The argument over genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) needs to be seen in the context of wider agricultural policy. In itself, the technology is neutral and may even have possible benefits. But the use of GMOs by farmers tied to the distorting economics of the EUs Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will only intensify the latters disastrous environmental impact. Rather than ban GMOs, it would be better to reform the CAP and tax agrochemicals.
One of the most outspoken dissidents on the European Convention, Austrian Green MEP Johannes Voggenhuber, here interviewed by openDemocracys Julian Kramer, reflects on the successes and failures of the seventeen-month process from the Charter of Rights to Giscards autocratic, autistic style
Two Brussels insiders review the logjam over proposals for how Europe shall be governed, and the bargains being sought behind closed doors over crucial questions of institutions and power-balance.
The key to unlocking Africas cycle of poverty is womens education, says the 23-year old coordinator of the Campaign for Female Education Association (Cama). On the occasion of the UN girls education initiative, she helped organise a moving petition signed by hundreds of Zimbabwean women to mobilise support behind one of the most effective of all development strategies.
Problems in Pakistan, the silent voice of Europe, Swazi charm offensive.
The West Bank settlements where around 200,000 Israelis live are a key element in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The Israeli prime ministers inflexibility over the issue, unpopular among his own citizens, threatens to undermine the new roadmap to peace. Can the Americans take responsibility for the process and for Ariel Sharon?
Where Gordon Conway champions biotechnology as a solution to hunger in developing countries, Liz Orton offers a radically different vision of agriculture for Africa sustainable, low-tech and founded on local knowledge.
The American occupation in Iraq is facing low-level but increasing resistance from elements of the local population. Pre-war projections by the Pentagons civilian leadership of the numbers of US forces needed are already proving misjudged. The costs of the USs strategic choice in Iraq are coming into view.
The food security, life-chances and freedom of African farmers can be immeasurably improved by the greater use of biotechnology as is already evident in China. Scientific research, terms of trade, and global politics still present obstacles, but the direct choices of poor farmers themselves will resolve this passionately contested argument.
Despite huge public dissent over its support for war in Iraq, Spains ruling Popular Party suffered only marginal damage in the countrys municipal elections. The most severe lesson of the results is the failure of the Spanish left to understand the changes that are transforming Spanish society, and to match the rights reinvention with its own.
The election of a new government in Indian-controlled Jammu & Kashmir in September 2002 has opened the way to an initiative by Indias prime minister to restart discussions with Pakistan over the future of the disputed territory. In the light of historic India-Pakistan tension, twelve years of murderous violence, and the complex shades of Kashmirs politics, is there at last real hope of a resolution of this dangerous conflict?
Will mass immigration prove a similar threat to the integrity of European society and culture as it does to Americas? For the author of Alien Nation, the book which helped to catalyse the modern anti-immigration argument in the US, the current great wave from third to first world is undesirable, economically unnecessary, and driven by a misplaced sense of guilt over past racism and colonialism.
The German Bundestags first parliamentary representative of Turkish descent is currently in Washington, comparing how minority groups organise themselves politically in the United States and Germany. Recently named Multicultural Man of the Year by a German radio station, he turns a sometimes appalled gaze on his homeland, and asks how far Germany has to go to fulfil a truly multicultural vision.
US credibility, Hus globetrotting, Rwandas new era?
An indiscriminate assault on a small town in the countrys heartland prompts this Israeli writer to melancholy yet affectionate reflection.
Committees seldom produce genius, still less aspects of the divine, argues this young writer. But the translating of the King James Bible in 1604 did just that.
The scale of Africas political and social crises, exacerbated by the HIV/Aids pandemic and reinforced by failures of governance, make it a global dependent.
Another lightning raid on American political debate from Dominic Hilton. Fresh from skewering the neo-cons, the Democrats are in his sights. What do they want? Why wont they get it? And where does this leave democrats?
A year after 9/11, the Bush administration articulated a new security doctrine that committed the country to worldwide military intervention in pursuit of democracy. This strange fruit of Wilsonian idealism and neo-conservative ambition is triply misconceived: it will guarantee damaging over-extension of resources, fuel bitter resentment of the United States, and abandon homeland security to the chimera of global control. It is not empire that the US needs, but modesty.
The USs national security document of 2002 is a partial answer to the global challenges of terrorism and weapons proliferation. Charles Penas critique, by contrast, recommends a disengagement from the world that would entail even greater danger for the homeland. The real US need is to articulate a strategic doctrine that puts military pre-emption in the service of wise politics, alliance-building, and eventually a new understanding of international law.