British ‘No’ and French ‘Non’: Europe’s greatest threat?

Richard Gowan will be speaking about the new European Constitution in relation to the forthcoming referenda – a crucial period in the development of the European Union. Richard is Director of the Europe Programme at the Foreign Policy Centre and an expert on European Security Strategy and the politics of the EU in Britain. He studied History and International Relations at Cambridge University where he gained an MPhil and published on the political philosophy on Raymond Aron. Richard has authored and co-authored a number of essays, pamphlets and articles on European issues. He makes regular media appearances as a commentator on European and UK politics, including on CNN, BBC News and BBC World Service.
The Foreign Policy Centre is a leading European think tank launched to develop a vision of a fair and rule-based world order. Its programme on the European Constitution uses independent research and analysis to explore the implications for Europe and Britain of the proposed Constitution Treaty and of the forthcoming referenda. In September 2004 it published ‘The Referendum Battle’ in association with MORI, the first competitive study and analysis of British attitudes towards the Constitution.

Breakthrough or bust: What future for the NPT?

In May 2005, State Parties will gather in New York to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The decision to shift US policy away from multi-lateralism, a weakening of the political will among the nuclear states to pursue non-proliferation and disarmament goals, together with serious doubts about the efficacy of the NPT, threaten the very existence of the treaty. Nigel Chamberlain, an analyst at the British-American Security Information Council, discusses how international non-proliferation consensus can be strengthened.

No rules for the rich: How tax avoidance is wrecking the global economy

portrait_john_christensenHidden from public scrutiny, businesses and banking systems have been reconfigured to bypass nationally-based tax and regulatory regimes. Using around 65 global tax havens, wealthy individuals and businesses employ aggressive tax avoidance strategies and force governments to engage in harmful tax competition to attract investment. These practices distort trade patterns, undermine economic growth, increase wealth inequality, and cause endemic poverty, social instability and failed states, whilst poorer countries lose an estimated US$50 billion annually to dirty money flows. John Christensen, International Coordinator of the Tax Justice Network and former economic adviser to the States of Jersey (a tax haven) outlines the problem and the steps needed to mobilise against it.

Iran: The geo-politics of the Islamic Republic

Dr Zhand Shakibi, Fellow in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics will discuss the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its place in the geo-politics and security of the Middle East. Dr Shakibi has studied in Tehran, St Petersburg and Europe and his areas of expertise include Iran, Russia, Central Asia, politics of identity, and the political concept of Empire.

Tetra phone masts: Profiteering from public health risk

Dr Gerard Hyland has studied the effects of microwave radiation on living organisms since 1985. TETRA is a mobile microwave communication technology intended for use by the emergency services. Its use by the British police has already led to officer deaths and to the serious illness of hundreds of officers. The Home Office has been criticised by the National Audit Committee and by the European Parliament, for insisting on the exclusive use of Tetra by the police force, and is planning to set up 3200 of them despite adverse effect to the local population and to officers.
Dr Hyland is Honorary Fellow of the University of Warwick, and Exectutive Member of the International Institute of Biophysics in Germany. He is also a Trustee of UK EM (Electromagnetic) Radiation Trust.

Politics and ethics in Uzbekistan

book_craigmurray_togo_0craig_murrayThe human rights record of the former Soviet Republic hit the headlines in 2003. Former UK Ambassador Craig Murray discusses the situation in Uzbekistan and the implications of Western government collusion with the current regime.