A New Scramble for Africa?

April 10, 2019
Not a single one of my LSE students reads the Economist. That may be down to the selection bias of people wanting to take my course on activism, but I think they’re missing out. If, like me, you’re liberal on social issues, sceptical on economic laissez faire, and just plain confused on politics, then at least read the Economist, which

Tortoise v Hare: Is China challenging the US for global leadership? Great Economist piece

April 12, 2017
Back from Australia and I’ve been catching up on my Economist backlog. The 1st April edition exemplified the things the magazine does really well (I don’t include its naff geek-humour April 1st leader supporting a tax on efficiency). There were the customary great infographics – here’s the map showing the extent to which countries export/import air pollution through their trade

Missing in Action: Why do NGOs Shy Away From Geopolitics?

April 1, 2014
Didier Jacobs, my strategic adviser equivalent at Oxfam America, wonders why this blog hasn’t mentioned some of the big geopolitical events of recent weeks, and what it says about NGO advocacy. Last month, a significant event inflected the world order: Russia invaded Crimea. Not a word about it in these columns so far. Whether their mission is poverty alleviation, environment

Who runs the world? The rise of the G5

June 9, 2010
The G5 countries will police each other and everyone else A thought-provoking and perversely optimistic take on 21st Century geopolitics from Paul Collier in this month’s issue of Prospect. It’s too well-written to edit, but in short, what he is saying is that the world will be run by the US, China, Japan, India and the EU (the G5). Their big

What happened at the Pittsburgh G20?

September 29, 2009
I didn’t attend the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last week, but I’ve been poring over the communiqué. Here are some initial thoughts on what it all means (numbers in square brackets refer to paragraphs in the original), incorporating analysis and intel from the Oxfam team at the event. Headline: Pittsburgh formally enshrined the rise of the BRICs and relative decline

Asia rebounds and the G2 consolidates – the world’s 9 biggest companies are now either Chinese or American

August 3, 2009
Back from a blissful and disconnected few days in Italy, and now paying the price in terms of catching up with the backlog of reading and emails, so this week will mostly be signposting interesting stuff, rather than trying to write anything original. Two graphics from this week’s Economist underline the rise of the G2 (US and China). First up,