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Global Challenges
Issue no. 4 | October 2018
Epidemia of Walls in an (Un)free World
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Articles for this issue
Global Challenges
Issue no. 4 | October 2018
Epidemia of Walls in an (Un)free World

We currently face a baffling paradox. While since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 a seemingly inexorable process of globalisation has been foreshadowing a peaceful and frontierless world, the number of walls across the world has been rising at a steady pace. Liberal and open societies buttressed by trade, international law and technological progress were supposed to implacably contribute to the erosion of frontiers and walls between nations. However, in a context of surging populist discourses, securitarian anxieties and identitarian politics as well as concomitant flows of migration alimented by climate change, conflict and poverty, nations have recently started to barricade themselves behind new walls.

Articles for this issue

Epidemia of Walls in an (Un)free World
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    Whither Cosmopolis: Yearning for Closure in Times of Uncertainty

    Reading time: 5 min
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    A Palestinian man walks past graffiti painted on Israel's controversial separation barrier in the Aida refugee camp situated inside the West Bank town of Bethlehem, on February 12, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

    A Contagious Craze for Walls

    Reading time: 2 min
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    This is a monument for those who have died attempting to cross the US-Mexican border. Each coffin represents a year and the number of dead. It is a protest against the effects of Operation Guardian. Taken at the Tijuana-San Diego border.

    The “Great Wall” of America: Historical Opportunities

    Reading time: 3 min
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    Palestinian boys walk 13 September 2005 past a mural painting on a wall that separates the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunes from the former Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim. The wall which had been erected by Israeli forces to protect the settlers from Palestinian attacks has been painted by Palestinian artists, following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the area two days ago.      AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP)

    Between Security and Apartheid: Cinematic Representations of the West Bank Wall

    Reading time: 4 min
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    An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier (R) stands alert as a farmer leads her cow alongside border fencing marking the India-Bangladesh border in the village of Jaypur, some 5 kms west of Agartala, 17 November 2006. Security on the Indian side of the border has been intensified following political instability and continuing violence in Bangladesh. The border between the two countries stretches over 4000 kilometers (2500 miles), a considerable part of which is unfenced.   / AFP PHOTO / STRDEL

    Battle of Identities at the India-Bangladesh Border

    Reading time: 5 min
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    Wall built by Turkey on its border with Syria.

    Turkey and the Middle-East: From Imperial Temptation to National Closure

    Reading time: 4 min
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    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta

    Combating Terrorism on the Somalian Border: The Improbable Kenyan Dream?

    Reading time: 5 min
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    Concrete Wall, DMZ, North Korea.

    Korea: Comfortable Wall, Uncomfortable Peace

    Reading time: 4 min
Other Issues
Issue no. 3 | March 2018
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Globalization 4.0:
Evolution or Revolution?
Global Challenges
Issue no. 3 | March 2018
Globalization 4.0: Evolution or Revolution?

Has globalisation reached its apex after centuries of growth as suggested by the latest figures of the WTO? In the affirmative, does this imply that we are ushering into a new era of degrowth? Or are we witnessing the reorganisation of the very architecture of globalisation, which remains based on the twin logic of the acceleration and continuous increase of the volume of exchanges, as well as the steady densification of geographic connectedness. Are global exchanges restructuring concomitantly to the fourth technological revolution and the expansion of the digital economy? The present Dossier proposes to approach this question by observing the nature and the evolution of the principal flows that characterize globalisation.

Issue no. 9 | March 2021
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The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality
Global Challenges
Issue no. 9 | March 2021
The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality

While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality – as measured by instruments such as the Gini coefficient – has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened, seeing the fortunes of the superrich attaining unprecedented levels and revenue concentrating in the top percentiles of societies.

Concurrently to the aggravation of the social fracture, additional fault lines have been opening or hardening along logics of race, gender, ethnicity and religion. Identarian revendications and logics of difference and exclusion have come to complement, compete with or supersede more traditional struggles for equality in a postmodern and neoliberal context that has normalised inequality, homogenised societies and done away with earlier grand narratives and collective agendas. 

The consequences of inequality(ies) are dramatic, as reflected in the polarisation and fragmentation of societies, worsening health and mortality indicators, political tensions and violence, a decline in democracy, and mistrust in state institutions. The objective of the current issue of Global Challenges is therefore – by reverting to the analytical tools of social science – to reflect on the causes behind the multifaceted growth of inequality(ies), anticipate their noxious fallouts and explore potential remedies.