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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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