It's a class with few friends in Britain: dismissed by the left, and sidelined by liberals and conservatives chasing big business. But with the surge in self-employment, the state needs to recognise that the needs and demands of the petite bourgeoisie may be growing.
The harmonisation of national economies
inside the eurozone is essentially a clash of time horizons – the future might
be bright, but the transformation process in hard-hit countries is painful, and unfair. What lessons should
we draw from the historical example of German reunification?
A new manifesto, 'Fresh Start', has been published by a group of Conservative MPs proposing a new relationship between the UK and EU. The (not so hidden) agenda: sweeping away many of the rights that protect British workers from exploitation.
Changes to the contentious test designed to judge whether seriously sick or disabled people in Britain are fit for employment are being proposed without debate, despite evidence to show they will have a "huge and damaging impact".
Strivers vs skivers. Last week saw a game show-like battle between our politicians over the proposed benefit cap. What do they know? Here, a Citizen's Advice Bureau adviser maps the predicament of Britain's dying welfare state through the lives of those living in the system.
On December 6, 2012, the Leader of France’s Left Front addressed a packed audience in the European Institute of University College, London on a progressive alternative to the human crises caused by today’s social relations, banking chicanery, political power and, against the background of another failed Kyoto, the far greater challenge of an adequate response to climate change.
The Catalan separatists' greatest achievement was perhaps to change the terms of the debate on independence, from an essentially legal question to a myriad of political, economic and social interrogations. Is 'independence' really the answer to all of these questions?
One of the biggest challenges for post-austerity Greece will be the rebuilding of a strong civil society. Future foundations are already being laid out through new and exciting citizen initiatives, but much is yet to be done.
Since the collapse of the USSR investors have flocked to Russia, tempted by the high rates of return and the Alice in Wonderland atmosphere in Moscow, where everything seems possible. But the Russian business community has rather less faith in the future promised them by their government, says Pavel Usanov
In the twentieth century the
west’s boundless determination to extract ripped apart the social,
political and cultural fabric of whole countries. Today, a century’s
worth of price decline has been wiped out in a single decade, without reducing
unprecedented levels of demand.
creative and journalistic ambitions of the BBC are held back by its dogmatic
commitment to an ineffective and unethical funding mechanism. A subscription service
would release creative energy and allow the BBC to fulfil its commitment to public service broadcasting all the better.
British Prime Minister has vowed to negotiate a ‘new settlement’ on Britain and
the EU. In a debate on Europe with
Sir Menzies Campbell, Nigel Farage and Peter Oborne, organised by the Cantor
Index in the City of London on January 9, David Blunkett, Labour MP and former
British Home Secretary (2001 – 2004) outlined his vision.
One way Vladimir Putin has retained his popularity among Russians has been by increasing retirement pensions and other social benefits, and as a result the state pension fund is deep in the red. But as Andrey Zaostrovtsev finds, Putin is more interested in keeping voters sweet than balancing the books (photo: RIA Novosti Agency).
Rape in India, protest in China, manufacturing conferences in Manchester - we find it hard not to think in the categories of "first" and "third" worlds. But look elsewhere for the important differences
The collapse of the USSR replaced the perennial shortages of goods and services with the problem of low incomes and rising prices. Today management is grossly inefficient, but rampant corruption blocks any moves to improve the situation. People complain, but they still vote as they’re told at elections, says Vladimir Gryaznyevich
upgrade of Temelin, a nuclear power station, has become the backdrop of a power
struggle between the Unites States and Russia. Worryingly, a discussion on
Czech energy policy is being silenced by the competition of foreign strategic
Owning a business in Russia today is a hazardous affair: each year thousands of companies close after their owners are accused of ‘economic crimes’ and face either prison or protection payments to government officials. Andrey Zaostrovtsev describes a system reminiscent of an equally lawless period in Russia’s past (photo: RIA Novosti Agency).
The IMF may be quietly ackowledging the failures of stringent fiscal consolidation but much damage has already been done. With over a thousand economists and a wealth of evidence at their disposal a mea culpa is long overdue.
have to establish a world public power representative of all countries and all people within all countries. One cannot
‘think away’ individual countries as powers, or international companies and banks. But we need a countervailing power in the
The first eight years of the last decade were incredibly successful for Russia’s economy, but the crisis of 2008 hit hard and growth remains decidedly sluggish. Dmitry Travin wonders whether the country’s economy will ever be able to regain the Midas touch.
With British Eurosceptics such as Boris
Johnson openly calling for UK withdrawal from the EU, Switzerland has often
been mentioned as the model to follow, for having gained access to the Market
while retaining its national sovereignty and democratic rights. Yet, the Swiss-EU
relationship is not without problems.
The European Central Bank's forecasts misread Europe’s economy three times out of four. And the European Commission, the OECD and the Bundesbank didn't do any better. What is wrong with the mainstream view of how the economy works?
Interestingly the change-over in 1991 is described by many
as the ‘arrival of democracy’, but
there is little perception of improvements and less of having much say in the
way the country is run. And what do they understand by democracy? A question
not only for Albania.
A year is a very long time in politics. Over the past year Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated, not helped by events in Syria and the Magnitsky Act. A new beginning and a desire to cooperate are essential: not the ‘reset’ button, but completely new software, says Dmitry Trenin
Mainstream politicians have been playing a dangerous
game. It remains unclear to what extent these tactics represent a conscious
attempt to distract those suffering most as a result of the longterm
maladministration of the country. But this constitutes only a small part of the scenario we are investigating here.