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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Area specialists have increasingly found globalization a helpful framework for understanding the societies and cultures they study. Scholars of globalization have become increasingly aware that global processes are manifested differently in specific locales. Consequently, an increasing number of scholars see their inquiry as both “area” and “global”...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hong Kong has been a city affording liberty but not democracy. There is a vigorous rule of law in place, and the people in general also have high respect for human rights. Moreover, the city is especially proud of its economic freedom. Yet it has one of the widest wealth gaps…. A most urgent task for Hong Kong… is to reconsider and re-engage with not only these tensions but also the mutual conditioning between liberty and equality.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The most fundamental social dynamic governing most relationships, and the DNA for peacefulness, is the norm of reciprocity. It has been systematically isolated and marginalized from the realm of the political by those who want to argue the primacy of the state. […] The politics of compassion, therefore, is the opposite of dominatory, fear driven, xenophobic politics based on a monopoly of force and coercion. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ambedkar and Du Bois in some ways imply [an] ambitious model, in which fully global institutions would play significant roles in the oversight of states’ rights records, and in which they would have some substantive powers to address widespread violations. [….] Those currently engaged in battles to protect very basic rights to equality and against discrimination can make use of UN assessments of states’ human rights records in their own struggles...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tolerance involves a negative normative judgment and potential withdrawal into separate spheres of life. [...] The subscriber to the consensus approach reasons that withdrawal into relative indifference to each other signifies a hasty imposition of a mental barrier which prevents trying harder to understand the other person’s way of doing things... 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Whether or not China is involved in unifying the two big Nepalese communist parties, the alliance gives China a ray of hope. The two communist leaders have identified themselves as pro-China in recent years, often lamenting that they are subject to India's conspiracies. […] Would this mutual “rejuvenation” of socialism in the Himalayan neighborhood bring global China into Nepal and then South Asia?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

[G]overnments and the UN are over-zealous in the avoidance of genocide determination and instead use the euphemistic term ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the Rohingya case (and elsewhere) for the same reason the Bosnian genocidaires used it—to avoid the Convention’s corresponding legal obligation to prevent.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Over the past decade there was a rhetoric in Chile as in many other democracies worldwide that the center-oriented coalitions of the nation’s left and the right were barely distinguishable, that the democratic scenery lacked any dialectic between true alternatives… As with Trump in the U.S. and the recent elections in Europe, the outcome of Chile’s presidential elections this November has proven the opposite.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The normatively dependent concept of toleration itself does not tell us from what we should take our guidance.… I think, by contrast, that we should adhere to the principle of justice. For what else is the question of what status and rights minorities or other groups have in a society than a question of justice? What is at stake here is a form of justice that calls on us to rethink and, if necessary, to abandon time-honored conceptions of political life.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

British colonialism sowed the most important seeds for the current crisis. Britain ruled Burma as part of the Indian Raj, enabling and encouraging vast Bengali migration to address labor shortages in Burma. The Muslim population of Rakhine state surged…. In response, anti-colonial nationalism among the majority ethnic Bamar acquired a strongly racist, anti-Indian and anti-Muslim streak, which persists today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hindu pluralism is basically a form of peaceful coexistence with other religions in a spirit of relative indifference, each expected to remain confined to its boundary and never to challenge the other’s beliefs and practices. This might explain why… Hindus feel a deep sense of unease and even hostility towards religions that make universal claims and engage in proselytizing activities.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

[T]he October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was a turning point in history when more than 2000 years of philosophy, history, religion, and culture based on the notion of natural inequality among human beings was definitively called into question… [and] set in motion a movement aiming to challenge all social and political orders built upon the presumed right of the privileged to rule over others.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Destruction can be accomplished through a variety of means; for the Rohingya it has involved mass killings, the wholesale destruction of villages and communities, mass forced evictions, mass rapes, enforced starvation and systematic weakening… When we combine the evidence that has emerged with such brutal clarity from Northern Rakhine State with our earlier findings from Sittwe, the charge of genocide is undeniable.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Whereas in the case of Muslim women IS demonstrates a strong if by comparison seemingly trivial obsession with controlling individual and collective behaviors of the faithful, in the case of captive women it positions itself as a sovereign power with authority over life and death, determining the very form of life (or lack thereof) that captured women experience.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Although Lenin’s immediate project was the seizure of power for the construction of the socialist order, his unity of theory and practice and methodology—of ideas, strategy, and organization—is relevant wherever serious politics is in play and at stake.... [As] to Fidel Castro, what he did was to articulate and practice a synthesis of internationalism and patriotism, and to bring a militant humanism back into revolutionary socialist practice.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

China’s Belt and Road Initiative constitutes an important part of its geostrategic design to rejuvenate its old glory by capturing global economic leadership. India, in contrast, perceives BRI as signalling imminent danger of Chinese dominance of the South Asian region, threatening regional security and thwarting its aspirations... This changed reality is forcing India to re-think its options for the region.