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Our energy is your energy APRIL / MAY 2012
Beware the iMob Andrew Marshall If all else fails, switch oﬀ the internet? Dave Clemente No escape from a volatile vox pop Tina Fordham Xinghai Fang Three things the West must do to survive € Mark Malloch-Brown Diplomacy can bring peace to Syria China The great leap into the unknown Kerry Brown
Reassessing the Wukan ‘revolution’ Malcolm Moore „ Southeast Asia No need to fear the elephants
Tinh Dinh Le and Cleo Paskal „„ Parag Khanna Forget America, Britain’s future is the EU „ Iran Iranian opinion is key to avoiding war Patricia Lewis
Dictatorships are inured to sanctions Hassan Hakimian In rigged elections, •–% is the new ˜˜% Ali Ansari Inside the world of Iran’s female ninjas Shappi Khorsandi „ Arab World Like father, like son in Syria Bernd Debusmann
From the Editor
This year three of the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France and Russia – are holding elections, while a fourth, China, is embarking on its once-in-a-decade leadership transition. All over the world governments are having to deal with an increasingly volatile public opinion.
Last year the Arab people rose up. The same wave, less powerful but still unpredictable, is now spreading. There is no new revolutionary ideology behind this wave. What we have now is a digital culture which means that new ideas – such as the Occupy movement’s ‘We are the ˜˜ per cent’ – take oﬀ globally.
Time to rein in Libya’s militias Donatella Rovera London Who owns our skyline? Sally Peck Europe How France’s quiet man is upsetting the
European applecart Jonathan Fenby Berlin is playing a long game Stewart Fleming Ž Environment Throw nothing away. It’s time to upcycle
Felix Preston „ Falklands A masterclass in UN tactics Michael Maclay Letters On Obama and Niall Ferguson ‘ Notebook by Konstantin von Eggert ‘ Ten minutes with... Rick Falkvinge, Swedish pirate Under the radar Chatham House experts on global issues
Our cover story (page ®) looks at one of the transforming aspects of the new vox populi, the web-based campaigns that are blurring the old distinctions between Left and Right. Like it or not, this is the future of political engagement.
Even China, with its minutely choreographed leadership change, is not immune. As Kerry Brown writes on page °•, China’s new generation of leaders will have to be politicians, not technocrats, to meet the challenge of a public opinion swayed by social media.
Amid rising talk of a pre-emptive strike against Iran, Patricia Lewis writes (page ±²) that Iranian public opinion is turning away from the government’s nuclear ambitions.
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missed by the media • Postcard from... Rome Jargonbuster decries ‘fit for purpose’ Books essay Gareth Price on Ahmed Rashid Film Burhan Wazir on Arab Spring documentaries • Books Richard Dalton’s Iran reading list ‘Ž ‘ of the best and worst… countries to be a woman Cover by Tom Gauld
We are delighted to have a column by Dr Xinghai Fang, who has taken time oﬀ from running the Shanghai Oﬃce of Financial Services to assure the West that China’s rise does not mean the inevitable decline of the developed countries. On page • he oﬀers some simple advice on how to compete with the rising powers. Alan Philps
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