South Africa’s Immigration Problem

When he received the Nobel Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993, President F.W. de Klerk said it was neither sanctions nor support that rid South Africa of apartheid, but was the movement of millions into cities that sparked upheaval and strained state resources. The ability of trans-border population flows to transform the entire nature of a state holds particular anthropological, economic and political significance for South African society, as new, aggressive sub-Saharan migration flows threaten to reshape social and political order in the region. In order to preserve South Africa’s…

Egypt Before the Protests: Thirty Years of Religious Persecution

Coptic Orthodox Christians left New Years’ Eve midnight mass from al-Qiddissin (The Saints) Church in Alexandria, Egypt in celebratory moods. The suicide bomber’s attack quickly destroyed jubilant spirits as he killed over twenty Christians, injured about eighty Christians, and scarred them all. The next day, images of severed bodies and mutilated survivors flashed across numerous Egyptian news channels while international media decried the tragedy. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak blamed “foreign hands” for the attack, implicating Al-Qaeda and the rise of Islamic extremism in Egypt. On January 6, high security shielded…

Jack of All Trades, Master of None: the Question of U.N. Intervention

In the hope of never again experiencing the same kind of fear that enveloped the Cold War, the post-Cold War era was intended to usher in a time of collective peace and global prosperity.  States worked with multilateral security aims, in an effort to maintain and defend the existing stability of the world order.  Although numerous other organizations have emerged, such as NATO or the African Union, since its inception, the one organization that the world has come to recognize as the ‘international community,’ and rely on for the international…

Microfinance in Bangladesh

Microfinance has both a dubious and triumphant track record as an agent of poverty alleviation. The movement remains rooted in the fundamental premise that people can increase their income if given loans to help build their small businesses. Long overshadowed by what poverty researcher Malcolm Harper described as “generally unsuccessful government-sponsored poverty alleviation programs,” microfinance has made notable strides in positioning itself as a credible tool in poverty reduction. In addition, by marrying loans with community and social development initiatives, microfinance has initiated a profound restructuring of the social dynamics…

Hopes Based on a Peanut Paste

As the world becomes increasingly globalized and technology transforms reality, the novelty of new innovations sometimes eclipses the very realsuffering of a sizable portion of the Earth’s population. Although technology allows people on opposite sides of the globe to speak face to face, it has yet to fix the problem of famine and malnutrition in under- developed and developing countries. On September 24th, at an emergency meeting in Rome regarding food price inflation, the UN warned of an impending major food crisis. It continued along this line when, on October…

The World Bank and the IMF: A Limited Mandate

In the fight against global poverty, the World Bank aims to help direct developing economies onto a stable path of sustained economic growth through the support of domestic financial institutions and large-scale infrastructure projects. Yet, there are ethical and moral implications to an organization that seeks to alleviate poverty in the developing world, while failing to reach the poorest of the poor, who lack access to the financial services and development projects that the World Bank provides. The Bank addresses the development of financial institutions and seeks to bolster domestic…

The New Cold War

June 12th, 1987—President Ronald Reagan makes his famous declaration, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” effectively ending the Cold War between the United States and Russia. For over forty years, the two countries fought for global dominance, but when all was said and done, the U.S. emerged as the victor while Russia faded into the background. Throughout the 1990s, the U.S. was unrivaled. The economy was stable, the Gulf War lasted less than a year, and the country’s most prominent problem was a White House sex scandal. However, two decades…

The Dubious Politics of a Saudi Arms Deal

The Obama administration is seeking to sell Saudi Arabia advanced aircraft worth up to $60 billion, in what Pentagon officials say would be the largest-ever single foreign arms deal. According to the terms of the deal, the Saudis will receive as many as 84 new F-15 fighter jets and three types of helicopters: 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds. Let’s review what is offensive to the victims of the 9-11 attacks and what isn’t. When totally innocent moderate Muslim-Americans like Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan…