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On Riots

Sudhir Venkatesh wondered recently on this blog why the Wall Street meltdown hadn’t set off a wave of rioting in the streets.

But riots may not be so far off, if the continuing unrest in Greece is any indication. (Take a look at a compelling set of photos from the always-compelling Big Picture blog.)

In The Atlantic, meanwhile, Robert Kaplan notes that while the Greek riots were sparked by the police-shooting death of a teenager, the stage was set by high youth unemployment and a weak government further undermined by an ailing economy.

As the economic crisis sets in around the world, Kaplan writes, the Greek riots “might eerily presage disturbances elsewhere in 2009.”