Protestors march in opposition to the Free Trade Agreement, b.wu via Flickr creative commons
Americas / Americas

The Colombian Free Trade Agreement: Exposing the Facade

Protestors march in opposition to the Free Trade Agreement, b.wu via Flickr creative commons

Colombia is a country on the rise. Lauded by the West as an example of how a country can overcome internal strife and civil conflicts by embracing neo-liberalism and free-trade capitalism, welcoming multi-national corporations, collaborating with the US against drug gangs, …

Americas / Blog

Silencing the Journalist

Disbelief at the Associated Press office in Manhattan as freedom of press is questioned Photo Credit: Reuters

An essential aspect of democracy is the ability to assess and better a state’s own institutions. Within a democracy individuals may learn, discuss, and consequentially even shape politics. Freedom of the press is an essential pillar of democracy, …

Americas / Blog

Obama and Syria

President Obama speaks at White House press conference. AP Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais

In the last few weeks there has been increased pressure placed on the Obama Administration to act in a sweeping and a decisive fashion in Syria.

Media reports suggest that the Syrian civil war, so far, has claimed 70,000 lives, uprooted nearly 3 …

Americas / Blog

Drone politics and the Pakistani elections

Pakistani villagers protest against drone strikes in 2012. Credit: AP/B.K. Bangash

The growing tidal-wave of disapproval directed at Obama’s extensive use of drones, both domestic and international, is finally beginning to crest. In Pakistan, the focal point of the furore, a strong stance against the drones was a basic requisite for any viable candidate in …

Americas / Blog

Latin America, after Chávez and the US?

The death of President Hugo Chávez has allowed him continued life as a Latin American figurehead (Photo credit: ChavezCode.com)

Read almost any western analysis of the Latin American economies in general, and it is likely to be formed around the idea of whom or what force will be seen as dominating the region, and what …

Americas / Blog

Russia and Venezuela after Chavez

Hugo Chavez never shied from inflammatory language. Here speaking at the United Nations in 2005. The following year he branded George W. Bush ‘the devil”. Image from The Guardian, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images.

“He was an uncommon and strong man who looked into the future and always set the highest target for himself”

This is how …

Americas / Asia

Beyond the Pivot: a response

Obama and Xi Jinping/ Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed

In the latest edition of Foreign Affairs Australian MP Kevin Rudd gives an insightful analysis of contemporary US-China relations and how it might develop.

Like the countless other academics and politicians predicting the future state of US-China relations, Mr Rudd recognises the primacy of the two countries in Asia …

Americas / Blog

Cameron's Falklands rhetoric leaves door ajar for Argentina

Like many of her predecessors, Cristina Fernández has re-opened the Falklands/Malvinas question. Photo Source: Reuters.

Predictably, the inhabitants of the Falklands/Malvinas came out overwhelmingly in support of retaining their ties with London rather than Buenos Aires. After this latest episode in British-Argentine relations it is interesting to ponder whether British rhetoric has, counter-productively, potentially ceded …

Americas / Blog

The UK should send Clegg to Latin America

Nick Clegg addressing the Mexican Senate in 2011. Image Source: El Universal.

The emerging economies of Latin America provide a great opportunity for foreign governments to invest and improve bilateral trade and diplomatic relations. Within the international community, Britain is in a hugely favourable position to make an impact in the region. Historic ties go …

Americas / Blog

Sequestration and Foreign Policy

President Barack Obama has once again blamed the Republicans for the sequestration cuts. Photograph: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media

Sequestration is a set of automatic spending cuts ordered under the Budget Control Act of 2011.  The idea behind the Budget Control Act was to provide an alternative way of pursuing long-term deficit reduction if Congress …