The World

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

Snowden: Towards an Endgame

Picture credit: Edward Snowden courtesy zennie62/Flickr Pepe Escobar - The working title of the Edward Snowden movie is still The Spy Who Remains in the Cold. Here's where we stand: Snowden could only fly out of Hong Kong because China allowed it. Snowden could only arrive in Moscow because Russia knew it - in co-operation with China. This is part of their strategic relationship, which includes the BRICS group (along with Brazil, India and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. No official source though would ever confirm it....

Down Memory Lane: When America Met Mandela

Picture credit: Nelson Mandela addresses the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the UN Francis Njubi Nesbitt - Take your guns, pangas, and knives and throw them into the sea. –Nelson Mandela. "Who is this man Mandela?" The U.S News & World Report asked in January 1990. Apparently no one much knew, since the magazine could only come up with three short paragraphs about the ANC leader. This sketch of Mandela's life seemed to be drawn from a Who's Who collection, detailing his early education, legal practice, and arrest by South African authorities in August 1962. Referring to him...

The Roots of Social Rebellion? Social Movements.

Picture credit: Brazilian protest courtesy Hispanically Speaking News. Sreeram Chaulia - Historic change eventually comes via small and modest beginnings. The current revolts in Brazil and Turkey actually started in low-key fashion at least one decade ago. Had they been spotted earlier, there would be less befuddlement about explaining the genesis of the mass protests that have mushroomed to force the governments of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rethink their policy paths. Brazil’s middle and working classes shot to...

Will the Mideast Erupt? Five Crucial Issues as Egypt's President Morsi is Deposed

Picture credit: Anti-Morsi protest in downtown Cairo courtesy Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr. Alex Kane - The Egyptian street has erupted once again. Two and a half years after the revolution that overthrew longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak captivated the world and fundamentally changed the Middle East, another massive shock to the Egyptian political system is unfolding. After a year of rule by President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed politician who won Egypt’s first-ever free and democratic elections last year, ordinary Egyptians have had enough. Responding to a grassroots...

Calling Africa's Bluff: Obama's Using Aid to Subsidise Investment in Africa

Picture credit: American President Barack Obama and South African President Jacob Zuma at a press briefing in Pretoria courtesy GovernmentZA. Alexander O'Riordan - When the UK announced it would end aid to South Africa, many pundits and African leaders heralded the decision as an end to Africa’s dependency on aid. These African leaders and elites see aid as patronising, an indignity to be resisted, a charity not needed. This critique of aid complements critiques by post-colonial theorists that criticise aid as another form of imperialism. At the same time, since 2007, the financial crisis and protracted narrative of austerity have allowed Western...

SA Civil Society and Public at Large Need to Influence International Relations

Picture credit:  Rusty Stewart/Flickr Michelle Pressend - In mid-June, Russia, in it’s role as President of the Group of Twenty Countries (G20), hosted the first Civil Summit (C20) in Moscow in the run up to the G20 Summit that will take place in September this year. The C20 is a gathering of civil society organisations that were brought together, ostensibly, to inform the upcoming G20 discussions. The C20 joins the ranks of the business lobby: B20 and labour: L20. There is also a group of think tanks called the T20 and recently the youth...