Top 5 by Venus in Arms – Week 5

This week we would like to shed light on some controversial current debates in IR (and beyond).

The first debate is (inevitably) on China’s rise. Today the Financial Times reveals that China “poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power”.  According to the figures provided by the International Comparison Program (hosted by the World Bank): “The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated”. About ‘peaceful rise’, Jack Snyder illustrates five lessons for China from 1914 (here at The Monkey Cage), emphasizing the antidotes to possible dangers (first: avoid nationalism!).

The second debate is about civil-military relations. Steve Saideman provides an insightful contribution, focusing on the following key-aspects: perception, dissent, and institutions. I still believe that a growing attention on this issue is needed in the underrated case of Italy.

The National Interest refreshes the huge (and controversial) debate on counterinsurgency. The next Iraqi elections offer the best context to re-consider the COIN approach. The article (by Andrew Shaver) reports new data and findings.

The fourth debate is inequality. Oddly enough, an economics book (Thomas Piketty’s Capital), is currently Amazon’s #1 best selling book in the United States. Chris Blattman meditates on that in his amazing blog.

Last suggestion. If you are interested in current debates regarding development cooperation, look at this website: AidData. It collects a lot of relevant statistics on aid, development programmes, evaluation.



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