Category Archives: democratic reform overseas

civics road trip: from Philadelphia to Ukraine

I’m in Philadelphia for the Action Civics Initiative Summer Convening, a gathering of students, educators, and NGO leaders who are working to make civic education more action-oriented. From the closing plenary tomorrow, I’m heading to Ukraine to participate in the … Continue reading

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does the UK election show a return to two-party rule?

A May 2016 article in the Financial Times was headlined, “British politics has broken out of the two-party system.” The lead explains: Politics has fragmented. London’s choice of Sadiq Khan as mayor grabbed the headlines — and rightly so. But … Continue reading

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youth don’t always tilt left

(Washington, DC) In the US since 2004, young voters have tilted moderately leftward. They gave very strong support to Barack Obama, especially in 2008. And in Britain right now, only voters under-25 favor Labour: But young people are not consistently liberal or … Continue reading

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Habermas on the French election

Here are Jürgen Habermas’ recent remarks on “the future of Europe” at an event with President-elect Emmanuel Macron and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. They spoke in March, before the election, but Habermas credits Macron with courage in “a challenging situation.” Habermas … Continue reading

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two cheers for the West

The defeat of Marianne Le Pen is a victory for the European Union; and the EU is one of the structures built in the wake of World War II either directly or indirectly by the Western Allies in that war. In … Continue reading

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Dubai, Uganda, and today’s global political economy

My family and I are just back from visiting our daughter, who works in Uganda, with a two-day stop in Dubai, where there’s a change of flights en route from Boston to Entebbe. We chose these destinations for family reasons. But … Continue reading

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why the global turn to authoritarian ethnonationalism?

It seems impossible to explain why Donald Trump won the 2016 election. For one thing, he lost the popular vote. Besides, a single election is an “n” of one with numerous contingent circumstances, in this case including the FBI’s last-minute intervention, Hillary Clinton’s gender, … Continue reading

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bottom-up struggles against corruption: a frontier of democracy

(En route to Storrs, CT) Corruption is no minor issue, nor is it mainly a concern for fastidious bourgeois reformers in rich countries. Consider, just for instance, that one quarter of India’s teachers are missing from school on any given … Continue reading

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when a university is committed to democracy

This is a page from the 2013-14 Rector’s Report of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, an institution that I visited this summer. (Click the image to open the PDF.) The page is headed “A Revolution of Dignity,” and it describes various … Continue reading

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why I stand with Ukraine

(This was written in Lviv, but posted in Cambridge, MA). We all receive moral and political inheritances. Although the stories of our ancestors are not equally attractive, we all have exactly the same responsibility: to recognize our whole birthright, to … Continue reading

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