The Banality at CannesRoger Berkowitz
Apparently Hannah Arendt was on everyone’s lips this year at the Cannes film festival. Alissa Wilkinson does a nice job of parsing the allusions to Arendt.
The Ukrainian Twitter Wars in AfricaRoger Berkowitz
There is a certain overconfidence in the circles I frequent that the world is against Russia and for Ukraine and Nato. But more than half the world is tacitly or explicitly supporting Russia in its war with Ukraine. The Economist looks at the Russian propaganda campaign aimed at non-western countries in Africa and Asia.
Academic Freedom vs. Free SpeechRoger Berkowitz
Wendy Brown is interviewed by David Marchese about the politics of speech codes, wokeness, and academic freedom on college campuses.
Airfare vs. WarfareRoger Berkowitz
As the world comes to the realization that old-fashioned ground warfare may be in our present and our future, the New York Times’ Azmat Khan has written a deeply researched account of the U.S. air war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Faculty Against the AdministratorsRoger Berkowitz
There is no dictatorship in the United States threatening university administrators and faculty with prison for violating national security laws. And yet Sergiu Klainerman argues that too many administrators are acting as if there were. According to Klainerman, even those administrators who profess to support freedom of expression and academic freedom are so cowed by DEI administrators that they refuse to publicly stand up for the academic freedom of their professors.
Timothy Syder inquires into the birth of a new word naming an old idea:
"The new word “рашизм” is a useful conceptualization of Putin’s worldview. Far more than Western analysts, Ukrainians have noticed the Russian tilt toward fascism in the last decade."
In TransitionRoger Berkowitz
Michael Kruse interviews Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present. Kruse asks Ben-Ghiat, “Is America still a full democracy?”
Why Citizens Vote for AutocratsRoger Berkowitz
Thomas Edsall looks at recent academic research on why citizens vote for authoritarian leaders. He finds that in a hyper-partisan environment, voters in democracies privilege the victory of their side over the maintenance of democratic norms.
Disempowered, Disdainful, and DistrustfulRoger Berkowitz
David King went to fight in Ukraine in part to escape his own descent into conspiracy theories and cynicism. Alexander Clapp looks deeply into the way that King’s experience in Afghanistan led to his loss of faith in the United States cultural, military, and political elites.
The Eternal Victims of Political ElitesRoger Berkowitz
What is behind the pro-Putin sentiment on both the far right and the far left? If you get past your revulsion at those who seemingly embrace Putinism for cynical and self-interested reasons, the support for Putin has a real source in the rampant distrust and disdain for political and cultural elites. Ian Buruma explains.