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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “political thought”

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

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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 through creative political arrangements.

How To Save Capitalism From Itself

Social democracy now lies in ruins, its ragbag of policies rejected by electorates. Its heyday was the trente glorieuses, 1945–75, but, as Marc Levinson recounts in An Extraordinary Time, the splendid outcomes during these years cannot be attributed primarily to good economic policy choices.

Read Here – The Times Literary Supplement

All Around The World, Nationalists Are Gaining Ground. Why?

All societies draw on nationalism of one sort or another to define relations between the state, the citizen and the outside world. Craig Calhoun, an American sociologist, argues that cosmopolitan elites, who sometimes yearn for a post-nationalist order, underestimate “how central nationalist categories are to political and social theory—and to practical reasoning about democracy, political legitimacy and the nature of society itself.”

Read Here – The Economist

Donald Trump And The Death Of American Exceptionalism

In the sixteen months since he declared his candidacy, Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign has elicited comparisons to those of George Wallace and Barry Goldwater, to the hallucinatory paranoia of Joseph McCarthy, to the fascist preoccupations of Charles Lindbergh, and to lesser lights of American demagoguery like Father Coughlin and the Know-Nothings of the nineteenth century.

Read  Here – The New Yorker

Why Populists Lose Elections

Populists, for instance, should not be confused with authoritarians and despots; they embrace the “democratic competition for power” instead of subverting it. Furthermore, populism “is not an ideology” but a political and moral rhetoric that pits ordinary people (noble victims) against elites (treacherously self-serving).

Read Here – BloombergView

The Coming Anti-National Revolution

The next revolution will not abolish the consequences of place of birth, but the privileges of nationhood will be tempered. While the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment around the world today seems to point in the opposite direction, the sense of injustice will be amplified as communications continue to grow. Ultimately, recognition of wrong will wreak big changes.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

The Posh Boys Are having It bad

The blending of left- and right-wing programs is hardly novel. The Nazis proudly called themselves National Socialists. And Mussolini, who started out as a diehard socialist, didn’t give up his core belief in state control even after he found a more effective way of rousing disaffected Italian masses. From the late 19th century onwards, political movements and parties on the right have combined xenophobic patriotism and economic nationalism.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Alternate Diplomacy

Chinese president Xi Jinping has certainly kept China experts busy since he came to power in 2012. Xi has made major changes to Chinese policies, domestic and foreign. These policies have been quite different from those of his predecessors, keeping China scholars occupied explaining their meaning and implications.

Read Here – The Diplomat

And Where Is The World Going?

Whatever the reasons for observed differences in social adaptive capacities, it follows that some societies will be roiled more and others less when significant change and associated accelerated pluralization occur on a planetary scale, as is occurring today. Some societies are thus bound to be seen as causing or “owning” the sources of change while others are seen, and will often see themselves, as being on the receiving end of forces believed to threaten their corporate identity and dignity as individuals.

Read Here – National Affairs

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