Our New Walls: The Rise of Separation Barriers in the Age of Globalization

Separation barriers might seem archaic in a “globalizing” world, but they are increasingly popular worldwide. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, at least forty countries have built new walls. There are more separation walls now than there were in...

/ May 25, 2017

Populism and Religious Nationalism in France and Indonesia

In the first half of 2017 three significant elections took place in which issues of identity and religion were of paramount importance. In France, the Netherlands, and Indonesia we saw how a narrow nationalism based largely upon religious identity has...

/ May 23, 2017

The Global Reconstitution of Borders: A Five-part Symposium

Since the 1950s, European integration has been based on a gradual tearing down of national borders. Progressive moves towards ‘ever closer union’ have made European borders more easily traversable and, until recently, largely invisible. Yet increasing migration—both within and into...

/ May 21, 2017

Which T.V. Show or Movie Does This World Most Resemble?

When I was writing my screen play, I did a lot of research on movies and television shows.  The topic of the screen play was a much-maligned ancient Middle Eastern Queen, who I presented as, basically, an Arab woman.  Given...

/ May 19, 2017

How to Convince Kim Jong Un to Denuclearize North Korea

Kim Jong Un is in a great bargaining position.  This may seem counterintuitive as the United States and South Korea moves toward conflict with North Korea but a lot of the increase in tension stems from the inability to penetrate...

/ May 16, 2017

The Art of Strategy

In a world full of political, military, and geostrategic transitions, we feel that it is important to add two more voices to the chorus of those that intently observe world events and are concerned with the potential of future conflict....

/ May 16, 2017

Why Macron’s Victory Is a Triumph for Disillusionment and Populism

With Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders defeated, it is easy to believe that Western liberal democracy has triumphed over the short-lived populist wave of Brexit and Trump. Fresh-faced, media-savvy, and with a huge fan base, Emmanuel Macron has become...

/ May 16, 2017

Triumph for Angela Merkel in Germany’s most populous state

EARLY last month, Martin Schulz addressed a rally of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) at the Zollverein, a coal-mining complex in the Ruhr Valley in western Germany. To this pumped-up crowd in the party’s industrial heartland he proclaimed that if...

/ May 14, 2017

Brexit: The 1975 and 2016 Referenda Compared

Older people usually vote against change. The BREXIT vote was therefore unusual because younger people often supported the ‘remain’ campaign while many older people voted to leave. The latter frequently justify their votes in the 2016 referendum by arguing that...

/ May 14, 2017

What I Learned Fending off Wild Camels in Pamukkale (A Travelogue)

When I was five years old, I moved from Alaska to Vermont.  We lived in the country in Vermont situated in-between several large farms.  In order to get to a neighbor’s house, one had to walk through fields and ravines...

/ May 11, 2017

Iceland: A Pop-culture Powerhouse at the Top of the World

In early May 2017, Bloomberg Financial reported that the Icelandic krona was the world’s best performing currency, outpacing all others against the euro and the US dollar over the previous year. Moreover, it shows no signs of slowing down and...

/ May 9, 2017

Angela Merkel should seize this chance to remake Europe

GERMAN celebrations of Emmanuel Macron’s victory had barely begun last night when the first arguments about it broke out. The French president-elect’s longstanding calls for a “new deal” between his country and Germany were the impetus. In return for French...

/ May 8, 2017

Brexit: The View from Germany

Since the onset of the sovereign debt crisis engulfing the EU’s common currency, the Euro, complaints about German dominance in EU decision-making have been commonplace, particularly from the political left, most notably from Greece’s Syriza party and Podemos in Spain....

/ May 7, 2017

On the “hipster election” in Schleswig-Holstein

ON SUNDAY France goes to the polls. Emmanuel Macron will win and the far-right Front National will do better than in any presidential election to date. So all eyes will be on Paris. Yet far to the north another, less...

/ May 5, 2017

Tolerating Difference: Free Speech on Campus

Incidents in which students opposed controversial talks have been reported across US campuses. Students at a number of universities protested speakers, hindered or blocked their appearances, and in some cases reverted to violence. At Middlebury College, in March 2017, Charles...

/ May 5, 2017

Bombing Syria, Isis, and How We Got Here

In my earlier years, a friend of a friend of a friend of mine was from Syria.  He and a few friends of his were regularly at professional and semi-professional parties that I attended.  As someone who did several years...

/ May 4, 2017

How to Stay Grounded in the Age of Information Overload

Information abounds, yet knowledge – to say nothing of wisdom – remains scarce. This was true in earlier times before media saturation, fake news, alternative facts, and the other myriad characters of our new information age. Lately, the prospects seem...

/ April 30, 2017

The Faith and Good Works Party – In My (Utopian) Dreams

A friend recently asked me whether I really intended to argue that the United States should transition to a multi-party system; and, if so, what political parties did I have in mind? So, I thought about it.  And here is...

/ April 28, 2017

Beyond Macau: Manila, Korea, Bahamas Openings Highlight Key Asia Gaming Trends

Runway Manila connects the airport to Resorts World Manila for pedestrians, in response to the airport expressway to Entertainment City. For the past two years, the Philippines has been Asia's fastest growing casino market, thanks in part to new investment....

/ April 27, 2017

Brexit: The View from Norway

‘Leaving Europe’ is no empty phrase. I should know, for as a Norwegian, I am a national of a country that never joined. For years I have observed what has happened to my country since a referendum returned a slim...

/ April 26, 2017

Why IR Religionists Should Watch Reza Aslan’s Believer

A fellow academic once asked me as a scholar working in a Catholic university whether I found it strange to teach in an institution where crucifixes hung in every room. With a wink I answered, “Only when they move”. For...

/ April 24, 2017