December 2008

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Mumbai Attacks Fail to Fuel Vengeance

Sirddharth Varadarajan, Deputy Editor of The Hindu, India's largest English language newspaper, talks about the consequences of the Mumbai bombings for Indian politics, as well as the issue of Islamophobia in India.  Indians have rejected attempts to politicize the attacks, says Varadarajan. Nevertheless, the death toll from the attacks tops 170 and two senior officials have resigned. For more analysis, please see here.

The Development State and Other Useful Misconceptions

Picture: Valkyrieh116 Saliem Fakir - There is this erroneous logic that there are developmental states in some places and advanced states in other places. One advances from a developmental mode to some sort of mature state in which the markets take-over. This implicit typology of evolutionary progression of states is just nonsense. There is nothing static and permanent about the operational modes of states. They are creatures of time and context. What needs to be done under different circumstances must be done in the interest...

Food Price Instability in the Global Marketplace: The Need for Food Security Programmes

Picture: World Bank Photo Collection Glenn Ashton - Last year in the run up to the global economic meltdown, all commodities became fair game for the financial casinos of Wall Street, London, Tokyo and points between. The prices of food sky-rocketed around the world, driven by several triggers but primarily by the ability to trade futures, speculative financial instruments linked to international food commodities in the same way as resources like iron, coal, oil and gold are speculated upon as a hedge against market uncertainties.  This...

Film as a Catalyst for Social Change

Director/producer, Edward Zwick talks about his film Blood Diamond and how iconic images in movies can prompt mainstream audiences to think about issues at a deeper level. Zwick argues that movies highlighting social issues do not create change on their own, but contribute to change as an aggregate of broader voices.