Warren Weertman

Latvia and the politics of permanent austerity

In 2008 Latvia was hit by the economic crisis that saw its economy shrink substantially. In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, Latvia’s GDP slumped by 10.5% compared to the same period in 2007. Prior to the financial crisis, the Latvian economy had been growing rapidly for a number of years. In response to its…

9 Comments Continue Reading →

Why exchange controls aren’t going anywhere

So there is the on-going saga that is exchange controls. Every year there is also the usual pontificating, at national budget time, on the future of exchange controls. The financial pundits will all agree that exchange controls need to go and that maybe this is finally the year that the minister of finance will pluck…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

We need to talk about Greece and other spendthrifts

Neoliberals and fiscal conservatives, look away now … In response to my last blog posting a few people raised the following argument in relation to state spending: if you spend more than you consume, at some point you have to cut back and live within your means. After all, as an individual or company, if…

11 Comments Continue Reading →

Greece, an African tragedy

When the troika (the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission) rode into town, the Greeks didn’t have to look far too to see what impact the troika’s policies would have on them. Just across the Mediterranean lay an entire continent littered with examples of failed IMF policies. Greece has, in essence, become another African…

23 Comments Continue Reading →

Egypt: How not to do a political transition

You’ve been elected in your country’s first democratic election. Well done. That’s the easy bit done. Now you need to actually start governing. That, as Morsi found out in Egypt, is the difficult bit. Reasons abound for the overthrow of the Morsi government in Egypt. I want to focus on two issues: inclusive leadership and…

2 Comments Continue Reading →

Predistribution

I recently finished reading The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. I last read the book shortly after it was first released in 2009. The book made quite a splash at the time in the UK, but I don’t recall a similar fuss being made about the book in South Africa. But I…

15 Comments Continue Reading →

To polder, or not to polder, dike is the question

By way of introduction, a polder is Dutch for land that has been reclaimed from the sea. As the saying goes, God created the world, but the Dutch created the Netherlands. So what do polders have to do with this blog? Post Second World War Dutch society was characterised by, what the British press derisively…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Another year, another Commonwealth blog

Its possibly part of my genetic makeup, but I am a firm believer in consensus (or what the Dutch call “poldermodel”) and multilateralism. In essence, everyone needs to adhere to the rules in order to ensure that life can operate in a fairly predictable manner. In December 2009 I blogged about the potential role that…

2 Comments Continue Reading →

The passing of a maidriarch

All of last week I was thinking that I need to contact one of the most important people in my life — my nanny, Florence Mbuli. Something inside me told me that I needed to contact her and thank her for making me the person I am today. I found out on Sunday morning that…

32 Comments Continue Reading →

Are we the ‘Germany’ of Southern Africa?

I have recently been doing some research on the concept of hegemony and the various theoretical models used in political science to analyse this concept. Without boring readers with the various academic arguments and their ideological underpinnings, I have been looking at the role of South Africa in the Southern African region and the foreign…

12 Comments Continue Reading →
Page 112