Politics

In Kurdish areas in the north of Syria, an implicit popular (i.e. trans-class) alliance was first formed after 2011 to self-manage a territory deserted by the Syrian authorities, and then in 2014 to defend it against the deadly threat from ISIS. The resistance combines former traditional ties and new movements, women’s particularly, in a working community of proletarians and middle-class elements, cemented by an emphasis on a common Kurdish nation. (More…)

The European Parliament is considering a proposal to create a European humanitarian visa, a mechanism that will allow eligible asylum seekers safe passage to Europe. The move is intended to provide a much-needed alternative to a risky journey across the Mediterranean Sea, which has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people in the past year alone. (More…)

Sometimes I wish the United Kingdom would finish its prolonged post-imperial suicide.  Divide the kingdoms and make Cornwall great again. (More…)

Recent tragic reports of boatloads of African immigrants crossing from Libya to Lampedusa, a 12 square mile island off of the coast of Sicily, have transfixed local, regional and international audiences. (More…)

A lifetime ago, I wrote a paper on the semantics of threatening for a course I took at the small liberal arts college where I was an undergrad. I don’t remember what my line of argument was. I do remember being complimented by the professor for my thoroughness. I am sure, however, that it was only later that I grasped a fundamental fact about my topic: the need to utter a threat is inversely related to its power. (More…)

In the same period during the 17th century that saw England’s finest hour when the head of Charles I was divorced from his body, it was determined, in the wake of the wars of religion and the English revolution, that politics would take place on the plain of artifice. As a result, political life would progressively be delimited to a specialised and exclusive administrative art. ‘The life questions’, to say nothing of contestation between forms-of-life would come to be banished from the public realm. (More…)

A large number of chickens have been coming home to roost lately. Most prominent among them are those associated with Mr. Trump’s much vaunted negotiating skills. But across the political spectrum, the consequences of the decisions made by past selves are emerging to shape the present. (More…)

Nowadays we hear it repeated ad nauseam that ours is the post-truth age, the age of alternative facts and fake news. It is similarly repeated that this state of affairs has contributed to some of the more surprising events of recent years, notably Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the rise of so-called populism from Italy to the Philippines. (More…)

They live for crime. Not the refugees accused of committing them, but Germany’s largest opposition party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Repeatedly denigrating refugees as lawbreakers, a cursory reading of the party’s Twitter account reveals a problematic investment in breaking German law. The repetition of the anxiety reads like projection as much as it does fear. (More…)

Not content with his expensive safari Christmas, Sajid Javid came home to bring in the New Year. What could have prompted such good cheer? (More…)

Security wouldn’t let them through. “Please, please,” the mother entreated the officer in Hebrew. “I need to get my daughter to the bathroom.” Her pleas fell on deaf ears. (More…)

Mr Trump brought his own brand of Christmas magic to US troops serving in Afghanistan this week. As is so often the case, there were complications. Before we address the particulars, we might well take the opportunity of the end of Mr Trump’s second year in office to take stock of his position. (More…)