SCO and One Belt, One Road

By M.A. Saki, Tehran Times, June 22, 2016

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as a Eurasian bloc, is seeking to strengthen confidence and neighborly relations among member countries and promote cooperation in politics, trade, economy, energy, and transportation.

The SCO already has six members (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), two acceding members (India and Pakistan), four observer states (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia), and six dialogue partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey).    

India and Pakistan are likely to get full membership in the SCO summit in Tashkent on June 23-24. The inclusion of India, as a rising economic power with over 1.3 billion people, could grant greater weight to the body.

The SCO has also realized that regional economic integrity is one of the keys to success.

The Slow Crash

An Interview with Michael Hudson, Guns and Butter, April 5, 2016

Most people think of the economy as producing goods and services and paying labor to buy what it produces. But a growing part of the economy in every country has been the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector, which comprises the rent and interest paid to the economy’s balance sheet of assets by debtors and rent payers. More and more money is being extracted from the production and consumption economy to pay the FIRE sector. That’s what causes debt deflation and shrinks markets. If you pay the banks, you have less to spend on goods and services.

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Terrorism: A Matrix of Lies and Deceit

By Christopher Black, New Eastern Outlook, June 17, 2016

So how is your war on “terrorism” going? I’m not doing too well at it since I have no idea who the enemy is. Like the American black comedian, Dick Gregory, who, on hearing that President Johnson had declared a war on poverty, ran out onto the street with a hand grenade to throw it at some poor people, I have no idea who the real enemy is, who to throw a grenade at. That makes me think.

We are told, the world over, by every government, that we are in a “war against terrorism.”  But terrorism is an action, a tactic, a strategy. It’s a method not a person, a group, a country. How can there be a war against a method of war. But they want us to fight a method and never ask the why or the who. That doesn’t seem to matter anymore. They tell us not to be concerned with why something happens, only how it happens.

Muhammad Yunus Urges Grads to Think for Themselves

Nobel laureate wants more social-minded entrepreneurs

The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 11, 2016

Don’t get a job.

“Use your creative power to do more than get a job,” said Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of Grameen Bank. “The job is the end of creativity.”

Yunus, the keynote speaker at the all-university commencement ceremony at UC San Diego on Saturday, has referred to jobs as “the tyranny of employment” that kill creativity and are based on an artificial economic system.

The Destiny of the EU – From a Secular Market-State to a Civic Commonwealth?

By Adrian Pabst, Ethics in Brief, EU Referendum Series No. 3, June 2016

The EU’s mutation into a ‘market-state’ that fuses top-down legal harmonisation with bureaucratic centralism and capitalist commodification is incompatible with Catholic Social Thought and cognate traditions in Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The proposed alternative is a civic commonwealth – a voluntary association of nations and peoples that can re-embed states and markets based on strengthening intermediary institutions and reconnecting the EU’s political project to its citizens. Europe’s shared Christian heritage is a source of cultural renewal without which the Union lacks a firm foundation and finality. If it stays in, then the UK can provide much-needed leadership.

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A Saudi-Russian Congruence Promotes Syria Peace Process

By M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times, June 1, 2016

There is chance for peace in Syria after the “ouster” of Jaysh al-Islam’s Mohammed Alloush from the High Negotiations Committee. Since Saudi Arabia is quite aware that the US-Russian coordination on Syria is gaining traction, it may no longer reject the peace process out of hand. However, it remains unclear how far the Syrian regime or Iran would find the constitution drafted by Moscow and Washington to be acceptable.

If Mohammed Alloush were a communist, he would have announced on Monday (May 30)  that he was resigning on health grounds from the key post of the head of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) at the Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

Fake Image of Islam Threatens Historical Heritage of Islamic Civilization

Iran Review, June 7, 2016

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has urged leaders of the Muslim countries to take the lead in creating a world free of violence and extremism.

“In this critical juncture in Islamic history… a harsh and fake image of Islam threatens the historical heritage of Islamic civilization and philosophy and our co-existence with other religions,” he said.

Call for Papers: Expert Opinions and Comments

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute draws high-level experts, bringing concepts and ideas generated in different spheres of scientific and public interest to a focal point, where they can be discussed freely and independently.

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute perceives the dominant world portrayal today as oversimplified and too tightly bound to economic roots, and admits that the world rendering lacks attention to the diversity of social and cultural aspirations and to living norms of traditions. Therefore, we call for papers exclusively designed by authors: to address the individuals and elites involved in decision-making processes around the world with up-to-date and agile information; to respond adequately to the challenges of modernity; to treat global problems with proper understanding with regard to their complex origins; to draft plausible alternative outlooks of the future.

The Expert Committee of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute calls for papers on the following topics:

1. How much is the Dollar Worth?
2. Intellectual Property Rights: a Case of a Disguised Wealth Tax on the Emerging Economies?
3. Building National Sovereign Projects in the Perspective of a Polycentric Pattern of Globalization.
4. Indebted Society is Pressing the Rates Down, not a Strive for Growth
5. Bollywood: Fighting or Supporting the American Dream?
6. Consequences of the Enforced One Child Policy in China
7. Upbringing the Young in the Values and Virtues of Great Civilizations
8. How to Remain Human in the New Rules of the Old Games?

All interested contributors are kindly invited to submit a brief outlook (abstract requirements: English language, maximum 300 words, original content) and key bullet points of the proposed paper for initial approval. Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute follows a transparent and fair policy in remunerating its regular and sporadic authors. Full details of the remuneration will be provided upon request.

Download the Publishing Process and Guidance Policy here.

Please send your abstract and CV to

Important Dates
- Brief outlook submission deadline: June 24, 2016
- Notification of acceptance: July 4, 2016
- Draft text of the Expert Opinions/Comments submission deadline: July 18, 2016
- Final text of the Expert Opinions/Comments submission deadline: August 1, 2016

Useful Files
1. Call for Papers: Expert Opinions and Comments
2. Publishing Process and Guidance Policy