The World

SACSIS seeks to examine global issues, particularly as they relate to South Africa.

Is This the Birth of a Beijing-Moscow-Berlin Alliance?

Picture credit: President Xi Jinping meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing courtesy China Daily. Pepe Escobar - A specter haunts the fast-aging “New American Century”: the possibility of a future Beijing-Moscow-Berlin strategic trade and commercial alliance. Let’s call it the BMB. Its likelihood is being seriously discussed at the highest levels in Beijing and Moscow, and viewed with interest in Berlin, New Delhi, and Tehran. But don’t mention it inside Washington’s Beltway or at NATO headquarters in Brussels. There, the star of the show today and tomorrow is the new...

The Gentle but Subversive Power of South-South Cooperation

Picture credit: Brazil Alexander O'Riordan - In 1995 the World Bank took the rare step of commissioning a documentary on its negotiations of a structural adjustment programme in Uganda. The documentary crew followed negotiations for six months in Uganda and at the Bank headquarters in Washington D.C., having access to meetings at the highest level such as between the presidents of Uganda and the World Bank. The documentary demonstrates that that there is never really any doubt about whether the World Bank will provide funding to Uganda...

Visitor Finds That Cuba and U.S. Act in the Same Revolting Manner Where Race Is Concerned

Picture credit: R Jay Heston Alana de Hinojosa - Just before I left to study in Havana, Cuba for three months, a Cuban friend of mine pulled me aside and whispered in my ear: “Any ideas you had about race are going to be totally blown out of the water.” I had no idea what she meant, and was skeptical considering Cuba’s high praise from the progressive left, but my friend turned out to be right. From the first day at the airport in Miami and throughout the three months I lived there, it seemed race was all around me. In...

Scotland Can Show the World that Small is Beautiful

Picture credit: Scrape TV David Morris - Since 1945 the number of nations has soared from about 60 to more than 180.  The first wave of new sovereign states came with the decolonization movement of the 1960s and 1970s; the second in the early 1990s with the break-up of the Soviet Union.  If Scotland votes for independence it may ignite a third wave.  Dozens of would-be nations are waiting in the wings:  Wales, Catalonia (Spain), Flanders (Belgium), Brittany (France), the list is long. In 1957 in his classic...

Six Months after MH370, Boeing & Inmarsat Need to Explain Themselves

Picture credit: A Passenger walks past a banner filled with signatures and well-wishes for the missing passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (courtesy E&T Magazine) Nile Bowie - Six months have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March, which took off from Kuala Lumpur carrying 239 people en route to Beijing. The aircraft veered wildly off course while flying over the South China Sea before turning back over the Malaysian peninsula toward the Indian Ocean, where it is presumed to have crashed. Despite the largest multinational search and rescue effort ever conducted, not a trace of debris from the aircraft has been found, nor has...

The Islamic State and a Burgeoning Refugee Crisis: Whither Democracy and Social Justice?

Picture credit: New arrivals in Lebanon last year. Refugee Khatar with three of her six children in a cowshed on a farm in the Bekaa valley (CAFOD Photo Library/flickr) Alexander O'Riordan - While the world shudders at the horrific and systematic brutality of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it pays scant attention to the fuel that powers organisations such as militant jihadist groups. Meanwhile there is an escalating refugee crisis developing in Syria, as ordinary people flee the jihadism of the Islamic State. Somewhat bizarrely, this enormous human rights crisis is growing alongside a decrease in donor assistance. While...