• China Visit Exposes Cracks in Swiss Neutrality

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    Swiss President Ueli Maurer’s recent visit to China shows the complexity of Switzerland’s neutrality in the face of current geopolitical realities. The Swiss President and Finance Minister spent seven days in China, part of the time attending the second Belt and Road Forum on international cooperation. He also signed a memorandum of understanding with China focusing on finance and trade and even had a bilateral official meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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  • Walking Thoughts

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    Some thoughts after a strenuous week walking 100 kilometers along the Northern Way to Santiago de Compostela, from Bilbao to Laredo:

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  • A Personal Story of Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

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    “Peace through pieces,” David Mittrany wrote. In a world of increasing violence, now even in Geneva junior high schools, one appreciates more and more small acts of generosity. For all the advantages of technology, there has been a loss of positive face-to-face interaction. Ordering with Amazon is not the same as visiting the neighborhood bookstore. Buying by catalogue is not the same as negotiating with a local salesperson. Calling out for pizza is not the same as being greeted with a friendly smile by a familiar waiter in your favorite restaurant. Driving alone in a car with the radio blasting separates one from any contact with the surroundings.

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  • Are Academics Academic?

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    The dictionary defines academic as “educational, scholastic,” as well as “not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest.” After spending a week at an academic conference with eminent university scholars of international relations, I find it appropriate to question the relationship between the two definitions. Were the scholars and their scholastic writings “not of practical relevance” and “only of theoretical interest”?

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