Global affairs | The Daily Star
  • The old demons are back

    In Paris, the ceremony to mark the centenary of the end of World War I was stately and moving. It featured such grace notes as students reading from letters written a hundred years ago, when the news about the armistice broke through.

  • The Afghan quagmire and India's challenge

    India's “non-official” participation in a multilateral conference in Moscow on November 9 on exploring the possibilities of a negotiated settlement of the crisis in terror-torn Afghanistan has set off a flutter in New Delhi.

  • US 2018 Midterm Elections: Why are the results so close and mixed?

    For most of 2018, the talk was there would be a Blue Democratic wave, sweeping the Democrats into power in both chambers of Congress. President Trump had unusually low approval rates over the last two years on average getting less than 40 percent approval ratings according to Gallup.

  • Battle for the Republic: Historic midterm elections in the US

    The US midterm elections on November 6, 2018 have been widely accepted as being among the most consequential in American history.

  • The changing dynamics of China-Bangladesh relations

    Right from the beginning of their diplomatic ties in October 1975, China and Bangladesh have been maintaining a close relationship, often entitled as “trusted friendship” or “all-weather friendship”.

  • BJP's bypoll blues continue

    By-elections continue to be the proverbial Achilles' heel for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. This has been the trend ever since it returned to power in May 2014.

  • Blue seismic ripples

    Depending on who you talk to, the US midterm elections resulted in either a blue wave of Democratic triumph or were a testament to the entrenched white nationalism, bigotry and jingoism of the American people. I would posit that both perceptions are correct.

  • The Brexitisation of European Politics

    Far from settling the question of the United Kingdom's future, the 2016 Brexit referendum and subsequent negotiations with the European Union have triggered a full-blown identity crisis and culture war in Britain.

  • Paralysed State

    This is not the first time the Pakistani state has been cowed by a violent mob and surrendered its writ in favour of those who challenged it so blatantly. In a functioning democracy with a constitution in place, it would be unheard of for a government to agree to take action on a case that has gone through due process of appeals and been decided by its supreme court.

  • America's fraught midterm polls

    Never has America been so bitterly polarised, nor midterm congressional and state gubernatorial polls aroused such frenzied partisan feelings.

  • US, reeling from fatal racial attacks, goes to midterm polls

    Americans vote on November 6 in a momentous mid-term elections. Polls suggest that the total Republican grip on federal power is about to be shattered as Democrats regain the House.

  • India's balancing act between faith and democracy

    Two temples—one existing in the South and another proposed in the North of India—are being used by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and other Hindutva outfits to bring to the centre stage of the political discourse a highly emotive issue in the run-up to the coming assembly elections in five states in November and December and the national polls next year.

  • Arms control and disarmament to arms decontrol and rearmament

    Only a few would be persuaded that President Donald Trump is deeply informed about any moderately complex subject. Ballistic missiles is one such.

  • Paradise lost? — Preliminary notes on a constitutional coup in Sri Lanka

    There were three dramatic announcements on the evening of Friday, October 26, 2018 from the Presidential Secretariat, which occurred in the following order:

  • Will Brahmaputra and Barak rivers unite or divide Assam?

    Fresh unrest is simmering in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam over Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's move to give citizenship to “persecuted” religious minorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • Things Fall Apart

    The high tide of financial markets is now in retreat, and murder in the oriental consulate unfolds in internet speed. Everywhere, the centre in politics and creed cannot hold, whilst polarisation is increasing by the day.

  • Mountain echoes for India

    The recent elections to Bhutan's national assembly produced a victory for the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), a left-of-the-centre party led by Dr Lotay Tshering.

  • Maldives: Has the wheel turned full circle?

    In an uncharacteristic move, President Abdullah Yameen of the Maldives accepted defeat on September 24, 2018 after an astonishing result where he lost the presidential election to Ibrahim Solih of the opposition coalition. Solih won 58 percent of the votes as opposed to 42 percent by Yameen.

  • Developing countries losing out to digital giants

    A new United Nations report warns that the potential benefits to developing countries of digital technologies are likely to be lost to a small number of successful first movers who have established digital monopolies.

  • Deportation of Rohingya migrants from India

    Almost a year ago, the Indian government announced its plan to deport “all illegal immigrants” including approximately 40,000 Rohingya refugees estimated to be living across India. In August 2017 in a letter sent to each of the state governments, India's Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order to “identify and deport all illegal immigrants”, including Rohingya refugees. The home ministry as well as leaders of the ruling BJP insisted that there were links between illegal migrants and threat to national security as they were perceived to be more vulnerable to potential recruitment by terrorist organisations.

  • How did Europe dominate the world?

    How did a group of a few, small countries of Western Europe come to dominate the world for nearly 300 years? As a recent history book noted (Why Did Europe Conquer the World?, Philip Hoffman), a thousand years ago these countries were “poor, violent, politically chaotic ... hopelessly backward …

  • A red tide

    At the risk of outing myself as a Zionist agent, I have to confess that one of my favourite words is “chutzpah”. It's a Yiddish word—a language that was used by Jewish communities in central Europe. As with most such words, something is always lost in translation, but it roughly translates as “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible 'guts', presumption plus arrogance.”

  • Khashoggi's disappearance challenges fragile Middle Eastern pragmatism

    Saudi Arabia and Turkey, despite being on opposite sides of Middle Eastern divides, are cooperating in Syria to enable youth and women to acquire skills that would either allow them to compete in the job market or turn them into entrepreneurs.

  • State polls may set the scene for India's national elections

    The announcement of poll schedules for legislative assemblies in the five states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Telangana has plunged India headlong into the season of polls, the biggest festival of democracy.

  • Trade war due to deeper malaise

    The world economy remains tepid and unstable a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, while growing trade conflicts are symptoms of deeper economic malaise, according to a new United Nations publication.

  • We need strong states, not strongmen

    “The state, it is me” (l'état, c'est moi), Louis XIV famously said, though it's likely an apocryphal account—a metaphor for the megalomaniac rule of the French monarch. And here lies the fundamental defect of strongmen, for they conflate the state with their own very being.

  • Turn down the rhetoric against migrants and refugees

    Migration has become a focus of debate in recent years. From United States President Donald Trump's vehemently anti-migrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric to Denmark's new “ghetto laws”, the language has become increasingly heated.

  • China's White Paper offers hope for multilateralism

    China's White Paper on the China-US trade friction makes a reasoned argument based on the mutual interests of China and the US as well as the global community.

  • Fragility of Middle East alliances becomes ever more apparent

    Three recent developments lay bare the fragility of Middle Eastern alliances and a rebalancing of their priorities: the Russian-Turkish compromise on an assault on the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, the fate of troubled Abu Dhabi airline Etihad, and battles over reconstruction of Syria.

  • Drama over Indo-Pak meeting

    It was a drama-filled 24 hours involving India and Pakistan between the afternoon of September 20 and September 21.