Bay of Bengal: a hotspot for climate insecurity

The Bay of Bengal is uniquely vulnerable to a changing climate because of a combination of rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and uncertain transboundary river flows. These problems combine with already existing social problems like religious strife, poverty, political uncertainty, high population density, and rapid urbanization to create a very dangerous cocktail of already security threats. Andrew Holland argues that foresight about its impacts can help the region’s leaders work together to solve a problem that knows no boundaries.

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‘Petropolitics’ and the price of freedom

“As the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up… As the price of oil goes up, the pace of freedom goes down…” So says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who argues that the first law of ‘petropolitics’ is that the price of oil and the pace of freedom are inversely correlated in countries “totally dependent on oil” for economic growth. However, the correlation between recent oil price spikes and anti-authoritarian action – particularly in the Arab Spring – challenges this assessment. But if this pattern of change is to continue, Western states must curb their hypocritical dependence on authoritarian oil-exporting governments by developing more sustainable sources of energy.

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Myanmar: peaceful transition to democracy or storm clouds on the horizon?

Analysing a recent report by International Crisis Group, Anna Alissa Hitzemann argues that in order for the transition from authoritarian rule to democracy to be stable, and for peace and security to be sustainable, the government of Myanmar will have to face and resolve major challenges such as idespread militarization and the political and social marginalization (past and present) of ethnic and religious groups.

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Sustainable Finance and Energy Security

General volatility in financial markets – fuelled by irresponsible lending and trading practices, as well as evidence of market manipulation – have had an effect on oil prices. Although the specific effects of the finance sector on oil prices requires further investigation, we can already understand that a sustainable and secure future will require the development of a wider energy mix to meet rising demand. To this end, more sustainable financial systems must be developed to service the real needs of citizens

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