Category Archives: International

Foreign Relations, Domestic Security, and the Trump Era

The foreign policy outlook for the near future is bleak, but not just because of the incoming Trump administration’s proposals. Trump’s public statements about rolling back U.S. investments in “soft” issues like human rights or economic development, abandoning multilateral obligations … Continue reading

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“Anti-Refugeeism without Refugees” in Eastern Europe

Analysts of post-World War II, post-Holocaust Eastern Europe coined the term “Anti-Semitism without Jews” to characterize the uncanny persistence of prejudice in countries mostly cleansed of any actual Jewish presence. The category of “Jew” took on a symbolic character, incorporating … Continue reading

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October Surprise: Harold “Killer” Koh to Lecture at UI Law School in Election Week

Harold Hongju Koh, Hillary Clinton’s former legal advisor at the State Department  has been invited as an ‘endowed speaker’ at the U.I. College of Law, twelve days prior to the November election. Koh, currently a Yale Law School professor and … Continue reading

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Activists Among Us: Claire Szoke

By Julie Laut Claire Szoke is an activist among us who has worked tirelessly on behalf of social justice issues for over forty years. She is currently the co-chair of Central Illinois Jobs With Justice, part-time director at the Channing-Murray … Continue reading

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Orlando Shooter Was A Product of US Hyper-Masculinity

Like so many others, I’ve been at a loss trying to make sense of the heinous act of anti-queer mass murder in Orlando. The following are some of my scattered thoughts on the topic, some of which I originally posted … Continue reading

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Rio 2016: Beautiful Games at Huge Cost

From August 5 to August 21, Rio will be the home of some of the most beautifully intense displays of athletics during the 2016 Summer Olympics. While fans will rightfully be enjoying the amazing displays, we should also pay attention … Continue reading

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May Day Rally on Quad

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

Posted in African Americans, Human Rights, International, Israel/Palestine, Labor/Economics | Comments Off on May Day Rally on Quad

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

Posted in International, Politics, Politics | Comments Off on The Greek Crisis: Beginning of the End for European Unity?

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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