Scheduling Notice

Have you missed me yet? I couldn’t face the prospect of having to work on the blog all weekend, as it turns out I really need time to muck about a bit. So I’m changing this year’s ambitious blog project. Just a little tweak. I’m cutting out the weekend posts. You can find the new […]

Serial Questions

It’s proving harder than I thought to pick up where I left off with the series about Ukraine. So in good academic tradition, I thought I’d share my struggle with you, and my research questions, so you can help me get better. In this series I attempt to answer the question: why are Russians and […]


The horrible attack on Charlie Hebdo is so fresh it’s very hard to see its context. We don’t know who did it, or why exactly, or even what exactly happened. I recommend @AFP for the latest news. This brutal attack on the razor sharp and thoroughly funny paper (excellent for one’s French) is indescribable, at […]

Tuesday Links

Just a short link post today as I’m far too busy catching up on the blogging to read much of anything.

The Inevitable

It had to happen, and it did. Yesterday and the day before life got in the way and I wasn’t able to publish the Monday post or schedule the Tuesday one. I will post both today, and apologize for any disappointment felt by the dear reader. I can’t promise it won’t happen again, because it […]

Imminent Conflict

To be honest I can’t wait to get this series to the First World War (WW1). But I want to be thorough. So I’m going to take you from the beginning, when Zionists were buying land in Palestine to start a Jewish homeland, to the eve of WW1.* During this time, both groups, Arabs and […]

Choosing a new Napolitano

President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy is stepping down because he’s old and frail, and now they have to pick a new one (probably in about two weeks). When he was reelected two years ago, Napolitano was already old and frail, but there was no-one else the joint houses of parliament could agree on. As the […]

Advanced Escapology

On the first day of 2015 a retrial was ordered for the Al Jazeera journalists who have been jailed in Egypt since December 2013. I’ve been thinking about how and why. To refresh your memory, the three were part of a larger group of Al Jazeera journalists,

Review: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

I know. It’s a novel. But bear with me. It’s a really good one.┬áIn somewhat confusing chronology Richard Flanagan recounts the life of an Australian doctor who was an officer during WW2. He grows up poor, gets to go to school, moves rapidly up the social ladder and becomes a bit of a hero when […]

This blog in 2015

In 2015 I’ll make one resolution and one resolution only. I will post on this blog every day, seven days a week, 365 times in 2015. I think it will be hard enough to keep this one resolution, without the pressure of any others. To make it a little easier, I’m streamlining the workings of […]