America and the ‘Asian Century’

By almost any measure, the United States remains the globe’s pre-eminent economic and military power. Yet, in the wake of a bitter and tumultuous presidential election, America stands deeply divided. Hazy campaign pledges to ‘Make America Great Again’ have collided with the reality of a new administration dogged by controversy, mired in conspiracism, and struggling …

Decolonization, Then and Now: Contextualising a Research Agenda in the Philippines

“You’ve come at the right time.” These were the words of Dr. Ernesto Gonzalez (professor of economics at the University of the Philippines – Manila) upon meeting me at his office in the heart of Ermita. I’d heard this a lot since arriving in Manila, but it wasn’t until I’d chatted with a number of …

The End of the World as We Know it? US Foreign Policy under President Trump

Donald Trump’s successful bid for the White House was marked out by a call to put ‘America First.’ In many quarters, Trump’s sound bite was interpreted as harking back to an isolationist mantra that had gained popular currency within the United States in the years leading up to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December …

Sail On, L. Cohen

I was thinking of Leonard Cohen on the night of November 8th, aka Election Day in the US. His song “Democracy,” from his 1992 album The Future, was playing on a loop in my head. I had just finished high school in the summer of 1993 when I saw Cohen in concert, the very last …

The 2016 Election: A Seismic Shift to the Right

The stunning upset victory of Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election signifies a seismic shift to the right in American politics. After January, when the family of Barack Obama cedes the White House to the Republican billionaire, Republicans will also control both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court. It …

Writing To Be Heard, Writing to Heal: The Survivors of the Genocide in Rwanda Tell their Story

In 1994, in a period of only 100 days, over one million people were brutally murdered during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The horror of the genocide was intensified by the fact that the crimes were perpetrated by people the victims knew and trusted – their neighbours, friends, and family members. The end …

Regime Change in Canada: Trudeau MK2

While news of North American politics in the UK has lately focused on Donald Trump’s perplexing Republican presidential nomination bid, another campaign was unfolding north of the border, culminating in Canada’s 42nd federal election on 19 October. After nine years of government by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives (two minority governments followed by a majority in 2011), …

‘I’m writing a book about love letters’: My MHRA Research Scholarship

Pitching your book proposal to an editor is apparently a bit like appearing on the game show ‘The Bachelor’ (according to Rachel Toor’s article, ‘The Reality of Writing a Good Book Proposal’). ‘The Bachelor’ is a reality TV show where a man has to pick one woman to take out on a date, rejecting the …

Charlie Hebdo editors double down on their principles in first issue since attacks

The latest edition of Charlie Hebdo is nothing out of the ordinary. Today’s response to the attack on its offices on January 7 is precisely what sets it apart from other newspapers. The front cover, a cartoon of a weeping prophet Muhammad holding a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” that was released in advance, is …

How the far right landed in the French Senate

As if the French president, François Hollande, didn’t have enough woes, elections for the senate have dealt him another blow. Three years after Hollande’s socialists won the first ever majority for the left in the upper house, the right wing has taken back an assembly it believes to be its own. And worse still, among …