Democracy and culture

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    Donald Trump wants to rewrite the liberal playbook that has kept America on top for decades.

Donald Trump wants to rewrite the liberal playbook that has kept America on top for decades.

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Throughout his 2016 presidential election campaign, Donald Trump claimed that the US had been losing its status as the most powerful nation in the world, and that if elected he would “Make America Great Again”. Carla Norrlof writes that while America’s superpower status has changed little in recent decades, Trump was able to feed on the anger of many […]

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    Book Review: Personal Style Blogs: Appearances That Fascinate by Rosie Findlay

Book Review: Personal Style Blogs: Appearances That Fascinate by Rosie Findlay

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In Personal Style Blogs: Appearances That Fascinate, Rosie Findlay analyses the development of personal style blogs from their early origins, situating this sub-genre of fashion blog within a ‘lineage of feminine sociality’ as a personal actor-based practice of mediated dressing. With a strong grounding in textual and ethnographic analysis, this will be an exciting read for students, professionals as well as academics […]

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    Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

Does social media foster polarisation? A close look at the handle @realdonaldtrump

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Extreme polarisation is not persistent over time; people are more likely to react to specific events or news, writes Maria Molina-Domene.

Social media facilitates communication and an appealing question is whether citizens use it to endorse or criticize the government. I investigate individuals’ potential polarisation about President Trump, as reflected in his personal Twitter account. In this context, polarisation relates […]

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    How changes to how the Census counts people has implications for democracy and inequality

How changes to how the Census counts people has implications for democracy and inequality

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The US Census Bureau recently announced that it will be changing the demographics it measures and how it counts people. Hannah L. Walker and Rebecca U. Thorpe argue that the Bureau’s revisions are an important opportunity to correct current practices of counting prisoners as residents where they are incarcerated rather than in their home communities. Such practices distort democratic […]

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    Book Review: The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy by Péter Csigó

Book Review: The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy by Péter Csigó

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In The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy, Péter Csigó argues that the financial crisis of 2008 has exposed the novel forms of sense-making that have come to dominate public discourse: mechanisms that are collective, speculative and mythological in nature, resulting in autonomous discursive ‘bubbles’ that are largely immune to falsification. The book provides a foundation for a […]

We Don’t Know How Democracies Die

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Since the election of Donald Trump, many have expressed their concern that the United States could slip into an authoritarian backslide. Emily Holland and Hadas Aron react to this claim, most notably asserted in Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s new book, ‘How Democracies Die,’ noting that the decline of one of the most stable, long-lasting democracies in the world […]

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    How white middle class social capital can lock immigrants out of more generous state welfare policies

How white middle class social capital can lock immigrants out of more generous state welfare policies

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Social capital is often a positive force in communities: it can help connect individuals and help societies run more smoothly. But, it can also work to enforce controls against those who society perceives to be rule-breakers. In new research which examines social capital’s role in influencing states’ welfare provision, Daniel Hawes and Austin McCrea find that as a state’s […]

Book Review: Assembly by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri

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Why is it that so many revolutions and other social movements have seemingly failed to bring their emancipatory ideals into being? In response to this enduring question, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri offer Assembly, which inverts the traditional division of revolutionary labour to give strategic force to the assembly of the multitude. While the book aims to offer a blueprint […]

  • Permalink Petroleum-based plastics now take up about 25 percent of the volume of landfills. But knives, forks, and spoons made from a starch-polyester material won't contribute to the problem, thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),  Agriculture Research Service (ARS) innovation. Various biodegradable starch-polyester compositions can be used for other one-time-use items such as plastic bags and wraps that are now made from petroleum. USDA photo by Scott Bauer.Gallery

    Book Review: Food, Power and Agency by Jürgen Martschukat and Bryant Simon

Book Review: Food, Power and Agency by Jürgen Martschukat and Bryant Simon

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In Food, Power and Agency, editors Jürgen Martschukat and Bryant Simon bring together contributors to explore how food, power and agency contribute to the formation of ‘culinary capital’ around the world. This is a rich and invigorating account of the forces shaping our everyday food and eating practices, both historically and in the present day, finds Gurpinder Lalli. 

Food, Power and Agency. Jürgen Martschukat and […]

Book Review: The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison

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In The Origin of Others, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature Toni Morrison extends her existing nuanced explorations and interrogations of race and racism by examining the structures that construct ‘Otherness’ in the interconnected contexts of literature and lived experience. Based on a series of lectures given at Harvard University in 2016, this is not always an […]

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