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Book review: “God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215″ by David Levering Lewis

Book review: “God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215″ by David Levering Lewis, W. W. Norton & Company (2009), 384 pages. R$ 22,40 (www.amazon.com.br)

Worried about how close the Arabs had come to defeating the Franks around Poitiers in 732, Eward Gibbon wrote in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that, had the Muslims won the battle,

the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.

In his fascinating historical study about Islam and …

A ordem chinesa paralela

Quem foi o maior beneficiário dos eventos geopolíticos em 2014? Enquanto é cedo para compreender as consequências dos dois acontecimentos chave – a crise ucraniana e a ascensão do Estado Islâmico no Iraque e na Síria -, parece provável que a China irá emergir como um dos grandes vencedores da dinâmica recente. De fato, visto de Pequim, é difícil imaginar um cenário mais benigno do que aquele que se desenrolou ao longo dos últimos 10 meses.

O novo período de instabilidade no Iraque e na Síria efetivamente limitou as tentativas dos Estados Unidos para prestar menos atenção ao Oriente Médio e se concentrar na ameaça de longo prazo mais potente a hegemonia dos Estados Unidos: a ascensão da China. Enquanto …


An Interview with Oliver Stuenkel on the BRICS

In an interview at CEU’s School of Public Policy in Budapest with Oliver Stuenkel, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV), he discusses BRICS and the future of global order.

Read also:

BRICS: Greatest challenges lie ahead

BRICS do not seek to undermine the IMF

The debate in Brazil: Is there a cost to being a BRICS member?

Os detalhes da reunião dos países do Brics, em Fortaleza (Sem Fronteiras / Globonews)


The Myth of Traditional Sovereignty?

Book review: Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History. Luke Glanville.University of Chicago Press (December 2013). 304 pages. R$ 39,58 (www.amazon.com.br)

The conventional narrative of sovereignty told in the discipline of International Relations used to be that it was established at or around the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, and that for many centuries, its meaning remained the same. Sovereignty practically entailed the absence of accountability until the 20th century, when it was increasingly challenged by largely Western demands of democracy and human rights. The idea of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) was therefore seen as a radical departure from the traditional interpretation of sovereignty, making it conditional on a government’s capacity and willingness to protect …

Will High Chinese Growth Continue?

Will China be able to maintain high growth over the coming decades? Fewer questions will have a greater impact on the future of global order.

Continued Chinese growth around 6% per year or more over the next twenty years would inevitably bring about dramatic changes in global order, increasing China’s material interests around the world and allowing it to invest heavily in its military, increase foreign aid and globalize its currency.

Lower economic growth in China (say, of 3% per year), on the other hand, would reduce China’s capacity to enhance its international projection and diminish — in the eyes of many– the urgency of the need for reform of global structures. If economic growth rates in China were similar …


China’s parallel global order

Who was the greatest beneficiary of geopolitical events in 2014? While it will take time to grasp the consequences of the two key developments – the Ukrainian Crisis and the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria – it seems likely that China will emerge as one of the great winners of recent dynamics. Indeed, seen from Bejing, it is hard to imagine a more benign script than that which has unfolded over the past ten months.

Renewed instability in Iraq and Syria effectively curtailed the United States’ attempts to pay less attention to the Middle East and focus on the most potent long-term threat to US hegemony: the rise of China. While a renewed US troop deployment in the …

A aposta de Kissinger no Brasil emergente

Resenha de livro. Matias Spektor:Kissinger e o Brasil. Zahar, 2008. 234 pápginas. R$ 29,90 (www.amazon.com.br)

Independentemente de quem vai ganhar a eleição presidencial do Brasil no final de outubro, um grande desafio na política externa aguarda o próximo governo. O Brasil deve tentar melhorar as relações com os Estados Unidos, que atingiram seu ponto mais baixo quando Dilma Rousseff cancelou uma visita de Estado a Washington, DC depois das revelações de espionagem no final de 2013.

Historicamente, as relações Brasil-EUA têm sido marcadas por expectativas irreais, negligência ou uma falta de compreensão e confiança mútua, como mostra o livro Kissinger e o Brasil, escrito por Matias Spektor.

O livro descreve um esforço notável de Kissinger para formalizar uma …