Blog highlights, week two

It’s time for week two of blog highlights. If you missed it, check out last week’s list here, which includes an explanation of the project. Again, I’ve chosen a broad range of material that seems to have continuing relevance.

Stay safe, everyone!

Why Lincoln matters (February 2013). A review of Spielberg’s great political drama, which has a message for the modern Republican Party. Are they the party of Lincoln or the party of the Confederacy?

Another look at Israel vs. Iran (April 2013). The continuing saga of Iran’s nuclear program, and a look at the very different reactions to Israel, Iran and North Korea.

Do libertarians believe in democracy? (June 2013). A set-to between Jon Chait and Rand Paul, with an important moral. Democrats should get over their fear of limited government, and libertarians should get over their fear of democracy.

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, RIP (October 2013). An obituary for former Polish prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, whose story is worth remembering.

Arizona has second thoughts about discrimination (February 2014). The United States is transfixed by the question of whether religious people should be protected in their refusal to provide services to same-sex couples.

Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy (July 2014). Then as now, Hong Kong was claiming its right to the universal suffrage that the government in Beijing had promised.

The limits of Europe, part I and part II (June 2015). So is Azerbaijan in Europe or not? What about Turkey? Iceland? Morocco? The questions are never purely geographical, but they raise some difficult political problems. And then of course there are the old imperial powers, Russia and Britain.

Why local government isn’t local (April 2016). It’s topical this week, but then it was the Baird government in New South Wales claiming that taking the “local” out of local government would lead to improved efficiency. Is there any reason to think that’s true?

Disunited Kingdom, European Disunion (June 2016). At the beginning of the long Brexit saga, a look at the winners and losers from the British referendum result.

Choosing democracy – or not (May 2017). The French left faces its moment of truth on whether to make a broad front against Marine Le Pen.

What is a country? (January 2018). Appeasement of the Chinese government on the travel front opens some interesting questions about what should count as a country.

France, Zionism and antisemitism (August 2018). Contemplating antisemitism in France,  a mixture of change and continuity that defies simple explanations and easy solutions.

Two anniversaries (March 2019). Czechia 1939 and Tibet 1959: compare and contrast. Can history tell us anything useful about appeasement?

Death of a denialist (August 2019). Reviewing the paradoxical life of David Koch, whose political activism ended up empowering forces that were deeply hostile to his libertarian convictions.

Why are we surprised? (November 2019). Scott Morrison and Donald Trump. Neither Australia nor the US wants to admit that it is part of a global movement, but Trumpism, despite its love of walls, transcends national boundaries.

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