Category Archives: Political Analysis

April 24, 2013

Post-Boston: A More Effective Battle of Ideas (Part II)

Boston Marathon

Reprinted from The Globalist,  April 24, 2013  Instead of getting sucked into heat-of-the-moment reactions to Boston, let’s base our responses on a more stable paradigm of contemporary global terrorism. To fight a battle of ideas successfully, one must first show what one is going up against. Amy Zalman makes the case that there are three …

April 24, 2013

Post-Boston: Keep Calm and Think Clearly (Part 1)

Boston Marathon

Reprinted from The Globalist, April 23, 2013 The Boston Marathon bombings provide an opportunity for the United States to consider how to combat extremist ideas more effectively than it did a decade ago. But this is not the time to let fear and uncertainty drive us into misguided and — as importantly — ineffective forms …

November 3, 2012

A Presidential Campaign, but No Presidential or National Narrative

A presidential campaign is an exercise in storytelling. Each candidate is always seeking to tell the most compelling story of the nation, one that both reflects who we think we are and projects into the future the kind of nation we’d like to be.   The very occasion of campaign, with its promise of renewal, should …

July 21, 2012

How Power Works in the 21st Century

We live in stories.  That is, we are always in the process of trying to make sense of what is happening to us and around us.  That process drives us – to vote, to go into the street and fight for a nation, to make changes in how we consume, or to do none of …

October 14, 2011

Afghanistan Narrative, Still Wrong, but Reparable

Earlier this month, Benjamin Hopkins and Magnus Marsden, authors of the forthcoming Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, argued strenuously in a New York Times Op Ed that the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is as culturally inept as it was when we went to war a decade ago. The American obsession with viewing Afghanistan though the …

August 10, 2011

Verifying Sources in the Era of Amateur Video

The competing narrative continuing to unfold about the ongoing violence in Syria reflect how completely amateur video has now transformed our understanding of what “news” is. Activists’ homemade videos have shattered the idea that the Syrian government’s claim to be restoring “stability” to towns under attack from “armed terrorists” can be taken at face value. …

July 2, 2011

Review: “The End of the West: the Once and Future Europe”

English political theorist and former Labor Party MP David Marquand’s recently published The End of the West: the Once and Future Europe, comes at an opportune moment.   The Greek financial crisis, U.S. jibes at NATO, and the suggestion by disgruntled British conservative party members that the UK quit the EU foretells a continental reckoning at …

June 7, 2011

Egypt Uprising Narrative as Youth, New Media Driven: Wrong

NPR’s Michele Norris interviewed Egyptian blogger and software Ala’ ‘Abd Al Fattah on June 6 about his role and perceptions of the uprising in Egypt that brought down the Mubarak regime earlier this spring.  Among Al Fattah’s insights: the narrative of events in Egypt as a primarily youth led and Internet driven and urban are …

May 19, 2011

NY Times tells the Story of the Story of Obama’s Mideast Speech

The degree to which communication’s globalization has changed the way we think and talk about the news is evident in today’s reporting on Obama’s Middle East speech.  Once upon a time, communication-via newspaper, radio, what have you—was considered a transparent vehicle conveying to readers and listeners what was happening on the ground. Not so any …