The current rare earths crisis is not a stand-alone event. In 2010, the elements captured both international headlines and the attention of policymakers and industry globally when a geopolitical incident between China and Japan revealed how the world had grown almost exclusively dependent on China for rare earth mining, processing, production, and export. Prices skyrocketed,… Continue reading Rare earths: A catalyst to geopolitical realignments.
Workshop at Peking University November 24, 2018, “Global Environmental Visions and Governance: Perspectives on China’s Relationship with the European Union,” part of the 4th Scientific Forum of LMU’s China Academic Network (ChAN).
Obscure though they have been in the past, rare earths represent some of the most precious enabling elements for the operation of high tech, renewables, and defense technologies, everything from smartphones and medical technologies to wind turbines, energy efficient lighting, smart bombs, and submarines. While they are not particularly "rare" in availability, they are difficult… Continue reading Rare Earth Geopolitics: A case of Economic Statecraft?
I just got back from watching a Greek production of West Side Story. Though I am familiar with the movie, the songs and of course the music and the plot, attending this performance in the middle of the wave of mass population movement made me give the performance my undivided attention. Racism, violence, belonging and… Continue reading West Side Story, Migration, and the Crisis
It is no secret that the media has been one of the most powerful means of communication. The interpretation that each media outlet gives to crucial issues affects the way people understand the news and help shape their opinions. The refugee crisis in Greece has been widely covered during the past months due to the… Continue reading A Humanitarian Crisis In The News
I have been attending the 17th annual Symi symposium on Kos Island entitled Exodus: Population movements in a changing world. Naturally, it’s the refugee crisis that’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But is it only the refugee crisis seen from the perspective of European member states? In a session about the Brexit and its… Continue reading Migration, Refugees and Free movement of People
We arrived in Athens during a unique moment in the crisis. As we began our research, the holy month of Ramadan was just beginning; the fasting and the heat of the summer seemed to increase impatience in the camps. Most of the refugees here have been in limbo for a few months since the borders… Continue reading Snapshot of the current moment in Greece
The past two evenings, I have visited my friends in the Hotel City Plaza to celebrate Eid, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. After a month of fasting, people are dancing, eating sweets, and sending happy selfies to loved ones around the world. Last night, my friend’s two children (who are already speaking… Continue reading Celebrating Eid in Athens
A recurring theme in our conversations with refugees is how their living conditions in Greece are tied in to their feelings of dignity and self-reliance. Some camps, like the camp at the abandoned Elliniko airport, are mostly sustained by humanitarian organizations that provide daily meals, portable toilets, and medical care. People who spend time in… Continue reading Dignified Housing