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  1. World
30 December 2016

Best of the NS in 2016: World

Our best pieces from the past year. In this selection, our favourite writing about foreign affairs.

By New Statesman

Photo: Moises Saman/Magnum

The price of a life 

By Sophie McBain

In 2014, Islamic State fighters murdered thousands of Yazidis and kidnapped many others, mostly women and children. Their desperate relatives are now trying to buy them back.

How Vladimir Putin lost Ukraine 

By Elizabeth Pond

Putin’s war cost Russia its centuries-long shared identity with its neighbour. Now, Kyiv risks betraying the spirit of the Maidan revolution.

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Demolishing purgatory: what happens to the refugees when Calais’s “Jungle” is destroyed?

By Anoosh Chakelian

We meet evicted inhabitants of Europe’s largest slum, which is being bulldozed by the French authorities.

Syria’s world war: how the West allowed Russian and Iran to take control

By John Jenkins

As the civil war rages on, Syria has become a theatre for great-power rivalry, with Russia and Iran turning cynical opportunism into high policy.


Illustration: Ralph Steadman

What would a Trump presidency mean for the rest of the world?

By Brendan Simms

It would be wrong to hope that either domestic or international checks and balances will constrain Trump abroad. Geopolitically, the result would be unpredictable – at best.

Brothers in blood: how Putin has helped Assad tear Syria apart

By Shiraz Maher

The Syrian catastrophe has created the worst humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War. And the world watches helplessly as Putin and Assad commit war crimes.

Second life: one refugee family’s journey to Hull, via Darfur, Tripoli and Cairo

By Sophie McBain

In 2015 the government’s Gateway programme offered 750 refugees the chance to resettle in the UK. Our writer followed one family for six months as they made the journey to England. This article won the feature writing prize at the Amnesty Media Awards in November 2016.

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Fight to the death in Mosul

By Quentin Somerville

The street-by-street battle against Islamic State for control of Iraq’s second city.

Europe’s states of disorder

By John Gray

Those optimistically talking about a “soft Brexit” are missing the bigger picture.


Mass democracy has failed – it’s time to seek a humane alternative

By Rowan Williams

Trump’s theatrical politics are a betrayal of the disenfranchised. To move forward, we need better analysis of and investment in local civic activism.

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