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Unchain America

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Here's my latest book review, just published on Impakter. This book is brilliant, a must read! 


BOOK REVIEW: “CAPTURED: THE CORPORATE INFILTRATION OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY” BY SHELDON WHITEHOUSE  (AUTHOR) AND MELANIE WACHTELL STINNETT (CONTRIBUTOR) PUBLISHED 21 FEBRUARY 2017, NEW PRESS, 272 PAGES



American democracy is in deep trouble, chained down by corporate power. This, in a nutshell, is the argument made by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in his just published book, Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy. He wrote the book, he says, in the hope of waking up his fellow American citizens to the risk they are running. To free themselves from the shackles of Big Business, they need to know exactly who they are fighting.
As I watched Trump give his “America First” inaugural speech, I knew something was deeply wrong with America. His speech signaled America’s abandonment of world leadership and rejection of globalization, a stunning paradigm shift. Since World War II, no…

TWO-SPEED EUROPE: WHY THIS IS THE LIKELY WAY FORWARD

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Impakter Magazine has just published my latest article on Europe, here it is:
TWO-SPEED EUROPE: THE WAY FORWARD?


FROM THE “WHITE PAPER” ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE TO THE EUROPEAN MINI-SUMMIT IN VERSAILLES
President Hollande did not mince his words. “Europe will explode,” he warned, if the idea of a two-speed Europe is not accepted.
He was referring to what is diplomatically called “multi-speed Europe” where core countries go forward with European integration in areas they agree on, leaving dissenters behind – not a particularly new idea, after all, that was how the Eurozone and the Schengen area (dispensing with border controls) were born in the 1990s. There has been, over the years, considerable debate and pushback against the idea of a multi-speed Europe, seen as going counter to the “core values of the Union”. But, increasingly, it is viewed as the only realistic way to move forward, abandoning the unattainable ideal (for now) of a United States of Europe and moving instead to a practi…

Europe at the Crossroads

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Impakter has just published my latest essay: EUROPE AT THE CROSSROADS. I've worked hard to try and figure out where Europe is going, if anywhere... 

Here is the beginning:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION?

On 25 March 2017, we will know whether Europe – as a “project” for an increased “union” – plans to go forward, fade away or split up.

That is the date of the much-awaited European Summit to be held in Rome to celebrate (without UK Prime Minister May) the 60 years of the European Union. The celebration could turn into a funeral if the 27 heads of EU member nations cannot agree on a so-called “White Paper”, a.k.a. “the Rome Statement”, that they are meant to adopt as a common declaration on Europe’s future.



Alarm-Europe-Logo PHOTO CREDIT: MARCH FOR EUROPE
What does this White Paper say? If you google it, you won’t find it. At the time of writing, it’s still under wraps in Brussels. All we know for now is that there has been a preliminary “white paper” prepared by the Benelux cou…

POPULISM TRUMP-STYLE: A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY ?

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My latest article, just out on Impakter Magazine

TRUMP POPULISM: A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY ?




BOOK REVIEW: WHAT IS POPULISM? BY JAN-WERNER MÜLLER 

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS, AUGUST 22, 2016. 136 PAGES. 

From Brexit, the referendum that kicked the UK out of the EU, to Trump’s election predicated on “draining the swamp” in Washington and making “America Great Again”, the sudden rise of populist nationalism shook the US and Europe in 2016. With Trump in the driving seat, what will 2017 hold? Should we worry?


A new book “What is Populism?” by Jan-Werner Müller, a noted German political scientist, brings much needed answers. It provides an elegant explanation of a phenomenon of our times, populism, that threatens to upend the post-World War II global order as we know it.

WHO IS THE AUTHOR AND WHY SHOULD WE PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT HE SAYS?

Professor Jan-Werner Müller, born in 1970, comes with impressive credentials:  he studied at the Berlin Free University; London University College; Oxford…

THE TRUMP EFFECT: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE POPE AND THE ORDER OF MALTA

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Here's another of my articles, just published on Impakter:




The media has recently reported some eye-popping news about the Pope and the Order of Malta allegedly engaged in a power struggle, with the Grand Master of the Order losing the battle and “forced” to resign.

What we have here is the kind of spectacle the media relishes: On one side, the Pope is depicted as the “anti-Trump Pope” for example, see the New Yorker’s article written by James Carroll, an American Catholic reformer and author of eleven novels and eight works of non-fiction, clearly in search of his next plot. On the other side, the Order of Malta, a millenarian Catholic institution with a global, humanitarian mandate, is presented as helplessly in the grips of Cardinal Edmund Burke, a well-known hardliner. An American, Cardinal Burke is adamant about fighting Islam and he is a darling of the populists. So what do you get? A juicy alt-right picture of a clash between a supposedly rigidly conservative Order and a pr…

SILICON VALLEY: WHAT IT TAKES TO DO STARTUPS - Book Review

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Here's another one of my articles published today on Impakter:




SILICON VALLEY: WHAT IT TAKES TO DO STARTUPS Book Review: Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcìa Martinez (HarperCollins, 2016, 528 pages)
Silicon Valley continues to be hot news in the age of Trump and anti-globalization and it should come as no surprise that a clever book about it by someone in the know, loaded with revelatory insights on how it really works, was going to be a sure-fire hit. And that is exactly what happened when Antonio García Martinez's half memoir-half prescriptive tech guidebook came out last year on 28 June 2016, becoming an instant “New York Times bestseller”. Considered an “irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble”, all the major book reviewers rushed in with praise, from the New York Times’ Jonathan E. Knee (“an irresistible and indispensable 360-degree guide to the new technology establishment”) to Bloomberg’s Ellen Huet (“dives into…

Why 2017 Could be Better Than You Think: Happy New Year!

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I just had my latest piece published on Impakter magazine, the fast-growing magazine for millennials where I am Senior Editor – and this is also my way to wish you all a very Happy, Hyggelig New Year!Here is the beginning of the article: Why 2017 Could Be Better Than You Think
At the end of the year, the prediction game becomes a top sporting event in the publishing industry, with everyone throwing their predictions on the wall to see if they stick. I’ll throw mine too but I’ll do it in reverse. I shall bet against most other people’s predictions. Let’s start with populism: that’s a basic trend everyone has identified in recent events, from Brexit to Trump – a new trend trumpeted as the end of neo-liberal democracy as we have known it since World War II. We are into another era, the new age of populism, nationalism, nativism, racism, identity politics, return-to-our-roots culture, anti-globalization, xenophobia, you name it. Dictionary.com has made xenophobia the word of the year. In …