Political Economy

At the Weave we believe that politics and economics have always gone hand in hand. Political economy is about structures of power and how these structures shape the conditions within which all of us live our lives. This section of the Weave is devoted to analysis and discussion of current issues that reveal the dynamics of power, from the local to the global and everywhere in between.

Summit of the People?

We all saw the interesting frame of Obama and Chavez shaking hands and smiling to each other in the Summit of the Americas.  This is an interesting frame given the countries increasing differences and after Chavez called Bush “the devil” in many occasions.  The US is ready to change its approach to Latin America, and start working with them, after the greater distance created after the events of 9/11.

Death of Zionism

On March 30 Dr. Ronnie Olesker gave a presentation on the two-state solution in Israel/Palestine. It began with an informative historical introduction, but focused primarily on the situation for those Arabs, whom she referred to as minorities, within Israel. I left the presentation upon coming to some conclusions, and some questions.

Interweaving: Ronnie Olesker on the Israeli elections

22 Dr. Ronnie OleskerI recently interviewed Dr. Ronnie Olesker about the results of the national elections held in Israel and their implications both for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for US policy in the region.  Dr. Olesker is an Assistant Professor of Government at St. Lawrence University and has done extensive research on Israeli politics and majority-minority relations in Israel.  On March 30 she will deliver a lecture titled "One Land - Three Peoples? Future Prospects for Jewish-Arab-Palestinian Relations in Israel" as part of St. Lawrence's Contemporary Issues Forum.

How Sustainable is Turkish Foreign Policy?

Since the Justice and Development Party government took seat in 2002, Turkey has entered a new phase in foreign policy where a new mediator role is claimed and a zero-problems policy is adopted as advised by DavutoÄŸlu (1). Through examples such as the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform formed after the 2008 Georgian Crisis, the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative for countering Huntington's "clash of civilizations" thesis, or the Ankara Forum meetings that brought together Palestinian president Abbas and Israeli president Peres in November 2007 (2), Turkey is attempting to increase its weight in the region and gain a decisive role by highlighting and making use of its geographical centrality and cultural multiplicity.

Enhancing Security in Latin America?

The US has had a great presence in Latin America since the region's independence. Latin America was not only regarded as the US' backyard, but a strong territory for security, natural resources and human resources. Throughout the years, the US has intervened in Latin America for many reasons and in very different ways. In Mexico for the revolution from WWI to WWII, supporting a change of regime to enhance its security against German forces; in Bolivia in the 50's revolution to "fight communist forces", in Central America in the 80's supporting the contra-revolutions, etc.

Defining Development

"What exactly is development?"

As an economics and global studies major, this is a question that I have been grappling with for some time now.  The need to define "development" and know its identifying features become even more relevant in a global world, where everyone and everything is connected.

There to stay

Once some presidents get in power, they might like to stay in power. This could be for personal reasons or for the simple awareness that one term is not enough to achieve all their presidential goals. Do you think Obama will  be able to make a lot of progress in four years? Maybe not as much progress as we would like to.

Bolivia says YES to a new constitution

A new constitution is something that has to be really well studied, planned, approved and fought for. Nothing to be taken for granted. The laws and destiny of a country are in the hands of some that write the constitution. After a referendum, Bolivia approved the new constitution his past Sunday 25th with a 58% of the votes. First, a little background; Evo Morales was elected as the first indigenous president 3 years ago.

Some Things Just Don't Make Sense

Taking a class about neo-liberalism and its aftermath, and reading Mike Davis’s recent book, Evil Paradises; Dream Worlds of Neo-liberalism I couldn’t avoid but think about some of the prime examples of neo-liberalism in the country that I was born raised. 

Maldives: How Much Will Really Change?

The first multi party elections ever in the history of the Maldives took place last November. Even though this small island nation of 300,000 people gained independence from the British in 1965, the journey to become a democratic nation has been slow and sidelined. Political parties were banned in the country until 2005, and the now former president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom ruled the country for 30 years. Allowing for the existence of political parties and the first multi-party elections is one of the many things that came about due to a reform process that was initiated in 2005, following a number of riots and protests.