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Geography Archives: Western Europe

Syria: Testing Time

  Syria remains relatively calm as efforts to destabilise its government through orchestrated attacks by rebels fail. Life in the Syrian capital, Damascus, seems to be continuing as normal.  The streets and the mosques are crowded after the devout break their Ramazan fast in the evening.  The security presence is minimal.  In fact, there are […]

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Entangled in Neocolonialism: The Weight of Chains

An interview with documentary filmmaker Boris Malagurski Who in their right mind would actually want to be a colony?  That is the question asked in the opening section of The Weight of Chains, the latest film directed by Boris Malagurski.  His film demonstrates how the South Slavs emerged from centuries of colonial rule under the […]

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The Politics of Iran’s Space Program

Iran’s recent successful launch of a second satellite into orbit has drawn considerable attention around the world. As in the past, Iran’s announcement of the launch of its domestically built satellite into space received mixed reactions in the West. Some mainstream U.S. media treated the announcement with skepticism and ridicule. “Before you cancel that European […]

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A Fire That Could Burn Everyone

“To cap it all came the decision by the US administration to authorize the use of drones to kill Libyan men, women, and children, like in Afghanistan, thousands of kilometers from Western Europe, but this time against an Arab and African country, before the eyes of hundreds of millions of Europeans and no less than […]

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Hamburg

Winners Still Undecided, in Germany and the Middle East

Which way to look?  So much was happening inside and outside Germany!  Most dramatic were the revolutionary events on the southern shores of the Mediterranean.  Aside from amazement that those decade-long dictators could be forced out by the will of the people, there were some worries among sun-seeking German vacationers who annually flee the icy […]

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The Twilight of Capitalism?

In recent years, radical geographer David Harvey has emerged as one of the leading theorists and popularizers of Marxian political economy in the English-speaking world.  In books such as The New Imperialism and A Brief History of Neoliberalism, as well as his popular online courses in Volume I of Marx’s Capital, Harvey has articulated a […]

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Cancun Climate Conference: Some Key Issues

A year after the chaotic Copenhagen summit, the 2010 UNFCCC climate conference begins in Cancun.  Expectations are low this time around, especially compared to the eve of Copenhagen. That’s probably both good and bad.  The conference last year had been so hyped up beforehand, with so much hopes linked to it, that the lack of […]

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New York Times Oversells WikiLeaks/Iranian Missiles Story

WikiLeaks document dumps are largely what media want to make of them.  There’s one conventional response, which goes something like this: “There’s nothing new here, but WikiLeaks is dangerous!”  But there’s another option: “There’s nothing here, except for the part that confirms a storyline we’ve been pushing.”  In those cases, WikiLeaks is deemed very, very […]

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Brazil Should Lead on Access to Essential Medicines

By the greater use of compulsory licenses, Brazil could lower drug costs not only in Brazil, but in developing countries overall.  At a time when the New York Times is reporting that “the global battle against AIDS is falling apart for lack of money,” it is absolutely essential that the price of lifesaving medicines in […]

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Distribution of Voting Rights among World Bank Directors in 2008

How Does the World Bank Function?

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was established at Bretton Woods in July 1944, at the initiative of forty-five countries that had come together for the first monetary and financial conference of the United Nations.  In 2010, it had 186 member countries, with Kosovo its latest addition (it joined in June 2009). The […]

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Savings, Investment and Growth: Theory and Reality

Neoclassical economic models are based on the assumption that investment is financed from household savings.  Accordingly, capital accumulation will be maximized by policies aimed at increasing household savings rates and capital imports (“foreign savings”).  These models also predict that capital should flow from rich to poor countries, attracted by higher rates of return. However, facts […]

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Europe in Crisis

Part 1: The German Space of Accumulation The present state of affairs in the Eurozone and in the EU reflects the partition of the European Union into three groups. The first is a group of neomercantilist countries centred on Germany and formed by Holland, Belgium, Austria and Scandinavia.  Their neomercantilism can be defined as a […]

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