In mid-November, Washington and Beijing mutually agreed to start granting journalist visas again, putting an end to months of reciprocal visa rejections and denials. A perhaps minor, yet still important, thawing among grander narratives of decoupling and worsening relations between the two countries.
Nepal has undergone immense social change since 1951 and the end of the Rana dynasty. It has been transformed from a feudal autocratic monarchy to a federal republican democracy. Its politics, society and economy have been irrevocably changed by coups, civil war and political movements. So vast and far reaching are these changes that Jeevan R Sharma dubs them Nepal’s “great transformation”. Political Economy of Social Change and Development in Nepal is an attempt to provide a concise overview of these changes, and the effects they have had on Nepal’s politics, society and economy. At just 208 pages, this is a good one-volume primer for those seeking to understand Nepal’s great transformation as well as it’s idiosyncrasies, faults and discontents.
Historian RG Collingwood once wrote that “We study history in order to see more clearly into the situation in which we are called upon to act.” Few people see US-China relations with greater clarity than Cheng Li, who worked as a physician during the Cultural Revolution before earning his PhD in Political Science at Princeton. In his new book Middle Class Shanghai, Li uses the history and culture of the city and its denizens to illustrate how China’s internal dynamism and diversity should inform US policy.
With COP26 and high fossil fuel prices, energy is back in the headlines. And Russia, as one of the world’s largest producers of hydrocarbons, is part of the conversation—most recently, in Putin’s refusal to expand oil production to ease global prices.
One doubts COP26 made much of an impression on Georgetown University’s Thane Gustafson; his recent book Klimat: Russia in the Age of Climate Change doesn’t even entertain the possibility that climate change can be stopped, to say nothing of being reversed.
Globalization is possibly the most important economic phenomenon of the past several decades. Opening borders, increasing trade and deepening integration has transformed our economies, our societies and our politics. Globalization changed establishment politics; the reaction against it transformed those against the establishment.
Everyone looks to Singapore as a role model for what they want their country to be. Several countries from China to Rwanda hope to emulate its high administrative competence, standard of living, and “social harmony”. Post-Brexit Britain wants to copy the city-state’s assertive and independent position in the world economy and its aggressive support for international business. Housing policy advocates look to Singapore and its 90% home ownership rate.