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    Geostrategy

  • The World

    Thai general delivers tin-eared masterclass

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    The Turkish Attack on the Suez Canal, 1915: Part I, the Ottoman Plan

    Between January 28 and February 4, 1915, elements of the Ottoman Fourth Army attempted an attack on the Suez Canal. Two weeks ago I blogged about the Anglo-French use of aerial reconnaissance to detect the Turkish movements across Sinai; over the next few days, I'll be discussing the campaign itself, beginning today with a look at the Turkish plans.Kress von Kressenstein in Turkish ServiceDjemal Pasha, Commander of the Ottoman Fourth Army based in Syria, and his VIII Corps Commander in Damascus, Djemal Bey (known as "Djemal Kuchuk" or "Little Djemal," subsequently after the language reform known as Cemal Mersinli), and his German Chief of Staff Friederich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, planned to throw most of the Fourth Army's VIII Corps, reinforced with divisions fr...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Bravery = Stupidity? Alibaba Takes on the PRC

    In a fight between Alibaba and the PRC, I'd bet on the PRC to win. There's interesting news out today on Alibaba, China's giant business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) Internet giant. Just in September of last year, it supposedly set the record for the world's biggest initial public offering (IPO), making Jack Ma and company very wealthy people. I can only imagine that they were overjoyed then. But than was then and this is now: Alibaba stock is taking a beating since its earnings fell well below expectations in 3Q 2014. Alibaba now being a global company, its stock is sensitive to market sentiment the world over even if its reporting is a quarter later than that of US companies. Partly it's bad timing as Alibaba has g...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    The Guardian Profiles Mada Masr

    The Guardian has a good profile of the Egyptian news site Mada Masr, the online news source set up by former staffers of The Egypt Independent: The News Website that's Keeping Press Freedom Alive in Egypt.I've frequently linked to articles at Mada Masr here, but for those unfamiliar with the background of the site, The Guardian's article is a good introduction. ...more

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  • Moneybox

    Amazon Managed to Make Money. Everybody Is Shocked (Seriously).

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  • The World

    FT podcast: World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Women in combat are the real Revolution in Military Affairs

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  • Moneybox

    Watch 48 Years of Classic Super Bowl Ads

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  • Moneybox

    America’s Obsession With Healthy Food Is Driving Campbell’s Away From the Soup Business

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    A Historical "What If?": Could the Alexandretta Landing in 1915 Have Worked While Gallipoli Failed?

    Last night I explained how the idea of a British landing at Alexandretta in 1915 ultimately faded due to French objections, limited resources, and Winston Churchill's focus on the Gallipoli venture, despite some strong strategic arguments for the Alexandretta operation as a means of cutting Turkish communications with the Arab provinces. Today I want to talk about a far more speculative question: could it have worked? Or at any rate, could it have worked better than the alternative chosen, the Gallipoli campaign?I'm sure the ghosts of the dead at Gallipoli would not hesitate to say that anything would have worked better than Gallipoli. The real question is could it have succeeded?Now alternative or counterfactual history is fun. What if Lee won at Gettysburg? If JFK had...more

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  • The World

    Syriza and voodoo economics

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Winter Storm Juno warns scientists not to burn away their credibility

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  • The Arabist

    Writing and reading about Qatar

    In the Chronicle of Higher Education, I profiled a young literature professor, writing instructor and novelist, Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, who works in Qatar and finds the emirate a great setting for fiction -- even though her own last book was banned. The article is behind our paywall but here is an excerpt:A daughter of Indian academics who emigrated to the United States, Ms. Rajakumar, 36, arrived in Doha in 2005, to serve as assistant dean of student affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. A few years later, while working at Bloomsbury Qatar, a branch of the British publisher, she decided to try her hand at writing. "I thought: Wait a minute, I’m as good as some of these authors," she says.While pursuing her literary g...more

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  • Informed Comment

    The false promise of fracking and local jobs

    By Susan Christopherson | (The Conversation)In a surprise decision that led to consternation in the oil and gas industry and elation among fracking opponents, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in December banned fracking in the state. He attributed his decision to unresolved health risks associated with this drilling technique, but the governor surely also weighed the economics and the politics.During the past five years, I’ve researched and written about the economic impacts of fracking and, as a long-time resident of New York, I have observed its fractious politics. What I’ve found is that most people, including politicians and people in the media, assume that fracking creates thousands of good jobs.But opening the door to fracking doesn’t lead to the across-the-b...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Netanyahu & Boehner: How Israel went from being a Democratic to a Republican Project

