Books and glasses

Best of the fortnight - 3 December 2021

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Each fortnight BISA Director, Juliet Dryden, scours the internet for IR-related content that might interest you. Here she brings you this week's best readings and podcasts to keep you up to date with what's happening around the world.

Global issues

The hidden threat to globalization: why the developing world is turning against free trade. Niccolo Bonifai, Irfan Nooruddin and Nita Rudra for Foreign Affairs

The menace of midsized meddlers: As America retreats regional rogues are on the rise. The Economist

David Wallace Wells in the London Review of Books on air pollution and deaths around the world

Podcast: Technology and Redistribution of Power. Azeem Azhar talks to Yanis Varoufakis about his speculative novel Another Now, which presents a world where mass organisation, technological progress and an overhaul of companies and markets have made society more equitable

Podcast - COP26: success or failure for the world? An Intelligence Squared debate involving MPs Bim Afolami and Caroline Lucas, climate activist and the Executive Director of Force of Nature Clover Hogan and Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission.

UK. Europe and Russia

Channel Deaths: why the UK has clear responsibilities towards people crossing in small boats. Mariagiulia Guiffre writing in The Conversation

Russia won’t let Ukraine go without a fight. Michael Kimmage and Michael Kofman in Foreign Affairs

Can France and Germany develop a consensus approach towards Russia at EU level. A Chatham House research paper written by Celine Marange and Susan Stewart

France and the UK: Behind two men scoring political points are teams of diplomats behaving like grown-ups. Rogelia Pastor-Castro and Rachel Chin for The Conversation

What the world can expect in a post Merkel era. Ed Turner in The Conversation

Germany: the three biggest issues facing Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Niccolò Pisani in The Conversation

How the EU set the stage for Belarus’s cynical ploy. Mark Galeotti for Foreign Affairs

Understanding Russia’s place in the Soviet Union. Sheila Fitzpatrick writing in the London Review of Books

Podcast: Supply Chains, Inflation and the Metaverse. David Runciman and Helen Thompson discuss the biggest challenges facing the global economy with Ed Conway in TALKING POLITICS.

Asia – China and India

China is furious about Biden’s democracy summit, writes Phelim Kine for Politico

The Philippines’ Dilemma: How to manage tensions in the South China Sea – a new report by the International Crisis Group

Russia and China’s recent joint military activities around Japan could prove counterproductive. James D J Brown writes for RUSI

Myanmar’s military must be shown it can’t win, argues Charles Dunst for Foreign Policy

Podcast: What is it to be Chinese – factors that have shaped a modern Chinese identity. Cindy Yu talks to Bill Hayton on Chinese Whispers podcast

Podcast: Politician and writer Shashi Tharoor discusses his new book, The Struggle for India’s Soul, with historian Rana Mitter on Intelligence Squared.

Middle East and Africa

As nuclear talks resume, Iran is feeling cornered by the Biden administration. Kim Ghattas in The Atlantic

How the West consistently underestimates the Taliban. Sippi Azarbaijani Moghaddam writing in The Conversation

What’s next for Afghanistan? Kambaiz Rafi and Scott Lucas offer their predictions in The Conversation

It’s time to engage with the Taliban – Afghan lives depend on it. Ashley Jackson for Foreign Policy

Afghanistan’s looming catastrophe and why the US and its allies must act now. P Michael McKinley writing in Foreign Affairs

President Assad reconciles with his estranged uncle Rifaat in what could be a pivotal moment in the Syria conflict. Anchal Vohra in Foreign Policy

New forts constructed by France in Mali are part of an ever-increasing trend of global fortification, write David Betz for Engelsberg Ideas.

The Americas

Why the US President’s approval ratings have fallen so far. Clodagh Harrington for The Conversation

Barbados becomes a republic: is the writing on the wall for the British Crown’s former imperial possessions? Matt Qvortrup writes in The Conversation

Podcast: The Guatemalan Coup. Rachel Nolan talks to Thomas Jones about the overthrow of President Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, its importance as a model for CIA-backed regime change across Latin America and a new novel about it by Mario Vargas Llosa. London Review Podcast

Keeping the Peace with Colombia’s FARC – a report by the International Crisis Group

A shift to wind energy is leaving a trail of destruction in Ecuador. Francesc Badia for Open Democracy.

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