Marc Reyes, University of Connecticut
Christopher Clary, “The Curious Case of the Accidental Indian Missile Launch,” War on the Rocks
While Ukraine, understandably, dominates international news headlines, you might have missed a story that could have bubbled over into another international conflict. Professor Christopher Clary examined the accidental launch of an Indian cruise missile and its crashing into Pakistani territory. Thankfully the missile was not armed, and no one was hurt, but it was one nuclear-armed country firing a missile at another nuclear-armed country. The incident raises serious questions about India’s weapons safety and security procedures, its refusal to initially acknowledge the accidental launch, and its slow disclosure to Pakistan about the episode.
Sahar Arshad, “For South Asian Women, Living Alone Can Be Healing,” Teen Vogue
In this op-ed, Arshad profiled young South Asian women who have moved out of their family homes before marriage. Whether for work or school, or thanks to supportive parents, Arshad argues, “it can be a therapeutic experience for South Asian women to live under a roof where they create their own rules.” For some women, it is independence, while others see it as a form of rebellion against growing up in cultures dominated by patriarchy.
M. Rajshekhar, “Finance Firm Buying Public Sector Central Electronics Ltd. For Cheap Has Links to BJP Leaders,” The Wire
An excellent investigative reporter of Indian state governments, Rajshekhar probed the potential sale of the profitable Central Electronics Ltd. (a public sector undertaking which promotes commercial products produced by Indian laboratories) to Nandal Finance and Leasing. The central government has put the sale on hold because of accusations that Central Electronics Ltd.’s worth is being undervalued and that the potential buyer has no background in science or engineering but does have business dealings with a senior BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh (India’s most populous state and where the BJP dominated in recent state elections).
Yasemin Akçagüner, “Tire Necip Paşa Library,” Hazine
Akçagüner, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University, takes readers to Tire Necip Paşa Library, a Turkish library dating back to the early-nineteenth century located in Tire in Izmir province. An ideal research spot for scholars of the Ottoman Empire, the library is more “a manuscript museum and conservation site” that boasts thousands of manuscripts and books in modern Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, and Persian. Akçagüner provides history of the library, discusses its collections, her research experience, and how visiting researchers can access the library’s material.
Chris Szabla, University of Hong Kong
Dominic Leusder, "The Art of Monetary War," n+1
What is new about total economic warfare? Are the sanctions applied to Russia akin to a state of siege? In this essay, Leusder considers, among other things, the potentially unprecedented scale of Western action against the country for its invasion of Ukraine, noting that "[n]ot even Nazi Germany was fully exiled from the international monetary system. Relations between the Bank of England and the Reichsbank persisted well into the 1940s, while the Bank of International Settlements allowed the German central bank access to its clearing and settlement facilities throughout the entirety of the war." He continues by considering some of the downstream consequences of going further, for the EU and the global food supply among other issues.
Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, "Is the West Laissez-Faire About Economic Warfare?" War on the Rocks
This account juxtaposes the waging of economic war to the fighting of one - against inflation, a problem that increasingly stalks the world as economic disruption impedes supply chains. Through his review of two recent books, Nick Mulder's Economic Weapon and Isabella Weber's How China Escaped Shock Therapy, Batmanghelidj observes how these wars were connected causally at an earlier point in time: the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, effected in part to allow Japan to escape the risk of a future blockade, produced hyperinflation in China which assisted the communist seizure of control. Once in power, he shows, the fortification of the Chinese economy against the potential for economic isolation became a communist priority, pointing to how the effects of economic closure can cascade and how other states might behave in the face of today's economic conflicts.
Branko Milanovic, Russia's long-term economic prospects, Global Inequality and More Blog
How might Russia, then, respond to the current economic pressure? Economist Branko Milanovic assesses two possible solutions: a turn toward more autarkic forms of import substitution industrialization, or one toward other economic partners. He assesses the chances of the former as "almost impossible" given the way that the country's independent industrial base has eroded since the fall of the Soviet Union. Even the initial Soviet industrialization drives, he observes, required access to Western technology transfer, but such transfers are impeded more by current sanctions than diplomatic obstacles the Soviets faced. At the same time, Russia lacks a growing labor force like the Soviet Union had. Milanovic then considers a wild alternative albeit one that is not entirely without historical precedent: "a new type of Peter the Great move where Russia opens not a window on Europe (what St Petersburg was supposed to be) but a window on East Asia, by, for example, moving its capital to Vladivostok." Yet under current economic conditions, such a move (or the likelier reorientation of the Russian economy toward Asia it really implies) also requires extensive infrastructural and other investment that makes it impossible to achieve under current conditions.