Israel and Palestine – the roots of the conflict and how to solve it

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.59.13The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is long and bloody and all attempts to sort it out have failed so far.   Dr Ahron Bregman from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, will suggest how the conflict could be solved. Ahron served in the Israeli army for six years and as an artillery officer took part in the 1982 Lebanon war. He left Israel in the late 1980s because of the violence of the occupation and settled in the UK. He is the author of numerous books on the Arab-Israeli conflict, two of which The Fifty Years War and  Elusive Peace, resulted in major BBC TV documentaries. His latest book, Cursed Victory: a History of Israel and the Occupied Territories, (Penguin, 2014) sparked an international controversy as it included secret documents and transcripts of telephone conversations between the President of the US and world leaders, secretly recorded by Israeli agents.

Israel and Palestine – the roots of the conflict and how to solve it – Dr Ahron Bregman, 24/11/2014 by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud


The triumph of Hindu nationalism: a watershed for India and the subcontinent?

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 08.06.00The recent elections in India delivered an overwhelming victory for  Narendra Modi and the BJP, a political party linked to extreme right wing ideology, ending  the post independence domination of the Congress party. The consequences of this political earthquake will be far reaching for both India and for the geopolitics of the region. Priyamvada Gopal teaches in the English Faculty at Cambridge and researches into colonial and post colonial literatures as well as the polítics and cultures of Empíre. Her work has appeared in The Hindu, Outlook India, India Today, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesman and The Guardian and she has contributed occasionally to the BBC’s Start the Week and Newsnight as well as programmes on NDTV (India),  Al-Jazeera, National Public Radio and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . She will look at the background to the election and how it will change the future course of politics in India and beyond.

Hindu nationalism: a watershed for India and the subcontinent? Priyamvada Gopal, 27/11/2014 by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud


Agricultural Colonialism – the new scramble for Africa

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 08.07.29_0The  New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a private sector investment platform for multinationals eager to expand into the agricultural markets of Africa. The initiative is supported by the G8 (including £395 million from the UK aid budget)and so far has been signed by 10 African countries. These countries are called upon to make changes to their seed, land and farming laws which destroy livelihoods, dispossess local communities and severely reduce access to food for their populations. This has devastating consequences for small-scale farmers, who currently feed 70% of the continent’s inhabitants. Nick Dearden will analyse the issue for us. He is the director ofThe World Development Movement, a politically and financially independent organisation that campaigns for economic justice for the world’s poor majority.

Agricultural Colonialism – the new scramble for Africa (Nick Dearden at Café Diplo, 27/10/2014) by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud


Wanton Sacrifice – the shocking price of the Afghan war

frank-ledwidgeFrank Ledwidge is a barrister, author and former military officer who has served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. He argues that Britain has paid a heavy cost – both financially and in human terms – for its involvement in the Afghanistan war. He has has recently followed his much praised work Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan  (Yale 2011) with a new book Investment in Blood – the true cost of the Afghan war (Yale 2013).   In it he calculates the high price paid by British soldiers and their families, taxpayers in the United Kingdom, and, most importantly, Afghan citizens, highlighting the thousands of deaths and injuries, the enormous amount of money spent bolstering a corrupt Afghan government, and the long-term damage done to the British military’s international reputation. He will discuss these issues with us and point to their implications for future military policy decisions.

Wanton Sacrifice – the shocking price of the Afghan war (Frank Ledwidge at Café Diplo, Sep’14) by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud

Crisis in Iraq

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 22.12.59The widespread military attack by the forces of ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and its allies, aimed at toppling Nuri al-Maliki’s government, has resulted in a terrible toll of violence, instability and suffering within the country, and the international repercussions are extremely grave. Writer and campaigner Sami Ramadani, himself an active participant in campaigns against Saddam’s regime for many years, will explore this shocking situation with us. Sami opposed the 2003 US-led occupation of Iraq, speaks widely on Middle East issues, and is a Guardian contributor. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Stop the War Coalition.

Crisis In Iraq – Sami Ramadani at Café Diplo (London, September 2014) by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud

Renewable energy under fire; is it reliable, affordable or sustainable and is it the future?

