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The National (UAE)

China's Bubble Has Kept More Than its Own Economy Afloat

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
October 31, 2011 |

Is China a bubble?

This question - once the domain of a small group of China sceptics in the global investment community - has gone mainstream. Time magazine posed the question on its cover, warning its readers to "Be Very Afraid of the China Bubble". Global news agencies such as Reuters and Bloomberg are raising troubling questions about China's over-leveraged banks, inflated housing prices and highly indebted local governments. A Wall Street Journal columnist recently wrote: "Forget Greece. Forget Italy. Forget 'Occupy Wall Street', The really ominous news right now? China."

Broken Promises Unite Middle Class Protest Movements

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
October 18, 2011 |

We all know the details of the story by now: a young Tunisian vegetable vendor loses his licence to work because of predatory local police; he refuses to pay a bribe; he complains at the municipality; they tell him to get lost; he lights himself on fire; a nation erupts; a leader falls; the Arab uprisings begin.

An Increasingly Isolated Iran Seems Just As Divided Within

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
October 3, 2011 |

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not much of a student of American history. It might be useful, however, if he heeds the words of the late American Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who once said: "Propaganda, to be effective, must be believed. To be believed, it must be credible. To be credible, it must be true."

UN Vote Adds Little to 20 Years of Failure in Middle East Peace

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
September 19, 2011 |

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's momentous decision to seek statehood at the United Nations has been interpreted in many ways: a bold, decisive move to force Israel's hand and level the playing field in future negotiations; a risky diplomatic gambit that will achieve little in the face of a certain US veto and will fuel tensions in an already volatile environment; a watershed moment in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Mostly, however, the move is an acknowledgement of failure.

A Development Bank for the Region that Arab Youth Need

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
September 5, 2011 |

'Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come," the French writer Victor Hugo said. But we might add an equally important political corollary: nothing is as powerful as a crisis to propel an idea forward.

The Arab world is in crisis. The events of the so-called Arab Spring have transformed the region in a year that has seen three governments fall, two more face serious and ongoing rebellions and others come face-to-face with a new age of uncertainty.

From India to Indiana, Gaps in Government Credibility Grow

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
August 22, 2011 |

Anna Hazare might be onto something. The 73 year-old Indian social activist has ignited a fire in his homeland over the issue of corruption. Advocating a tough piece of legislation aimed at rooting out the graft that is pervasive in the Indian state, the once jailed and now freed activist who models himself after the late Mohandas Ghandi has begun a hunger strike and led tens of thousands in protests across several cities.

Reality Check on Globalisation Leaves a New World of Distrust

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
August 9, 2011 |

There was a brief moment, in the go-go 1990s, when the world seemed less reliant on politics and politicians. Globalisation, we were told, was on the march. Markets - efficient and calculating and precise - would dictate our future, not politicians - venal, short-sighted and imprecise. As long as nations hopped on the chugging globalisation train, they, too, would benefit and the ride would be smooth.

Arab Countries Should Step Up To Save Lives in Somalia

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
July 26, 2011 |

Imagine a country with the longest coastline in Africa, bordering some of the busiest sea lanes in the world. Imagine this country has very wealthy neighbours just across the water, and a history of commercial links to faraway places as an old Silk Road trading post. If geography is destiny, then this country is fortunate indeed.

An Economic Awakening to Match a Season of Change

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
July 17, 2011 |

For many Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa, the so-called "Arab Spring" will bring a cold bout of economic uncertainty and decline. This is the grim truth of revolutions: they do not yield economic benefit in the short-run.

Rather, they usually make things worse.

U.S. Economic Power is Part of a Healthier Global Order

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
July 4, 2011 |

It is one of the most oft-used clichés of globalisation: "When America sneezes, the world catches a cold." Amid the 2008-2009 American financial crisis and recession, commentators and pundits dusted off that favourite saying as global markets felt the pain of America's storm.

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