Paul Tong / Op Art (Paul Tong) 2009 ©

With this latest tragedy in Parkland, Florida comes the predictable chorus of voices. Politicians taking to the podium offering condolences and calls for change. Citizens taking to social media offering thoughts and prayers and opinions as they demand change. Pundits taking to the television offering narratives in an attempt to explain our pain away. Together, we pledge to do better. And then silence. A deafening and maddening silence for those left behind as we move on. As we shrug our shoulders, point our fingers, and bury our heads, the next shooter is carefully laying out their plans, buying guns, studying…


Demonstrations for Szelker Autonomy in Transylvania, Romania © Daily News Hungary

“It is not what is, but what people perceive as is that has behavioral consequences.” — Walker Conner

One of the enduring issues of the modern state is how it deals with its inevitable ethnic minority populations. Recent issues between the Spanish government and the semi-autonomous Catalan government highlight the volatility and precariousness of this relationship. While the Catalan issue is currently dominating the press at the moment, it is just one of many ethnonational conflicts across Europe and throughout the world. It seems no corner of the globe is immune to this issue, from Catalan, Crimea, and Szelker to…


Boko Haram in undated photo.

Boko Haram, a Salafi-Jihadist group based in the Northeast of Nigeria, has waged a seemingly insurmountable insurgency since the mid-2000s to overthrow the secular government of Nigeria and impose Sharia law throughout the country. Drawing direct ideological inspiration from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), their terrorist campaign is responsible for thousands of deaths and innumerable casualties since renewing in 2009. While terrorism and violent extremism are nothing new in Northwest Africa, the continued existence of Boko Haram offers some valuable lessons for counter-terrorism operations. …


As the Trump administration continues to press the renegotiation of trade agreements around the globe, there is one critical agreement that has so far received little attention — the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA. While ignorance and disinterest towards African economic issues is hardly novel, this lack of attention is curious because of the significant investment opportunity that AGOA presents US investors and the ability it affords the US government to hedge China’s growing influence in the region. After all, buoying the economy and countering Chinese economic influence are two of the defining economic aspects of the Trump…


Migrants crossing into Pakistan during Partition | F E Chaudhry, White Star Photo Archives

“Discussing external migration issues is impossible without discussing internal migration issues.” — Jack Goldstone

While there has been much discussion surrounding international migration over the past few years, there has been less discussion on a related topic — internal migration. In particular, the relationship between internal migration and group conflict. Internal migration refers to people moving from one region to another, while remaining within their state borders. Group conflict can occur between numerous different types of groups — ethnic, religious, class, but is always underscored by an us against them mentality. Therefore, when internal migration introduces new groups into a…


‘Self-portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle’ by Arnold Böcklin Fine Art Images.

“You see in times of crisis that extremist forces, populist forces, have a better ground to oversimplify things and to manipulate feelings. Feelings of fear.” — Jose Manuel Barroso

Across the world, nationalism is on the rise, as is populism. While there are many things driving this trend, terrorism is at the forefront. With each act of terror, it seems that populism and nationalism gain another foothold. Moreover, in a perverse turn, this rise in nationalism and populism are causing — among other things — a rise in terrorism. Wrapped up in this conversation are debates about immigration, refugees, human…


Caricatures ©

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl Jung

In wartime, soldiers adopt slang to ease stress, poke fun at absurd situations, and foster community. On the darker end of the emotional spectrum, these soldiers adopt slang to dehumanize enemies and sanitize the horrors of war. These reasons run the gamut of human emotions and illustrate the especially powerful role that slang plays within a language. Like war, politics inspires slang. And just like in war, these slang words foster a sense of community and provide levity to frustrating and absurd situations…


In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, U.S. national security priorities were re-aligned with counterterrorism as the centerpiece. This realignment led to an unprecedented interest in Africa — specifically the Sahel region of Northwest Africa — because of the belief that terrorists would exploit the large ungoverned spaces, disenfranchised populations, and insular governments to establish training camps and recruitment centers. However, after more than a decade of steadily increasing counterterrorism efforts in the Trans-Saharan region, the efficacy of the United States’ policies remains contestable. Terrorism has not abated, governments have not strengthened, and the citizenry enjoys little more…


In early January 2014, there were attacks on the newspaper offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the village of Baga in northeastern Nigeria. The attacks, occurring just two days apart, garnered wildly different coverage in the media, with the attacks in France dominating the international news for days, while the attacks in Nigeria barely made the news. Many simply dismissed this as western media bias against Africa; however, the international coverage actually mirrored, and in many cases, exceeded the coverage in Nigeria. Far from overlooked, the Nigerian government and media bear significant responsibility for the limited international media coverage…


“Not my President” is not the answer.

“Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.” — Alexander Hamilton

Democracy is a constant balancing act. Representing dissimilar forces to ensure a collective right to govern creates tension. The resulting tension makes managing democracies unique among forms of government, primarily because it requires constant, dedicated attention from the citizenry. There’s never a pinnacle. There’s no culmination of the hard work. No cruising altitude where everyone relaxes and enjoys the ride. That single point where everything comes together simply does not…

D. Andre

Traveller | Writer | Thinker |

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