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…

The End of Foreign Capital Flows in Emerging Markets?

Emerging economies are entering into an economic and political paradigm where instating capital controls on foreign investment increasingly seems like a viable option. The economic aspect of this probable outcome relates to a trilemma found in international finance called the ‘Impossible Trinity’. Formally known as the “Mundell-Fleming model”, the impossible trinity frames a choice between three financial policy goals: 1) domestic monetary autonomy, 2) free-flowing foreign capital flows, and 3) a stable exchange rate. Only two of these three goals can be pursued at any given time. The third policy…

Sovereign Debt and the Euro-zone.

In the Spring of 2010, governments around Europe began announcing and preparing fiscal austerity measures to address budget and structural deficits. These plans for austerity measures owe their prompt formulation to the Greek debt crisis, and the threat it presented to the stability and viability of the Eurozone as an economic union. Greece itself announced austerity measures as a condition to receive a ‘bailout’ y the European Union and the IMF. The funds provided by the EU came primarily from France and Germany. However, as market and media attention underscored,…

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…