The First World-Problem(s)

Rehyphenating the priorities of the developed and developing worlds.

By Arvind Iyer, 8th January 2014

Background : The Three Worlds theories of the early postcolonial era that might have served to usefully map the sharply polar geopolitics of the time, continue to circumscribe policy imagination as well as commentary in a manner that limits the genuine planet-wide globalizing of best-practices discovered in any of the erstwhile ‘worlds’. The narratives of newly liberated nations making their unique trysts with destiny or the ‘nationalizing’ of ideology as in socialism with Chinese characteristics are far from timeless or timely at this juncture when wars for self-determination are receding into history, thus precluding preoccupations with self-definition, or assertion of identity, or characterization of doctrines. This article treats an increasingly dominant strain of middle-class political attitudes and aspirations in emerging India as a case study of sorts to illustrate how policy pragmatism and catholicity rather than policy puritanism and conservatism maybe both enabled and necessitated in a world where the problems India shares with America are as pressing as the problems endemic to ‘Chindia’ or the BRIC bloc.

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The Irony of Empire: Why the Diamond Jubilee is the Triumph of Britain without Empire

In this article, Alastair Stewart looks at the role of Queen Elizabeth II and the place of Britain in the modern world.  As many have looked to the decline in ‘red’ regions of map as the simple narrative for defining the trajectory of Britain, it can be argued that recent resurgence of the royalty has enabled it to construct a soft power empire.  Where can real influence be found today, in the distrusted pageantry of politics or in the hysterical reactions to an overt display of grandeur?

By Alastair Stewart, 8th June, 2012

Of all the transformations to have taken place during her sixty-year reign, none can be more apparent to Queen Elizabeth II than the transformation of Britain’s role in the world. But is the story of decline, and fall, of the British Empire as unassuming as it seems?

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