‘Thomas Piketty   believes  equality must be promoted politically if democracies are to protect themselves from oligarchical rule.’ Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

World View: Piketty warns of swing towards oligarchy

Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond holds a public discussion on Scottish independence at the Volunteer Rooms in Irvine, Scotland.

Outcome of two key referendums will shape future British- Irish relations

‘Observers noted a sharper edge to US diplomacy over Ukraine. It reflects an impatience with European caution about sanctions on Russia and a realisation that the US has less to lose.’ Photograph: Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA

World View: Declining European military spending is a longer-standing US complaint

‘If one side can arbitrarily change the terms of agreed co-operation on energy, is it worth the effort involved?’. Above, British Prime Minister David Cameron and  Taoiseach Enda Kenny  outside No  10 Downing Street, London, this week.  Photograph: Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images

World View: Three-month window on wind energy deal

Demonstrators ride atop an armored vehicle through a street near Independence Square in Kiev earlier this week. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/The New York Times

Opinion: Role of German, French and Polish foreign ministers was highly significant

Opinion: A vote for independence would be a traumatic jolt for the DUP in particular

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamonn Gilmore with  Peter Robinson and  Martin McGuinness. Photograph: PA

Opinion: Ireland has been described as a first world country with a third world memory

Last waltz? Europe traditionally relied on the Franco-German pairing. But now the couple seems unable to compromise for the greater good of the wider union.

Opinion: Barroso and Draghi at odds on whether the crisis can yet be said to be over

David Thornley, political analyst and later practising politician, with Charlie McCreevy. Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

Opinion: There is an argument in favour of allowing academics to pursue their own intellectual interests

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