March 23, 2017


Book Review: The Honest Season by Kota Neelima

honest season1

‘The Honest Season’ audaciously reveals the inner political-power dynamics taking place behind the closed doors of Indian Parliament, exposing the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, that are slowly eating away the palpable pillars of Indian democracy. Read More »

Saudi-Iran Confrontation Could Send Oil Prices to $250

(Courtesy Google maps screen shot)

Even though it remains a remote possibility, direct military confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran could well put oil back into triple-digit territory in short order. Read More »

Pakistan: Discord Over CPEC & Selfish Motives

(Photo by junaidrao, Creative Commons License)

The Chinese concern over emerging discord in Pakistan over the route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor amounts to a direct rebuke of the province-centered “development visions” of Asif Ali Zardari and the Sharifs. For these leaders, initiating the CPEC meant concentrating development in their home provinces. Read More »

Africa’s Success Story

Botswana's capital city Gaborone at night. (Photo via Botswana Tourism)

Diamond-rich Botswana avoided the dreaded resource curse and established a prosperous, stable democracy. But political turmoil has begun to roil the traditionally placid society. Read More »

Obama’s Final State of the Union: Scholars React

President Obama delivering his last State of the Union address on January 12. (Photo via video stream)

The president's speech on Tuesday was nostalgic, forward-looking – and pretty disappointing, say some scholars. Read More »

China’s Influence in Nepal Endangers Tibetan Refugees

Buddhist flags – people have freedom of religion in Nepal, which is why so many Tibetan Buddhists have stayed there. (Photo by Emily Korstanje, via New Internationalist)

The country's impact on Nepalese politics makes life for Tibetans there extremely difficult. Read More »

Tajikistan Early Warning: Internal Pressures, External Threats

Russia, the UN and others should urge President Emomali Rahmon to ensure sustainable stability in Tajikistan. Otherwise, there is little to stop a slide back into old conflict patterns. (UN Photo/Marco Castro, Creative Commons License)

Tajikistan's economy is crippled, with the downturn in Russia adding to the difficulties. The rough economic climate, however, is fundamentally of the government’s making: years of endemic corruption have bled local businesses dry and limit the impact of donor aid. Read More »

Modi Fails to Live Up to High Hopes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the British Parliament in November 2015. (House of Lords 2015 / Photography by Roger Harris, Creative Commons License)

Modi’s brand of personal diplomacy was one of the staples of his first year in office. Through high profile trips abroad and ambitious proposals at home Modi maintained an air of energy and initiative, but the results were modest. Read More »

Pakistan: Challenges Facing the Counter-terror Drive

Firm action, and not shallow rhetoric, is needed against all those challenging the state’s writ in Pakistan.

For operations in Waziristan and Karachi, Pakistan’s military provided the muscle the government needed to cow down terrorists masquerading as religious crusaders. But what about the country’s capital, Islamabad, where the civilian administration is still struggling with the remnants of the Lal Masjid? Read More »

How the Homeless Population is Changing: It’s Older and Sicker

A homeless man sleeping on a New York street. (Photo by Teknorat, Creative Commons License)

Field research in Oakland highlights a major issue that Americans have yet to face up to: how to deal with growing numbers of homeless older people in our streets. Read More »