Politics & Society

You can write my name down

The most famous organization of spies in the world is the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States — although it is possible that continuing pop-culture references to the now-superseded KGB might still give the CIA’s fame a run for

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North Korea’s politics of governing

It is normally a good practice, particularly when dealing with foreign countries one might end up at war with, to try one’s best to understand how they work and how they think. Some nations are more difficult to understand than

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A people and their land

Guest post by Zach Kuehner An old high school teacher of mine used to feign inspiration by scribbling the phrase, “Don’t memorize, understand” on the blackboard at the beginning of every school year. It was simple advice, but decidedly hard

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Chronic diseases, acute challenges

Guest post by Zach Kuehner It is often assumed that chronic diseases – heart disease, cancers, diabetes, arthritis – are the special afflictions of the developed world. They are seen as diseases of wealth: the price we pay for affluence

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Persia peeks out

Nations delineated on a world map have an attractive but misleading simplicity: marked out with a single name and a single colour, we tend to ascribe one-word attributes to them as well. But one doesn’t have to look hard to

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Recent best: Sonia Katyal

Sonia Katyal is a professor of intellectual property and civil rights law at Fordham Law School in New York City. She is the co-author of Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership (Feb 2010, Yale

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Lots of sex please, we’re apes

Guest post by Zach Kuehner It is no secret. Countless marriages end in divorce. Some statistics estimate that more than half of all marriages eventually fail. It is clear that something is wrong, but every day, starry-eyed sweethearts rush down

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The girl and the serpent

Some say she was a little girl with pale eyes, kidnapped five centuries ago by an anaconda when she wandered down to the village lake to gaze in the water at her reflection. The snake died for its sin, and

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A new kind of “information society”

There’s an information revolution going on in India right now — but not of the Facebook/Twitter/Internet-driven kind. Rather, it’s a revolution engendered by the passage of the 2005 Right to Information Act, known as “RTI”, which enables Indian citizens to

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Reassurance or re-engagement

In Friday’s Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Polish columnist Jędrzej Bielecki provides a useful overview of the latest chapter in the European debate about the future of NATO and its relations with Russia. An analysis and recommendations paper written by a top-tier

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Charity rising

According to an article in a recent issue of the South China Morning Post‘s Net Worth magazine, philanthropy — a very public philanthropy at that — is on the rise among the wealthy business elites of mainland China. This is

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From polarization to universal respect

Great attention is currently being paid to the literary skills and political influence of Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. The Economist‘s Prospero blog is so effusive as to make him seem a Peruvian (if

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