    By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) —The audacity of Speaker of the House John Boehner colluding with the prime minister of a foreign country to undermine a sitting president is, I think, still not entirely appreciated. And the whole point of the plot with Binyamin Netanyahu is to stop a sitting president from successfully making an opening to a former enemy, reducing the likelihood of war.Just think what the equivalent would have been.It would be as though Rep. Joseph William Martin, Jr., the Speaker of the House after WW II, had managed to swing a visit to Congress in 1947 from Mustafa Barzani, the Kurdish leader, to stop Harry Truman from promulgating his Truman Doctrine and including Turkey in the aid package that became the Marshall Plan.Or, it would be as t...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Network Climate Coverage: The Good, the Bad and the (Mostly) Ugly

    MediaMatters4America | – Climate Coverage In 2014: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    2017, the Year Indian Growth (Finally?) Beats China's

    As per the story of the and the hare, the World Bank is predicting something that's been a long time coming: With China slowing from its years of (reported) double-digit growth year in and year out to focus more on growth quality rather than quantity on one hand and India (hopefully) speeding up with a reformist, pro-market leadership under Nejendra Modi on the other, the World Bank is predicting that 2017 is the year Indian's growth rate moves ahead of China's. See the 2015 Global Economic Prospects from which the chart above is taken from. Onto the story: This is a short-term forecast based on some very specific circumstances. India, for example, now has a credible central banker [Raghuram Rajan] doing sensible things like tackling inflation. The country's popular new...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Arming Ukraine Would Be Folly

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Using 4GW might give the Islamic State a big future.

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    PRC Goes From Devaluing to Defending Yuan

    Pile 'em high, but don't sell 'em cheap: the yuan circa 2015.China amassing $4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves by 2014 is an astounding if somewhat mindless feat. Everyone thought that a developing country amassing $1 trillion in reserves was mad; what more four times that amount? It's not because the dollar is tanking at the moment--quite the opposite.  Rather, all that money cannot be spent on things that can spur Chinese development like health and education. After all, they are foreign reserves whose previous purpose was to keep the yuan weaker than economic fundamentals would apply to help Chinese export competitiveness. Apparently, with dollar strength causing turmoil in global markets, China is hardly immune. The fear in China is not that it will becom...more

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  • Achenblog

    Welcome to Science Tuesday Mid-Afternoon: Should we be worried about synthetic organisms cooked up in laboratories?

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  • China Matters

    India v. China: Border Games

    India is now the belle of the ball, as most of the world and Asian regional powers make pilgrimages to New Delhi to flatter and flirt with India’s dynamic Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.Modi and India come with a certain amount of unpleasant baggage, which their suitors do their best to ignore.  Modi himself is an unrepentant Hindutva cultural chauvinist  whose attitudes toward Muslims (and convincing circumstantial evidence of his involvement in an anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat—so convincing, in fact, he was previously banned from the United States) trend toward the fascistic.   In regional affairs, India has not been a particularly responsible or constructive actor, having mixed it up with Pakistan (assisted the split-off of East Pakistan ...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Greece: Let’s Make a Deal?

    Syriza’s victory in Greek elections yesterday, and the announcement this morning that they would rule in coalition with the right-wing Independent Greeks party, all but ensures a confrontation between Greece and its European creditors over austerity and debt. While Greek markets have continued their sell-off on the result, 10-year yields near 8.9 percent are still down from earlier this month and well below earlier crisis levels. In line with these numbers, most market analysts believe a deal is likely that would avoid a Greek exit from the eurozone, noting some moderation of Syriza’s rhetoric in recent days and upcoming meetings with creditors. But what would such a deal look like? Greece and its creditors are so far apart, their perceptions of their negotiating le...more

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  • The Arabist

    Revolution and Despair

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  • The Arabist

    King Abdullah's mourners

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    SABR Day

    Photo credit: TJ Perreira on Flickr. Today was SABR Day 2015, an annual Saturday in January event featuring local SABR chapter meetings across the United States. I attended the one in Louisville at 10 this morning.The guest speaker was former major league player Chris Burke, who delivered a worthwhile presentation.  I especially appreciated the fact that he answered our questions fairly directly, even when they involved controversial subjects such as steroid use in baseball.  Burke grew up in Louisville, played his college baseball at Tennessee (All-American SS on the runner-up College World Series finalist team) and then had a fairly significant role on a Houston Astros team that made the World Series in 2005. In the NLDS that season, he hit the ser...more

