EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionPower and CrisisTheory & Practice

Moral Sentiment and Moral Judgment after the Paris Attacks

On the problem of selective solidarity

Ever since the dust began to clear after what President Hollande rightfully called “the horror” of Friday night, my media consumption — yes, especially my Facebook feed (constantly refreshed with reflections from Public Seminar) …

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EssaysImaginal PoliticsPower and CrisisTheory & Practice

For the Last Time: “The West”

Revisiting the myth of the clash of civilizations

As information about the attacks in Paris, which left at least 128 people dead, gradually unfolds, I feel overwhelmed and disturbed. I am overwhelmed by the quantity of affective response to which I add my own grief, but I am also deeply disturbed by the way in which this affective reaction is channeled …

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EssaysPower and CrisisTheory & Practice

Winter is Coming for Refugees in Germany

On the humanity vs. the organization of refuge

It’s getting cold in Germany. It’s actually hard to believe that it has only been weeks since warm images of the “good” German went around the world, of thousands of people welcoming even more thousands of refugees with food, toys, and clothes at train stations throughout the country. It was only a few months ago that Angela Merkel transformed from the dictator of …

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EssaysPower and CrisisTheory & Practice

The Problem with Humanitarian Borders

Toward a new framework of justice

The language of humanitarianism has played a central role in recent political and media debates about undocumented migrants crossing into Europe and North America. The unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States reached the designation of “humanitarian crisis” last summer, i.e. 2014, whereas the most recent tipping point in the Mediterranean came in April 2015, when at least five boats sank and close to 1,200 people drowned …

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EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionPower and CrisisReligionTheory & Practice

The Ethics and Politics of Responsible Belief

On liberalism and faith

Prior to his death in June 2007, Richard Rorty turned his attention to religious belief and its place in the public sphere. Rorty had long been presenting himself as the “village atheist” in the domains both of academic philosophy and public intellectualism: he viewed religious belief as the most pervasive form of false metaphysical comfort, and as a political “conversation stopper” that is ineluctably at odds with the sort of foundationless liberal democracy he championed. But late in his career …

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