How widespread protests in Tunisia and Egypt could lead to a rapid transformation of geopolitics in the Middle East.

After this month’s uprising in Tunisia, many scholars and journalists pondered whether its example could spark other revolts. Still, many were taken by surprise when massive protests erupted in downtown Cairo on January 25th, 2011. Photo from Flickr. BY WALEED HAZBUNAssistant Professor of International Relations, American University of Beirut Watching Al Jazeera English in the … More How widespread protests in Tunisia and Egypt could lead to a rapid transformation of geopolitics in the Middle East.

Reunion Island’s UNESCO designation puts spotlight on its medieval and colonial legacies—including its relationship with famous scholar Joseph Bédier.

Joseph Bédier (1864–1938) was one of the most famous scholars of his day. He held prestigious posts and lectured throughout Europe and the United States, an activity unusual for an academic of his time. A scholar of the French Middle Ages, he translated Tristan and Isolde as well as France’s national epic, The Song of … More Reunion Island’s UNESCO designation puts spotlight on its medieval and colonial legacies—including its relationship with famous scholar Joseph Bédier.

M. Bianet Castellanos: Tourism in Cancún and its social and economic effects on indigenous communities.

Beach in Cancún, Mexico. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. As a free trade zone and Latin America’s most popular destination, Cancún, Mexico, is more than just a tourist town. It is not only actively involved in the production of transnational capital but also forms an integral part of the state’s modernization plan for rural, indigenous … More M. Bianet Castellanos: Tourism in Cancún and its social and economic effects on indigenous communities.

Activism and the new agricultural biotechnologies

This week’s author feature is from the authors of Fighting for the Future of Food: Activists versus Agribusiness in the Struggle over Biotechnology, which tells the story of how a group of social activists, working together across tables, continents, and the Internet, took on the biotech industry and achieved stunning success. Rachel Schurman is associate … More Activism and the new agricultural biotechnologies

How the Philippine government propagates a model of "labor brokerage," even in a time of global economic crisis.

Robyn Magalit Rodriguez is assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers University. She is author of Migrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Labor to the World. ——- Despite an unprecedented global economic crisis, Filipinos are leaving the Philippines in the thousands for employment in hundreds of countries overseas. It seems rather paradoxical; how is … More How the Philippine government propagates a model of "labor brokerage," even in a time of global economic crisis.

War and video games

The recently leaked video of a deadly U.S. military attack in Iraq prompted many to note the footage’s similarity to a video game. Technology writer Clive Thompson tells NPR’s On the Media: Sure. Predator drone strikes, they’re highly virtualized situations, right? I mean, you have someone sitting on American soil or in a nearby country, … More War and video games

Non-sex workers writing about sex work

Australian sex worker Elena Jeffreys has written a review essay for Intersections about four books written by non-sex workers about sex work. She features Tiantian Zheng’s Red Lights: Zheng proposes that it is too simplistic to conclude, as Pan Suimin did, that clients only see sex workers for reasons of sexual pleasure. Rather the Chinese … More Non-sex workers writing about sex work

The Future of Dubai?

In previous years, the brash city-state of Dubai has made news with its exuberant stream of headline-grabbing megaprojects. The emirate, one of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), erected iconic buildings such as the billowing-sail-shaped Burj al Arab. It was a place where architects could realize visions considered impracticable anywhere else, … More The Future of Dubai?

Rio de Janeiro: ‘The most dangerous place in the world’

The New Yorker‘s recent short piece on Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2010 Olympics, points out a recent “dramatic upsurge in the city’s gangland violence.” Reporter Jon Lee Anderson recounts a night he spent tagging along on a police raid into the Mangueira favela (one of Rio’s oldest slums) — one with violence and … More Rio de Janeiro: ‘The most dangerous place in the world’