The World

SACSIS seeks to examine global issues, particularly as they relate to South Africa.

Chavismo on the Horns of a Dilemma: Populism and Pragmatism in Venezuela

Picture: A picture of the immensely popular late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, held aloft by his supporters, courtesy The Times. Steve Ellner - Leftists in Venezuela put forward a number of different explanations for the pressing economic difficulties and growing discontent that beset the nation and increase the possibility of an opposition takeover of the National Assembly in this year’s elections. High on list of explanations is an unfavourable comparison between the charisma and political acumen of Hugo Chávez and the inferior leadership qualities of his successor, President Nicolás Maduro. (This same line of...

Time for Democracy in Singapore?

Picture: Xinhuanet Walden Bello - The late Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew famously argued that Asia was no place for liberal democracy. Instead, he argued for a kind of soft authoritarianism guided by “Asian values,” where the harmony of a one-party state trumped the messiness of competitive elections. For years, many of his peers seemed to agree. Then, when Burma’s military took its baby steps away from dictatorship four years ago, it seemed that in a region where the merits of authoritarianism and...

Five More Years of Tory Government: What Fresh Hell Is This?

Picture: Leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, courtesy Wikimedia/Commons Roisin Davis - It’s been an astonishing election, one that stumped the betting markets, gave victory to the Tories and left almost everyone else reeling and wondering, in the words of Dorothy Parker, “What fresh hell is this?” Amid the highest voter turnout since 1997, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party trounced the opposition to return with a majority 331 seats (out of 650). Ed Miliband (Labour) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) have now resigned as leaders of...

After Baltimore, a Call to Reclaim Mother's Day

Picture: CODEPINK/Foreign Policy in Focus Valerie Bell - It’s hard for me to celebrate on Mother’s Day. I feel the absence of my 23-year-old son, Sean Elijah Bell, who was killed on November 25, 2006. He was out celebrating at his own bachelor party with his friends in New York City. It was only a matter of a hours before his wedding, and I was so thrilled. Sean and his friends were enjoying their night at a club where there happened to be three undercover police officers present, conducting an investigation of the club. A...

China Is Already in Bed with the West Even While South Africa Expects It will Be Its Saviour

Picture: President Jacob Zuma meets President of China Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People courtesy GovernmentZA/flickr Alexander O'Riordan - While the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ protestors have successfully toppled the Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town, the latest signs are that the global economic order is only getting stronger albeit with a few changed faces. In much the same way that replacing statues of old white capitalists with that of new black capitalists does not change the rules of the economy, so too is there growing evidence that China and other emerging economies are tracking closer and closer to...

Racism Down Under: Reclaiming Whiteness

Picture: Axis of Logic Mandisi Majavu - A 51-year-old white Australian woman, Michelle Veronica Jacobsen, who subjected a black African family to a nasty racist attack and threatened them with a crowbar, has been charged with assault, going armed in public as to cause fear, disorderly conduct and conduct likely to racially harass. Video footage of the woman hurling racist abuse to the black family is available online.  Jacobsen, who appeared in the Perth Magistrate’s Court this week, had her case adjourned to next month....