With his campaign chair Paul Manafort mired in scandal and polls showing Arizona and Georgia on the brink of going blue, an increasingly agitated Donald Trump has launched a major shake-up of his political staff. Reportedly infuriated by talk of being "tamed," the Republican nominee has rejected Manafort's moderating sway in favor of Breitbart News CEO Steve* Bannon, an alt-right firebrand who Bloomberg has called "the most dangerous political operative in America." Washington Post reporter Robert Costa foresees a vicious campaign in the making, a prospect further suggested by rumors that disgraced Fox News founder Roger Ailes will be advising Trump ahead of next months' debates with Hillary Clinton (whose odds of a landslide are currently on par with that of any Trump victory). [more inside]
The New Face of India Is the Anti-Gandhi - "The violence, insecurity, and rage of Narendra Modi." (via)
The three party system - "There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons." [more inside]
What Russians really think - "Many in the west see Russia as aggressive and brainwashed. But its citizens have a different view." Meanwhile,[1,2] in Moscow and Lviv...
Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice - "Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China's Christian population the largest in the world. Mr Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire." [more inside]
Francis Fukuyama on 'The End of History?' twenty-five years later: "liberal democracy still doesn't have any real competitors," but to get there... [more inside]
Australian Exceptionalism "Let that phrase roll off your tongue... now stop laughing if you can." [more inside]
In Europe, bail-out and immigration fears have led to the rise of nationalism and xenophobia, a crisis that now threatens the EU itself. Right-wing euroskeptic parties and politicians have gained in power, such as the True Finns, they can roughly be seen as "Europe's Tea Parties". Greece is talking about dropping the Euro currency (due to Finnish demands), other PIGS could be next. Denmark has introduced custom checks at its borders again, seeking to stop the flow of intra euro traffic, while France and Italy have raised the possibility of reintroducing their own border controls.
Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of The Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope and Focus of its National Factions is a new study that released today, just two weeks before the US midterm elections, by The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Sponsored by the NAACP, it reports that the Tea Party movement is “permeated with concerns about race” and has “given platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots.” [more inside]
Lying in International Politics is a 2004 speech given by John J. Mearsheimer which reminded me of yesterday's post on but controveral but well spoken Michael Ignatieff. Mearsheimer argues that...
"...international lying takes four forms. Inter-state lying is where states lie to each other to gain strategic advantage. Fear-mongering is where foreign policy elites lie to their own public because they believe that the people do not recognize the seriousness of an external threat and they need to be motivated to deal with it. Nationalist myth-making is where elites tell lies about their state’s history to help foster a powerful sense of national identity among all segments of society. Anti-realist lying is where elites attempt to disguise brutal behavior carried out in pursuit of realist (or other) goals, because it conflicts with widely-accepted liberal norms." (more...)(Mearsheimer has recently been covered on mefi on a more controversial subject.)
Prone to Violence FROM THE French Revolution to contemporary Iraq, the beginning phase of democratization in unsettled circumstances has often spurred a rise in militant nationalism. Democracy means rule by the people, but when territorial control and popular loyalties are in flux, a prior question has to be settled: Which people will form the nation? Nationalist politicians vie for popular support to answer that question in a way that suits their purposes. When groups are at loggerheads and the rules guiding domestic politics are unclear, the answer is more often based on a test of force and political manipulation than on democratic procedures.
Armenian Genocide Plagues Ankara 90 Years On This weekend, Armenians commemorated the 90th anniversary of the genocide of 1915. But Turkey has yet to recognize the crime -- the first genocide of the 20th century. By refusing to use the word "genocide," Turkey could complicate its efforts to join the European Union.