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Play it again, Sam

Like him or loathe him, the late Samuel Huntington was one of the towering figures in political science and international relations. Even those who disagreed with his ideas were forced to engage with them…
Chinese anger at Malaysia’s handling of the search for flight MH370 has had a damaging impact on the bilateral relationship. EPA/Kamal Sellehuddin

The diplomatic fallout from flight MH370 reveals a region on edge

When Malaysian Airlines flight 370 failed to arrive, authorities at first concluded it had crashed in a relatively shallow part of the Gulf of Thailand. As the days passed more countries dispatched ships…
Kerry and Lavrov keep talking. EPA/Martial Trezzini

Can the US and Russia talk their way out of crisis in Ukraine?

Talks between US secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Paris, followed after a week of high-level diplomacy, including a phone call between presidents Obama and Putin…
Heard and McDonald Islands: no one lives there but they still have a domain name. NASA

Ten tiny places that have their own domain names

Claiming to be a country is an easy task. But to make others accept your claim is a lot harder. Aspiring states need favours…
At ease: Indian soldiers deployed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. John Giles/PA

West fears the rise of some countries more than others

When a highly populous, rapidly developing, nuclear armed, space-voyaging and increasingly assertive Asian nation announces the purchase of its third aircraft carrier, a few months after launching its…
Getting stuck in: David Cameron and Alex Salmond. Anja Niedringhaus/PA

Cameron is right to let voters shape the UK’s future

I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. So Winston Churchill declared in 1942. Seventy years on, David Cameron no doubt feels something…
Taking dictation: David Cameron vists Kazakh President Nazarbayev. Leon Neal/PA

Kazakhstan shows how dictators can survive diversity

Why do states and societies collapse? Efforts to explain the hugely complicated conflicts in Syria and Libya have understandably placed heavy emphasis on these nations’ ethnic or tribal diversity. Writers…
Welcoming the world for centuries (and causing trouble for almost as long). aherrero

American dream retains appeal despite tarnished reputation

The reputation of the American political system both at home and abroad has taken a battering of late. A recent poll showed the overall approval rating for Congress at just 11%, falling from what were…
If the sun sets on US dominance, what will rise in its place? Global Jet

US default could lead to a new world order - firms must prepare

As autumn dawns, so does the business planning season, that time when we consider 2014 and beyond. We are used to going through this process surrounded by uncertainty, especially following the meltdown…
BFFs no more: Queen Elizabeth and former Gambian High Commissioner Tamsir Jallow in 2006. Steve Parsons/PA

Commonwealth faces new crises but the end is not nigh

All is not well with the Commonwealth of Nations. Gambia’s announcement last week that it has withdrawn from the association…
Prepare for the unexpected. Christiaan Triebert

Businesses must pay attention to Syrian warning signs

The Syrian crisis enters a new chapter. The international community has struggled to produce what may prove to be an interim solution. But this is just another crisis in the Middle East, they say. Things…
More populous than powerful. Anthony Devlin/PA

India will never become a superpower

The end of the Cold War and the era of “unipolar” US dominance that followed has led many to wonder about the future of international power. Who will rival, or perhaps even replace, the US? At least one…
The state is still in control, it’s when drones and robots develop their own interests that Terminator becomes a true story. AAP / Alan Porritt

Lethal autonomous robots: who’s really in control?

Anxiety about lethal autonomous robots has some substance. The state of play as currently constituted, however, already provides enough cause for concern. The Terminator scenario Monash associate professor…

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