Tag: Corruption

The Five Extraordinary Features of the Sochi Winter Olympics

There is real potential for unexpected events and even bloodshed at the Sochi Winter Olympics.Introduction On 7 February 2014, the Sochi Winter Olympics will commence. It is estimated that these games will cost at least US$51 billion — the most expensive in history — costing Russia more than the $40 billion that China spent on…

Brazil: The Price of Progress

With the election of President Dilma Roussef, Brazil sought to accelerate the pace in turning itself into a global power. Many of the initiatives in this direction came from beforehand, but they had a new impetus: the UN Conference on the Environment, Rio+20 in 2012, the World Cup in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016, the…

Happiness and Human Rights in Shangri-La

In the early 1990s, Indra was forced to flee her home country of Bhutan after her father had been imprisoned and tortured. “In prison they hung my father upside down and beat him. Then they hung him over chili smoke,” she explained. “After that they ordered him to leave the country with all his family.…

The Greek Crisis as Racketeering

Sociologist Charles Tilly drew a compelling analogy between the state as the place of organised means of violence, and racketeering. He defined the racketeer “as someone who creates a threat and then charges for its reduction”, in order to gain control and consolidate power. In this regard, a state and its government differ little from…

Something is Missing in the Hrant Dink Murder Ruling

Hrant Dink’s murder was the culminating point of a persecution campaign that can be traced back to February 2004, when he published claims to the effect that Sabiha Gökçen, the adopted daughter of Atatürk and the first woman war pilot of the Turkish Republic, was of Armenian descent. Dink’s claim provoked a public statement from…

City Rogues

Vince Cable in yesterday’s Guardian accepted that the City is a ‘source of systemic instability, unfettered greed and industrial scale tax dodging’ but blamed the problem on a small number of rogue institutions. The task it seems is to find the “few rotten apples” that somehow manage to bring an entire system into disrepute. The…

The pillars of ignorance

Deleuze told us that for something to constitute an event, it must go all the way down. The death of the News of the World (soon to be resurrected as the undead Sun on Sunday) is not an event of itself, though it does constitute the sign of an event. This event, however, is not…