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“People may turn to religious leaning leaders in times of insecurity”


Philip Gorski is an American Sociologist in the areas of religious and historical Sociology. He is the  Co-Director of Yale’s Center for Comparative Research (CCR), and co-runs the Religion and Politics Colloquium at the Yale MacMillan Center. He sat down with Alexander Görlach to talk about the role of religion in the public sphere.

SLD:Politics and religion are back on stage. Why is it that a res publica like the United States of America or European countries such as Austria, Poland or England never cease invoking religious rhetoric and inventory?

Gorski: Religious and national identities tend to be very entangled with each other. In some instances, this is quite explicit. Many Americans consider the US a “Christian nation.” Many Poles consider their country a “Catholic nation.” And even where the connection between religious and national identity is submerged it can be resurfaced by encounters with religious others. In this way, many European countries are discovering thei“Christian” or “Judaeo-Christian” roots via the encounter with European Islam.

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“Maybe democracies don’t work without control from elites.”

“Populism exists because institutions are elite-driven”, but democracies don’t work well without elites, says the acclaimed author of The End of History, Francis Fukuyama in an interview with Alexander Görlach at Stanford University.

SLD: How would you sum up the last year? What has happened to the world order?

Fukuyama: The big surprise is that this wave of populist nationalism has happened in the home territory of classic, liberalist Anglo-Saxon areas. For the first time, at least in my time, there is a president who openly dismisses America’s role in a liberal world order. The other problem with Donald Trump is his utter lack of qualification for the job, be it preparation, character or temperament. Nothing since his inauguration has eased any of those concerns, either…

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Trump’s playbook is not “Mein Kampf”, nor did Hitler play the role of a Chaplinesque clown

By Thomas Weber

Throughout the American election campaign, journalist Ron Rosenbaum resisted media requests to draw parallels between Donald Trump and the subject of his 1998 bestseller Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of his Evil. Yet everything has changed for Rosenbaum since the day of Trump’s inauguration as 45th President of the United States of America. In a recent piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books, he urged his readers to look at the striking similarities of Hitler and Trump in power.

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The Philosopher’s Revolution

By Justine Kolata

Justine Kolata received her BA from Yale University in philosophy and her MPhil from The University of Cambridge in politics. She is currently pursuing a PhD in German Philosophy at The University of Cambridge on enlightenment salon culture and conceptions of “a beautiful soul” in the philosophy of Goethe and Schiller. She is founder and director of The Public Sphere, a cultural organization that works to revive Enlightenment salon culture and strengthen structures of participatory democracy. She is also co-founder and co-director of The Bildung Institute, an Institute which teaches the art of self-cultivation through ideas, culture, music, and the arts.

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Surviving Bad Rulers

By Daniel Innerarity

Professor of Political Philosophy, Ikerbasque researcher at the University of the Basque Country and guest professor at Georgetown University. His most recent book is La política en tiempos de indignación (Politics in Times of Indignation).

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Martyrs on Stage: Notes from a Theater Director

By Dmitry Troyanovsky

Director Dmitry Troyanovsky stages productions, teaches, leads workshops, and develops new theatrical material at national and international institutions such as Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center (China), American Repertory Theatre, Opera Idaho, Bard Music Festival, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Shanghai Theatre Academy, Moscow Art Theatre School, and 92 Street Y in New York. He is an MFA graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for the Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. Dmitry teaches in the Department of Theater Arts at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

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How the fear of a digital revolution gave birth to the new strongmen

Renown Czech intellectual and economist, Tomáš Sedláček, explores the double-edged sword of progress. Written by Tomáš Sedláček, translated by Denis Bravenec.

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“The only effective antidote to fact-free populism is a credible rationality”

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the Center for European Studies, Harvard. He has authored fourteen books and his 2011 feature-length film Kissinger won the New York International Film Festival’s prize for best documentary. He writes a weekly column for the London Sunday Times and the Boston Globe.

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“The Trump presidency will generate a favorable context for the EU.”

Alexander Görlach interviews José Manuel Martínez SierraJean Monnet ad personam Professor for the Study of European Union Law and Government, Faculty Affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard and Faculty Associate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

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