its CEO Beats Women?

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  • The Cable

    Obama Administration Insists Mideast Peace Talks Still Alive

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  • Moneybox

    Ronald McDonald Gets a Makeover, Remains Terrifying

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    More Old ME Newsreels from the British Pathé Archives

    I previously noted the fact that British Pathé, the famed newsreel company, has made what it describes as 85,000 historical films available online at YouTube. I'm looking for Middle East-relevant ones, and here are several up front. (Warning: may contain assumptions from the days of the British Empire.) Feisal of Iraq visiting his brother Abdullah in Transjordan, 1923: The death and burial of T.E. Lawrence, 1935:Two videos of the end of Vichy rule in Syria (1941): evacuation of Vichy troops; de Gaulle's arrival in Syria (no soundtrack on the second): Wartime tensions between Lebanon and France,1943:How Pathé reported the 1952 coup in Egypt: ...more

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  • China Matters

    Once Upon a Time, President Obama Thought About Not Affirming Coverage of the Senkakus...

    ...In the US-Japan Security Treaty I should address President Obama’s explicit statement in Japan that the Senkakus were covered by the US-Japan Security Treaty.Nothing particularly new here; Secretary of State Clinton affirmed coverage in 2010 and I think it’s been reaffirmed incessantly since then.Now, if President Obama had declared that the US regarded the Senkakus as Japanese sovereign territories (he didn’t; he carefully described them as territories administered by Japan), the PRC would have justifiably gone apeshit.I am getting a little tired of repeating this point, but Nixon returned the Senkakus to Japanese administrative control with the understanding that Japan would negotiate their sovereignty with “China”, especially Taiwan which, by any interpr...more

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  • China Matters

    Yes, It Looks Like the US Government Coordinated the 2012 Anonymous China Hacks

    On April 23, Mark Mazzetti reported in the New York Times that the FBI had used Hector Xavier Monsegur, a hacker it had in its clutches, to coordinate hacks in 2012 against Iran, Syria, Brazil, and Pakistan, and other targets.  The actual hacks were carried about by an associate of Monsegur, Jeremy Hammond, who was a dupe in that he did not know that Monsegur was turning over the information and access he gleaned to the US government.Jeremy Hammond is serving a ten-year jail sentence for other hacks.  I’m not clear if Monsegur is currently incarcerated; last reference I saw was to the cancellation of a 2013 court date that was expected to give him a suspended sentence for a previous guilty plea.  In addition to running the foreign hacks for the US gove...more

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  • The World

    Smart Reads April 24, 2014

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  • The Arabist

    Too soon to embrace Sisi

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    After OLPC: Ten Commandments of ICT for Education

    Is tech the global education solution? I have an continuing interest in the information and communication technologies for education (ICT4E) field having worked on education reform and written an article on the ill-fated One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project for UC Berkeley's California Management Review. For the record, it was not an article I found pleasant to write about--these folks were well-intentioned, after all--but we need to explore why they failed. Isn't the appeal of the Internet obvious to all? Doesn't the Internet automatically promote development? Especially with OLPC, failure to read the political-economic environment of education procurement meant that its reception has been muted as the article explains.There has been much research done in this field eve...more

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  • Informed Comment

    FCC Plots Murder of Blogs on Behalf of Billionaire Media Lords

    Breaking: FCC Will Announce the Death of Net Neutrality Tomorrow (via Americans Against The Tea Party) If you thought corporations played a big role in your life already, just wait until tomorrow, when the FCC gives up on trying to find a way to enforce equal access to broadband and finally kills net neutrality. What does this mean? It means that the…   —– Related Video: APN | Net Neutrality ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    GOP: Giving CDC money to study Gun Violence would be “Funding Propaganda”

    (By Lois Beckett via ProPublica). After the Sandy Hook school shooting, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) was one of a few congressional Republicans who expressed a willingness to reconsider the need for gun control laws. “Put guns on the table, also put video games on the table, put mental health on the table,” he said less than a week after the Newtown shootings. He told a local TV station that he wanted to see more research done to understand mass shootings. “Let’s let the data lead rather than our political opinions.” For nearly 20 years, Congress has pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to steer clear of firearms violence research. As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that traditional...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Status report on the US economy: stand by for the boom!

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  • Informed Comment

    Can Afghanistan’s Vibrant Democratic Press Survive?

    (By Olof Blomqvist) The presidential election has shown Afghanistan’s increasingly mature media scene at its best – hopefully not for the last time. Afghanistan’s vibrant and diverse media scene is often held up as one of the few real success stories of the post-invasion years. While the Taliban notoriously banned television, strung up video cassettes from trees and only allowed one radio station, there has been an explosion in independent media since 2001. The growing maturity and importance of the Afghan mediahas been evident over the past few months of campaigning for the 5 April presidential election. The coverage was breathless, around-the-clock and often both informative and critical. The candidates themselves were been forced to become more media sa...more

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  • The Cable

    Syria's War on Medicine

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  • China Matters

    Maybe the End of the American Century Starts Here

    Failure of engagement to deliver ideal outcomes do not mean that deterrence will be more successful, or even more desirable.   I try to eschew dramatic, click-baiting headlines, but I think current developments in Asia are a big deal.  President Obama is visiting Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea.He’s not visiting the People’s Republic of China.  He never planned to, because this trip is meant as an exercise in pivot-love, the bromance of Asian democracies + the United States dedicated to……well, let’s cut to the chase.Dedicated to the containment of the People’s Republic of China.The pivot to Asia, in my humble opinion, started out as a rather cynical exercise by the United States in encouraging pushback agains...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    To No One's Surprise, Lebanese Parliament Fails to Agree on a President

    It should come as little surprise given Lebanon's persistent political deadlock that the Lebanese Parliament failed to elect a new President in its first round of voting today, with Samir Geagea falling far short of the necessary two-thirds vote. Geagea got 48 votes; Henry Helou (Backed by Walid Jumblatt) got 16; one went to former President Amin Gemayel; there were 52 blank ballots and seven void ones. In subsequent rounds a simple majority can elect.Here's the Daily Star report, and MEI's own Paul Salem offers a Q&A backgrounder on the elections on the MEI website. These sorts of deadlocks have become standard in recent years, and eventually there will emerge a compromise candidate. Or perhaps Karl Sharro will prove prophetic: "Stapler Accidentally Elected Preside...more

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  • The World

    The sushi summit: Obama in Japan

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  • Achenblog

    Why few people are paying attention to today’s spacewalk

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Achtung Baby: Real Dangers of German Denuclearization

    Chalk this one up as a victory of politics over common sense. Imagine adopting an energy policy that (1) leaves you vulnerable to the whims of vainglorious and unreliable energy suppliers, (2) raises the costs of energy provision, and (3) pollutes the environment more as you return to coal burning, and (4) opens you up to litigation for forsaking agreed-to contracts to maintain nuclear power plants. As it so happens, one of the most rational nations on Earth, Germany, is doing precisely that. In the wake of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, European countries have reassessed their use of nuclear power. The French who already rely on nukes for about three-quarters of their power sensibly shrugged off this concern, correctly reasoning that they were not in the earthqua...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Asia Fun Club: PRC Seizes Japanese Cargo Ship

    The Japanese have literally been, ah, Shanghaied.Us Asians generally have a longer-term perspective than Americans (whose planning horizon is near-zero as evidenced by all sorts of things ranging from the negligible savings of its retirees to the $17.5 trillion plus they will dump on future generations). However, it can go to ridiculous lengths as we bear grudges against each other stretching for decades and decades. The archetypal example is of remembering wartime atrocities committed during Japanese occupations of WWII. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and all that stuff. Just recently, the Japanese Prime Minister paid tributes to the Yasukuni shrine which the Chinese and Koreans are greatly offended by since they believe it contains the remains of war crimi...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Worst case scenarios versus fat tails: a discussion about climate change

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  • The Cable

    Top European Mediator: Ukrainian Military Push Could Escalate Tensions

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  • The Arabist

    Iraq: The Road to Chaos

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  • The Arabist

    Thousands starving on outskirts of Damascus; situation ‘unprecedented in living memory,’ U.N. says

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  • Fabius Maximus

    A guide into the weird numbers that run our world, describing both financial bubbles & climate change

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  • Achenblog

    Time change (Part 1)

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    2014 Bolts from the Blue

    For the 26th consecutive year, I'm competing in the Hardy House fantasy baseball league. Our auction draft was held two Saturdays ago, April 5, in Washington DC. Two owners participated by phone and we welcomed one new owner even as we missed a long-time participant who had said goodbye. As I previously blogged, nearly the entire group took in a Nats game after the auction, which included a first-class meal and some free local beer. The Friday night before the draft, many of us ate BBQ and drank some other local beer.As a reminder: the league has 12 teams and uses American League players exclusively to accumulate statistics in various hitting and pitching categories. For 22 years, ...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Hardy House in DC

    As I've often noted over the years, I've competed in a 12-team American League fantasy baseball league with the same basic group of guys for 26 years. This year, we conducted our annual player auction in Washington DC at a hotel a couple of blocks from the Washington Nationals ballpark. The auction was held last Saturday, April 5. We began at 9 am and finished by about 4 pm (which is early for us).  Unfortunately, two guys fad to purchase players via long distance teleconferencing.I'll post my roster soon. This post is actually about the baseball game we attended that evening -- a Nats game versus the Atlanta Braves, featuring young aces Stephen Strasburg and Julio Teheren. The Braves won 6-2. It was kind of a chilly evening with a pretty strong wing blow...more

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  • Achenblog

    Somewhere in Portugal

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  • The Moor Next Door

    The Army and the Status Quo

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  • Macro and Markets

    IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings: Three Questions

    The IMF/World Bank spring meetings start today, with a broad agenda and amidst significant global uncertainty.  A good discussion of the agenda is here  and of the Fund’s view is here.  Here are three questions on which I am looking for news, and perhaps even answers. Have we lost confidence in our global growth story? IMF’s global outlook is reasonably sanguine:  the IMF forecasts global growth to average 3.6 percent in 2014–up from 3 percent in 2013–and to rise to 3.9 percent in 2015, led by a solid U.S. recovery. They argue that global headwinds from the great recession are receding, allowing monetary policy—both conventional and unconventional—to normalize. Yet the hallway discussion will be on the new threats to global economy, most notabl...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    RND Sketch

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    NDT 2014

    As planned, I dropped by the National Debate Tournament in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday, March 29, and watched the constructive speeches for a Kansas versus Northwestern match of two 4-0 teams. NU won that round and proved to be the Copeland Award winning team in 2014.Both Kansas teams advanced to the elimination rounds and were defeated in the round of 32.Georgetown won the tournament, as the same debaters impressively repeated their 2012 victory.Between rounds, I met Kevin Kuswa, a Georgetown debater on the NDT champion in 1992. I coached Georgetown in 1984-1985. Kuswa is now coaching at Whitman College.Photo credit: Joel RollinsVisit this blog's homepage.For 140 character IR and foreign policy talk, follow me on twitter.Or for basketball, baseball, movies o...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New Chart: Another FLN Sketch

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  • Macro and Markets

    Tunisia’s Historic Transformation Deserves U.S. Support

    Today, ahead of the Tunisian Prime Minister’s visit to the White House, we are pleased to have a guest blog from Ann Wyman. Ann is a Senior Advisor at Gatehouse Advisors in London, and a Senior Officer at AfricInvest, a Pan-African Private Equity Fund, based in Tunis.  She is also a member of the board of the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund. Last weekend, my nine-year-old daughter’s homework assignment was to have her photo taken sitting atop Roman ruins. (Since we currently live minutes from Carthage, Tunisia, the logistics involved were thankfully less cumbersome than they might sound). The photo shoot was meant to help her class understand that the Tunisia they inhabit today is built on thousands of years of history, and has been influenced by many civi...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    The Sanctions Dilemma

    Today I put out my April Global Economics Monthly, discussing the prospect of intensified sanctions against Russia.  It’s an issue that requires a much better effort at quantification than I have seen to date.  Still, I think that we can draw a number of tentative conclusions from the debate so far: 1. Intensified sanctions against Russian corporations and banks could have powerful effects, most importantly through financial channels.  A forced, rapid deleveraging—Russia’s “Lehman moment”—would hit hard a Russian economy that was already weakening prior to the crisis due to structural distortions and poor economic policies. 2. The power of sanctions comes not only by pressuring Russian business elites, but also by the message it sends to other countr...more

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    An Epidemic of Putin Derangement Syndrome

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    End the Cuban Embargo—Posner

    I agree with Becker that we should end the embargo. It was first imposed in 1960, two years after Castro took power, and strengthened after the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and thereafter modified from time to time—and recently somewhat relaxed, so that today in fact we have several billions of dollars in trade with Cuba each year.  Communist Cuba in Castro’s heyday, before the collapse of the Soviet Union followed by the rapid collapse of communism in all countries except North Korea—and Cuba—was, even apart from the missile crisis, an active although not dangerous enemy of the United States, supporting and fomenting communist subversion against a variety of nations some of them allies of the United States. But the embargo was never much more than an annoyanc...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    What To Do--And Not Do--About Ukraine

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Hyper-Nationalist Hysteria in Egypt

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  • Daniel W. Drezner

    Closing Time

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  • Daniel W. Drezner

    The Biggest Foreign Policy Screw-Up of 2013

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  • Stephen M. Walt

    How Not to Get Fresh Thinking on U.S. Foreign Policy

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  • Daniel W. Drezner

    Why the Trade Deal in Bali Was a Game-Changer

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  • Stephen M. Walt

    The New Foreign Policy Sobriety

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  • Stephen M. Walt

    The Embarrassing Debate Over the 'War on Terror'

