As the opening of the Olympics in Beijing nears, NPR is running a few series on the foundations and future of China’s global power within the context of the country’s history and economic position. Today’s installment, “China and Sudan: A Marriage Sealed in Oil, History,” is the first of stories that will outline China’s influence in Africa. The story recounts the tale of Major General Charles Gordon of Great Britain. He worked to secure trading lines with China, and later to manage Britain’s colonial possession at the time, Sudan. The relationship between Sudan and China is widely believed to be Continue reading China, Sudan, and the British Empire
NPR reported a very interesting story this morning on the attempt to steer Afghanistan’s thriving poppy crops away from the opium industry and toward the cosmetic industry. For the past several years, a group of Afghan and foreign businessmen has been trying to offer an alternative, by urging farmers to grow flowers for perfume instead of for drugs. But it has been a frustrating and costly project. See you after the jump.
Academics in all subfields of political science often lament that policy and military failures arise from the lack of communication between policy-makers and the academic community. The recent tragic death of Michael Bhatia highlights some of the issues involved with the tenuous collaboration between those who analyze data and those who generate them, and the sometimes unfortunate consequences. Bhatia was killed on May 7 in an explosion that targeted the American soldiers with whom he had been embedded in Afghanistan. Bhatia had been teaching at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies as well as working on a doctoral degree Continue reading When War and Academia Collide