The world watches as a nation elects (Oct 22 - 29):

With just one week left until the US picks its President, openDemocracy continues its series of global viewpoints on the election, How it Looks From Here.

14 December 2012

Peter Drysdale argues that we may be on the cusp of a deep structural fracture in the psychology of US−Chinese relations. Mexico too is at a turning point, says Rafael Lemus, with millions of its undocumented migrants in the US waiting, powerless, for the result of the election.

The outcome could even have an impact on civil liberties in the UK; resigned Egypt does not see two distinct candidates, but two sides of the same coin; and Diego Hidalgo argues that power has moved away from Europe, a lower priority for America now.

The Gulf States are too busy reporting on war in Syria to worry too much about elections, but in Kenya slight disappointment doesn’t overpower the pride in having “fathered” a US president.

In Russia, another president has grounds for worry, as Putin loses the friendship of influential people who used to be ardent supporters.   

Militarisation is on the up in Britain, argues Vron Ware in her new column, ‘Up in Arms’. Amid ex-military-chiefs-turned-lobbyists, private security firms involved in investigations again the Ministry of Defence, and the slow creep of soldiers into our daily lives, she asks, what is the impact of war at home?

One particular private security firm, G4S, is followed closely by our UK section. A prisons report has found the company worthy of praise, despite its use of ‘unacceptable force’ on a pregnant immigration detainee.

They’re not alone in being criticized, as David Elstein addresses a culture of immunity and blame shifting in the BBC, illuminated by the Savile scandal.

As we keep our attention on the Taliban’s attempted assassination of Malala Yousufzai, Afiya Shehrbano Zia asks, is the Taliban an agent or a victim? (It may have inadvertently rescued the narrative around violence against women.)

Ethiopia is on the agenda too, with Awol Allo and Abadir M. Ibrahim arguing that Muslim protestors there are showing that demonstrations by religious groups can be peaceful, with secularism their aim and not their nemesis.

And we carry two articles on another troubled region: Maitreya Buddha Samantaray pleads for the Hindus of Pakistian, while Zahid Shahab Ahmed asks, what will happen to the Afghan refugees there?

Brace yourself for next week’s showdown in the US by following openDemocracy, we’ll carry more global perspectives on how it matters – and some on why it doesn’t.

Don’t miss:

  • The return of the Arab-Israeli Book Review
  • A great infographic on the political history of US Congress


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