Standing Up to Goliath | The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Cities in Central and Eastern Europe are becoming promoters of democratic values, even when central governments are acting otherwise. The impact of the coronavirus on democracy has been mixed in Central and Eastern Europe, as elsewhere. While the pandemic has accentuated community-led solutions and the importance of responses tailored to local realities, central governments have [...]

What comes first: ideas or words? The paradox of articulation | Aeon Essays

... (a) seemingly contradictory observation is that articulating our thoughts, in the hard cases, is a purposive activity that doesn’t simply consist in producing words mechanically, in a kneejerk way. The words that immediately come out of us when we are struck by our thoughts (eg, ‘How outrageous!’, ‘What a mess!’) might hardly reflect what [...]

Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah: How do daily habits lead to political violence? | TED Talk

What drives someone to commit politically motivated violence? The unsettling answer lies in daily habits. Behavioral historian Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah shares startling insights into how seemingly mundane choices can breed polarization that lead to extreme, even deadly, actions -- and explains how to identify and bypass these behaviors in order to rediscover common ground. — [...]

Why the World Should Care About Language in Inner Mongolia – The Diplomat

On August 26 China passed a law to sideline teaching in the Mongolian language in the region of Inner Mongolia (also referred to as Southern Mongolia). This measure, which sparked immediate protests, will create irreparable losses not just for ethnic Mongolians, but also for many cultures around the world. What is at stake here is [...]

A new approach to prediction combines scenario planning and forecasting – Axios

A new approach to predicting geopolitical and business events combines scenario planning for multiple alternative futures with forecasting methods that put hard probabilities on possible events to come. — Read on http://www.axios.com/predict-future-forecasting-strategic-foresight-d0e7a221-d183-4d3d-a963-775660dbb92e.html

A Field Guide to U.S.-India Trade Tensions | Council on Foreign Relations

Trade between the United States and India has grown steadily ever since India’s economy began to take off in the mid-1990s and its information technology sector shot to prominence in the early 2000s. From 1999 to 2018, trade in goods and services between the two countries surged from $16 billion to $142 billion. India is [...]

The king of Haiti and the dilemmas of freedom in a colonised world | Aeon Essays

In the early 19th century, Haiti was the only example in the Americas of a nation populated primarily by former enslaved Africans who had become free and independent. Other nations, including Haiti’s trading partners, were determined to prevent abolition and their colonies from becoming free, so they refused to recognise Haitian sovereignty. When France finally [...]

Ashoka’s ethical infrastructure is carved into India’s rocks | Aeon Essays

In the Khyber valley of Northern Pakistan, three large boulders sit atop a hill commanding a beautiful prospect of the city of Mansehra. A low brick wall surrounds these boulders; a simple roof, mounted on four brick pillars, protects the rock faces from wind and rain. This structure preserves for posterity the words inscribed there: [...]