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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Politics”

China’s Xi Jinping And Russia’s Vladimir Putin Are Putting Strongman Politics Back On The Map

Strongman politics is back. And for anyone who thought otherwise, a quick peruse of this weekend’s headlines should help set them straight. In Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping received a thunderous ovation at the Great Hall of the People as he was sworn in for a second term, just minutes after receiving a unanimous mandate to do so and less than a week after lawmakers voted to revise the constitution and remove the two-term limit. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin became Russian president for the fourth time.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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What Does Mark Zuckerberg’s Pledge Of Fixing Facebook’s Issues Mean For The Fate Of News On The Platform?

The question had been raised before: What if Facebook, struggling with the global “fake news” problem, just threw up its Like hands and de-prioritised news altogether? In the dawn of 2018, it doesn’t seem as far fetched anymore. Mark Zuckerberg’s goal for the new year (joining previous annual goals of visiting all 50 U.S. states, running 365 miles in a year, and building an AI system for his home) is now focusing on fixing Facebook’s issues of abuse, hate, foreign interference, and mindless scrolling (maybe). But how does “fixing” affect the distribution of legitimate news?

Read Here – NiemanLab

2017 Was The Year Of False Promise In The Fight Against Populism

Populist movements have been on the rise for at least two decades, but anxiety about the phenomenon reached its high point a year ago. That should be no surprise. 2016 was the year in which populism went primetime: Over the course of a few disorienting months, the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union and the people of the United States made Donald Trump their president. Most commentators around the world assumed that 2017 would bring even more shocking news. The world as we knew it might be about to end. A year on, it is clear that such fears were exaggerated.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

The New Language Of European Populism

Civilizationist populism was first pioneered a decade and a half ago by the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. A stylish, openly gay, former Marxist sociologist, Fortuyn transformed himself, in the months before his 2002 assassination, into a stunningly successful politician by breaking taboos and challenging the dull, consensual style of Dutch politics. Fortuyn was of course not the first to tap into popular anxieties about immigration or to blame immigrants for crime and urban disorder.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Trump Isn’t Sure If Democracy Is Better Than Autocracy

What a difference a couple of decades make. Back in the early to mid-1990s, Americans (and some others) were pretty much convinced that U.S.-style liberal democracy was the wave of the future worldwide…Fast-forward to 2017, however, and autocracy seems back in vogue. Russia has reverted to de facto dictatorship, Chinese President Xi Jinping has consolidated more power than any leader since Mao, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has undertaken a wide-ranging purge of potential opponents and consolidated vast power in his own hands.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Would The World Be More Peaceful If There Were More Women Leaders?

The fear of appearing weak affects modern women leaders too, according to Caprioli, perhaps causing them to over-compensate on issues of security and defence. She notes that women who emulate men, such as Thatcher, Meir and India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi – who claimed to be a ‘biform human being’, neither man nor woman – are more likely to succeed as political leaders. They must also contend with negative stereotypes from male opponents…

Read Here – Aeon

Broad Support For Representative And Direct Democracy Globally, But Many Also Endorse Non-Democratic Alternatives

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country. Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military.

Read Here – Pew Research

Making The Most Of A Coup

No state leader likes the thought of putschists plotting to bring him or her down. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan certainly knows how to make the most out of a coup attempt. In the year since a faction of the military tried to overthrow his administration, the Turkish president has neutralised a large swath of his political opposition, undertaken major reforms to enhance his powers and stayed the course with his expansionist foreign policy.

Read Here – Stratfor

How to Hate Each Other Peacefully In A Democracy

It is difficult to imagine it now, but continental Europe struggled with foundational divides—with periodic warnings of civil war—as recently as the 1950s. Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands were divided into ideologically opposed subcultures, sometimes called “spiritual families” or “pillars.” These countries became models of “consensual democracy,” where the subcultures agreed to share power through creative political arrangements.

In A Deluge Of New Media, Autocrats Swim And Democracies Sink

Populist leaders often claim to speak for “the people,” a unified mass that supposedly represents the authentic core of the nation. They pose as champions of the people’s interests, but gradually conflate their personal interests with those of the people. Citizens who oppose the leader are depicted as somehow alien to the nation, traitorous agents of foreign powers or converts to degenerate foreign values. It is the media, willingly or not, that ultimately cement this conceptual bond between leader and public.

Read Here – World Affairs

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