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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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The complex world of climate change governance: new actors; new arrangements

Climate change governance dramatically challenges traditional International Relations (IR) notions of decision-making. The greatest challenge involves understanding the many ‘actors and the arrangements’ that describe this critical global governance issue. The field is made up of much more than the traditional intergovernmental and international organizations and their actions in a critical global issue.

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The economic effect of “Trumpism”

On winning the US Presidential election, Trump’s victory speech confirmed that he would put America first in his policies. That pursuit of America’s interests will permeate US economic and other policies in the years to come. US President Donald Trump’s effect on the economy is hard to discern due to a lack of policy detail.

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Warren Buffett’s taxes: the more complicated narrative

In the second presidential debate, Donald Trump indicated that Warren Buffett had deducted, for federal income tax purposes, net operating losses in a manner similar to Trump’s deduction of his net operating losses. In response, Buffett, an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton, released a summary of Buffett’s 2015 federal tax return. Buffett’s intended message was clear: Trump didn’t pay federal income taxes; I did.

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Hillary and history: how powerful women have been maligned through the ages

The 2016 United States presidential election has been perhaps the most contentious contest in recent history. Some of the gendered stereotypes deployed in it, however, are nothing new. Powerful and outspoken women have been maligned for thousands of years. Ancient authors considered the political arena to be the domain of men, and chastised women who came to power.

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The news media and the election

How does an avowedly nonpartisan news organization like the New York Times cover an outrageous but media-savvy and factuality-challenged candidate like Donald Trump? In a recent interview, Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet explained that the press was at first flustered by Trump, that “everybody went in a little bit shell-shocked in the beginning, about how you cover a guy who makes news constantly.

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The nothingness of hyper-normalisation

In recent years my academic work has revolved around the analysis of two main concepts: ‘hyper-democracy’ and ‘normality.’ The former in relation to the outburst of forms and tools of democratic engagement in a historical period defined by anti-political sentiment; the latter relating to the common cry of those disaffected democrats – ‘why can’t politicians just be normal?

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Oxford Classical Dictionary

Make demagogues great again

This year’s eyebrow-raising, jaw-dropping American electoral campaign has evoked in some observers the memory of the ancient Roman Republic, especially as it neared its bloody end. Commentators have drawn parallels between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Julius Caesar. That would be an insult – to Caesar.

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The World Bank: India’s development partner

Donald John Trump, the Republican Party candidate for the 2016 US presidential election, vowed a largely Indian origin gathering at glitzy event in Edison, New Jersey, by declaring, “I am a big fan of Hindus and a big fan of India. If elected, the Indian and Hindu community would have a true friend at the White House… I look forward to working with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” That was an endorsement that India matters in world politics.

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Hillary Clinton, feminism, and political language

Language is, of course, how we communicate political ideas to each other. But what is not often realized is that the language we use can itself be political. Often on the face of it, the way in which our language is structured — the words themselves or their denotations — are seen to betray no political significance. To be trite and quote Orwell, “Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.”

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JoGSS

Contrary to recent reports, coups are not a catalyst for democracy

In recent years, a new and surprising idea has emerged suggesting that coups d’état may actually be a force for democracy. The argument is surprising because coups have historically been associated with the rise of long-lasting and often brutal dictatorial regimes. During the Cold War, coups brought Suharto to power in Indonesia, military rule to Egypt, Pinochet to power in Chile, and allowed Hafez al-Assad to consolidate rule in Syria.

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Publius_Blog

Africa’s ethnic politics: demands for new administrative areas

About twenty-five years ago, politics changed in Africa. For years, rulers had manipulated the economy by doing things like creating artificial shortages and restricting import licenses. These tactics were useful to rulers, because they could dole out prized business licenses to reward supporters and consolidate power. But around 1990, many rulers were forced to relinquish these tools.

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Oxford Bibliographies Political Science

The essence of presidential leadership

The challenges of governing have rarely been greater. The distance between the parties in Congress and between identifiers with the parties among the public is the greatest in a century. The public accords Congress the lowest approval ratings in modern history, but activists allow its members little leeway to compromise. The inability of Congress and the president to resolve critical problems results in constant crises in financing the government, endless debate over immigration, health care, environmental protection, and other crucial issues, and a failure to plan effectively for the future.

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Health inequalities call for advocacy and public engagement

What role, then, might evidence play in policy development around health inequalities? Perhaps it’s time to move beyond the idea of evidence-based policy to start focusing on how different kinds of actors employ evidence in policy debates. This includes understanding how interests that can run counter to public health, such as unhealthy commodity producers like the tobacco industry, engage with policy debates about health inequalities.

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Hiding Politics in Plain Sight

It’s beginning to look a lot like October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month & policymaking

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink is everywhere. Corporate-connected activists have branded breast cancer as pink—feminine, hopeful, and uncontroversial. They worked with businesses to sponsor walks and runs and to create cause-marketing products (like the bagels) to raise awareness of and money for breast cancer. These messages have changed the way Americans think about breast cancer.

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Brexit wrecks it? Prospects for post-EU retailing

The UK’s retail sector is going to be a particularly sensitive indicator of the effects of the Brexit referendum decision. Retailers, whether they are store-based, online or both, are intermediaries at the end of the value chain – and as such are very close to both consumers and suppliers – so they’ll be at the receiving end of Brexit effects in other sectors ranging from agriculture to car production to financial services.

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Military justice: will the arc continue to bend in a progressive direction?

Rarely has there been a time in which military justice has loomed so large, or in such diverse ways. Certainly at any given time there are likely to be one or two high profile cases around the world, but lately it has seemed that the subject is never long out of the public eye. Consider the following kinds of issues: A Russian soldier stationed in Armenia murders a local family. Who should prosecute him for the murder, Russia or Armenia?

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