EssaysMedia & Publics

The Politics of Disinviting

On education and engagement with ideas

The tactic of disinviting controversial speakers has become increasingly common across college campuses. Consider, for example, what happened to the Iranian-born human rights activist Maryam Namazie (a prominent anti-racist activist and a central committee member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran), who was …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Will There be Real Change in Argentina?

On the Macri election

Argentina has a new president, but the same traditional presidentialist system remains. After more than a decade of the Kirchners in power (2003-2015), the new president Mauricio Macri was elected because he convinced Argentine voters that he was the candidate of “change.” …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

The Tragedy of the 2015 Turkish Elections

Examining the AKP victory

The November 2015 election brought a landslide victory to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), increasing its vote almost nine points in 5 months. This surprising comeback would be hard to explain in an ordinary situation where such drastic shifts in voting in a short time period would not be expected. However, it …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe Left

After the Victory of The Law and Justice Party

Envisioning a perfect right-wing religious Poland

Karl Marx famously claimed that history repeats itself twice, first as tragedy, then as farce. Sadly, the recent parliamentary elections in Poland seem to show that actually the opposite can happen as well. Although the 2005 parliamentary victory of the Law and Justice (PiS) party ended in a short-lived coalition with two …

CapitalismEssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Neoliberal B Team Win Canadian Election

Assessing the conservative defeat

The decisive defeat of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was the big news of the 2015 Canadian election. Harper resigned as party leader, and the dirty laundry of his heavily controlled campaign is now being aired publicly. The Harper reelection campaign drew deeply on racist and Islamaphobic politics, attacking a Federal Court of Appeal decision …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Twenty Years after Rabin’s Death: The Oslo Illusion

Looking back in the midst of the Third Intifada

Mahmoud Abbas made headlines last month when he announced in the U.N’s General Assembly that the Palestinians would no longer “continue to be bound” by the Oslo Agreements. He had warned that he was going to drop a “bombshell,” but given that Oslo has been dead for several years already, the significance of …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

The “Moderate” Contribution to Campaign Extremism

Going back in conservative history

Not content to run John Boehner out of office, the most extreme members of the Republican caucus tried to scuttle plans to elect Randian conservative Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House because they found Ryan too “left wing” for their tastes. “Do you know how crazy this election is?” …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionTheory & Practice

You Say You Don’t Want a Revolution

Conservatism, radicalism, and democracy in 2015

The New York Times’ David Brooks has long been the conservative that liberals hate to love (or at least like). It is easy to see why. Brooks accepts the possibility of reasonable disagreement with the likes of liberals such as Mark Shields or E.J. Dionne, is rarely shrill, and seems to acknowledge the idea that argument and civil discourse are important aspects of a pundit’s professional life on any point of the spectrum. He is, if nothing else, “genteel” …