Government and Society


Fallout from the Iraq War
The second casualty of war is the realization of wish lists
01/01/2005 | by Stanley Hoffmann
It’s still too early to see the end result of the war in Iraq itself, in the broader Middle East, or in the United States. But already we can see that a war waged to combat terrorism, stop WMD proliferation, and protect America has instead set up a prime recruiting ground for new jihadists, upset the international order that benefited the US, and tempted Washington into self-defeating unilateralism and illiberalism.
Category Political Culture, Government and Society, United States of America, North America, The Americas
Religion and Politics in the US and Germany
Which has more theologian MPs—Congress or the Bundestag?
01/01/2005 | by Karsten D. Voigt
Religious convictions have always influenced politics on both sides of the Atlantic. But religious considerations have been having a greater influence over American politics in recent years, with several potential implications for transatlantic relations.
Category Religion, Government and Society, Worldwide
Raphael Lemkin’s Concept of Genocide
Fifty years later, the first conviction was handed down
01/01/2005 | by Anson Rabinbach
A few years ago, the New York Times described Polish-Jewish jurist Raphael Lemkin (1901-1959) as a “largely forgotten immigrant from Poland who coined the word genocide and pushed a convention outlawing it through the General Assembly.” Only with the creation of the International Tribunal for Crimes in former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which secured the first-ever conviction for the crime of genocide, has Lemkin emerged from undeserved obscurity.
Category Government and Society, History, Worldwide
Standards and Status
Violence against minorities a year ago scared everyone
01/01/2005 | by Marie-Janine Calic
Talks on the final legal status of Kosovo are due to start this summer. So far Pristina and Belgrade remain at loggerheads, and the international community is only beginning to formulate some ideas of how to square the circle of Serb refusal to give up its erstwhile province and Kosovar Albanian insistence on nothing less than full independence. The internationals have now ruled out any return to Serb rule, however.
Category State Building, Government and Society, Kosovo, South-East Europe, Europe
Al Qaeda's New Recruits
01/08/2004 | by Christoph Reuter
Qais Ibrahim Qadir was a thoroughly polite and well-read young man in his late 20s. He had plenty of spare time after he alone survived a suicide attack on a provincial governor in the eastern part of the former Kurdish autonomy zone in northern Iraq. So in prison he took five hours to tell the author why he had joined al Qaeda and wanted to kill both himself and much of the rest of humanity.
Category Terrorism, Security, Religion, Government and Society, Worldwide
Islamist Totalitarianism
01/08/2004 | by Joachim Krause
With the train bombings in Madrid last March, fundamentalist Islamic terrorism arrived in Europe. Before more than 200 commuters were killed there, most Europeans had regarded the threat of al Qaeda as a specifically American problem, a private war waged by a strange Saudi Arabian billionaire against the world’s superpower. The Europeans and especially the Germans were either in denial about the threat or failed to take it seriously.
Category Security, Terrorism, Religion, Government and Society, Islamic world
Crying Wolf about Antisemitism
01/08/2004 | by Richard Herzinger
If you shout “Wolf!” too often, people may not listen when the beast is actually at the door. Apathy has already become a widespread European reaction to the topic of antisemitism.
Category Government and Society, Religion, Worldwide, Islamic world, Near and Middle East/North Africa
The “Putin System” and Political Pluralism
01/08/2004 | by Jasper Wieck
“Together with the President” was the campaign slogan of United Russia, and only Putin’s personal appearance at the party’s convention last September spurred its polling figures to climb sharply three months before the vote. Precisely because Putin enjoys widespread public approval— unlike his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin — his “party of power” was able to drive to victory for the first time in the history of the new Russia.
Category Government and Society, Political System, Political Culture, Russia, Germany
Policy and Public Opinion
01/05/2004 | by Craig Kennedy, Natalie La Balme
Opinion surveys are now crucial elements in American and European political discourse. Poll results are often provocative and, when administered with methodological rigor, can provide real insights into the “public mood” at any given point. But just how does such research feedinto policymaking? Are surveys simply interesting snapshots of citizen attitudes, or do they now dominate policy in an unhealthy way?
Category Political System, Government and Society, German Foreign Policy, Worldwide, Germany, Iraq