janeiro 29, 2013

Ocidente e Islão: duas Histórias paralelas e em competição, com vocação universalista

A versão islâmica
1. A “idade da trevas” (Antiguidade da Mesopotâmia e Pérsia)
2. O nascimento do Islão
3. O Califado: a procura da Unidade Universal
4. A fragmentação: a era dos sultanatos ou emiratos
5. A catástrofe: os mongóis e os cruzados
6. O renascimento: a era dos três impérios (turco-otomano, persa safávida e mogol)
7. A penetração no Oriente do Ocidente
8. Os movimentos de reforma
9. O triunfo dos modernistas seculares
10. A reação islamista e o revivalismo islâmico

A versão ocidental
1. A génese da civilização (Egipto e Mesopotâmia)
2. A Idade Clássica (Grécia e Roma).
3. A Idade Média/”idade das trevas” (a ascensão do Cristianismo)
4. O Renascimento (cultura clássica e reforma protestante)
5. O Iluminismo (razão, ciência)
6. Revoluções (liberal, democrática, industrial)
7. A ascensão do Estado-nação e as rivalidades nacionalistas/impérios
8. A I Guerra Mundial e a II Guerra Mundial
9. A Guerra-Fria (capitalismo-liberal versus socialismo-comunista)
10. O triunfo da democracia liberal-capitalista 

janeiro 25, 2013

Um novo ‘Africanistão‘ na fronteira Sul da Europa?

After years spent waging war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, almost $1.5 trillion in direct costs and hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the Western public feels it has learned a hard lesson. It is more convinced than ever that even the best-intentioned foreign intervention is bound to bog its armies down in endless wars fighting invisible enemies to help ungrateful locals.
Echoes of Afghanistan rang loud earlier this month when French forces swooped on advancing columns of Islamists threatening the Saharan state of Mali. And they were heard again, a few days later, when a unit of bearded, gun-toting jihadists from the “Signed-in-Blood Battalion” seized a gas plant and slaughtered dozens of foreigners in next-door Algeria—more than in any single Islamist terror attack since the bombing of a Bali nightclub in 2002. Here, it seemed, was the next front of the global war on terror and also a desert quagmire to entrap vainglorious Western leaders. [...]

Ver artigo da revista Economist

janeiro 18, 2013

Mali: a conturbada situação geopolítica explicada neste vídeo

A conturbada situação geopolítica no Norte do Mali, onde grupos islamistas e tuaregues separatistas controlam grande parte do terreno, explicada neste interessante vídeo do jornal Le Monde  (ver aqui o vídeo).

janeiro 07, 2013

Leituras em tempo de crise (das finanças públicas e da democracia): ‘A ascensão dos não eleitos‘ de Frank Vibert

Sinopse do livro (em inglês): 
Unelected bodies, such as independent central banks, economic regulators, risk managers and auditors have become a worldwide phenomenon. Democracies are increasingly turning to them to demarcate boundaries between the market and the state, to resolve conflicts of interest and to allocate resources, even in sensitive ethical areas such as those involving privacy or biotechnology. This book examines the challenge that unelected bodies present to democracy and argues that, taken together, such bodies should be viewed as a new branch of government with their own sources of legitimacy and held to account through a new separation of powers. Vibert suggests that such bodies help promote a more informed citizenry because they provide a more trustworthy and reliable source of information for decisions. 

janeiro 02, 2013

A crise chegou também aos BRICs (Brasil, Rússia, Índia e China)

Over the past several years, the most talked-about trend in the global economy has been the so-called rise of the rest, which saw the economies of many developing countries swiftly converging with those of their more developed peers. The primary engines behind this phenomenon were the four major emerging-market countries, known as the BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The world was witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime shift, the argument went, in which the major players in the developing world were catching up to or even surpassing their counterparts in the developed world.
These forecasts typically took the developing world's high growth rates from the middle of the last decade and extended them straight into the future, juxtaposing them against predicted sluggish growth in the United States and other advanced industrial countries. Such exercises supposedly proved that, for example, China was on the verge of overtaking the United States as the world's largest economy-a point that Americans clearly took to heart, as over 50 percent of them, according to a Gallup poll conducted this year, said they think that China is already the world's "leading" economy, even though the U.S. economy is still more than twice as large (and with a per capita income seven times as high).
As with previous straight-line projections of economic trends, however-such as forecasts in the 1980s that Japan would soon be number one economically-later returns are throwing cold water on the extravagant predictions. With the world economy heading for its worst year since 2009, Chinese growth is slowing sharply, from double digits down to seven percent or even less. And the rest of the BRICs are tumbling, too: since 2008, Brazil's annual growth has dropped from 4.5 percent to two percent; Russia's, from seven percent to 3.5 percent; and India's, from nine percent to six percent.
None of this should be surprising, because it is hard to sustain rapid growth for more than a decade. The unusual circumstances of the last decade made it look easy: coming off the crisis-ridden 1990s and fueled by a global flood of easy money, the emerging markets took off in a mass upward swing that made virtually every economy a winner. By 2007, when only three countries in the world suffered negative growth, recessions had all but disappeared from the international scene. But now, there is a lot less foreign money flowing into emerging markets. The global economy is returning to its normal state of churn, with many laggards and just a few winners rising in unexpected places. The implications of this shift are striking, because economic momentum is power, and thus the flow of money to rising stars will reshape the global balance of power. [...]
Ver artigo na Foreign Affairs