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An unlikely artistic alliance: the wartime Britons who saved and celebrated German art

From Kandinsky to Klee, the Nazi party deemed entire swathes of artistic movements as worthless and degenerate. The English city Leicester provided a home to these Central European masterpieces. These exhibitions forged a peaceful bridge between communities and provided the city’s inhabitants with much needed respite from their hardships.

queen funeral

The Elizabethan era is laid to rest

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was a chance for Britons to reflect upon their national identity and consider how their nation has transformed over the past seventy years. It also marked the beginning of a new period of uncertainty.

cultural exchange

The cultural conversation of mankind

Isolationist thinking and exceptionalism is on the rise and our global culture is the poorer for it. Our civilisations thrive when in conversation with each other: ideas are exchanged and self-reflection is promoted.

polybius

Four reasons to study Polybius — most practical of ancient historians

With something of a tedious regularity, furious debates flare up among political scientists over the value of Thucydides to their theories of international relations. If the Athenian historian is so disproportionately cited and sparred over, it is because his work is often the lone classical text shoehorned into contemporary international relations curricula. This is regrettable, for there are many ancient historians from whom modern-day students could glean much insight and wisdom. Polybius provides one such example.

humanity vs algorithm

Algorithms vs Humanity

What sort of humanist thinking should we be pursuing in the age of smart machines? Is humanism compatible with AI? Or do humans need to think of smart digital tech as a species threat?

gorbachev give chance russia

Mikhail Gorbachev gave Russia a chance

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev had the singular misfortune of living long enough to watch some of his most important achievements reversed by his myopic successors. But he did accomplish something great. He gave Russia a chance, a chance since stupidly squandered.

manufacturing technology

The economy and the paradox of technology

Since the Industrial Revolution, technology has greatly enhanced humanity’s capacity to shape the world through manufacturing and finance. However, these technological developments also have the potential to exacerbate crises and stoke division.

john von neumann

How the information age really began

While the foundations of computing may have been laid by the likes of Babbage and Lovelace, it was John von Neumann’s report on the EDVAC system which transformed abstract musings into a canonical blueprint for the stored-program computer.

ukraine adaptation winning war

How Ukraine is winning in the adaptation battle against Russia

The axiom ‘adapt or die’ is never more true than in war. The Ukrainian army’s willingness to modify its approach has been integral to its survival. The ability of other nations to learn the importance of adaptation will likely dictate the outcome of future conflicts.

intelligence plane peace

Spies as agents of peace

Secret intelligence is ultimately a tool of statecraft. How leaders use this tool and how others respond, depends on whether their policy goals and strategic beliefs are geared towards peace or conflict.

data surveillance

Who’s seeing your data and why?

While many social media users shrug their shoulders at the thought of tech companies selling their data, the transmission is unlikely to stop there. With China’s new data protection laws, Beijing could have access to the sensitive information of billions of smartphone owners.

Vladimir Putin at an EU-Russia summit in Brussels.

What drives Vladimir Putin?

Putin’s justifications for invading Ukraine uncannily reflect the motivations of one of Russian literature’s most famous antiheroes, Dostoevsky’s Rodion Raskolnikov. Both believe themselves to be unconstrained by conventional morality.

Estonia digital democracy

How to fix the future, Estonian style

Rather than protecting individual data privacy, the fate of democracy in our networked age might depend on establishing a new, radically transparent contract of trust between government and citizens. Estonia is leading the way.

Abandoned factory Detroit

Globalisation: why it went into retreat

Thanks to cold war, hot war, and the revived quest of many nations for a degree of industrial self-sufficiency, free market globalisation has peaked for the foreseeable future.

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