April 2010

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Sabotaging the Climate Change Debate

Gro Harlem Brundtland, the United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change, contends that strong corporate lobbies are undermining scientific evidence in support of climate change. She argues further that they are being listened to and getting away with influencing the climate change debate because they dedicate a huge amount of resources, money and thinking towards trying to influence the world in a negative way. She equates the behaviour of the "anti-climate change" lobby to the...

Contested Indian Identity in Contemporary South Africa

Picture: Ind{yeah} Imraan Buccus - One hundred and fifty years ago the first indentured Indians were brought to South Africa to work in sugar cane fields. They were soon joined by ‘passenger Indians’ who came of their own free will to trade. The indentured Indians were not the first Indians to be brought to South Africa. On the contrary, a significant number of Indians were brought to the Cape Colony as slaves, but their descendents became part of the groups classified as White and Coloured under apartheid. But,...

Freedom Not Yet

Picture: United Nations Richard Pithouse - Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of a party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. - Rosa Luxemburg, Berlin, 1920 As Freedom Day roles around each year it has become something of a cliché for pundits and politicians to observe that while we have political freedom the majority of our people have yet to attain economic freedom. This platitude masks an extraordinarily anaemic view of political freedom. ...

A Middle East Peace That Could Happen (But Won't)

Picture: White House Noam Chomsky - The fact that the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange.  For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement.  In this case, it is not only possible, but there is near universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders -- with “minor and mutual modifications,” to adopt official U.S. terminology...

India's Economic Miracle Only for the Top 10%

Jayati Ghosh, economist from India's Nehru University in New Delhi and author of the book After Crisis, says India's economic growth is no miracle. India is often compared to China for its rapid economic growth, but Ghosh argues that the two countries are very different. China has better economic growth and poverty reduction indicators. It also has a completely different institutional system with massive state control over finance, which enables the state to manipulate the nature of the...

Rethinking the Idea of the South: A New Class Division and Rivalry Is in the Making

Picture: Engineering News Saliem Fakir - They go by different names: IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa), BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China). These formations all amount to more or less the same thing: the new “emerging economies” seeking to redefine relations between themselves and the rest of the world. They are widely seen as new symbols of power in the global arena. The shaping of the alliances between these powerful new emerging economies raises...