Archive for the ‘Politics & History’ Category

Clan-based government in Somalia?

The best designed governments are those that build upon the culture of a country, rather than those that try to impose foreign ideas and systems on a people. So I read with interest this recent story in the International Herald Tribune about a movement to re-design the government of Somalia in a way that would emphasize the traditional […]

Obama veepstakes surprise?

This is a bit longer than my typical post, but if you’re interested at all in U.S. politics there is a lot here that will interest you and hopefully provide some food for thought and debate… Speculation over Barack Obama’s vice presidential candidate is reaching a fever pitch this week, with the selection widely expected to […]

Jib Jab’s satire of U.S. politics

If you follow U.S. politics, you’ll enjoy Jib Jab’s latest animated satire of this year’s election campaign. They poke fun at everyone involved. Check it out:     Jib Jab first became famous for a satire of George Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. It’s a classic and is still fun to […]

The world’s fascination with the U.S. election

I hadn’t planned on following up yesterday’s post with another one connected to politics, but I think it’s important to take a moment to reflect on how the U.S. presidential election is being viewed around the world, especially in light of the history that was made yesterday when Barack Obama became the presumptive presidential nominee […]

How multicultural Hawaii shaped Obama

U.S. News and World Report has a story this week that explores how the multicultural nature and “aloha spirit” of Hawaii helped shape the beliefs of Barack Obama as a young man. It’s a glimpse into the culture of one of the most famous but perhaps least understood states in the U.S. An excerpt from […]

Obama and the world

I’ve long believed that, if Barack Obama were to win this year’s presidential election, the most important outcome would be a sea change in America’s relations with and image in the rest of the world. I just came across two articles that look at how some foreign leaders see the prospect of an Obama presidency and, although […]

New democracy born in Himalayas

This past week saw a unique event in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, as residents trekked to the polls for the first time in the country’s history at the behest of the king, who voluntarily decided to give up royal power in order to move his country towards a democratic future. The Washington Post has […]

Can women leaders move beyond war?

Interesting story in the Christian Science Monitor about female leaders from 45 countries who met in India last week to mark International Women’s Day and to discuss a feminine style of leadership that they believe could help move the world beyond war. She is one of several hundred prominent female leaders from 45 countries who […]

The politics of “Late Boomers”

For most of my adult life, I’ve struggled to determine which generation I belong to. Not because I don’t know when I was born, but because I’ve never felt connected to the Baby Boom generation that, according to demographers, I technically belong to. However, since I was born at the end of that demographic explosion, I shared none of the […]

Future of the Middle East

If you’re interested in the intersection of culture and geography with politics, and if you have any interest in the Middle East, then I highly recommend a story from the recent issue of The Atlantic. Titled “After Iraq,” the story written by Jeffrey Goldberg looks at how history, geography, culture and politics have combined to give us the current […]

The role of tribal identity in Kenya

A few weeks ago, I had some posts (here and here) about the Kenyan elections and the influence of tribalism in that country’s politics. Now, the Washington Post has an excellent article that explores that topic in more depth and examines the role of tribal identity in shaping the political and world views of many Kenyans. A key […]

The idea of Russia

It’s been two weeks since Time magazine named Vladimir Putin its “Person of the Year.” Now that the holiday craziness has ended, I finally got around to reading that issue of the magazine. In it, there is a fascinating portrait of Putin, but also an intriguing article about Russia itself (“In Search of Russia’s Big Idea”), which is the […]

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