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SOAS, University of London

SOAS, University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

SOAS is a remarkable institution. Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, it has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

On the one hand, this means that SOAS scholars grapple with pressing issues - democracy, development, human rights, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, social change - confronting two-thirds of humankind while at the same time remaining guardians of specialised knowledge in languages and periods and regions not available anywhere else in the UK.

This makes SOAS synonymous with intellectual enquiry and achievement. It is a global academic base and a crucial resource for London. We live in a world of shrinking borders and of economic and technological simultaneity. Yet it is also a world in which difference and regionalism present themselves acutely. It is a world that SOAS is distinctively positioned to analyse, understand and explain.

Our academic focus on the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East makes us an indispensable interpreter in a complex world.

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Articles (1 - 20 of 54)

Grace Mugabe, scourge of her husband’s opponents. EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

Political carnage in Zimbabwe as Grace Mugabe enters the fray

The Roman god, Saturn, ate his children, but was overthrown by one who got away. For politicians, the moral of the story is that you have to keep eating them, and hunt down all who might escape. That is…
How many Osbornes does it take to change an economic outlook? Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

If the economy is in good shape, why do wages keep falling?

An opinion poll taken in the wake of George Osborne’s Autumn statement reveals that just 27% of people think the British economy is in good shape. This was a decline compared to a survey taken just three…
Police move in on protesters who marched on the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s office in some of the worst clashes in the two-month pro-democracy demonstrations. EPA/Jerome Favre

Splits emerge in protest ranks as Hong Kong stand-off continues

The umbrellas were out in full force on Monday night in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong – but mainly because it was actually raining. A few hundred people, myself included, had shown up to listen to…
At least they’re trying. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Songs of love, songs of hate and songs of Ebola

I was living and working in Africa at the time of Band Aid 1984. I found the song Do They Know it’s Christmas? cloying, but I recognised that it was mobilising ordinary citizens towards concern and compassion…
Sluggish income growth has left Obama relying on hope more than expectation. Thomas Hawk

How GDP obsession makes us misread the midterms

According to some commentators, something quite strange is happening in the United States in the run-up to the midterm elections. US president Barack Obama’s Democrats are heading for a clunking defeat…
Team player Guy Scott. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Guy Scott’s whiteness is not the issue in Zambia

To Zambians, the international community’s astonishment that, for 90 days, the acting Zambian president will be a white man seems remarkable. The first fully white president of an independent majority-ruled…
Who’s responsible? EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

Decades of corrupt government have left states prey to Ebola

The word Ebola is conjuring up fear around the world; breakdowns in Western infection control procedures have led to cases in Spain and the US, and have given the non-African world a taste – or a foretaste…
Whichever way you look at it, tax cuts cause losses for all. PA Wire

How Cameron’s tax giveaway will end up costing you more

One of the Conservative Party’s major promises to emerge in its party conference was the promise of tax cuts to reduce the burden of government on hardworking families who do the right thing. Many critics…
Ed to Ed. Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Labour bid to break from the past ignores the fiscal reality

Ed Miliband is trying to wrestle back the political initiative in Manchester. The leader of the opposition must avoid becoming mired in deeply complex constitutional questions of devolution at his party’s…
Represent: Frank Bainimarama at the United Nations. EPA/Mary Altaffer

How Fijian dictator Bainimarama finally earned his mandate

Close your eyes and think of Fiji, and you’ll probably picture a luxurious South Pacific idyll set against a backdrop of honeymoon couples frolicking on white beaches and azure seas, being served by smiling…
Is this really necessary? EPA

Seeking an easy win on carbon emissions? Cut global trade

The Obama administration has proposed several ad hoc multi-country economic agreements, and in doing so has abandoned de facto the World Trade Organization (WTO) as insufficiently malleable to its interests…

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