English Corner 27 avril 2017

The Democrats’ 2016 Moral Tale (1/3): Hillary Clinton’s Original Sin

The story has three parts that correspond to the three phases of the election year: Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party rigged the primaries, they were punished for this by losing the general election and they then refused to take responsibility for their loss. The first leg describes how Clinton’s victory against Sanders in the Democratic primaries came to be the original sin that set the narrative in motion...

English Corner 31 mars 2017

Heaven for traders, hell for the population

Hundreds of people demonstrated last Monday in Lausanne against the sixth edition of the global Commodities Summit organized by the Financial Times. Trading Paradise, now playing in Swiss theaters, is the third documentary by Swiss director Daniel Schweizer examining the impact of gold and raw materials extraction activities in South America and Africa. His latest documentary sheds crucial light on the human and environmental consequences of the business operated by two giant multinational mining companies based in Switzerland. An interview by Emmanuel Deonna.

English Corner 14 octobre 2016

The U.S., « The World’s New Favorite Tax Haven », or The Use of Double-Standard Policies

Back in 2007-2008, the financial and economic crisis rapidly plunged the world into political, economic and social chaos. The U.S. government and most European countries launched a massive economic stimulus package to rescue banks and quickly boost . The huge costs of economic stimulus packages had short-term benefits for U.S. and European economies but on the other hand drastically inflated their public debts. Needless to say that governments have a bad habit of looking for scapegoats during hard times and struggles, instead of taking responsibilities for their problems...

English Corner 30 Août 2016

Hope lives through struggle: Ken Loach and « I, Daniel Blake » celebrated in Locarno

"I, Daniel Blake" by Ken Loach, which received a Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival, was awarded the Prix du Public in Locarno. In Ticino, the British film-maker was accompanied by Dave Jones, one of the main actors in the film, and by Louise Osmond, director of the documentary “Versus: The Life and Times of Ken Loach”. A rare opportunity to explore a long career, to discuss his work with "real actors" and the common struggle for social justice in Europe.

English Corner 4 Août 2016

The Costs and Consequences of Managing Rogue States

Many variables are involved in the messy predicaments in the Middle East, but one way of framing the history and issues of U.S. policy toward the region is in terms of the approaches that have been taken toward so-called rogue regimes. That term, one should hasten to add, obscures more than it enlightens. But it […]

English Corner 30 Juil 2016

The Upper House Election in Japan: “Teflon Abe” Did It Again

In the recent Upper House election in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government coalition scored a sweeping victory, despite the Japanese public disapproving virtually all of its signature policies. In her article, Flurina Frei looks into this "Abenigma" and suggests two intertwined reasons that account for it: skillful framing and a lack of alternatives. Throughout the electoral campaign, Abe diverted public attention from his revisionist agenda, which he knows is toxic to mainstream voters. An opposition in disarray, unable to provide the electorate with an alternative policy platform, allowed the Prime Minister to get away with this strategy and further facilitated an electoral victory.

English Corner 4 Juil 2016

The Leave campaign was toxic – but 43 years of embarrassed pro-Europeanism paved the way for Brexit

Yes, the Leave campaign was dishonest and some have argued criminally irresponsible; but are British pro-Europeans blameless, asks Eunice Goes? Political parties have for years avoided any discussion on the positive aspects of the EU, they rarely explained how the UK benefits from EU investment, all while the Eurosceptic press was capitalising on fictitious stories about migration and sovereignty. It is this culture of embarrassed pro-Europeanism that made the toxic, and in the end victorious Leave campaign possible.

English Corner 21 Juin 2016

St.Germainising ISIS

For Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, the current "Islamization of radicalism" vs. "radicalization of Islam" debate in France misses the more complex dynamics behind the contemporary transnationalization of political violence. The author argues that policy-makers and students increasingly approach international affairs with an impatience for history and multilayered sequences.

English Corner 11 Mai 2016

Macedonian ‘Colorful Revolution’ : Explaining Counter-Revolutions

The recent demonstrations in the streets of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, are in many ways similar to the colored revolutions that happened in other parts of Eastern Europe, claims Gjorgji Kostojchinoski. In particular, they share a common characteristic: the opposition of strong counter-protests. In this thought-stimulating piece, the author draws on the concepts of human security and national security to shed light on the phenomenon of counter-revolutions.

