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– In Love with Facts

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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Germany should seriously consider an Islamic national holiday

In his Op-Ed, Save Liberal Democracy Founder Alexander Görlach argues that introducing an Islamic national holiday could be a sensible step towards more integration. It would also be a potent symbol of Germany’s liberal democracy, he argues. 

The proposal came at an inopportune moment: Germany’s Conservative Secretary of the Interior Thomas de Maizière suggested introducing an Islamic public holiday. And indeed, it horrified his Conservative party colleagues. The party of incumbent Chancellor Merkel had suffered a major setback in the national election, primarily because of its migration policy. There was much talk of a political shift to the right. The extreme right-wing party, AfD, had gained 13% of the overall vote. In some constituencies, it managed to win up to 30% of the electorate. Especially in the eastern parts of the country.

Political Islam must return to its liberal roots

In his Op-Ed, Dinmukhamed Rakysh argues that the narrative of Islamic politics is deeply ingrained in Egyptian history and will be a source of tension until its narrative can be rewritten to accommodate liberal values. But it already missed its historical opportunity in Egypt. 

A few months ago, the decision was made to award the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights to Mohamed Zaree. Zaree is an Egyptian citizen who works at the renowned Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. However, there was one problem with the award ceremony earlier this week. He has been barred from leaving the country on account  of investigations for ‘using funds to destabilize Egyptian interests.’

 

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