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– In Love with Facts

A liberal democracy doesn’t just fall from the sky

by Alexander Görlach

The West appears to face its end. After seventy years of hegemony, a fundamental opposition carries the day in countless places. This opposition stands in stark denial of the core principles of citizenship and social liberties, which the West brought: tolerance of religious minorities, equality of man and women, free speech and openness to the variance of life-paths. Regarding the relations between peoples and nations, it’s “us first” again – from the US to Catalonia. Cosmopolitan thinking, which thinks of politics as a solution to global quests, is ridiculed.

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“The United Nations should punish China for keep violating human rights”

Interview with Eeling Chiu

Being a human rights activist, Eeling Chiu was active in supporting Lee Ming-che, the first Taiwanese being sentenced to prison in the People’s Republic of China for allegedly engaging in activities against the state. SLD spoke to Eeling about the case of Lee Ming-che and human rights in China.

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Populism is here to stay

A conversation with Martin Eiermann 

The rise of populism in Europe is not a fad, as Berkeley’s Martin Eiermann claims in a recent study on voting trends, conducted with Yascha Mounk and Limor Gultchin for the Tony Blair Institute. Their data shows that right-wing extremism has already changed Europe’s political landscape — and it is here to stay.

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To fix the divide, first we all must serve

by Signe Janoska-Bedi

Clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past summer indicated a deep discord in American social identity but provided few immediate clues as to a solution. More specifically, the riots showed Americans that our increasingly inclusive society – certainly not yet inclusive enough – is under threat. Today’s level of political and social polarization reminds us of the Antebellum South, in context if not intensity.

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The role of the transatlantic millennial

by Kyle Shishkin and Nick Romanoff

Instead of a narrative that opposes the union in pursuit of nationalistic sentiments, there is a need for a narrative that strives to improve the current union, one focused on maintaining the stability and peace that is so easy to take for granted, Shishkin and Romanoff argue.

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What Roy Moore’s Loss Means

By Joseph Hammond

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore was defeated this week in a special election by incoming Democratic rival Doug Jones. For the Democrats it was a  chance to turn the tide against President Trump and also to test strategies and candidates for future elections. Most notably New Jersey Senator Corey Booker.

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Polarization and centrism: Finding a new mean

In his Op-Ed, Paul Ostwald argues that the US and German political culture suffered from opposite evils: While polarization threatened to rip apart the US, an excessive centrism paralysed Germany. But while there is little movement in the US, Germany might have found a way out of the impasse. 

Exactly ten years ago, Angela Merkel’s Conservatives adopted a new “Grundsatzprogramm” that set out the party’s take on the coming twenty years. In it, Merkel claimed the political middle ground for her party, telling her cheering followers that, “here is the political centre, and that’s where we will be in the years to come”.

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Lebanon and foreign interference – is there hope for a way out?

by Constantin Wiegand

Saudi Arabia’s regional standoff with Iran escalated last Saturday, as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly resigned. He did so in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia, blaming Iran and Hezbollah for his decision and alluding that his life was in danger. His resignation ended a political deal that had led to the election of Michel Aoun as president after more than two years of a political vacuum in Lebanon.

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“Most of us identify ​as Taiwanese, not Chinese”

Fei-fan Lin started the Sunflower Movement in 2014, a student protest against China’s increasing pressure on Taiwan. Lin, who today studies at the London School of Economics, and his movement were successful: they prevented a bill that would have given China more economic influence over Taiwan. Today five of the protesters are members of  Congress. The issue of Taiwan’s future, however, is all but resolved.

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