Region Archives: Global

Listening to the psychogeography of Belfast

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One of the final events of the Four Corners Festival was a discussion on what was described as the psychogeography of the city of Belfast. A panel of four — with one connected via a video call — ruminated on their walking through the streets, along borders and through them, sharing their perspectives to an more…

Confessions of an Irish Catholic anarchist…

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  With election time on the horizon, the descriptive terms in the title start coming up in conversation more and more frequently. And yes, it is all correct; I’m an Irish citizen, a devout Catholic and a committed anarchist. To the average person, that might seem incongruous- certainly the last two- even absurd. But it more…

Brexit, pursued by a bear

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The deal on offer from Brussels to Cameron this week was given a further dramatic feel by EU Council President Donald Tusk’s use of Shakespearean verse; “To be, or not to be together, that is the question which must be answered not only by the British people in a referendum” His use of the lines from Hamlet more…

Limerick tops global property price affordability index for the second year in a row

Global Property Prices

The latest release of Demographia’s annual survey of house price affordability has created headlines for highlighting how chronically unaffordable property is in Hong Kong. Median property prices in the territory were a staggering 19 times median household incomes in the third quarter of 2015, a new record in the twelve years that the survey has more…

A wry view of the US presidential candidates….

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It seems to have been going on for ever but the truth is, it hasn’t even started yet. I am of course, referring to the greatest political show on earth, the US presidential election. This year’s crop of hopefuls contains demonstrates once again the diversity of America’s millionaire class. In addition to middle-aged white guys, more…

Torture and Cognitive Dissonance

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When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir? —JM Keynes A couple of recent, unrelated articles caught my eye. The New Scientist carried a review of ‘Why Torture doesn’t work’, a forthcoming book by Shane O’Mara, an academic at Trinity, Dublin. The scientific answer is that torture doesn’t work, in more…

Does Rubio’s malleable religious identity have something to tell us?

It is the American way, it seems. I recall the social ethnographer Joseph Campbell recounting how the religious rituals of native American tribes would shift substantially when they moved from farm to plain. Context is all in religious conviction. One of the more interesting of the other candidates in the US Republican primaries is Marco more…

US President Bill Clinton: “We’ve all taken our licks for Gerry”.

The BBC’s freedom of information specialist, Martin Rosenbaum, has been reading through transcripts of calls and meetings between US President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, between 1997 and 2000, which were released following a BBC freedom of information request to the Clinton Presidential Library. As he notes, [The transcripts] contain substantial redactions, especially of Mr more…

JDs Tips: This weekend in Spanish Football..

Celta Vigo v  Espanyol The performance level of Celta Vigo has dipped below the high standards they set early in the season. They still sit in 4th only 5 points  below Real Madrid.  They  tend to dominate possession at home and create chances  so expect them to control proceedings here.     They also leave the door more…

‘Long on material for jeremiads like this’: John Andrew Fredrick’s ‘The King of Good Intentions II’: Book Review

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A fresh novel about the travails of a struggling musician on L.A.’s indie-rock fringe, this sequel to The King of Good Intentions continues the story of John and his jangle-pop band, The Weird Sisters. Likely at least semi-autobiographical, narrated after all by John with frequent asides to us, this takes up the tale on the more…

Syria Still Dreams of Freedom

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Rejecting the choice between Assad and ISIS, Syrians living in the UK argue a third way is possible, and seek support in reclaiming the dream they rose up for in 2011: a democratic and free Syria.  Before conflict overcame his native country, Amer Masri left Syria to study genetics in Edinburgh. “You know, like Dolly more…

Britain’s Postwar Wars

The list of wars involving the UK since 1945 is long and chaotic. Looking at some of them especially the most recent does suggest some themes which are not especially encouraging when one considers the prospect of British involvement in Syria. In the early post war period most of the conflicts Britain was involved in more…

When is “an independent study” on Irish unification not independent?

When it has been commissioned, under cover, by Friends of Sinn Féin USA, perhaps… Sinn Féin were quick to welcome the recent announcement of the “first-ever economic modeling [of the] economic benefits Of Irish unification” at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.  Twice, in fact.  An Phoblacht were too. The press release from Sinn Féin MEP, Matt more…