The Great Experiment Americans, according to John Jay, were “a people descended from the same ancestors speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.” He believed American commonalities made self-governance possible. The sentiment was a bit of a stretch even in... Continue Reading →
The Limits to Political Protest
Ukraine Shows the Limits to Political Protest Last week a listener of the podcast emailed me. She raised the possibility of civil resistance as an alternative for Ukraine to oppose Russia's military invasion. Some readers will dismiss the idea as naive. However, the publication of Why Civil Resistance Works by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan brought... Continue Reading →
How are Urban Revolutions Different?
Become a Patron! Urban Revolutions Revolution has changed over the past forty years. It has transformed from violent civil wars into massive mobilizations of unarmed protesters. However, Mark Beissinger believes the most important change in revolutions involves where events take place. He argues revolutions have moved from the countryside into cities. Moreover, the difference between... Continue Reading →
Why Don’t Russians Revolt?
Why Don't Russians Revolt? As sanctions continue to devastate the Russian economy, some have hoped the Russian people might rise up in revolt. However, Vladimir Putin's approval ratings have remained high or even increased. Of course, it's difficult to ascertain the genuine level of support in such a repressive environment. But plenty of anecdotal evidence... Continue Reading →
Mark Beissinger on Contemporary Urban Civic Revolutions
Mark Beissinger is a professor of politics at Princeton University and the author of the new book The Revolutionary City: Urbanization and the Global Transformation of Rebellion. Become a Patron! I think the revolutionary process has become somewhat less consequential in some ways. The ability to bring about substantive change in the wake of... Continue Reading →
How will Eastern Ukraine Respond to Russia’s Assault
Eastern Ukraine Under Assault As Russia makes a strategic pivot toward Eastern Ukraine, the challenge goes beyond the battlefield. A divide has long existed between Eastern and Western Ukraine. The most notable difference between the regions is linguistic. Russian is more widely spoken in Eastern Ukraine as opposed to Ukrainian. However, Eastern Ukraine has also... Continue Reading →
Craig Whitlock on the Lessons Learned in Afghanistan
Craig Whitlock is an investigative reporter at The Washington Post and the author of The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Become a Patron! It's still shocking to me to read a lot of these documents and interviews in, The Afghanistan Papers, things that most people would think are obvious. What's the plan... Continue Reading →
How Will Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine End?
How Will Russia's Invasion of Ukraine End? Let me start with a simple admission. Nobody really knows how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will end. However, careful observers can make some measured predictions based on geopolitical interests, past behaviors, and historical lessons. It’s always possible Putin will defy conventional wisdom and logic to chart his own... Continue Reading →