DavidCollins2Politicians regularly denigrate renewables in response to powerful lobbyists and hint at power blackouts and increased energy bills to steer voters towards an energy manifesto based on fossil fuel, nuclear and fracking.    On the other hand there is genuine public concern over the environmental impacts and reliability of some types of renewable energy generation.   David has been Head of Biogas at the Renewable Energy Association since 2004 and has been active in implementing measures to kick start and support the biogas industry in the UK which now has over 150 working plants producing electricity, heat, green gas and soil fertiliser.  He pioneered a biofertiliser certification scheme for the UK and was elected to the Board of the European Biogas Association in January this year.    David will look at the technologies, discuss current concerns over the viability of  renewable energy systems and point a way towards a reliable de-centralised sustainable energy future using his experience of biogas technology as a working example.

Power and Conflict in Ukraine

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 23.36.41Recent events in Ukraine have given rise to international concern, and relations between Russia and the West have seriously deteriorated.  Marko Bojcun,the Adjunct Professor of Politics at New York University in London, and author and political commentator Gabriel Levy, will discuss this complex situation and its implications with us. Marko Bojcun is a researcher on the contemporary politics, economics and international relations of Ukraine. His most recent publications are on the redevelopment of capitalism in Ukraine, the impact of the international financial crisis in Eastern Europe, and Ukraine’s relations with the European Union. Gabriel Levy is a writer and socialist activist based in London. He has been travelling to Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and had involvement with the workers’ movement in those countries, for 25 years. He blogs at


Power and Conflict in Ukraine – Professor Marko Bojcun and Gabriel Levy by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud


Rethinking Refugees: Finding Solutions to the Global Refugee Crisis

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 20.32.30Around the world, there is a crisis of displacement. Authoritarian regimes, political persecution, generalised violence, environmental change, and food insecurity are among the array of reasons that force people to cross international borders. With over 2 million refugees having fled Syria to neighbouring countries, the world’s refugees are at their highest level in 20 years. This talk aims to make sense of this global crisis. In the context of a changing world, it asks two questions: firstly, who should be recognised as a refugee?;  secondly, how should such people be protected and assisted?
Professor Alexander Betts is Associate Professor on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, where he is a Fellow of Green-Templeton College. He is author of numerous books including the recently published Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press 2013). He has previously worked for UNHCR and undertaken fieldwork across Sub-Saharan Africa. He  held teaching and research positions at Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin. He completed his MPhil (in Development Studies) and DPhil (in International Relations) at the University of Oxford. He is Director of theHumanitarian Innovation Project


Rethinking Refugees: Finding Solutions to the Global Refugee Crisis (Professor Alexander Betts) by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud


Chelsea Manning – & Resistance to War from within the Military

SDIM6088-copy-3Resistance to war from within the military has a long history that predates well known instances during the Vietnam War.   Ben Griffin, Iraq War resister and now coordinator of Veterans For Peace UK, will talk about lesser known acts of resistance to war from within the military in post 9/11 conflicts. He will also focus on the actions and plight of US Army Soldier and convicted Wikileaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning.  See this video of his address to the Oxford Union.

2014/04/29 Chelsea Manning – Resistance to War from within the Military (Ben Griffin at Café Diplo) by Cafe Diplo on Mixcloud

The Power of the Global Capitalist Class: is a transition possible from capitalist globalisation to alternative non-capitalist forms of globalisation?

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 23.14.39_0We live at a time when much of the world’s economic, political and cultural activity  is controlled by a small transnational capitalist class. This class prioritises the accumulation of private profit, influences parliamentary democracy and promotes a culture-ideology of consumerism. Its values affect everything from the nature of our employment and political systems to the architecture of the cities we live in, resulting in policies that endanger the environment (ecological crisis) and increase national and global inequality (class polarisation crisis). Leslie Sklair is an internationally eminent Sociologist. He is aProfessor Emeritus at the LSE, is currently the President of the Global Studies Association and was also on the International Advisory Board of the ESRC funded major project ‘Cities in Conflict,’ based at Cambridge University. His main research interest has been how globalisation works, and currently on iconic architecture and capitalist globalisation, on which he has written extensively. He will look at how the transnational capitalist class operates and will also consider how a transition from capitalist to alternative globalisation could happen and the forms it might take.