Bruno Maçães calls for a far more aggressive European foreign policy. “Crises and challenges unaddressed by an active foreign policy … Continue reading Europe, head out into the world!
The world would be a safer place if Trump were a reader. At the top of his reading list sound … Continue reading How to respond to China’s rise?
Een openhartig verslag van een heftig jaar voor Joe Biden, Amerika’s vice-president. Biden schotelt ons drie verhaallijnen voor: het ziektebed … Continue reading Een zinvol leven
America is not longer the leader of the free world: uncharted waters are awaiting us… …according to Ian Bremmer in … Continue reading Buckle up, G-Zero has arrived
Paul Collier, voormalig directeur bij de Wereldbank en hoogleraar te Oxford richt zich in een van zijn onverwachte bestsellers, in het … Continue reading Echte armoede bestrijden
Hét boek over de tot standkoming van de Panama Papers, het grootste datalek ooit. Van de hand van de twee … Continue reading Het grootste datalek ooit: hoe crimineel geld wordt verstopt
Obama’s foreign policy is widely criticized for being dangerously reluctant (drawing unimpressive red lines for instance) and too timid (America … Continue reading The Obama Doctrine: “Don’t do stupid shit”
China is te groot om, nu het zo sterk opkomt, niet met argusogen te worden bekeken. Daarbij weten we nog … Continue reading China stelt geschiedenis effectief in dienst van heden
In many articles about ISIS/ IS/ ISIL/ Daesh, I came across the name of William McCants, fellow and director of … Continue reading Why ISIS is so attractive
A chilling inside report of Al Nusra, the Syrian branch on Al Qaeda. Al Nusra is fighting Bashar Al-Assad’s forces and … Continue reading Al Qaeda’s youthful new face
Als ik de metro uitkom op Place de la Republique valt meteen de mensenmassa op die het 19e eeuwse monument omringt. Er zijn camera’s en veel bodyguards – waarschijnlijk is er een beroemdheid of notabele om een krans te leggen. Als ze weer weg is – ik meende een lange bos rasta’s te zien – gaan we weer verder met waarvoor we gekomen zijn. Kijken. En stil zijn.
We kijken naar kaarsjes, naar teksten, naar bloemen en ook naar foto’s van overledenen. Sommige namen meen ik te herkennen uit het nieuws. Continue reading “Paris reste debout!”
Every year I look forward to IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. From the five documentaries my friend Bart and … Continue reading Genocide & a summit
Since the horrendous attacks in my beloved Paris I’ve been increasing my reading on ISIS, the attacks, jihadism and … Continue reading At war
A set of stories about the surreal world Russians, Ukrainians and other former Soviet peoples live in. A world wherein … Continue reading Oorlog en Kermis – Olaf Koens (2015)
Thousands of people have been killed by drones in the last 14 years: in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and probably many … Continue reading A day in the life of a ‘sensor’ – a drone pilot
This week Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on development, welfare and poverty. Although he … Continue reading Will Angus Deaton’s thinking now become mainstream?
This book wants to provoke, to stir debate and eventually change our thinking on how to help the poor. Its great subtitle, Economist, Dictators and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, is just the start. Easterly main message is that the real cause of poverty is the unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights. He doesn’t see a battle between free market and state intervention, but one between authoritarianism and free development.
His basic conclusion is that we may never compromise on equality of rights. It comes before anything else; including poverty reduction programs, propagated by the World Bank and the likes of Gates and Blair. It is at those institutions and wealthy individuals that Easterly (himself a former World Bank economist) addresses his critique. Continue reading “The Tyranny of Experts – William Easterly (2014)”
As one of the most important actors on the geopolitical chess board I’m dying to better understand Putin and his Russia: Should he be feared and contained or, as some pundits argue, is he in fact our natural ally? The ‘preeminent’ historian Laqueur has a deep understanding of Russian history and its complexity as he demonstrates throughout his book, in which he paints the mood of the country with the help of writers, philosophers, scientist and philosophers.
Laqueur’s conclusion on Putin is clear: Continue reading “Putinism, Russia and it’s Future with the West – Walter Laqueur (2015)”
In times of great emotion taking some distance can generate new perspectives. For sure, in dealing with the huge immigration … Continue reading The migration dilemma
As the US presidential election approaches, books on candidates, geopolitical issues and the hard choices would-be presidents will see themselves confronted with, will hit the bookstores in big numbers. My guess is that this one will probably stand out for clarity, as the author isn’t afraid to balance all his arguments – as normally seen in essays. After G-Zero this is Bremmer’s second book I read, and again he shows great ability in describing the complex world in a easy-to-read and intelligent way.
Famous economist Paul Collier’s latest book focuses on the effects of migration; on both the immigrant as the people who welcome them. He manages to stay away from the moral high ground, that so often characterizes publications on this matter. His conclusions are surprising and have the potential to reframe the complex debate around migration. Of course, that would need other stakeholders (aid workers, politicians etc) to take the first exit from the moral high way as well. A good start would be to read this book, as Collier makes a strong ,empirical, point that moderate immigration is the best; for all parties involved.
Right in the beginning of her book Hirsi Ali admits thats she was wrong to state, as she did in her last book, that Islam can’t be reformed. The Arab Spring is the reason of her striking U-turn and has fueled Ayaan’s hope that reform is possible.
The central thesis of ‘Heretic’ is that the fundamental problem standing in the way of real reform is the notion that the majority of peaceful and decent Muslims are not willing to acknowledge that the theological ground for intolerance and violence is to be found in their own religious texts. Let alone, criticizing them.
Tells the stunning success story of IS in Iraq and Syria and explains the drivers behind the creation of a Caliphate that, under the leadership of Al-Baghdadi, invites all Sunni Muslims to join the new Holy Land. IS has made maximum use of the total chaos in the region, the fitna (civil war) within the Islamic community between Sunni’s and Shi’ites and has surprised the divided, indecisive, ill-prepared West with its brutal message that appeals to so many. IS’ goal is nothing less than a new ethnic-religious nation (Napoleoni makes the comparison with the early years of the creation of Israel). Continue reading “The Islamist Phoenix – Loretta Napoleoni (2014)”
Boekestijn, a historian and former liberal MP, is on a mission. He is specifically interested in the (potential) damage aid does to poor countries and he formulates a detailed list of policy recommendation, making this book a great attempt to really influence the debate and policy on a practical level. Which to a certain extent it probably did, since the thinking on of aid and development has over the last years significantly evolved towards a more rational approach.
Continue reading “De Prijs van een Slecht Geweten – Arend Jan Boekestijn (2010)”
Taught me some valuable lessons on the trouble Russia is in, Putin’s role and the Russian character. Terribly difficult country. Continue reading Het kleine koude front – Michel Krielaars (2014)
Ian Bremmer is the new star of international relations, his book is clever, easy to read and has a clear concept. … Continue reading G-Zero – Ian Bremmer (2013)
It’s subtitle reads The Origins of Power, Prosperity an Poverty. And that’s exactly what I took from the book. Help … Continue reading Why Nations Fail – James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoğlu (2012)
A book on the surprisingly modern and liberal lives of ‘normal people’ in Teheran that gave me a peek behind … Continue reading Stiekem kan hier alles – Eefje Blankevoort (2007)
Great book on the interesting history of Iran, its politics and the role of Shi’ism in shaping modern Iran. Continue reading Revolutionary Iran – Michael Axworthy (2013)
Profoundly influenced my view on privacy vs security. Made me stop with Facebook, mistrust governments even more and strengthened me in my … Continue reading No Place to Hide – Glenn Greenwald(2014)