Weekend reading

Interesting things from around the internet to enliven and enlighten your weekend.

Patrick Iber at the New Republic reviews a book that covers the history of the rather unconventional imperial expansion of the United States, and why it matters in understanding today’s politics.

Steven Davies, whose excellent work on political realignment I’ve cited before, has a great piece explaining the idea of moral panic, with examples and analysis. Very relevant to the revived discourse of “people smuggling”.

Ginger Gorman at the ABC summarises a book she’s just written on the disturbing subject of internet trolls and trolling, raising some issues that we probably should be giving more thought to.

There’s a photographic essay from Robert Hackman at the BBC on the legacy of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha, in the form of the concrete bunkers that his paranoia littered the country with. Amazing stuff.

Richard Florida has some fascinating data on what people in local government in the US really think about the subsidies and tax breaks they keep giving to huge corporations, and why it keeps happening anyway.

John Lichfield at Politico navigates the tricky terrain of French political language in explaining why Emmanuel Macron resists being identified as what he obviously is – a liberal.

Caelainn Hogan in the New Statesman discusses the suddenly revived prospects for the reunification of Ireland in light of the Brexit fiasco – still plenty of obstacles, but potentially a huge good news story.

Back to domestic politics, James Murphy at Inside Story describes the “curse” on the federal seat of Higgins, with some nice observations, including a tribute to the under-appreciated Harold Holt.

I haven’t got around to writing anything for the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, but here’s a very thoughtful piece by Pankaj Mishra at Bloomberg, who has a good handle on the complexity of the subject. The Economist is also onto it.

Anna Hayes at the Conversation has a somewhat clinical but still devastating look at the Uyghurs of Xinjiang and their plight under Chinese imperialism.

And on a lighter note, but with some serious ecology as well, Cara Giaimo has the wonderful story of the chickens of Key West, and the varied ways in which humans and feral animals respond to each other.


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