The Shifting Ground Blog Articles

Over a year since the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution in Tahrir Square, the popular mood in Egypt continues to swing between hope and uncertainty. While much media attention has focused on the ongoing symbolic role of Tahrir Square in the revolution, another strong visible manifestation of an evolving new Middle East, mostly led by the youth, is being cultivated in the nearby streets of downtown Cairo. The area known as Al-Borsa, named after the country’s stock exchange building located at its heart, consists of a network of handsome pedestrian streets in the heart of downtown Cairo.

By Brett Marsh  |  May 4, 2012

As it becomes increasingly likely that Hugo Chávez’s cancer will prove fatal (he announced earlier this month that his cancer had returned and that he would undergo surgery and radiation therapy to fight it), it is important to consider what might become of Venezuela should its charismatic leader pass away.

By Alex Palmer  |  May 3, 2012

In response to "Israel Apartheid Week," a global student campaign that swept across university campuses last month, there has been a great deal of discussion among students and academics concerning Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. As stated in its call to action, the BDS movement seeks to "end the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall, recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194." What remains unclear, however, is the mechanism through which the movement plans to translate its numerous declared successes into actual policy change within Israel.

By Laura Logan  |  April 6, 2012

China’s rapid economic rise since 1980 is living representation of John F. Kennedy’s famous aphorism, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Quite apart from lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, China has spawned a thriving growth industry of academic and popular writing. Scarcely a month goes by without a new book “explaining” China’s ascent or attempting to predict its future, or its implications for the United States.

By Keshava Guha  |  February 26, 2012

Christians in Iraq belong to some of the oldest Christian sects in the entire world, but since the United States pulled out its troops last month, many believe that their future may be threatened. The rise of militant Islam has caused a Christian exodus from Iraq, even during the American occupation.

By Mathilde Montpetit  |  January 9, 2012

The riots that have been rocking Southwestern Kazakhstan since Friday have already led to forty casualties and at least fourteen deaths as protestors clash with police. Official government sources have referred to the rioters as mere “hooligans” and remain confident that the government will be able to put down the protests. They continue to assure outside observers that oil production will not be interrupted by the protests. Even so, the situation is reminiscent of the countless anti-government protests that have been spreading across the Middle East and Central Asia all year. Kazakhstan’s government seems to need only a small push to be on the verge of collapse – probably for the best.

By Mathilde Montpetit  |  January 9, 2012