The Emergence of Globalism

by Or Rosenboim

The rise of nationalist politicians in the United States and Europe has put the idea of 'globalism' at the forefront of contemporary political debate, but the term's meaning is not always easy to fathom. In her new book, The Emergence of Globalism, Or Rosenboim explores how public intellectuals in the 1940s developed new visions of global order and helped lay the intellectual foundations for the post-war world. Imperial decline, rapid technological change and the desire for democratic renewal fuelled a wide-ranging interest in models of political integration. Studying mid-century thinkers such as Lionel Curtis, Owen Lattimore and Barbara Wootton sheds new light on how we might use 'globalism' as a political category to analyse the present.

Bans, boats, and the language of borders

by Carys Goodwin

In April 2017, Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton became embroiled in yet another controversy regarding Australia’s offshore detention centres. This scandal involved reports of a shooting – an altercation between local soldiers and detainees on Manus Island that Dutton asserted was linked to asylum seekers bringing a five year old boy into the detention centre. In the fourth part of our symposium on migration, Carys Goodwin examines what the incident tells us about the politics of asylum in Australia.

Shattering the glass ceiling… while standing on shifting sands

by Kaitlin Ball and Maha Rafi Atal

2016 was meant to be the year that women shattered the glass ceiling, electing the first female US president and the first female UN Secretary-General. Not only were those hopes dashed, but in 2017 women continue to face many familiar challenges, from renewed assaults on reproductive rights in the United States, to political debates about burka bans across Europe and the global scourge of gender-based violence. The Gender and the Political Academy conference in Cambridge on 2 May aims to unite thinkers of all ages and backgrounds to tackle the plethora of challenges facing women worldwide. Kaitlin Ball and Maha Rafi Atal argue that the defeats of 2016 provide an opportunity to re-ground feminism in a more inclusive vision.

“Nothing is more dangerous for human beings than to be forgotten”: Seyla Benhabib on Donald Trump, Hannah Arendt, and the refugee crisis

by Kerry Mackereth

Professor Seyla Benhabib of Yale University is one of the world’s leading political theorists of cosmopolitanism and human rights, and is currently visiting Cambridge as the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professor at the Centre for Gender Studies. Kerry Mackereth sat down with her in February to discuss what Hannah Arendt might have made of Donald Trump’s refugee ban.

Donald Trump and the rise of the Unidentified Political Object

by Hettie O’Brien

“I think people in this country have had enough of experts”. In hindsight, Michael Gove’s sardonic comment captures much of the political sentiment of 2016. When John Prideaux, the US editor of The Economist, visited Cambridge just before Donald Trump’s election victory, he argued that a good political analyst has to do the gritty work on the street – making person-to-person contact and listening to the viewpoints of average citizens. Yet academics, journalists and policy-makers – the “experts” whom Gove riled against – are still scrambling to make sense of 2016. The experts didn’t see Trump coming.

Can the camera do democracy?

by Ryan Rafaty

Last month, NBC News host Chris Hayes hosted a remarkable hour-long town hall meeting in Kenosha, Wisconsin with Bernie Sanders, a panel of outspoken Trump voters, and an audience ostensibly mixed of all political persuasions. It was the kind of cable news event with highly intermittent moments of bankable content, in between drawn out segments of messy, back-and-forth opining and debate; the kind of thoughtful engagement that takes ‘too much time’ and is therefore an exception, rather than the rule, of our political news hours. The video is worth watching. It serves as an example of how the camera can do democracy, if given the chance.