Discovering the Basque roots of the American dream

Why visiting small museums can expand your knowledge of the broader world

Discovering the Basque roots of the American dreamThe Untzi Museoa is a modest naval museum in San Sebastian, an important Basque community on the eastern verge of Spain’s northern coast. San Sabastian’s relationship with the sea goes back to the early 1200s, when its prominent Mount Urgull was first fortified to ward off French attacks on its diverse community of traders, merchant…

Turning an inner-city wasteland into a thriving cultural hub

How the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a bastion of contemporary art, resurrected a community and why others should follow its lead

Turning an inner-city wasteland into a thriving cultural hubIn 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened on the estuary of the Nervion River and immediately became the template for all new cultural institution architecture worldwide. Frank Gehry was the building’s visionary architect. His Spanish client was the Basque administration, along with new York’s Guggenheim Foundation. They sought to use architecture and contemporary art to…

Paradise lost: dark economic clouds gather over Spain

The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is betting against Spain. Investors should wonder why

Paradise lost: dark economic clouds gather over SpainSpain is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a beach holiday, but its business climate is less welcoming at the moment, thanks to a huge hedge fund bet. The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, has bet $22 billion that the share prices of several European companies will go down. The…

Does the Catalonian crisis signal the end of the nation state?

Across the globe, a deep and growing frustration with the nationalist status quo is driving regional politics

Does the Catalonian crisis signal the end of the nation state?The Spanish government's response to the Catalonian independence movement is a reminder of just how fragile nation states have become in the modern world. Mind you, it's hard to imagine a less helpful response than Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's chosen option, arrogantly removing popular regional leaders and imposing direct rule. This is just the…

Democratic angst and independence turmoil

In Hillary Clinton’s mind, it’s everyone else’s fault. So she’ll continue to hog centre stage and suck up the political oxygen

Democratic angst and independence turmoilTwo topics jump out from the current news. One is the continuing Democratic Party angst over the 2016 U.S. election. The other is the recurrent propensity for independence movements to stir things up. On the Democratic front, Hillary Clinton’s promotion of her new book What Happened is Exhibit A. There’s nothing wrong with authors promoting…