Berfrois

Dissolving in the Acid by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Dissolving in the Acid by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

In the wake of the Brexit it is perhaps time to look at what Tory leadership contender and Brutus impersonator Michael Gove termed “The Albanian Option.”

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‘A new breed of digital nightingales chirped all night’

‘A new breed of digital nightingales chirped all night’

"FRANCE HAS A NEW PRESIDENT." It does not look like much of a statement on paper, or on a computer screen: five little words, almost too short for a tweet. But France today is still dazed from the news, floating between disbelief, relief and exhaustion.

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Can Ellen Johnson Sirleaf win the trust of Liberia?

Can Ellen Johnson Sirleaf win the trust of Liberia?

From Guernica: In Liberia, loyalty matters. When Weah ran for president in 2005, he said he’d try to seek justice for Doe’s murder. Weah campaigned heavily in the southeast, including Grand Gedeh. At a rally in Doe’s home village of Tuzon, Doe’s sister Edith grabbed the microphone. “We’ll never...

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Isaac Fitzgerald: In Love in San Francisco

Isaac Fitzgerald: In Love in San Francisco

by Isaac Fitzgerald I came to this city in love and with everything I owned stuffed into three bags — it was San Francisco, so six people in a three-bedroom apartment seemed like something that could work. But when a week turned into a month she said maybe I...

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Afghanistan’s Ever Changing Warfare by Rob Johnson

Afghanistan’s Ever Changing Warfare by Rob Johnson

Afghanistan is a land of paradox. The investment that has been poured into the country by the West in the last decade will be the largest in Afghanistan’s history, and yet a portion of its people are engaged in a protracted insurgency that squanders this golden opportunity.

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‘A flying carpet is lying in wait in Berlin’

‘A flying carpet is lying in wait in Berlin’

From the Roads to Arabia exhibition, Pergamon Museum, Berlin From Sign and Sight: Archaeological exhibitions at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum have had an unprecedentedly successful year. “Tell Halaf” attracted 750,000 visitors, “Pergamon” sold 250,000 tickets in just two months and “Roads of Arabia” opened on January 26th. The more confusing...

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John Gaffney: Sarkalimero

John Gaffney: Sarkalimero

There’s a cartoon character that all French children watched in the '70s and ‘80s, Calimero. He was a little black chick who, ever provoking trouble, always ended up defeated and complaining, “it’s really so unfair!” when in reality, he was usually the architect of his own misfortunes. At times,...

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Quebecers United Against the ‘Business World’

Quebecers United Against the ‘Business World’

Student protest in Quebec, March 22, 2012. Photograph by Tina Mailhot-Roberge by Justin E. H. Smith On April 23, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lilian Radovac aptly described the past few months of upheaval across Quebec as “the biggest student uprising you’ve never heard of.” This movement,...

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What should Europe’s intellectuals be doing?

What should Europe’s intellectuals be doing?

Towards the end of last year, as the Eurozone crisis was reaching (yet another) climax, a number of journalists in the German quality press alerted their readers to an aspect of the crisis which had received scant attention so far: the euro crisis marked not only the failure of...

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Child Circulation in Quintana Roo

Child Circulation in Quintana Roo

During my thesis research in the communities of Saban and Huay Max, located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, I watched how children from three different familial units living on the same housing lot were constantly reorganized and re-circulated as adult family members came and went.

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Musings on the Mediterranean “Monsters”

Musings on the Mediterranean “Monsters”

Persepolis, Briton Rivière by Gregory Jusdanis Many travelers still seek solitude among the tourists, the luxury to communicate personally with the ruins. They long to leave their minds on idle, while they enter the vista before them, undisturbed by the other souls striving for the same illusion. I often...

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Ring Road

Ring Road

Lahore ring road. Photograph from Google Earth. by Manan Ahmed You can’t see through cement – and neither can I. When I look at Lahore and the ways in which cement has cordoned off sight-lines, I see a city full of people blind-folded. The gated communities were the first...

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CUC $10 Minimum

CUC $10 Minimum

From The Walrus: At the end of the meal, I’d given the waiter CUC $80 and received CUC $10 in change, and as I stood there with the ten-peso note in my hand Antonio grabbed and pocketed it. I shot him a confused look, and he responded with a half shrug...

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The Congo wars might well have been avoided…

The Congo wars might well have been avoided…

All over east-central Africa, for several centuries, there has been tension between two ways of life that have also been two human silhouettes: the tall, graceful cattle-people and the shorter, sturdier agriculturalists. They have different names in different places, but in Rwanda and Burundi they are the Tutsi and...

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Ireland and the Falklands War

Ireland and the Falklands War

The aftermath of Operation Condor. Washington, September 21, 1976 From Dublin Review of Books: The morning of September 21st, 1976 was unusually dull. Rain had been forecast. I was in my office on the second floor of the Irish embassy, occasionally looking out on the tranquillity of Sheridan Circle...

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John Gaffney on Nicolas Sarkozy

John Gaffney on Nicolas Sarkozy

It is the received view – a view that took root that fateful evening at Fouquet’s restaurant, the evening of his victory over his Socialist rival, Ségolène Royal, in May 2007 – that Nicolas Sarkozy as President between 2007 and 2012 betrayed de Gaulle’s République de grandeur, replacing it...

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Most, except the Greek nationalists, are perfectly happy blaming the Greeks…

Most, except the Greek nationalists, are perfectly happy blaming the Greeks…

So why are we in Europe going down the path of a deeply self-deceptive and hypocritical race to the bottom, where trans-European solidarity is a non-starter, since it can only be a barrier to a European political elite now intent on pursuing the next phase of our liberalization by...

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‘Frustration among Saudis has deep roots’

‘Frustration among Saudis has deep roots’

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia From Boston Review: About two weeks after the failed mass protests, Chas Freeman, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, gave a lecture at the Asia Business Forum in Riyadh. He unequivocally asserted that there is no great power other than the United States capable...

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