Egypt in Turmoil: What It Means for the Rest of the World

With all the fears ISIS has generated about the possibility of homegrown terrorism cells sprouting up throughout Western nations, the recent attack in Egypt, which left at least 25 people dead, is a stark reminder that Islamic fundamentalists are a threat in predominantly Muslim countries as well.

Some reports claim the attack was made with a car bomb, while other sources claim an RPG struck a vehicle containing ammunition.… [Read more]

Cheers To 2012!

With Christmas behind us and a new year about to begin, we are drawn to reflect on the events of the year just passed. Overwhelmingly, we have been accosted with news of more tragedies than we should have to endure, and some days it has been difficult to find the bright spots in it all. I wanted to wrap up the year here with a list to remind us that 2012 was more than just a year of rapidly escalating protests, political upheaval, and tragic gun violence.… [Read more]

Israel and the Arab Spring: Crazy Conservatives Wrong Again

Islamist Egypt wipes Israel off the face of earth. Now that’s a headline one would be expecting to see around this time if one bought into all the conservative hyperbolic theories that surrounded the Arab Spring (for example). Conservative pundits argued that regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and even Turkey (which technically was not part of the Arab Spring but experienced a more Islam-oriented political revival in recent years in contrast to its secular, Kemalist past) would soon unite in a frenzy of Islamist passions to seek the utter destruction of the Jewish state.… [Read more]

Avenue of the Plutocrats

In case you didn’t know, Plutocracy is a word coined in the seventeenth century to describe oligarchic rule by the wealthy and is a combination of the Greek words “ploutos” (πλοῦτος), meaning “wealth” and “kratos” (κράτος), meaning “domination”.… [Read more]

The Limitations of the United States and its President

Despite his empty-chair-talking tendencies, I still remain a fan of many of Clint Eastwood’s movies. And one of my favorite Eastwood scenes occurs in the Dirty Harry film Magnum Force where Clint observes “Man’s got to know his limitations.”

I only wish more people heeded this advice.

Most recently, the Romney campaign has been peddling the asinine idea that riots in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, etc.; the rise of the Muslim brotherhood and similar Islamist organizations; and the even the whole damn Arab Spring is the fault of (you guessed it) President Barack Obama.… [Read more]

Islamism vs. Institutions: Not a Simple Equation

Often it goes without saying in the political science world that the best way to foster liberal democracy against the threats of extremism and illiberalism in a post-revolution society is through the presence of institutions and political parties.

However, the recent Arab-Spring-related elections may not bare this popular theory out.

Egypt—a country with a deep history of civic institutions, secularism, and political parties—elected a member of the Islamist party, the Muslim Brotherhood, as its first post-Mubarak regime president.… [Read more]

Wrap It Up, July 1, 2012

We started the week with a simple question: “Where’s the humanity?” What made us think about this was an article from an overseas newspaper that reported a man died because of the lack of access to health care — caused, in part, by policy. We found ourselves understanding that processes and procedures allow organisations to run more efficiently, but when those same means of operational effectiveness result in loss of life, all for the sake of following codes, then those procedures should be re-evaluated.… [Read more]

Freaking Out Over Egypt’s Islamists

Every now and again, my inbox becomes the victim of interest group spam. Most recently, a rogue, unsolicited email reached me with urgent news from a conservative website: Not only had Egypt elected an evil Islamist as its new president but our own president, Barack Obama, had called to congratulate him! Gasp! We can only assume now that the reign of Sharia law will race through the world, wiping out Israeland the Western world in its path!… [Read more]