Why Didn’t China Give Birth to Democracy?

“The nominal form of [China’s] government… is an irresponsible autocracy; its institutions are likewise autocratic in form, but democratic in operation.” —Herbet Giles, The Civilization of China (1919) Yuhua Wang and Mark Dincecco have an interesting paper out in the Annual Review of Political Science. The paper offers and tests a new hypothesis for why […]

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Notes From All Over: Communists, Partisans, and P-Values

Notes From All Over: A collection of recently published articles, essays, reports, or blog posts of merit.TOP BILLING “This Is What A 21st-Century Police State Really Looks Like“Megha Rajagopalan. Buzzfeed (18 October 2017). “In the countryside, if you get even one call from abroad, they will know. It’s obvious,” said R., who agreed to meet me in […]

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Chinese Influence and Intelligence Activities: A Few Notes

Image Source The most important thing you will read this week—likely the most important thing you will read this month—is Anne-Marie Brady’s report “Magic Weapons: China’s political influence activities under Xi Jinping.” In this report Dr. Brady describes in detail what is known about Chinese influence and intelligence operations inside New Zealand. In many ways […]

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Trump is Not the New Hitler—He is the New Andrew Jackson.

“Pegausus,” Those Do Not remember the Past Are Doomed to Repeat It (2016) Image Source: Sam Hayson, “British Street Artist Compares Trump With Hitler,” Mashable (22 Feb 2016). A Note to Readers: I wrote the body of this post several days ago on a Facebook note. Several of those who read it there have urged […]

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A Civilization Is at Stake Here

Perhaps the most predictable fall-out of Graeme Wood’s influential cover article for The Atlantic,  “What the Islamic State Really Wants,” is another round of debate over whether or not the atrocities committed by ISIS and other armed fundamentalist terrorist outfits are sanctioned by the Qur’an, Hadith, and other Islamic texts, and if not, whether these […]

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Notes From All Over (8/1/14): Tech Giants, Asian Media, and Japanese History

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING “The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014“Ben Thompson, Stratechery (16 December 2014). One of the defining characteristics of the three major epochs of consumer computing – PC, Internet, and mobile – is that they have been largely complementary: we didn’t […]

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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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Meditations on Maoism — Ye Fu’s “Hard Road Home”

A great divide separates the worldviews of the average Chinese and American. The most profound description of this divide I have heard came from the mouth of a friend who has never been to America and who was not a historian nor accustomed to deep political reflection and debate. She concluded that Americans lived in […]

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