Review of Jared Diamond’s ‘Upheaval’ – How countries seldom learn from their past

With Donald Trump and Brexit mounting their daily assault on our senses, we could be forgiven for thinking that the world is having a nervous breakdown. Many readers will turn, therefore, to Jared Diamond’s new book Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change in the hope that it might ease our anxieties by showing us how countries have successfully navigated major upheavals in the past. Read my review in the Irish Times to see how reading Upheaval might even make your anxieties worse. Read here…

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Our Disordered World November 2015

This post aims to provide a snapshot of the major issues currently shaping global politics, by presenting short quotes from recent stories in the news. Please feel free to add recent quotes from your national media which you think will be of interest to readers of Disordered World.    Continue reading

Why We Need to Put Morality Back at the Heart of Politics

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed at the U.N. in September 2015, together set out a vision of a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world.

The vision is of a world in which no one is poor or hungry, where a sustainable model of economic growth benefits everyone and combats climate change, where there is greater equality within and between nations, and where every individual is treated equally regardless of gender, race or religion. Achieving such a vision will, in turn, require national and global institutions that are capable of delivering greater equality and fairness for all.

Unfortunately, however, our major political and economic institutions have been moving in the opposite direction for decades. As a result, inequalities have increased and self-interest now dominates societies, to the neglect of the common good.

A central challenge posed by the SDGs is to shift the cultures of our political and financial systems from self-interest to concern for others, and demonstrate once again that morality is a viable option in the modern world.     Continue reading