Populism in Poland: Implications of the Anti-LGBTQ Campaign

In 2015, the far-right populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) won a majority in the Parliament of Poland under the lead of President Andrzej Duda. The rhetoric of Duda, along with many parliamentary candidates, relied heavily on common populist tropes of anti-immigrant sentiment. The political campaign was largely successful due to racially-based fear of incoming Syrian immigrants. However, Poland’s lack of participation in several EU refugee programs has resulted in a political landscape in which immigration does not capture public fears as it once did in the 2015 elections. In its place, PiS politicians have begun a hateful scapegoat campaign against the Polish LGBTQ community to rally emotions and muster political support from its base.

Gender Dynamics in the New War: Lessons from the Sierra Leone Civil War

In the aftermath of the Cold War and the wake of globalization, a new type of organized violence emerged. The “new war” blurs the distinctions between traditional warfare, privately organized crime, and large-scale human rights violation, which marks its growing illegitimacy. Kaldor attributed this shift to “the intensification of global interconnectedness – political, economic, military and cultural – and the changing character of political authority.” Under this backdrop, gender plays a key role in shaping “new war” dynamics. 

Chinese Nationalism at the Winter Olympics

The Olympics is widely regarded as the largest sports event in the world. As much as the Olympic motto advocates for pure sports spirits, the Olympics have always created political implications. Host countries are often incentivized by the opportunity to show the world its strength, to increase collective confidence in their people by winning medals, and to stimulate consumption during the game. During the Olympics, numerous audiences cheer in front of televisions not only because of adrenaline and love for sports but also for national pride. The recent Beijing Winter Olympics was no exception. Chinese nationalism was pushed to a peak whenever a Chinese athlete won a medal or broke a record. While the Chinese audience was generally encouraging to native athletes, their opinions on non-native Chinese athletes were more ambiguous. To boost the performance of the Chinese team in the Olympics, China recruited many foreign-born, ethnically Chinese athletes in its weak disciplines such as skiing, ice hockey, and figure skating. Responses from the Chinese audience to these athletes provide a unique perspective on understanding Chinese nationalism. Among the recruited athletes, the comparison between Eileen Gu, an 18-year-old freestyle skier, and Yi Zhu, a 19-year-old figure skater, is the most interesting. 

Undemocratic States: US-India Viewpoints on Religious Freedom

Religious freedom has been on attack within India for the past decade as rampant discrimination against religious minorities becomes increasingly enshrined within the legal language of the country. Despite the right to freedom of religion being clearly outlined within the 1949 Constitution of India and the country’s accession to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the plight of religious minorities within the country have only reached unparalleled levels.2 Importantly, the lack of geopolitical accountability against the Modi administration and those perpetuating religious violence condones and exacerbates the incredibly pervasive and longstanding religious persecution against Indian minority communities.

The New Age of Celebrity: How Fame Governs Us All

“The public sphere” refers primarily to a realm of our social life, accessible to all citizens, in which something approaching public opinion can be formed. [1] The emergence of the internet and online communication has caused a dramatic shift in the conception of the public sphere. Modernity has provided the basis for the democratization of knowledge; however, entertainment is privileged over information in a mediatized public sphere. While the public sphere has classically been the site where experts and intellectuals have reigned, the processes of populist ‘democratization’ and mediatization that have accompanied its growing commercialization have seen the authority of traditional experts become relatively weakened as more fashionable figures of authority like celebrities take center stage.

Squid Game, Parasite, and the Increasing Restlessness of Neoliberalism

Globally prominent pieces of South Korean media, such as Squid Game and Parasite, represent a growing discontent with the conditions which have been created and engendered by global neoliberalism. South Korea represents a particularly salient microcosm of this from its historical context as a strategic incubator for American capitalist development and the implications of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis on its 21st-century socioeconomic landscape.

The Ignored Side Effect of Coronavirus: Women’s Crisis of Reproductive Health

The coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed the world in 2020 and will likely continue its effects in 2021. In the grand scheme of global crisis, people are disproportionately affected across different social groups, especially those who have already been in disadvantageous positions. Currently, women around the world are facing unique but severe problems because of preexisting social inequalities. While we concentrate our energy on stopping the coronavirus from spreading, we must put more attention to the social impacts of the pandemic because they will stay even after the pandemic ends if people ignore them.

Journalistic Objectivity

Information gives people leverage to have autonomy over their lives. Unfortunately, information does not reach every sector of society—or rather, truth is not a universal resource. In a world of affinity-based media, it has proved to be a challenge for readers to discern correct representations of what’s happening from distorted versions. This challenge highlights the need for the practice of journalism objectivity. Amid the growing influence of opinionated reporting creating echo chambers, journalism needs to go back to a modified version of the tradition.

Culture & COVID: How museums reached the masses amid a global pandemic

In his foundational study on post-Cold War American power, Joseph Nye spoke to an alternative or ‘soft,’ form of power that lies in attracting others willingly to your position by fostering in them empathy or envy self-identification or aspiration. [1]  Culture, both high and low, signals society’s values, which together with its practices and policies comprise its core role as a tool of soft-power. As stewards of culture, museums have the potential to broker international soft power, working alongside or in partnership with institutions and governments to influence broad-based, positive change. [2] Museums possess an abundance of soft-power resources. Their collections include examples of civilization’s highest cultural achievements, and digitally, they foster awe, pride, admiration—the sentiments through which the persuasive power of public diplomacy operates.

Wolf Warrior Diplomats and the Need for a More Perfect Union

China is on the rise. So is its pride in itself, its culture, and its form of government. Nowhere is this more evident than China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy,” or zhanlang waijiao, the new diplomatic practice adopted by Chinese diplomats after President Xi Jinping took office.

It takes its name from the successful 2017 Chinese action movie Wolf Warrior 2 where the lead character, played by popular martial arts actor Wu Jing, takes down an American mercenary, Big Daddy. The movie is filled with waves of nationalism and is reflective of Xi’s governing ethos of the “Chinese Dream” and the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”