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Author Archive | Prabir Purkayastha

Why Syria Matters: Interview with Aijaz Ahmad

Aijaz Ahmad: For one thing, Syria is the last remaining representative of Arab nationalism as it used to be understood historically.  It still calls itself socialist.  Even though it has implemented a great deal of neoliberal reform, the state sector is still dominant.  It bans, literally bans, religion from politics.  It will not recognize the […]

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On Syria, Democracy, and Imperialism

The trajectory of the democratic movement in the Arab world was never going to be a straight line with clear goals and objectives.  The Arab regimes are not homogeneous; they have medieval Islamist monarchies, as in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, and secular but completely authoritarian regimes, both Western puppets like Mubarak and […]

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Libya and Yemen — Study in Contrast

It is now clear that the no-fly zone has been expanded in Libya to a military campaign for a regime change, something that the UN Security Council did not authorize.  Gaddafi’s residence in Tripoli has been bombed and more strikes are taking place in Tripoli and other towns.  The argument of course is that Gaddafi’s […]

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Turkey’s Political Shift

  Part 1 Aijaz Ahmad: Israel, which is completely isolated in the region, is very unhappy about the fact that Turkey is rising as a power which is establishing very productive and extensive contacts in the region.  Israel was very happy when both of them were completely isolated in the region: Turkey was in the […]

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Electric Capitalism: A Discussion with David McDonald

Prabir Purkayastha: You have written a lot about electricity in South Africa particularly, and you also talked about how this concept of services being priced so the cost of service is recovered is actually starting a complete ideological change in the way infrastructure services are delivered.  So what do you think is the real crisis?   […]

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GM Crops: The Societal Context of Technologies

The Bt brinjal debate has featured technological worries relating to genetically modified crops which appear relatively minor in comparison to the critical issue of who controls Indian agriculture and therefore food security in India.  While there cannot be a mere technological fix to the problems of Indian agriculture, technology — and therefore GM — will […]

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