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  • China Matters

    North Korea Financial Sanctions: Same Sh*t Different Decade

    [Updated Jan. 17 & Jan. 20, 2015--CH]A couple days ago I was interviewed by The Real News on the current round of sanctions against North Korea.  Link here. I talked about a few things that I’ve covered in China Matters and on my twitter feed, not all of which made it into the report: the whiff of bogosity in the North Korean attribution in the Sony case, and the apparent need for a rapid-response, evidence be damned attribution process in the case of cybercrimes.  I speculate that a more immediate explanation for the quick sanctions slapdown was that Kim Jung Un had compounded his diplomatic crime of trying to split and circumvent the Six Party Talks united front through unilateral outreach by dealing with the Monster of the Century (actually monster o...more

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  • Achenblog

    The world we make: Don’t leave it to the engineers

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  • China Matters

    In Honor of Martin Luther King's Birthday

    Martin, Thurgood…and J. Edgar? The Preacher, the Black Cardinal, and the Grand InquisitorI highly recommend Gilbert King’s Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America.  Reading it in the context of Ferguson, Garner, etc. this book really f*cked me up, as they say nowadays.  Based on my experience, I’d recommend just picking up the book and reading it, without googling “Groveland Boys” or looking at some reviews of the book.  All I can say is that, despite that determinedly sunny subtitle, it will take you into some very dark places.Actually, what I will say is that the book also offers some more fascinating insights into the relationship between J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI and the civil rights movement.&...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Kissinger's "World Order"

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    New Look

    Readers probably noticed the new banner and other minor blog updates -- the former made fairly easily thanks to Picmonkey. Once again, the photos are courtesy of government websites, so should not involve any copyright issues:Obama with beerKansas JayhawkKC Royals Blue October 2014Comedy-Tragedy MasksEarthThe last update occurred in 2010. Visit this blog's homepage.For 140 character IR and foreign policy talk, follow me on twitter.Or for basketball, baseball, movies or other stuff, follow this personal twitter account. ...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Samantha Power in Louisville

    I attended this talk by Samantha Power on Monday at the University of Louisville: I'm not sure UN Ambassador Power said anything really new about American foreign policy, but news reports tended to emphasize two points -- her call for bipartisan foreign policy and her argument against new Congressionally-imposed sanctions on Iran.If you were not paying close attention, her arguments about the value of economic sanctions seemed to be inconsistent. She criticized the economic embargo against Cuba, claiming that after more than 50 years of failure, the Obama administrations simply wants the U.S. to try a new approach. Yet, at the same time, she praised the success of economic sanctions against Burma (a pet issue of host Senator Mitch McConnell) and other recent sancti...more

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  • Achenblog

    The presidency: What it takes

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  • Macro and Markets

    Lessons from the Ruble’s Dive

    My thoughts on the ruble’s collapse are here. Three points to highlight in particular: Sanctions are a force multiplier. While oil is the dominant factor behind the ruble’s fall (see figure 1), western sanctions have taken away the usual buffers—such as foreign borrowing and expanding trade—that Russia relies on to insulate its economy from an oil shock. Over the past several months, western banks have cut their relationships and pulled back on lending, creating severe domestic market pressures. The financial system has fragmented, and any doubts that the central bank fully backs bank liabilities will lead to a run. Nonetheless, political pressures on the central bank remain intense. In fact, it was news of a central bank bailout of Rosneft that apparently trig...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    G20 Worries About Growth

    The central message from the G20 Summit in Brisbane last weekend was the need for more growth, and there was a clear sense after the meeting that leaders are worried. David Cameron captured the mood with his statement that “red warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” and his concern about “a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty.” While Europe came in for the most criticism (Christine Lagarde rightly worries that high debt, low growth and unemployment may yet become “the new normal in Europe”) concerns about growth in Japan and emerging markets also weighed on leaders. In the end, though, the diplomacy conducted on the sidelines was more meaningful than the growth proposals put forward at the summit. Leaders put for...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    What Tom Friedman's Interview Revealed About Obama's Foreign Policy

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New World Politics Review Piece

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • The Moor Next Door

    The Army and the Status Quo

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  • The Moor Next Door

    RND Sketch

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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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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Håvard Halland Håvard Halland

PHåvard Halland is a natural resource economist at the World Bank, where he leads research and policy agendas in the fields of resource-backed infrastructure finance, sovereign wealth fund policy, extractive industries revenue management, and public financial management for the extractive industries sector. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a delegate and program manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia. He earned a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge.