History has its paradoxes and Yemen is a country in which tribal power games matter more than anything else. Between 1962 and 1970, Saudi Arabia and Egypt took part in the civil war in the north of the country. The Saudis supported the Royalists, faithful to the deposed Zaidite Shiite imam, while the Egyptians, who were unsuccessful, withdrew in 1967, after supporting the pro-republican military. The Yemen Arab Republic had come into existence in 1962. In a famous book published in 1971, Malcolm Kerr called the rivalry between Riyadh and Cairo an "arab cold war."  Forty years later, Yemen is the fulcrum of the “Middle Eastern Cold War” between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
How Unique Is Democracy?
Democracy currently enjoys almost unanimous consensus and is considered the only scrupulously legitimate political system. This consensus however entails a hidden danger since it presupposes that there is only one genuine form of democracy – allegedly the one developed by Western civilization. Is that true? Or is it possible to acknowledge a plurality of “cultures of democracy”, whose roots grow within diverse civilization and modernization processes?
The twenty-first century marks a crossroads. The ending of the confrontation between East and West ushered in the possibility of a ‘new international order’ based on the extension of democracy across the globe, and a new spirit of peace. However, the enthusiasm which accompanied the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War seems now far away. The crises and cruelties in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq have brought many to the conclusion that the new world order is a new world disorder.
Any development involving Israel becomes a Rorschach test for many Americans, probably even for larger numbers of non-Jews than Jews. Israel’s recent elections lit up a spectrum of reactions that revealed more about the reactors’ own temperaments, ideologies, and even their feelings about Jews, than about what the elections themselves actually reflected and portend. At one end there is gloating, and at the other doom-saying, but to assess the situation intelligently, we need to look at it morally and politically — not moralistically or ideologically— or we will only exacerbate a politics of paroxysm that forecloses politics itself.
A regime bereft of any source of legitimacy, save for its promise of guaranteeing security to the nation, stops at nothing to inflate a discourse of national security around which to rally an otherwise disgruntled citizenry. Central to cementing this security discourse is the enlisting of large sectors of the population into becoming active players in the surveillance and reporting of society.
Studying the psychological and ethical relationship between homosexuality and nonviolence seems a very fruitful exercise in order to allow human diversity to increase its constructive and enriching overall value. It is an exercise in which individuals and the collectivity, the personal sphere and social dimension, interact and hybridize each other with far reaching potentialities.
Throughout February, the war in Ukraine was one of the main stories in the Russian media. It is interesting to see how the Russian portrayal of events differs from the European one. An overwhelming majority of newspapers and websites presenting a “nationalist” perspective, close to the government’s positions and it is not easy to find reports that conflict with this perspective. Within this framework, the government in Kiev is often depicted as being dominated by “fascist” elements when not “pro-Nazi”, while Poroshenko appears to be rather weak and at the mercy of what is a real “war party.”
Throughout its history, the Sicilian mafia has systematically adapted structure and modus operandi to changing times, and engaged in innovative, profitable activities, whilst maintaining largely consistent cultural codes and practices. Indeed, the links between the mafia and civil society are not based exclusively on economic and political ties, but also on a solid cultural framework that the mafia has adapted for its own needs to better disguise and penetrate the territory at a capillary level
“American students are taught early on about the preventive benefits of shielding their genitalia in rubber, but they are not taught about the pressures they will feel to hide their hearts”, writes Roger Friedland, according to whom “love has been censored and stripped of feelings.” The sociologist of religion and expert on the relationship between eroticism, love and religiosity among America's youth, is appalled by his discoveries: statistics have revealed that "sex seems to be the emotion that has outdated love and engagement with the other," – at least in America.
After the tragic attack in Paris that killed twelve people and injured many others in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, Reset-Dialogues is offering its readers op-eds by our authors followed by a selection of articles, interviews and videos published on this website in recent years and months. Ranging from 9/11 to the Danish cartoons affair, from the reactions inflamed by the offensive “Innocence of Muslims” film to very different events such as the Utoya killings and the Boko Haram kidnappings, these articles and their authors tackle fundamental questions and issues raised once again by a violent incident that troubles and questions democracies and liberal thought at the heart of their commitment to tolerance, freedom of speech and openness.
Last Sunday, three months after they were sworn in, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and almost “prime minister” Abdullah Abdullah announced their list of candidate-ministers. In order to discuss the prospects of the national unity government and the many challenges it will have to face over the coming years - ranging from Taliban guerrilla warfare to the fragile economy, from external interference to corruption and including the consequences of the partial withdrawal of foreign troops - we met in Kabul with Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, the country’s most authoritative research centre.
Matteo Renzi is arguably the first Italian prime minister to enjoy the unusual power to choose, all by himself, the person to become the president of the republic. That he would pass over several of the “papabili” and name instead to that high office a relatively unknown jurist surprised many. The nagging question is why he would not have named Giuliano Amato, whose credentials made him a compelling figure to succeed Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale.
Twenty years ago Yasser Arafat, President of the PLO, and Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Labour Prime Minister, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the brave choices they had made a year earlier in Oslo, agreeing to reciprocally acknowledge each other’s country as an independent nation with a right to statehood, to start the process involving the division of historical Palestine and forever renouncing war.
Philosophical investigations in Delhi: about moral choices, intellectual honesty and political freedom
Delhi - In the weeks just before and after the new year, when the overall atmosphere of the capital was vitiated on account of the government’s attempts to override Christmas as a Christian observance and an official holiday, replacing it with a so-called “Good Governance Day” and the birth anniversaries of Madan Mohan Malaviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, brief visits by two eminent philosophers provided some relief. The visitors were the Bengali philosopher, Arindam Chakrabarti, who teaches at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and the Iranian philosopher, Ramin Jahanbegloo, who teaches at York University in Canada. Both lectured at public fora, met with students and scholars, and brought to the denizens of beleaguered Delhi a much-needed reminder of the importance of philosophy as the core of humanistic intellectual inquiry and democratic dissent.
The publication of a posthumous book has obliged us to once again address the case involving Jacques Dupuis, the Belgian Catholic theologian of religious pluralism, treated and “notified” as a heretic by the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, all in 2000, the same year and days of the publication of the Declaration “Dominus Iesus”, the most criticised pontifical document of recent decades, acclaimed only by “devout atheists.”
On the occasion of his birthday (b. 27 December, 1936, in Figuig, eastern Morocco, d. 3 May 2010), this piece is an homage to a towering figure in modern Arab-Islamic thought, a figure that any serious scholar in the field cannot do without. One has either to build on the heritage he has left, or overcome it with a more challenging one. In both cases, one cannot escape reading him. In the age of Arab turmoils, al Jabri must be in the library of every Arab house for one simple reason: he genuinely managed to classify Arab-Islamic thought, a thing that is still missing from Arab socio-political life.