10 November 2014   Leave a comment

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit is currently being held in Beijing.  Chinese President Xi is using the summit to demonstrate China’s growing power in world affairs, and US President Obama is using the summit to prove that the US is still a major player in world affairs–a claim that grew more urgent as other powers believe that the outcome of the recent US elections has weakened Obama tremendously.   Obama is also using the forum to urge China to shoulder greater responsibilities in managing world affairs.  By and large, however, the interactions between the US and China have been cordial and respectful, a very encouraging sign.

There have been new acts of violence committed in East Jerusalem as Israelis have been stabbed and run over by cars.  The renewed violence stems from a perceived threat by Muslims to access to the Noble Sanctuary.  What is most interesting about this wave of violence is that it does not appear to be coordinated in any way by the Palestinian Authority, unlike the first and second Intifadas.  Most likely, the violence represents an increased level of frustration and desperation on the individual level.  As such, it does not represent “political” violence of a normal sort: there is no tangible objective to the violence.  The danger of such unorganized violence is that it is very difficult to control, and responses to it will likely be random and chaotic as well.  At some point, some group will organize the frustration and anger, but it is difficult to assess how focused the activity will be.

Protests in Mexico have continued as further questions have arisen over the government’s role in the murder of 43 student teachers.  In addition, the government of President Pena Nieto has been rocked by accusations of financial corruption as well.  Questions of corruption have been a pervasive element of virtually all protests against governments across the globe since the Arab Spring in 2011.  The loss of faith in government is a deeply troubling development in world politics. Legitimacy, once lost, is very difficult to regain.

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Posted November 11, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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