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PLATFORM CAPITALISM: THE ECONOMY OF THE FUTURE?

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This, my latest article, is just published on Impakter Magazine.

BOOK REVIEW: PLATFORM CAPITALISM BY NICK SRNICEK, PUBLISHED BY POLITY (DECEMBER 2016) 120 PAGES



Platform capitalism is the latest buzzword, replacing what used to be called “eco-systems”.  It is also sometimes confused with the “gig economy” or the “sharing economy”, enthusiastically embraced by politicians as the answer to the Great Recession.

Uber, AirBnB, TaskRabbit and the like are viewed as saviors, providing jobs to those who wouldn’t have any or rounding off the pay of those who make too little. Their apps create a digital space where service providers and users meet; the needs of the latter are satisfied by the former while the app owners take a fair percentage off every transaction.

THE BLESSED AGE OF POST-CAPITALISM?

Technology enthusiasts see platform capitalism, created by the digital revolution, as a benign form of capitalism ushering in a new blessed age where people come into their own, workers find instan…

AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AT RISK – AND HOW TO WIN IT BACK

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Another one of my articles just published on Impakter magazine:

AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AT RISK - AND HOW TO WIN IT BACK

BOOK REVIEW “BUILDING THE NEW AMERICAN ECONOMY: SMART, FAIR, AND SUSTAINABLE” BY JEFFREY D. SACHS (AUTHOR), BERNIE SANDERS (FOREWORD) COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, FEBRUARY 7, 2017

When Professor Sachs, one of the world’s most influential economists, wrote the book I’m reviewing here, we lived in a simpler, more innocent world, full of hope for a better future, particularly after the success of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, in large part a result of President Obama’s efforts.

America was firmly seated in the global leadership role it had occupied since World War II and as recently as last summer, it looked like nothing could upend it. The most recent “soft power” wins included the opening with Cuba and the deal with Iran to neuter its nuclear power – soft power wins that came on top of a long series of similar victories since 1945, starting with the generous Marshall P…

THE RETURN OF AN OLD SCOURGE: STARVATION

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Another one of my articles, just published on Impakter, here is the opening:



Famine was supposed to be a thing of the past. True, 75 million people had died from starvation in the 20th century, but we had learned from these tragedies, how to predict them and how to address them. The largest famines dated back two decades: in the Horn of Africa in 1984-85 and 1992, and in North Korea in the mid-1990s. There had been only one serious famine in the 21st century, and it had occurred in Somalia in 2011, killing 260,000 people.

Now, all of a sudden, the scourge of starvation is back. The news came out over a month ago: 20 million people facing starvation, including 1.4 million children at “imminent risk of death”. The United Nations famine alert concerned four disconnected countries, across Africa and the Arabian peninsula: Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.



IN THIS PHOTO: Photo was taken in Radfan village in Lahj city. It shows a young girl who is collecting water from a far distance …

UNCHAIN AMERICA - BOOK REVIEW "CAPTURED" BY SENATOR WHITEHOUSE

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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…