Global Notebook Articles

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said that the only thing the Jews have against Moses is that he “brought us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!” Israel has always been the barren state, but recent excavations of natural gas and the presence of large shale oil deposits promise to change Israeli energy policy. The consequences of an energy independent Israel are profound, but may not be entirely good for the Middle East. 

By Yacine Fares  |  February 12, 2013

The Cold War is long over, yet the world still feels many of its repercussions. Two states in Asia remain divided: China and Korea. While both North Korea and South Korea still evince some intention of reunification, the cross-strait relationship between China and Taiwan is drastically different. Rather than unification, the alternative of remaining separate has become the dominant policy in Taiwan. 

By Dennis Lee  |  January 28, 2013

All too familiar with the current economic situations of Greece and Spain, Ireland currently finds itself in a peculiar position within the European Union. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the nation’s economy shrank more than ten percent and weathered one of the deepest recessions in its history. Through extensive global assistance and adherence to strict austerity measures, Ireland is poised in 2013 to become the first country to leave its EU bailout on schedule. Recent economic figures have shown slow market-access growth and led to praise from the European Commission for Ireland’s adherence to its fiscal plan.

By Katie Farineau  |  January 28, 2013

Construction is finishing at Oyu Tolgoi. The copper and gold mine, Mongolia’s largest financial endeavor, is surrounded by a barren landscape, but the influx of miners has been adding life to the surroundings. In less than ten years time, Oyu Tolgoi is predicted to constitute more than a third of Mongolia’s GDP. However, as mining gains momentum, sociopolitical threats loom. In a developing country of less than three million people, US$1.3 trillion in mining potential could have quite an impact.

By Frederik Bruggink  |  January 28, 2013

In December 2012, the African National Congress (ANC) will decide whether to re-appoint its president, Jacob Zuma. Since the Republic of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, the ANC President has, ex officio, been the president of the country; such is the party’s electoral dominance, a dominance that withstands the system of proportional representation, which discourages political majorities. It would be extraordinary to see Zuma fail to be re-appointed; but would this be deserved? This article will examine Zuma’s record in his first three years as president. 

By Keshava Guha  |  December 30, 2012

Over the past few years, extreme right-wing parties have gained popularity across Europe: performing strongly in opinion polls, winning seats in parliaments, and exercising greater influence over governmental decisions. While the movements vary in constitution from country to country, they are typically populist nationalist parties characterized by some combination of anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and anti-EU policies. France, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have all recently seen particularly high growth in far-right parties. The expanding influence of these right-wing movements can be seen not just in their increased political power, but also in street demonstrations throughout Europe, and, in its most extreme form, in the violence wrought by Anders Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 69 people near Oslo in July 2011. Although far-right parties are by definition nationalist, and are therefore rooted country-specific grievances, many of the issues that have driven their recent resurgence are common across Europe, including anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment and discontent with the European Union, particularly in light of the Eurozone crisis.

By Amy Lifland  |  December 30, 2012

Being a hegemonic global power, the United States has a large presence on all the world’s continents. Although the majority of media attention has focused on the US military presence in the Middle East, the United States also holds a strong presence in East Asia centered on the bases in Okinawa, Japan. From the US defense point of view, the bases serve as an important strategic check on nearby countries such as China and North Korea. Despite the strategic importance of the bases on the international level, the foreign US military presence has spurred strong local opposition in the Okinawa prefecture. This special arrangement in Okinawa draws in issues ranging from major international security interests between the United States and Japan to the systemic local impact on the lifestyle in the islands.

By Scott Zhuge  |  December 30, 2012

As climate change accelerates, the geography of the Arctic is rapidly changing. Of late, there has been much discussion about new potential that is being opened up in the North, and countries are stepping forward to capitalize on it. The window of opportunity is opening quickly, as temperatures are rising faster in this region than anywhere else in the world. The prospects of particular interest to countries in the vicinity are the potential new shipping routes and fossil fuels, yet it still remains to be seen who is going to lay claim to this highly-demanded area. The Law of the Sea determines nations’ abilities to extract oil and gas beyond a 200-mile exclusive economic zone originating at their borders. For a country to have a legitimate claim to resources, it must demonstrate that the area in question lies on its continental slope. 

By Sarah Moon  |  December 30, 2012

In a time of extreme volatility in Pakistan, it is difficult to find stability in even simple, everyday activities such as flipping a light switch. For years now, Pakistan has been dealing with an electricity shortage that is discouraging the industrial and agricultural sector as well as the populace. Until a viable solution presents itself, the future for Pakistan appears bleak with its buckling economy and displeased population.

By Sarah Moon  |  July 8, 2012

With every passing week, the state of the Eurozone crisis grows more and more desperate. Recent discussions converged on the establishment of a three-pronged attack on the debt crisis: the acceptance of a fifty percent loss by banks holding Greek debt, a requirement for banks to raise capital to protect against future losses, and most importantly, increasing the monetary value of the Eurozone bailout fund to one trillion Euros. While the agreement bolstered the belief of many shareholders

By Divya Seth  |  July 8, 2012