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Will Democracy Die Last?

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, prominent international relations experts such as the late French political philosopher Pierre Hassner argued that the world was witnessing a process of competitive decay between the United States and the Soviet Union. For the latter, the conflict in Afghanistan..

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The Fall and Rise of Public Heroism Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Recently I watched The Man Who Was Too Free, a moving documentary about the Russian dissident politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down in front of the Kremlin in 2015. A young, handsome rising political star in the 1990s, Nemtsov later refused to bend to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s..

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Inside the Hong Kong Protests

Whether it happens now or in 28 years, when the “one country, two systems” framework is set to expire, millions of people in Hong Kong want to stave off the inevitable: the city’s forced integration into mainland China. And yet there are deep divisions within Hong Kong about how to prevent..

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Is Britain Becoming a Failed State? Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

What is a failed state? Not so long ago, when I was Britain’s Overseas Development Minister, and later European Commissioner for External Affairs, I would probably have tried to answer the question by pointing to specific examples, including several countries in Latin America and Africa. I would..

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Remembering the Miracle of 1989 Monday, August 19th, 2019

This month marks 30 years since Europe – and human civilization generally – began to undergo a miraculous transformation that is now etched in the world’s memory. By the summer of 1989, the Soviet Union was already in terminal decline. The only question was whether communism would..

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No Deal Chaos: The Brexit Cliff Face and Operation Yellowhammer Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Britain’s Boris Johnson is driving his country to the cliff face, along the way mouthing and spouting all manner of populist reassurances. Still fresh in the job, he declared that UK preparations for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, when Britain would leave the European Union, would receive a..

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God, Guns and Video Games Friday, August 16th, 2019

The din struck by videos of the gaming variety; its forced causal link (always alleged, never proved) to altering conduct, continues its relentless march across the discussion forums in the United States and beyond. The almost casual butcheries – actual, not as opposed to digital – have gone on..

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A Wake-Up Call for Human Rights Thursday, August 15th, 2019

The world is going to pot, and the human-rights movement is largely to blame. That bizarre critique, popular with dictators and criminals, has taken hold even among some rights supporters who are stunned by the assault on liberal values that defines our age. Having proven unable to halt the..

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Will China mend it’s ways after Hong Kong protest ? Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Protest by residents of Hong Kong against Chinese government’s move to implement Extradition Bill in Hong Kong have been going on for around 10 weeks now. Chinese government bowed down to the pressure applied by the protesters by suspending implementation of controversial law but the protestors..

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Trump’s One-Way Economy Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Nowadays, when people ask me how I am, I answer, jokingly, that I’m doing great, so long as I ignore Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States, Brexit, the crisis of the United Kingdom’s major political parties, and the performance of Manchester United. But recently, the litany of..

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What’s Behind America’s Mass Shootings?

After every mass shooting in the United States, Americans and others around the world are confronted with the question of what lies behind this distinctly American horror. Though total gun deaths in the US have actually declined over time, mass shootings (those with at least four victims) have..

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A Tiananmen Solution in Hong Kong? Monday, August 12th, 2019

The crisis in Hong Kong appears to be careening toward a devastating climax. With China’s government now using rhetoric reminiscent of that which preceded the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters – and, indeed, its democracy – could well be in grave..

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Democracies in Danger

By abruptly revoking the special, constitutionally protected status of Jammu and Kashmir, India has become the latest major democracy to act against a minority community for short-term political popularity. Kashmir will henceforth be ruled more directly from the government in New Delhi, and Hindu..

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Conspiracy, Death and Jeffrey Epstein Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Within minutes of news about his death in a Manhattan jail cell Saturday morning, theories spread with pestilential vigour. Was Jeffrey Epstein murdered? Accepting the premise without qualification, the next question followed: Who did it? MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was not giving anyone time to..

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Triple Talaq Bill: Victory of Gender Justice Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Women who raised their voice against Triple Talaq first: Shayara Bano from Uttarakhand first approached the apex court after her husband sent her a letter with talaq written thrice and left her. Petitions of four other women were tagged with Ms Bano's petition. It was Shayara Bano who challenged..

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The Myth of Welfare Dependency Friday, August 9th, 2019

Social safety nets worldwide routinely come under attack by critics wielding an argument that is as misleading as it is familiar. Measures such as subsidized health insurance, food and nutrition programs, and targeted cash payments to the poor, it is said, incentivize idleness, encourage..

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Trump’s Deficit Economy

In the new world wrought by US President Donald Trump, where one shock follows another, there is never time to think through fully the implications of the events with which we are bombarded. In late July, the Federal Reserve Board reversed its policy of returning interest rates to more normal..

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Can America and China Avoid a Currency War? Thursday, August 8th, 2019

China’s currency, the renminbi, weakened slightly against the dollar at the start of this week. Around the world, the immediate response was panic. Financial markets tumbled, US President Donald Trump’s administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator, and fears of a new currency..

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How China Can Reach its Centennial Goal Monday, October 14th, 2019

Two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that by the time the People’s Republic celebrates its centenary in 2049, it should be a “great modern socialist..

The Insanity of Austerity Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Significant protest by Tibetans at Chennai Saturday, October 12th, 2019

Europe Needs a Serious Nuclear-Energy Debate Saturday, October 12th, 2019

The Climate Kids Are Right Friday, October 11th, 2019