In the United States and Britain, the Trump and Brexit campaigns in 2016 embraced and encouraged voices of xenophobia, fear of the other, racism, and divisiveness that we thought had been marginalized in the modern era. To understand the democratic crisis, pay attention to the social conditions of democracy.
Donald Trump’s tough talk of defeating Islamic terrorists, ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, and barring Muslims from entering the U.S. suggests a sharp pivot in Middle East policy, but could be surprising continuity with Barack Obama’s approach to the region.
Amid a Taliban insurgency and discontent with government officials, Pakistanis remain strongly attached to free elections. But until politicians improve the standard of governance and the popular military recedes from politics, democracy will remain incomplete.
Beheading of men, rape, and enslavement of women—the destruction of a minority ethnic community is among the crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Will the group be brought to justice for its persecution of the Yazidis?
When Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the Roman Catholic pope in 2013, he took his name from Francis of Assisi and dedicated himself to championing the poor. The first non-European pontiff in a thousand years, and the first from the southern hemisphere, he launched his papacy with a condemnation of capitalism’s culture of waste and indifference to poverty.
In an extract from the papal encyclical Laudato Si’, the bishop of Rome makes an impassioned plea to save the planet from ecological destruction: “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world.”
Europe’s response to the Greek debt crisis in 2015 exposed European cooperation and solidarity as a hollow claim. The euro has become a Greek tragedy, resulting in falling incomes, rising unemployment, and fraying social fabric. Saving the European Union may require killing the single currency.
Young, modern, and media friendly, the daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has recast the extreme right party as a less xenophobic, more palatable, movement. But if the National Front fails to shed its racist ideology, it is unlikely to build on its electoral successes.
Europe’s social and economic order fundamentally changed with the end of the industrial era in the 1970s. The resulting tensions led to an identity crisis, as minorities sought to address injustices and nationalists agitated against cultural and religious diversity. Is multiculturalism now destined to fail?
Europe’s security-driven response to the surge of refugees has been cowardly and xenophobic. There are more viable approaches: granting temporary protections, offering broader alternatives to asylum for those fleeing conflict, and adopting more flexible visa policies.
A century after the mass immigration of North Africans began, Arabs in France are more present in politics, the economy, and culture than ever before. Yet part of the French population rejects a shared history in favor of the myth of the “interior enemy.”