Separate surnames: the breakdown of families vs. the emancipation of women by Karl Jakob Krogness, Ph.D., Ritsumeikan University

December 21, 2009 - 10:07 -

In the last days of August, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) put a decisive end to the Liberal Democratic Party’s  (LDP) half century of practically uninterrupted rule. Soon after, 29 September, the new minister of justice, Keiko Chiba (DPJ), announced she would introduce early next year a bill for revising the Civil Code in order to introduce an optional separate surnames system for married couples. Such a bill would arguably reform the family model that has ruled Japanese social life for over a century.

Vikings vs the new economic superpower: the Tibet issue in Sino-Danish relations by Clemens Stubbe Østergaard, Aarhus Univ.

December 14, 2009 - 04:47 -

Danes love to have their cake and eat it. Or as the
Danish expression goes: to blow air and yet keep flour in your mouth. In the
past, before globalization, we could say one thing at home, and do something
else abroad. Or we could rely on being so insignificant that others did not
bother to react to contradictory policies on our part. Being a small country,
though, has never prevented us from imagining ourselves a great power – perhaps
remembering Viking times. A number of times we accordingly collided with

Keep an eye on China’s sector for renewable energy by Nis Høyrup Christensen, Ph.d. DI

December 9, 2009 - 07:30 -

In the global struggle to combat climate change China’s sector renewable
energy is becoming of increasing importance. High targets for renewable energy
(hydro, solar, wind, biomass and biofuel), continued economic growth and the
simultaneously increasing needs for energy means that the market looks
extremely promising. In this brief note it is argued that five factors will
work to make the sector one of the most dynamic places for developing renewable
energy solutions.


Climate Change and Conflict by Olivier Rubin, NIAS

December 7, 2009 - 03:32 -

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) and Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize
Committee noted that their work could ‘contribute to a sharper focus on the
processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s
future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind.’ Yet,
in spite of this prestigious award, surprisingly little academic evidence has
been produced within IPPC or elsewhere that point to a strong link between
climate change and conflict. In fact, most peer-reviewed studies based on