Signal Like Its 1711: James Addison on Partisan Signaling, 18th Century Style

Portrait of Joseph Addison (1672-1719), by Godfrey Kneller, c. 1712 Image source: Wikimedia I sometimes complain  that 21st century American political culture has been hijacked by hyper-partisan signaling. It is easy to forget that this is not a new complaint. You can find political signaling spirals rearing their ugly head many times in humanity’s past–at […]

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Bargaining with the Dragon: Some Straight Talk on Hong Kong

Note by the author: I cannot take credit for most of the ideas and observations I present below. The protests in Hong Kong are now in their eighth day. Since they began last week a great amount has been written about why these protests are happening and what their eventual outcome may be. It has […]

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There Will Be No Cambodian “Spring”

. Last week Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) brokered a deal that ended the CNRP’s year-long parliamentary boycott. The CNRP disputed the results of last summer’s election (which they lost) and refused to take the 55 seats they won until an ‘independent’ election committee could audit […]

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Understanding Dysfunctional Democracies

.. Over the last few days a fractious discussion about contemporary Thai politics has arisen over at Zenpundit, the premier space on this side of the blogosphere for discussions of strategic theory, history, political ideology, and the intersections between them. Yesterday  Lynn Rees, a superb essayist who posts regularly at the site, entered the discussion […]

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Far Right and Far Left – Two Peas in a Pod?

Infographic from Ty Morteson. Image Source.One might add “Governments consistently bails out corporate interests with tax-payer money” to the center of the diagram. Several months ago I published a post that describes how the extreme partisanship emanating from Washington is a really just a surface veneer that covers a plutocratic consensus lying beneath. [1] Ashwin Parameswaran, blogging […]

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Turkey As Seen on September 12th

Consider: On May 31st a flotilla of ships organized by the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief tried to run the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. As expected, the Israelis used military force to stop the flotilla from ever reaching the shore. Nine Turks died before the day was over.  […]

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The Many Sided Turk

Unless my readers have spent the greater part of the last five weeks inside a subterranean cavern they have doubtlessly heard and seen much concerning the ‘freedom flotilla’ that attempted to break through the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the (botched) Israeli commando raid dispatched to stop them. Proving our collective inability to place world […]

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Notes From All Over 9/10/2009

TOP BILLING: Beijing’s Secret Succession Battle Willy Lam. Wall Street Journal. 24 September 2009. The Hakka People, China’s Leadership Caste “Curzon” ComingAnarchy.com 3 October 2009. Few people possess as much power as the ruling elites of the Chinese Communist Party. For American statesmen and diplomats, few topics have as much importance as the internal divisions […]

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