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Category: International Affairs

RSI Global Does Mind the Gap!

RSI Global Does Mind the Gap!

Significant changes are underway in world affairs. Nationalism is on the rise, while global freedom is declining. Authoritarian leaders are consolidating power, some while holding onto the visual and verbal trappings of democracy. As is so often the case, the ramping up of nationalist sentiment is constructed upon a deeply internalized foundation of militarism – particularly in the most powerful states. Several flashpoints create ripe conditions for an onset of the first major war that the world has seen since…

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Last Night’s U.S. Strike on Syria

Last Night’s U.S. Strike on Syria

I posted the following statement on Facebook yesterday, as it seemed highly likely to me that a U.S. airstrike would be forthcoming quickly. When the question of whether or not to bomb the Syrian regime came before the Obama administration in 2013, I believed that such a strike would be a mistake. He had already made the error of placing the credibility of the United States on the line in hopes of deterring Assad’s use of chemical weapons. American credibility…

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Human Rights and the Liberal Order

Human Rights and the Liberal Order

December 10 is Human Rights Day. On this day, in 1948, the new United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Like the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide the day before, the adoption of the Universal Declaration marked a seminal moment in the historical development of the idea as well as the actual attainment of human rights. The creation of the Universal Declaration in many ways emphasized the centrality of liberalism…

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Kevin Bales and ‘Breaking the Wall of Slavery’

Kevin Bales and ‘Breaking the Wall of Slavery’

Kevin Bales – Breaking the Wall of Slavery @ Falling Walls Conference 2016 from Falling Walls on Vimeo. Kevin Bales is a scholar and activist who has been doing important work for years to end the scourge of slavery in the world today. He was a founder of the organization Free the Slaves, and he is an important source of information of the scale of the slavery problem today. There are currently an estimated 46 million slaves in the world,…

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What’s the Big Deal about a Phone Conversation?

What’s the Big Deal about a Phone Conversation?

Why is a phone call between Donald Trump and the President of Taiwan a big deal? I have no doubt that for supporters of the President-elect, this seems like a non-issue and another ridiculous thing to make a big deal about. It was just a call, right? A ‘private call’ between Donald Trump and a foreign leader who wanted to congratulate him. As Trump has pointed out on Twitter, the reality is that the U.S. and Taiwan do have a…

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Order and Freedom

Order and Freedom

“Any system of world order, to be sustainable, must be accepted as just–not only by leaders, but also by citizens. It must reflect two truths: order without freedom, even if sustained by momentary exaltation, eventually creates its own counterpoise; yet freedom cannot be secured or sustained without a framework of order to keep the peace. Order and freedom, sometimes described as opposite poles on the spectrum of experience, should instead be understood as interdependent. Can today’s leaders rise above the…

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