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The Globalist’s Top 10 Books of 2016

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Globalist Bookshelf,Best Of The GlobalistPreviousNextThe Globalist’s Top 10 Books of 2016The ten best books on key global issues we presented on The Globalist Bookshelf this year. ByThe Globalist, December 25, 2016
10.The Turbulent World of Middle East SoccerBy James M Dorsey (Oxford University Press)

Excerpt:
The “Boytrap”: When the Islamic State Goes to Play Soccer | With mosques under surveillance, IS turns to soccer for recruitment.
December 28, 2016 The Globalist's Top 10 Books of 2016 The ten best books on key global issues we presented on The Globalist Bookshelf this year.

Towards a New World Order in Eurasia? The Role of Russia and China

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RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: RSISPublications@ntu.edu.sgfor feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentary, Yang Razali Kassim. 
No. 310/2016 dated 22 December 2016

Towards a New World Order in Eurasia?
The Role of Russia and China
By James M Dorsey
Synopsis

A new Russian-led, China-backed Eurasia-centred world order may be in the making against the backdrop of alleged Russian cyber warfare against the US and Europe. Analysts see a pattern in Russian moves that could serve China’s interests should US president-elect Donald Trump adopt a more confrontational approach towards B…

Trump’s Middle East: Back to the Future

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RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: RSISPublications@ntu.edu.sgfor feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentary, Yang Razali Kassim. 

No. 304/2016 dated 15 December 2016

The Rise of Trump and Its Global Implications


Trump’s Middle East:
Back to the Future

By James M. Dorsey

Synopsis

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s clearest indication yet of his policy approach towards the Middle East and North Africa was tucked into a recent thank-you speech in Cincinnati. It is a transaction-based return to support of autocracy that is likely to tie him into knots and reinforce drivers of milit…

Istanbul bombings: Soccer in the bull’s eye

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By James M. Dorsey
Twin bombs in central Istanbul may not have targeted Besiktas JK’s newly refurbished Vodafone Arena stadium, but underscore the propaganda value of attacking a soccer match for both jihadist and non-jihadist groups. They also raise questions about counter-terrorism strategy.
The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a splinter of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blasts that targeted police on duty to maintain security at a match between top Turkish clubs Besiktas and Bursapor. Thirty-eight of the 30 people killed in the attacks were riot police.
Unlike the targeting of stadiums by jihadist groups such as the Islamic State’s attack on the Stade de France in Paris in November last year and its reportedly subsequent foiled attempts to bomb international matches in Belgium and Germany, the Falcon’s operation appeared designed to maximize police casualties and minimize civilian casualties.
American-Turkish soccer scholar and writer …

Has the Gulf cleaned up its act before Qatar 2022? (JMD quoted in The World Weekly)

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Has the Gulf cleaned up its act before Qatar 2022?
 A lack of transparency persists when it comes to migrant workers’ rights, a new report has found. But who is to blame? The plight of migrant workers in Gulf Arab countries was thrown into the spotlight several years ago when investigations revealed how dismal the working and housing conditions were for those building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Countless human rights violations were reported, revealing a dark side to the ‘beautiful game’.  The kafala sponsorship system, which is in place throughout the region, is widely seen as a source of exploitation. Migrant workers have reported confiscated passports, held back wages and employers’ refusal to grant exit visas. 
SUBMIT Under heightened public pressure, governments and companies pledged to improve the situation. The emir of Qatar approved new rules to the sponsorship system, supposed to make it easier to change jobs and being able to leave the country. How much h…

Trade unions challenge FIFA and Qatar World Cup in Swiss Court

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By James M. Dorsey
Two Bangladeshi and a Dutch trade union have sued FIFA in a Swiss court in legal proceedings that challenge the world soccer body’s awarding to Qatar of the 2022 World Cup because of the Gulf state’s controversial labour regime. The case could call into question group’s status as a non-profit and, if successful, open the door to a wave of claims against FIFA as well as Qatar and other Gulf states who employ millions of migrant workers.
The legal proceedings come at a crucial moment in efforts by trade unions and human rights groups to work with Qatar on reforming its kafala or labour sponsorship system that puts workers at the mercy of their employers.
Those efforts, a unique undertaking in a part of the world in which governments by and large refuse to engage and repress or bar their critics, have already produced initial results. The question is how far Qatar intends to push ahead with reform and to what degree it will feel the need to do so in a world in which …

Qatari and FIFA pledges on worker rights have little impact on construction companies

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By James M. Dorsey
A recent survey of construction companies involved in World Cup-related infrastructure projects in Qatar raises questions about whether the Gulf state and world soccer body FIFA are doing all that could do to enforce international standards for the living and working conditions of migrant workers as well as adherence to human rights.
The issue of Qatar and FIFA’s sincerity is underscored by the fact that a majority of 100 companies operating in Qatar as well as the United Arab Emirates, which prides itself on enacting the region’s most advanced labour-related legislation and regulation, felt no need in a recent survey to be transparent about their commitment to labour and human rights. The apparent lack of pressure on companies suggests that Qatar and FIFA have so far passed on opportunities to enforce adherence to standards.
Both Qatar and FIFA have been under pressure from human rights groups and trade unions to reform the Gulf state’s onerous kafala or labour sp…