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Delhi ‘cracks’ Brussels: India’s mission to access the European market – by Pascaline Winand

February 24, 2015

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by Anurag Agnihotri – (CC BY 2.0)

 

The European Union and India might not seem like the most obvious of natural partners. Yet, as Professor Pascaline Winand writes, the story of their on-off engagement over the past 60-or-so years and their efforts to build a mature trade relationship have turned up a fascinating story of trade access and shifting realities.

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Global Plus Local Logistics: Asian-Pacific Rim Perspectives – by Peter J Rimmer

December 11, 2014

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Logistics-in-China

Logistics in the Asian-Pacific Rim is a complex and sometimes precarious business. Professor Peter J. Rimmer considers how to best understand logistics in this area and looks towards the future.

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Is interest-free banking the answer to our prayers? Bernard Lietaer and Islamic Banking – by Hans Visser

December 13, 2013

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photo credit: gfpeck via Flickr cc

photo credit: gfpeck via Flickr cc

Now that the conventional financial sector is in a bit of a mess, people are looking for alternatives. One solution that is enjoying popularity is the age-old ideal of interest-free banking. Two questions present themselves: 1. are the ideas behind interest-free banking sound, and 2. does it work? […]

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Prohibition of riba: Modernist vs. Orthodox and the ‘need’ for Islamic Financial Institutions – by Muhammad Akram Khan

August 29, 2013

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Islamic Design

photo credit: Masrur Ashraf via Flickr cc

The rationale for developing Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) parallel to Conventional Financial Institutions (CFIs) emanates from the Muslim orthodox interpretation that equates the Qur’anic prohibition of riba with all types of interest. Since the major business of CFIs involves dealing in interest, the orthodox interpretation concluded that the business of CFIs was prohibited in Islam. That led to the need for an alternative basis for banking business within the Islamic framework.

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The Durban Train: A Ten-Year Delay for the Planet? – by David Belis

June 27, 2013

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Nilgiri Mountain Train

photo credit: Shuba via Flickr cc

In a global context characterized by growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, there exists strong and increasingly convincing evidence that climate change is already having an impact in nearly all places on the globe and on a wide variety of natural and societal processes. When the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is finalized in 2014, the negotiations will be recalibrated in light of this new consensual knowledge base. As far as we can judge from the cumulative scientific evidence, attaining the 2°C goal will be highly unlikely unless there is a rapid and fundamental reversal in climate politics at the global level and in national policymaking. In fact, scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are calling for a peak in GHG emissions before 2020 and fast and deep cuts thereafter (IPCC 2007: 67). It is therefore no exaggeration to speak of this decade as the ‘pivotal decade’ in climate politics. A sense of urgency, hard and ambitious political commitments, the conclusion of a global deal, and practices of production and consumption adapted to the challenge are minimal requirements. This is beyond any doubt a daunting challenge and arguably one of a magnitude that humanity has never faced before.

 

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