Brexit, the City, and the Crisis of Conservatism Alan Freeman & Radhika Desai

In this report, the authors argue that, underneath the surface of liberal dismay and right wing triumphalism which characterizes much commentary on Brexit, two sets of developments- the electoral crisis of the Conservative Party and the British financial sector are critical to understanding the British vote on leaving the European Union. Brexit_the_City (Download the full text in PDF format) (The article was originally published in the Valdai Discussion Club)

Colombia: The search for elusive peace Jayati Ghosh

They march in tens of thousands, every Wednesday, through the streets of central Bogota: young and old; students and teachers; well-paid professionals, trade unionists and informal workers; healthy and disabled; urban and rural residents; family members and friends of the countless numbers who have been killed or maimed or have simply disappeared during this apparently endless war. They march for peace, and for a renewed attempt to find an agreement to settle the decades-old war between named and unnamed protagonists. Ever since the peace agreement painfully negotiated between FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the government was rejected…

Brexit Earthquake has Many Ruptures Radhika Desai

The Brexit vote was a momentous political earthquake and the seismic shifts that caused it have been long in the making. It has ruptured so many political structures — decades and even centuries old, national and international — so deeply it could be decades before its damage can be fully reckoned. The damage reveals the fragility of Britain’s, and the West’s, political and economic structures caused by three-and-a-half decades of neoliberalism and austerity. The Bremainers’ entirely laudable cosmopolitanism and anti-racism were tragically mixed up with a blindness to how fast and how far formerly social-democratic Europe had become neoliberal. The…

Societal Involution in the North Jayati Ghosh

The term “involution” – which means to turn into oneself, or to shrink, or to reverse a process of evolving – may seem like a strange one to apply to societies. Yet that is the term that increasingly comes to mind when considering recent social and political trends in the United States and in some parts of Europe. Consider the United Kingdom, currently in the throes of a heated debate before the referendum that will be held about whether or not Britain should stay in the European Union. Many issues and concerns have been raised on both sides, and politicians…

Iraq’s Quisling Constitution Jayati Ghosh

George Bush is clearly desperate to have the Iraqi constitution, which has just been ratified by the Iraq Governing Authority, passed by the referendum of Iraqis proposed for October this year. The constitution is in fact a confused and problematic document, which will certainly pave the way for secessionism and increased sectarian violence. But it does offer the United States some of the most important things it has been after: privatisation of oil resources, other market access for its private investors in the ravaged but still oil-rich country, and perhaps most urgent of all – a route for a quick…

Bolivian Natural Gas Crisis Amit Thorat

Winds of change are blowing in Bolivia at present, and probably not without reason. The country is witnessing political and social unrest of a nature and intensity unlike anything seen earlier. This crisis ridden nation has the distinction of being the poorest country in Latin America, with poverty levels as high as 70 percent. 6 out of every 10 persons in the country and 9 out of every 10 in the country side live in poverty! Unemployment rates are expected to reach 10%, whereas 13% of the employed are thought to be actually underemployed.  The economy, which is currently in…