English Corner 1 Avr 2016

Global Negotiation Conference 2016

We are all constantly negotiating, whether when discussing with friends which restaurant to eat at or when we request extra holiday for working weekends. Negotiation is a way to solve disagreements without having to resort to hitting someone over the head. Even though we regularly take part in bargaining and haggling, the practical study of […]

English Corner 20 Mar 2016

Newroz in Turkey: What symbol for tomorrow?

Tomorrow, on the 21st of March, the spring equinox, is celebrated Iranian and Kurdish New Year, Newroz (in the Kurdish Kurmancî dialect). In Farsi the meaning of the word translates into “new day”1: it is a celebration of life towards a productive new year. Traditions regionally vary, however dances, jumping fire and food are core activities […]

English Corner 16 Mar 2016

Cannabis: the failure of repressive policies

The recent trend in legalization perhaps isn’t surprising, and may only be the result of the slow realization of how much of a failure repressive policies are. Far from decreasing the simultaneous rise of marijuana demand and supply, repressive policies have proved costly, financially and socially speaking. This article ought to substantiate this statement in figures and numbers...

English Corner 9 Mar 2016

Techno-Populism Won’t Help in the Apple vs. FBI Debate

When I first read Tim Cook’s “Message to customers,” I felt on the receiving end of a marketing push. Sure, I agree the government should not be able to read my online diary, and should not be able to weaken encryption for everyone. But the real problem here is that there is not enough available knowledge and understanding of the linkages between technology and society to be able to anticipate the implications of such decisions and decide what is socially desirable and what is not.

English Corner 25 Fév 2016

Ayatollah vs. President

The Islamic Republic of Iran recently marked the 37th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which heralded a decisive break in the country’s relationship with the West, especially the United States. Coming ahead of the first post-nuclear deal Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) and Assembly of Experts elections this week, which pit relatively pro-Western moderates […]

English Corner 16 Fév 2016

The Syrianization of Yemen

What does it say of the unpredictability of the current Arab political and security scene when what is taking place in Yemen is factually more reminiscent of five-year old Levantine configurations than local ones from earlier decades? It is a foregone conclusion that the winter of 2011 was a turning point in Middle Eastern and […]

English Corner 9 Fév 2016

Thoughts on Donald Trump by a Fellow New Yorker

Several years ago I attended a cocktail party on Park Avenue in New York. I was approached by a man puffing on a large cigar. He had an open shirt (highlighting his expensive gold necklace), and wore all the accoutrements that go with a certain type of wealthy New Yorker. His immediate question to me […]

English Corner 7 Déc 2015

Entretien avec Wyclef Jean, ex-futur président d’Haïti

[INTERVIEW ALSO AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH] Début novembre, Wyclef Jean, nombreux Grammy Awards et hits internationaux au compteur, était en concert en Suisse. Étant moi-même d’origine haïtienne, j’avais ouï dire moult fois – en Haïti ou au sein de la « communauté haïtienne » – que l’ex-membre des Fugees était quelqu’un de très hautain. C’est finalement un Wyclef gentil et disponible que je rencontrai, parfois un peu confus au moment de parler politique (en pleine période d’élection présidentielle en Haïti), ou même utopiste sur la problématique actuelle des réfugiés, mais quoi qu’il en soit toujours prêt à aborder n’importe quel sujet…

English Corner 6 Déc 2015

L'Entretien Jet d'Encre #3, Avec Jean-François Bayart

[INTERVIEW ALSO AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH] Après la vive émotion sus­ci­tée par les atten­tats ter­ro­ristes de Paris, l’heure est désor­mais à la réflexion com­mune. Les récentes mani­fes­ta­tions de vio­lence poli­tique en France et ailleurs posent en effet des défis d’ensemble et appellent des réponses non moins ambi­tieuses. Afin d’approcher ces ques­tions de fond, Bouna Chames Eddine Mbaye, Victor Santos Rodriguez et Ueli Staeger sont allés à la ren­contre de Jean-François Bayart, spé­cia­liste de l’Afrique et des rapports entre reli­gion et poli­tique.