The World

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

Society of Fences: A Solution to the 'Demographic Problem'

Picture credit: African asylum seekers protest courtesy You Tube screenshot. Mandisi Majavu - Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote that “the first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.” Modern nation states and their immigration laws are largely founded on this logic. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, was appealing to this logic when he labelled African asylum seekers, who took to the streets last month to protest against...

Profit Over Principle: Scarlett Johansson's Disturbing Choice to Front For a Settlement Product

Picture credit: Scarlett Johansson courtesy Paul Bird/Wikimedia Commons Brian Walt - Massachusetts did not have a team in this year’s Super Bowl.  And last week brought news that Boston-based Oxfam America would not have an Oxfam ambassador appearing in a Super Bowl commercial either.  Scarlett Johansson's work for SodaStream violated the anti-settlement and anti-discrimination principles of the international Oxfam confederation.  As a consequence, Johansson chose her hefty contract with SodaStream over the social justice work of Oxfam.  As a rabbi...

After the Sheiks: Is the Rule of Gulf Monarchs Approaching the End?

Picture credit: voltairenet.org Alex Doherty - Christopher Davidson is a Reader in Middle East politics at Durham University and the author of, most recently, 'After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies.' New Left Project's Alex Doherty spoke with him about the possibilities in the region for radical change, inter-state rivaly, a possible thaw between the United States and Iran, relationships with Israel, religion, women, Syria and more. ALEX DOHERTY: You describe a constellation of internal and external factors that...

Kim the Third - A Shakespearean Epic

Picture credit: Bowing to the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea courtesy J.A. de Roo courtesy Wikipedia. John Feffer - Several years before William Shakespeare wrote his first play, England was rocked by a bloody political scandal. Queen Elizabeth, the virgin monarch who had been on the throne for nearly three decades, was in a battle of wills with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. England’s religious future was at stake. Would it stay Protestant, as Elizabeth had decreed, or would it revert to Catholicism, as Mary preferred? Mary had fled Scotland for the presumed safety of England and her...

The U.S. Cuba Embargo: Making Diplomacy Impossible

Picture credit: Escape Style Arturo Lopez-Levy - Just before Thanksgiving, Cuban-American families who had hoped to spend the holidays with their Cuban relatives got some bad news. On November 26th, Cuba suspended consular services — including the issuing of passports and visas — at its interest section in Washington. The move came after the Buffalo-based M & T Bank announced this summer that it would stop providing Cuba with banking services in the United States. The Cuban government could not find another bank to take...

Is Berlin the Coolest Cultural Spot in the Western World?

Picture credit: kaymoshusband/flickr Lucy McKeon - Confronting the national past—an important and ongoing exercise for any nation—is especially fraught for a country like Germany, whose recent pasts perhaps more urgently beg for confrontation than most. And so it is that Germany is known for its formalized memorialization of these regretted pasts, in the form of museums, monuments, exhibitions and tours. (One current debate in Berlin centers on whether Tempelhof Field, a former Nazi airport-turned-park, should remain undeveloped...