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  • Beyond Cities
    February 2008 By Ilmas Futehally

    The 21st Century has been described as the century of the cities. For the first time in history, more people live in cities today than those that do not. To say that cities are growing is to state the obvious- one can see it from our own windows. However the rate of growth is frightening. Fifty years ago, about 30% of the world’s population lived in an urban environment. In a decade from now it will cross 60%.

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  • Beyond Cities
    February 2008 By Ilmas Futehally

    The 21st Century has been described as the century of the cities. For the first time in history, more people live in cities today than those that do not. To say that cities are growing is to state the obvious- one can see it from our own windows. However the rate of growth is frightening. Fifty years ago, about 30% of the world’s population lived in an urban environment. In a decade from now it will cross 60%.

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  • Re-baathification in Iraq?
    February, 2008 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    The Iraqi government has recently approved a bill that will attempt to reverse a de-baathification law, established in 2003. Initially, abstraction of Baath party members was meant to appease the majority Shiite population, now the reversal aims to pacify the disgruntled Sunni minority. Both approaches, although diametrically opposed, attempt to reconcile the ethnic rifts within Iraqi society. The question is will the new law work? But first what is de-baathification and how have the recent developments contributed to democracy in Iraq?

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  • Global Governance
    December 2007 By Sundeep Waslekar

    A couple of years ago, I was attending an academic conference on global governance in Canada . The immigration officer asked one of the speakers to explain the purpose of his visit. The speaker said that he was there to address a conference on global governance. The immigration officer retorted: "Global what?"

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  • The Cost of Conflict
    December 2007 By Ilmas Futehally

    In the course of my travels and interactions with people at all levels, the questions that I have been asked most frequently is - have you really managed to make an impact on policy decisions? How do you know that your research reaches the decision makers and is taken seriously by them? Are the right people reading your reports? A look at the response that the SFG series on cost of conflict has evoked answers questions very cogently.

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  • Forgotten Spots in World Affairs
    December, 2007 By Jessyca Keil

    In today’s world, globalization alleviates information gaps to an increasing degree and renders it possible for something that happens in one part of the world to appear on TV five minutes later in another part of the world. However, there are still some parts of the world that the media does not cover and hardly anybody knows about them. These are the blind spots in world affairs and the Western Sahara can definitely count as one of those blind spots. Being a former Spanish colony, and subsequently annexed by Morocco, the country’s status has been under dispute for decades.

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  • Beyond Climate Change
    November 2007 By Sundeep Waslekar

    A car priced at 2000 Euros is about to appear on India’s roads very soon. India has about 40 million households in its bike economy – people who can afford to ride a motorbike. Most of them can afford to purchase a small car at 2000 Euro, albeit some of them with loan from a bank. Even if one fourth of them decide to purchase the new car, there will be 10 million new cars in the market. This is 10 times the number of cars that come on the roads every year at present.

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  • Will Pakistan Survive?
    November 2007 By Sundeep Waslekar

    The decision by General Musharrf to force the Martial Law on Pakistan poses two serious questions. Is it the beginning of the end of the Musharraf regime? Or is it the beginning of the end of Pakistan? These two questions offer stark alternatives. If General Musharraf survives in power, he will dissolve Pakistan. If, on the other hand, he is removed from the scene, there is a good prospect for Pakistan to rejuvenate itself as a nation. The choice is crystal clear –either the axis between the military and extremists will survive or the Pakistani nation will survive. It will not be possible for the two to co-exist for more than a few years.

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