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World Policy Newsletter, Week of December 11th

Around the World

World Policy Editor Emeritus David Andelman is reporting from the Paris Climate Conference, where he sat down with several attendees to discuss their respective interests in the outcome of the negotiations. First, he spoke with Kaisa Kosonen of Greenpeace Nordic about how to reach targets for limiting global warming and the need to build momentum toward real progress at this year's conference. Andelman then interviewed Jorge Furagaro of the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin about the meeting's impact on the future of the Amazon's indigenous communities. Finally, he talked to Joost Venken, deputy mayor of the Belgian city of Hasselt, about urban responses to climate change and their application to cities in the developing world.

While world leaders deliberate at the Paris Climate Conference, 88 tons of Greenlandic glacial ice are melting in a plaza in the heart of the city. World Policy Journal talks with geologist Minik Thorleif Rosing about how an art installation can send a powerful message regarding the high stakes of global warming.

Finally, in this week’s episode of World Policy On Air, Christopher Reeve examines the economic factors that drove Venezuelans to vote against President Nicolás Maduro’s administration earlier this week. A Venezuelan opposition coalition won a supermajority in the country's legislative elections, weakening the Socialist Party, which has ruled the country for nearly 16 years.

 

Around the Institute

As the West prepares to step up its campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, what can be done to counter the threat of African jihadist movements like the Nigerian group Boko Haram? In an off-the-record discussion, Dr. Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, professor of political science at the French Institute of Geopolitics in the University of Paris 8, joins World Policy fellow David Stevens to explain what we do—and don’t—understand about the jihadist threat in West Africa and its impact on politics, industry, and development in the region. This event is today, Dec. 11.

The Winter issue of World Policy Journal, Latin America on Life Support?, is now available! A commodity boom in the 2000s fueled economies across the region, as demand from China coincided with low interest rates, a surge in foreign investment, and abundant credit. In many countries, inequality decreased, and, for the first time, the middle class outnumbered those living in poverty. But, perhaps inevitably, the party ended. The commodity boom went bust, and those countries that did not act responsibly face a financial hangover. From Venezuela ignoring its brain drain to Cuba reforming its economy, this issue of World Policy Journal examines how different Latin American countries are adapting to this economic downcycle.

 

Book Releases

Siddharth Dube has written a new book, No One Else: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex. Dube wrote an op-ed for The Times of India, “Why does India still punish adults for their choice of desire and love?” addressing some of the broader themes covered in the book.

Michael Genovese’s new book, Presidential Leadership in an Age of Change, was released last month. In the book, Genovese describes how a president can be successful in a role that sets up incumbents for failure.

William Powers presented his latest book, New Slow City, at two think tanks and cultural centers in Bolivia. Both events generated lively discussion on the global Slow movement and were featured in the Bolivian media.

 

Fellow Updates

Belinda Cooper moderated the panel “The Politics of Memory: Victimization, Violence, and Contested Narratives of the Past” at Columbia University on Dec. 5.

Patricia DeGennaro was featured on a CCTV America segment discussing increased Western involvement in the fight against the Islamic State.

Todd Lester is speaking at a conference convened by the Swedish city of Malmo on Dec. 11-12 on the emerging Nordic trend of artist spaces hosting artists in danger. This 'safe haven' model was developed by Lester and his colleagues at freeDimensional.

William Powers was interviewed for a podcast by Carl Honoré about his book, New Slow City.

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[Photo courtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson]

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