Beyond Intractability in Context Blog

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Posts ordered from most recent to earliest.

  • From a defecting Russian diplomat, an explanation of how anenvironment in which dissent was not tolerated led to the tragedy in Ukraine (with important lessons for those suppressing dissent in the US). -- The Sources of Russian Misconduct --
  • For those clinging to the belief that the United States is still the most successful democracy, evidence that others are doing better (and that maybe we can learn from them). -- America's Democratic Backsliding Is Not Universal  --
  • An examination of how the Republican Party that nominated Mitt Romney came to embrace Donald Trump in the style of politics we now call Trumpism. -- Don't Buy the Mitt Romney Martyr Theory  --
  • Disturbing news for those who thought that the United States was united in its opposition to the kind of brutal aggression on display in Ukraine. -- Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson, and Midterm Candidates Peddle Russian Propaganda  --
  • Reflections on the far-reaching implications of a political philosophy that sees racism as the sole factor that determines the course of society. -- This Is What Happens When Race Is Everything --
  • An only slightly reassuring exploration of what everyone ought to know about the tactical nuclear weapons that now threaten to take us to the first nuclear war since 1945. -- Tactical Nukes: A Primer --
  • As it fights its internal battles over racial and cultural issues, the world is sliding toward the kind of major confrontation that could make United States' internal battle seem trivial. -- We Are Suddenly Taking On China and Russia at the Same Time --
  • A thoughtful look at the miracle of religious pluralism and tolerance that we take for granted and reflections on why we can't seem to apply this to the "culture war." -- Disagreement Isn’t Bigotry --
  • While there is plenty of reason to fear the rise of authoritarian leaders like Xi and Putin, there is also reason to believe that they may be sowing the seeds of their own (and their country's) destruction. -- Xi Jinping Has Fallen Into the Dictator Trap --
  • Reflections on the fact that a great many of the stories of extreme racism that are doing so much to drive us apart turn out not to be true. -- What a Report of Extreme Racism Teaches Us --
  • A look at California's efforts to deal with the hard choices that arise when the problems of untreated mental illness intersect with the politically explosive issue of homelessness. -- Calif. Passed CARE Court Bill. Will Other States Follow? --
  • An insightful exploration of the ways in which anti-Semitism differs from other forms of prejudice and discrimination. -- Why Conspiracy Theorists Always Land on the Jews --
  • An article that explores the failure of the "theory of change" that we thought would lead to the emergence of successful liberal democracies around the world. -- Why China Didn’t Liberalize --
  • A report on the war in Ukraine with stunning statistics revealing that Ukrainians have captured and are using more heavy equipment from the Russians than they have been receiving from the West. -- Ukraine’s New Offensive Is Fueled by Captured Russian Weapons --
  • An article that demonstrates how extraordinarily difficult is going to be to build a bipartisan consensus on how to control the many aspects of social media that threaten democracy. -- How social media ‘censorship’ became a front line in the culture war --
  • An important appeal to the US and its allies -- think carefully about the lessons we learn from the war in Ukraine and don't make the mistake of thinking we are more powerful than we really are. -- Russia's Defeat in Ukraine Would Be America's Problem --
  • A look at the obstacles that we will have to overcome before we can expect to reintegrate the many men and boys who are now alienated from both our economy and our society. -- Why Men Are Hard to Help --
  • An article to help us fill in a critically important gap in our understanding of what, exactly, allowed the Nazis to come to power. We need to understand this history to avoid repeating it. -- How Hitler's Enablers Undid Democracy in Germany --
  • A different and informative kind of dialogue -- a discussion transcript created by a reporter seeking to succinctly bring together competing views on the tension between Columbus and Indigenous Peoples Day. -- A Columbian Exchange --
  • An exploration of the many difficulties being faced by contemporary men and an explanation of why society's failure to address these problems is both a human tragedy and a political disaster. -- Men Are Falling Behind --
  • More insight into the complexities of human psychology. This essay explores the surprisingly sophisticated nature of competition in evolutionary biology. -- Fortune favours the shrewd --
  • A different and thought-provoking argument that hyper-polarization isn't the big problem. Rather it's a symptom of a bigger problem -- illiberalism on both the left and the right. -- Both Left and Right Are Converging on Authoritarianism --
  • An inspiring report on Ireland's Citizens Assembly and its surprisingly successful efforts to bring collaborative problem-solving to the morally fraught issue of abortion. -- Give Ordinary People a Say On Abortion (and Other Contentious Issues) --
  • An important reminder that religious freedom is of critical importance to all – even those whose socio-cultural beliefs are not grounded in one of the major religious traditions. -- Why Religious Freedom Matters, Even if You’re Not Religious --
  • An in-depth review and summary of two major new books that explore options for strengthening democracy in ways that better cope with socio-cultural diversity and economic inequity. -- How Democracies Live: The Long Struggle for Equality Amid Diversity --