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • Marc Lynch

    The American-Iraqi Encounter

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • Risk Watchdog

    Risk Watchdog Has Moved To A New Site

    Dear reader, We are writing to inform you that our blog, Risk Watchdog, has moved to a new location. From now on, the blog will be accessible at http://www.businessmonitor.com/blog Please continue to read our blog, which is updated on a daily or near-daily basis. For those of you who read our blog posts in the form of a daily or weekly email alert, and wish to continue receiving these alerts, please register for free at http://www.businessmonitor.com/blog, where you will also have the opportunity to receive other free content such as Key Analysis and White Papers. The Purpose Of Our Blog At this stage, I’d like to take the opportunity to re-state the purpose of our blog. Our blog has multiple objectives: To convey our views on key political, economic, financial m...more

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  • Marc Lynch

    A Syria Reading List

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  • Risk Watchdog

    Istanbul, Madrid, Tokyo 2020: Olympic Year, Olympian Challenges

    This Saturday, September 7, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the venue of the 2020 Olympic Games. Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo (in alphabetical order) are the three contenders. There is arguably no obvious choice for the winner. Tokyo probably has the best urban infrastructure of the three, but some critics argue that Japan’s colossal fiscal deficit and debt burden mean that the country can ill-afford the Olympic Games. The fiscal risks surely apply to Spain, too. Some also argue that Tokyo would lack a captivating ‘narrative’ for the Olympics. In this regard, Istanbul would be a more ‘interesting’ choice, because it would mark Turkey’s emergence on the world stage, and it would be good politics to award the Olym...more

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  • Risk Watchdog

    Recovery Ahead For European Carmakers?

    The European passenger car market has seen sustained declines in recent years, and this has taken its toll on companies across the supply chain. BMI maintains a bearish regional outlook for 2013, and we expect to see ongoing declines in many markets over the year. Many manufacturers are shifting their strategic focus towards higher-growth emerging markets as they seek to limit their exposure to the region. There are, however, some green shoots emerging and signs that the worst may be over. BMI believes the regional market will bottom out in 2013 before posting positive growth in 2014. This week’s podcast features Nathan Hayes, an analyst with BMI’s Automotive Research team. ...more

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  • Marc Lynch

    Gulf Islamist Dissent Over Egypt

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Why Defining Terrorism Matters

    This is a guest post by Karolina Lula, a PhD student at Rutgers-Newark.---------------The terrorism industry has grown exponentially since 9/11.  Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, a plethora of terrorism scholars eagerly spoon out their collective wisdom.  The chance to be included in the over-caffeinated media spotlight justifies decades cooped up in small offices pouring over data. In a certain respect, terrorism scholars mirror their subject.  They both love an audience.              Despite their growing presence in the media, academics fail to persuade others about what terrorism is in the first place.  Language evolves and academia is only one source of influence.  T...more

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  • 'Aqoul

    Stop me, I might bite off my finger.

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  • 'Aqoul

    Stop me, I might bite off my finger.

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  • 'Aqoul

    Stop me, I might bite off my finger.

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Planning to be Shocked

    One of the most repeated, and most dubious, axioms about strategy is the notion that being proactive is wiser than being reactive, and that reactivity is something we should be allergic to. In the words of Briain's foreign secretary William Hague, 'the nation that is purely reactive in foreign policy is in decline.' Likewise, written into the folklore of the US foreign policy establishment is the notion that the 'strategic shocks' that struck America - such as Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 - happened because Washington was passively sleeping. A quick read of Presidential speeches on the anniversary of that attack shows how powerful the creed of active vigilantism lives on, even if it doesn't power all of America's day to day behaviour.Never mind that a...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Quick Note

    If you haven't been seeing any posts for a few months, that's because we moved to http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/. Some readers have informed us that the redirect may not be behaving for some subset of RSS feed readers. If that's the case, you can subscribe to the new feed at http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rsshttp://whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rss...more

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  • Political Animal

    Wednesday's Mini-Report

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  • Political Animal

    The need for partisan cover

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  • Political Animal

    House rebuffs Boehner, scraps F-35 Jet Engine Program

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Dan Steinbock

Dr Dan Steinbock is a recognized expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies (G7) and large emerging economies (BRICS and beyond). In addition to his advisory activities (www.differencegroup.net), he is affiliated with major US universities as well as international think-tanks, such as India China and America Institute (USA), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and EU Center (Singapore).

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