No Palace was Built in a Day: Xi Jinping’s Pillars of Power

Was anyone surprised on 25th February, when China’s constitutional amendment package revealed that President Xi Jinping can now potentially keep his power for a limitless amount of time? Xinhua News Agency announced the amendment that simply proposed removing the line, ‘China’s President and Vice President shall serve no more than two consecutive terms.’ Referred to as the ‘core’ of the party leadership and increasingly simply as the ‘leader,’ a title only dedicated to Mao in the past, Xi Jinping can now stay for a third term beyond 2023, or even pursue a life-long rule.

Silencing The Past: Moulding Our Holocaust Narratives

On the 26th of January 2018, the day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Polish parliament legislated a law that would ban any discussion of Polish crimes against humanity during the Holocaust. The bill, as stated, aims to “eliminate public misattribution to the Polish nation or the Polish state of responsibility or co-responsibility for Nazi crimes committed by the German Third Reich,”[1] including a strict ban on discourse such as using the expression “Polish death camps.” Its outrageous dismissal of basic human expression and right to discourse aside, the legislation should remind us of a deeper underlying issue, that is, how we, as the world, have decided to remember the Holocaust.

“Their colour is not the problem. The problem is that they will outnumber and completely take over us.” K-ĽSNS and Racism on the Edge of Legality

The author of the quote above is Milan Mazurek, Vice Chairman of the nationalist Kotleba – Peoples’ Party Our Slovakia (K-ĽSNS). This piece will provide an analysis of a speech that Mazurek gave during a protest against “Gypsy terror” in the city of Krompachy. What warrants my attention to this particular speech is the way in which Mazurek discursively constructs the body and mind of Slovaks and that of Roma in a binary opposition to each other, and how he is able to maintain a non-racist stance even though racism and racial stereotypes clearly manifest themselves throughout the speech.

‘Haiti: Freedom and the Creation of Identity’

The Haitian Revolution that began in 1791 and ended thirteen years later with the creation of the first independent state in the Caribbean and Latin America in 1804, is as C.L.R James notes, a truly epic story. It was the metamorphosis of a socially disaggregated and dislocated collection of people, united often only by the continent of their origin, into a revolutionary polity and self-identifying nation.

This is the year of the nationalist reckoning

Nationalism is back. In the last two years, nationalists have conquered the core of conventional politics in an electoral resurgence that has brought it back from the fringes. Its support, discourses and arguments draw on old logics but directly address grievances born out of global effects of the economic revolution that begun in the 1980s. While 2017 saw the consolidation of nationalist successes in the West, 2018 will see their ideas put to the test.

Fiji and climate change: re-visiting theories of the state

We studied Fiji because we were interested in the impact of climate change on peoples' links with their state and territory. However, the more we learnt, the more Fiji helped us re-examine some of the concepts that are often naturalised or presented as organic and inevitable by nationalists, and enabled us to rethink our ideas about political communities. What follows is an attempt to engage critically with these ideas. 

Faten goes to the polls/Norwegian in 33 days

No one could foresee it becoming an issue in last year’s Norwegian General Election: the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s (NRK) launch of the TV show ‘Faten goes to the polls’. Before the show was even aired, NRK had received around 6000 complaints, different in nature, but all deeply dissatisfied with a hijab-wearing woman being the protagonist of the show. The discussion around what the hijab symbolised, and whether it was compatible with Norwegian values, fired off.

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