Democracy doesn’t have to be Western-style, nor the development template

by Rashmee

Posted on September 19, 2020


Veteran foreign policywallah Kishore Mahbubani once wrote a piece for The New York Times titled ‘How Strongmen Co-opted Democracy’. He should know. Mr Mahbubani was, from 2004 to 2017, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (National University of Singapore). His country knows all about strongmen. That’s not to be snarky, just … Continue reading “Democracy doesn’t have to be Western-style, nor the development template”

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What to make of Mike Pompeo’s ‘crusade’ against China

by Rashmee

Posted on August 16, 2020


Jeffrey Sachs’ contextualisation of America’s “crusade” against China is worth reading, what with Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s secretary of state, recently touring the world to push his aggressive agenda. On August 11, Mr Pompeo took off for Europe – Prague, Pilsen, Ljubljana, Vienna and Warsaw. He finished the tour at the weekend. In the Slovenian … Continue reading “What to make of Mike Pompeo’s ‘crusade’ against China”

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India’s internet gag in Kashmir has completed 105 days

by Rashmee

Posted on November 18, 2019


India’s internet gag completed 105 days on Sunday, November 17. The Wire’s Mudasir Ahmed reported the milestone – if 105 days can be called a milestone, being neither a nice round number, nor particularly memorable. But the report came in the context of a different sort of milestone – Kashmir’s local government departments were restive. … Continue reading “India’s internet gag in Kashmir has completed 105 days”

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While the Trump administration swaggers, the world gets down to business

by Rashmee

Posted on April 30, 2019 / The National


The US is no longer a global hegemon, both by choice and by circumstance. Solid proof of its changing role in the world came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo marked his first anniversary in the job. Three things happened that week. In Beijing, President Xi Jinping had 37 world leaders join him for the … Continue reading “While the Trump administration swaggers, the world gets down to business”

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Don’t let the hype fool you, dictators are not becoming more democratic?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 13, 2015


Robert D Kaplan and Dafna H Rand of the Center for a New American Security say that dictators’ new appreciation of public opinion is “part of a global transition to more democracy.” In their engagingly titled piece ‘The Postmodern Autocrat’s Handbook’, they admit that the more-democracy project “will take time”. But they argue that we are … Continue reading “Don’t let the hype fool you, dictators are not becoming more democratic?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK