Category Archives: International

May Day Rally on Quad

“This is what solidarity looks like.” May Day rally on the U of I Quad.

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From the Arab Spring to the Syrian Civil War: Looking Again at the Modern Middle East

It’s tempting to put the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War in separate boxes, but like other forms of compartmentalization, that only hides but doesn’t resolve the underlying problems. The dynamics that helped the Syrian War erupt into one … Continue reading

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African Liberation, Socialism, and Ghana Today

What do most Americans know or think they know about Africa? A number of stereotypes come to mind. African countries are unsafe and unhealthy, always at war, unstable, and poor. People are uneducated and lazy, and live in rural villages … Continue reading

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Reframing Refugees: Looking Beyond Borders in Champaign-Urbana

The St. Louis Perhaps you have heard of the Voyage of the St. Louis. On May 13th, 1939, a ship with 937 passengers aboard, predominantly Jewish, set sail from Hamburg en route to Havana. Among the 937 men, women, and … Continue reading

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Nigerian Man Connects with African American and Caribbean Cousins Through AncestryDNA

“My maternal grandmother told me … that way back in time, we had family members who went to the stream to fetch water and never returned. This stuck in my psyche for all those years,” said Ade. As a young … Continue reading

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Cuba Libre?

By David Prochaska President Barack Obama visited Havana March 2016. Perhaps even more important, the Rolling Stones played a free concert right after. Commercial airline flights to Cuba are likely to begin in October. Even as the US moves to … Continue reading

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The Right to Pray Movement and Feminist Politics in India

by India Watcher The women’s movement in India entered a new phase in late 2015 and early 2016 under the banner of the Right to Pray movement.  During this time, large numbers of women protested that they were barred from … Continue reading

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Terrorism and Endless War

Terrorism is the use of violence to achieve political ends. Terrorism can be used by both non-state and state actors. Non-State Terrorism This is how non-state terrorism works: a weak group tricks a stronger adversary into defeating itself. Terrorist-provoked fear … Continue reading

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France: The Power of Le Pens

The Left has done well in some recent elections in Southern Europe- in Greece, Portugal, and, most recently, Spain. But not in France. The Socialists, who are now in power, took a terrible beating in the December 2015 regional elections. … Continue reading

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New Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Offers Hope to Canada’s First Nations Populations

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper was nearly universally viewed by First Nations (known in the US as “indigenous” or “native” people), Métis and Inuit peoples as, at the least, insensitive to their concerns and, at worst, actively hostile towards Canada’s … Continue reading

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Cuba-US Relations: New Beginning or New Offensive?

The US has opened up talks with Cuba and reestablished formal diplomatic relations so that the two countries’ “interest sections” are now embassies. Could this be a full normalization of relations, or is it just a new US offensive for … Continue reading

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Whither the Refugees, W(h)ither Europe?

Since I arrived in Hungary in early summer, the media, and everyday conversations, were filled with the refugee crisis. From the dangerous boat crossings from Libya to Europe’s Mediterranean island outposts such as Lampedusa, Italy, the main flow had shifted … Continue reading

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The Greek Crisis: Beginning of the End for European Unity?

Protesters burn an EU flag during an anti-austerity demonstration in Thessaloniki, Greece. Practically since the moment of its victory in the January 25 elections, Greece’s Syriza party has been locked in a struggle with the “troika,” the triumvirate of the … Continue reading

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Public historians, this is your moment!

In the past few weeks, statues of male historic figures in public places in South Africa have been splashed with poo and paint of all hues. It has become a veritable underground movement. Cecil Rhodes’ statue has been removed from … Continue reading

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The Creation of Frankenstein in the Middle Eastern Region

The Creation of Frankenstein in the Middle Eastern Region Al Kagan Al Kagan is African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration Emeritus at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Media coverage of the destruction of antiquities in northern Iraq during … Continue reading

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The Conundrum Over ISIS: The Issue of International Responsibility

In the November/December issue of the Public i, my colleague Susan Shoemaker wrote a very compelling article against the use of U.S. military strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  After citing opinion polls finding that while 73% of Americans … Continue reading

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The Lessons Ebola Is Teaching

Greg Damhorst is an MD/PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . His graduate research involves the development of diagnostic technologies for HIV/AIDS. Greg is also a co-founder of the Global Health Initiative … Continue reading

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American Exceptionalism and Our Newest War

Once upon a time, when I was a child growing up in 1950s America, I truly believed in American Exceptionalism, the idea that the United States is a virtuous country and unique among nations because of our revolutionary history, experimental … Continue reading

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Political Soccer: A Global Phenomenon—Except Here

This summer’s soccer World Cup—always the most-watched sporting event on the planet—in Brazil was accompanied by enormous demonstrations, at times violently repressed. Citizens protested the diversion of vast resources from urgent social needs to the building of hugely expensive stadiums, … Continue reading

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The People’s Struggle in El Salvador Continues

For twenty-two years I have been part of a local group engaged in a sister relationship with five impoverished settlements in the mountains of eastern El Salvador. The five settlements are called Calavera. Our local group is called Friends of … Continue reading

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