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Religion and business – The Mourides of Senegal

If you’ve ever visited a big European or American city, you have probably seen the African street vendors selling fake bags, sunglasses, belts and more. These sellers are often misapprehended as poor, desperate migrants trying to scrape up a living. Actually, most of them are part of a Muslim, Sufi …

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COP21: Will Paris bring about real change?

Surely it hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that COP21 is taking place in Paris right now. COP21, the 21th Conference of the Parties, hosted by the UN organ IPCCC, is a two-week meeting with the main goal of creating a global agreement focused on reducing climate change. During the opening of …

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The truth is (probably) in the numbers: the excel sheets that could topple giants

The use of opinion polls in elections goes back to the early 19th century, though the current method of representative sampling was developed in the 1930’s. Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first presidential candidate to use polling in the election of 1932, but it was after John F. Kennedy successfully …

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Filibustering – has free speech become a threat to democracy?

Some call them necessary political tools, while others describe them as a threat to the legitimacy of democracy. But of one thing we can be certain – filibusters are a big deal, and a weapon of considerate power when allowed. But what is a filibuster? Filibustering has been defined as …

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The new silk road – A new beginning or just another Chinese whisper?

On November 18th 2014 a train departed from the city of Yiwu in China’s Zhejiang province. It was starting a journey of almost 13 000 Kilometre’s, heading west through China, into Central Asia and across the Eurasian landmass. It’s destination? Europe, arriving 21 days later on the 9th of December in …

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Media in Cuba: Journalists still weapons of the revolution

Since Raul Castro took control of power in Cuba as a result of his brother Fidel Castro’s health issues in 2006, things have undeniably changed. The island nation that has long been famous as a very strict socialist society with restricted liberty is slowly starting to open up in some …

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A World With No Putin: A Potential Mess

Vladimir Putin has been a Russian powerhouse for more than two decades. His reign has seen accusations of corruption and election fraud, but also been widely accepted among the Russian people. Some polls give him an 80 % approval rating, though there is no reason to take those polls at …

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Abenomics: Japan Goes All In

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vastly outspent his predecessors in order to revive the Japanese economy. But is more of the same really the solution for Japan’s economy? Will Abe’s economic policies – Abenomics – lead Japan into a new golden age, or leave the economy stranded by the roadside? …

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Outsourcing Warfare – Mercenaries on the rise

“I refer to them as the whores of war,” said Katy Helvenston about private military companies. Her son was killed in Iraq in 2004 while working for a private military company called Blackwater. Eleven years later, Blackwater no longer exists but the war continues in Iraq and the markets for …

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E-stonia, E-residency and the future E-state

The future of digital democracy may be coming from an unlikely source, as the small Baltic country of Estonia has just created one of the most advanced e-societies in the world. Estonia, or E-stonia, is making its mark on the world by embracing new technology and creating its own virtual …

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