Shock therapy and Russia’s fatal turn
There are events that at the time seem to portend one thing but years later take on a very different hue. So it is with the dramatic political crisis that erupted in Russia 30 years ago this week, a crisis that ended with tanks of the Russian army blasting the country’s parliament, the Supreme Soviet, into submission.
G77+China: Should we care?
It seems to be the season of international summits. But which ones will matter most to the future of the planet? According to John Kirk and Stephen Kimber, the September 15-16 summit in Havana, with the unusual moniker of “Group of 77 plus China” may well ultimately turn out to be the most significant for the future of the Global South and, by extension, all of us.
Rwanda is the ‘Wild West’ and should be removed from the mineral supply chain
Mark Twain, who wrote about thieves and conmen in America’s “Wild West,” famously said that a mine is a hole in the ground with a liar on top. If there is any country where Twain’s maxim has contemporary relevance, it is Rwanda. Over the last decade Rwanda has positioned itself as an exciting hub for producing and trading minerals essential to the global economy.
BRICS: Getting bigger, but is it any stronger?
The three-day summit of the BRICS leaders ends today. The BRICS are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Russian leader Vladimir Putin was not present in person. The five BRICS nations now have a combined GDP larger than that of the G7 in purchasing power parity terms (a measure of what GDP can buy domestically in goods and services).
Fissures in the global order mean both risks and opportunities
Cracks in the US-EU alliance could mean political openings for the working classes living in the West as well as in Global South nations. In a world facing climate catastrophe, skyrocketing levels of inequality, the threat of more war and even a nuclear war, the costs of missing any such opportunity would be nothing short of tectonic.
Canada and the new Cold War
As Owen Schalk and Henry Heller explain, given Ottawa’s increasingly belligerent actions in the Pacific, its growing military cooperation with states hostile to Beijing, and the openly antagonistic way Canadian officials discuss China, it seems that Canada wants to delink its economy from China’s in order to prepare for a direct military confrontation.
The world economy is changing—the people know, but their leaders don’t
The year 2020 marked parity between the total GDP of the G7 and the total GDP of the BRICS group. Since then, the BRICS economies grew faster than the G7 economies. Now a third of total world output comes from the BRICS countries while the G7 accounts for below 30 percent. The American people clearly sense what their leaders desperately deny. That difference haunts US politics.
Central Asia in the multipolar world
Given that US foreign policy is dominated by an obsession with countering Russian- and Chinese-led economic integration initiatives, it is difficult to read Washington’s increased engagement with Central Asia as anything but an effort to contain Moscow and Beijing, which have similarly upped their investments in the region in recent years.
Is AMLO’s resource nationalism raising the odds of a coup?
AMLO’s commitment to securing Mexico’s energy sovereignty has been a source of tension between his administration and the US and Canadian governments. Ottawa and Washington want to maintain favourable access to Mexican energy resources for their own companies, an agenda that is diametrically opposed to AMLO’s “fourth transformation” policies.
The World Bank and the BRICS Bank have new leaders and different outlooks
The BRICS Bank is a young institution compared to the World Bank, but it has considerable financial resources and will need to be innovative in providing assistance that does not lead to endemic debt. Whether the new BRICS Think Tank Network for Finance will be able to break with the IMF’s orthodoxy is yet to be seen.
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