Democracy and culture

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    The economic effects of refugees are largely down to decisions made by the countries which take them

The economic effects of refugees are largely down to decisions made by the countries which take them

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Are refugees a benefit or a curse for the countries which take them? In new research which examines a number of refugee flows over the past 55 years, Michael Clemens finds that refugee inflows almost always have little or no detrimental effect on local unemployment levels, and in some cases they are actually linked to rising wages. In light […]

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    People are more likely to describe a violent event as terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim and has policy goals

People are more likely to describe a violent event as terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim and has policy goals

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Recent mass shootings in the US have provoked debate over what should be considered to be “terrorism”. In new research Connor Huff and Joshua D. Kertzer explore these public debates via a survey which seeks to determine which kinds of incidents – and perpetrators – mean that people are more likely to classify an event as terrorism. They […]

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    Disgusted by Donald Trump? Turning away from the spectacle isn’t an option.

Disgusted by Donald Trump? Turning away from the spectacle isn’t an option.

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Almost nine months into the Trump presidency, it may be harder than ever to make sense of what is happening. How do we fully understand what seems to be a hybrid of Lewis Carroll and Stephen King imaginaries – of the Mad Hatter and Pennywise the Clown? Ron Pruessen considers his own frustrations and speculates about what to do […]

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    White supremacy can be addictive, and leaving it behind can be like kicking a drug habit.

White supremacy can be addictive, and leaving it behind can be like kicking a drug habit.

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The 2016 election and the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this year have focused the attention of many on to the resurgence of far-right extremism and radicalization. In new research based on interviews with former white supremacists, Pete Simi, Kathleen Blee, Matthew DeMichele and Steven Windisch find that many of those involved in such movements consider themselves […]

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    Lavish travel by Cabinet members on the public’s dime shows the emptiness of Trump’s promise to “Drain the Swamp”

Lavish travel by Cabinet members on the public’s dime shows the emptiness of Trump’s promise to “Drain the Swamp”

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At the end of September, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, resigned following controversy over his use of private and government jets at taxpayer expense. Christa Slaton writes that Price and other Trump Cabinet officials’ use of private and government flights is a symptom of an administration – and a president – that is staffed by officials […]

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    Book Review: We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold

Book Review: We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold

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In We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves, John Cheney-Lippold examines how algorithms increasingly interpret and influence our behaviour. With the author concluding with some pragmatic suggestions for challenging the digital status quo, Daniel Zwi welcomes the book for both capably elucidating the problem of algorithimic regulation and forearming us to tackle this issue.

We Are […]

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    Book Review: The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online by Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner

Book Review: The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online by Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner

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In The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity and Antagonism Online, Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner explore the contradictions and paradoxes of the internet as a realm of ‘vernacular creativity’ . This is a thought-provoking and original study that diverges from a ‘good or bad’ binary to instead demonstrate the messy ambivalence of internet culture today, writes Dr Zoetanya Sujon. 

The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, […]

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    Our personality affects our ability to connect our policy preferences to the correct political party- and that’s a problem for democracy.

Our personality affects our ability to connect our policy preferences to the correct political party- and that’s a problem for democracy.

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Functioning democracies require voters to connect their own personal and subjective policy preferences to the political party that best represents them. Aaron Dusso’s new book examines how individual psychologies and people’s tendencies to be introverted or extroverted affects their ability to match their policy preference to the correct political party. He finds that the more extroverted one is, the […]

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    Book Review: Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation by Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza

Book Review: Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation by Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza

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In Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation, Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza examine contemporary forms of participatory governance by tracing the origins and development of participatory budgeting (PB) from its roots in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to its adoption in two cases, Cordoba, Spain and Chicago, USA. While acknowledging that PB has been seen as being too easily co-opted by neoliberalism, the […]

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    Book Review: Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey

Book Review: Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey

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In Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey provides a new systemisation of Karl Marx’s work in order to uncover, explore and explain the ‘madness of economic reason’ in the twenty-first century. This is an impressively wide-ranging work that draws upon Marx as a toolbox for contending with the crises of capital today, but Joshua Smeltzer is left […]

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