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Articles in Politics News

Puerto Ricans Appear to Endorse Statehood in Referendum

By Nicholas Baldo | November 9, 2012 | 3 Comments

Lost in the extensive coverage of the 2012 U.S. Election is the recurrent and important issue of Puerto Rico’s relationship to the U.S. On Tuesday, the Puerto Rican electorate appeared to endorse statehood in a two-part non-binding referendum.

Rising Bihar Asks for “Special Category” Status

By Martin W. Lewis | November 6, 2012 |

The Indian state of Bihar has long been noted for its poverty, corruption, and lack of social progress, ranking last in most Indian developmental indicators. But Bihar now has one of India’s fastest growing economies, and its levels of corruption have recently plummeted. Less pronounced gains have also been made over much of northern India. As a result, the impoverished BIMARU region (BIhar, MAdhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh) is now considered to be defunct

Separatism in French Polynesia

By Nicholas Baldo | October 17, 2012 | One Comment

As previously noted on GeoCurrents, the political entities that comprise the French Republic exhibit a multitude of different administrative designations with varying legal responsibilities. One such possession is French Polynesia, which was officially designated an “overseas country” in 2004, though legally its status is indistinguishable from that of France’s other overseas collectivities.

Local Elections Conclude in Bosnia and Herzegonvina

By Nicholas Baldo | October 10, 2012 | 2 Comments

Preliminary results are in for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s October 7th local elections. The elections went smoothly and without irregularities, but many fear that the results may fan the flames of ethno-nationalism and separatism in the fragile country’s political discourse.

Bavarian Separatism and the Franconian Issue

By Martin W. Lewis | September 28, 2012 | 6 Comments

Bavarian separatism, a long-standing if still rather minor political movement, is finally getting some attention in the global media, thanks to the recent publication of Bayern kann es auch allein (or Bavaria Can Also Go It Alone), a book described by Canada’s Maclean’s as a “191-page polemic covering a range of standard Bavarian complaints about the present German (and European) political order and a paean to the benefits and glories that await an unfettered Free State of Bavaria.”

Catalan Secession Looming?

By Martin W. Lewis | September 25, 2012 |

Fear are mounting that Spain will face a new secession crisis after the government of Catalonia called for a snap election on November 25, which is widely seen as a referendum on enhanced autonomy if not outright independence. The move came shortly after the Madrid government rejected Catalonia’s demand for greater autonomy on taxation issues. Desire for political separation is growing in the region, as evidenced by massive (600,000+) pro-independence demonstrations in Barcelona earlier this month.

Self-Rule and Environmental Crisis in Ogoniland

By Nicholas Baldo | September 18, 2012 | 2 Comments

In recent months, relations between the Ogoni people of Rivers State in southeastern Nigeria and the government have come under intense pressure. On August 2nd, a group of Ogoni led by Goodluck Diigbo of the pro-autonomy Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) declared their sovereignty in internal affairs while stopping short of secession.

A New Capital City for South Sudan

By Nicholas Baldo | September 10, 2012 | 2 Comments

Though South Sudan remains a predominantly rural country, its urban areas—particularly Juba—are growing rapidly. Juba, the country’s largest city and its current capital, is estimated to house nearly 400,000 people, twice as many as in 2005.

Extremist Political Violence in Germany

By Chris Kremer | July 30, 2012 | 2 Comments

Although Germany is far more politically stable than it has been over much of the past century, it has recently experienced a rise in crimes linked to radical politics. According to a government investigation, the number of reported criminal extremist activities increased from last year by 3.8 percent to 21,610.

A New Panama Canal? Or Two?

By Nicholas Baldo | July 11, 2012 | 4 Comments

As traffic through the Panama Canal rises, Nicaragua and Costa Rica examine alternatives in a charged political atmosphere.

Flood and Political Conflicts in Northeastern India

By Nicholas Baldo | July 3, 2012 |

Flooding in Northeastern India and its sometimes-fraught political backdrop.

Expected and Unexpected Findings in the New Pew Poll of Pakistan

By Martin W. Lewis | June 29, 2012 |

A new public opinion survey of Pakistan by the Pew Global Attitudes Project has been gathering media attention. Most reports focus on the intensification of anti-American attitudes revealed by the poll. Evidently, only 12 percent of Pakistanis now view the U.S. favorably. Of the nations assessed by Pew, only the Jordanian have a lower view of the United States. Three-quarters of the people of Pakistan see the U.S. as an enemy state, whereas only 8 percent view it as a partner. Pakistanis also express deep skepticism about American financial assistance, with only 12 percent viewing economic aid as “mostly positive.”

Another Cartoon Controversy Strikes India

By Martin W. Lewis | June 27, 2012 | 3 Comments

Yet another political cartoon controversy has embroiled India in recent weeks. The cartoon in question dates to 1965, when opposition to the planned imposition of the Hindi language across India generated unrest over much of the country and especially the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil activists feared that the imposition of Hindi would reduce non-Hindi speakers to the status of second-class citizens, and thus agitated for the continuing use of English as the country’s unifying, common language

Food-Cost Protests in Northern Canada

By Martin W. Lewis | June 11, 2012 | 9 Comments

Major protests against the high price of food and economic insecurity more generally were held last weekend in the remote northern Canadian territory of Nunavut, inhabited mostly by Inuit (“Eskimo”) people. Organized on Facebook, the “Feed My Family” campaign has attracted roughly a third of Nunavut’s population. A recent study found that some “three-quarters of Inuit preschoolers live in food-insecure homes, and that “half of youths 11 to 15 years old sometimes go to bed hungry.”

Angolan Rap Musicians Attacked

By Martin W. Lewis | May 24, 2012 |

Angola is an economically booming, oil-rich country noted for its low levels of human development, authoritarian government, deep disparities of wealth, and high levels of corruption. Peaceful opposition to the government has recently been mounting, inspired in part by several politically active rap musician, most notably Hexplosivo Mental (Jeremias Augusto) and Carbono Casimiro. Earlier this week, a number of anti-government activists, including Hexplosivo Mental, “were attacked, beaten…”

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