Interview: Sifiso Ndlovu on the Soweto Youth Uprising (I)

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                       [Photo: lubilub/gettyimages]

In this episode of our interview series, our host Lynda Iroulo talks to Prof. Dr. Sifiso Ndlovu, Professor of History at the University of South Africa and executive director of the South African Democracy Education Trust.

Listen to part I of the interview, as Prof. Ndlovu talks about how he experienced the Soweto Youth Uprising in June 1976 as a 14-year-old boy, the role of the Afrikaans language in education, and how an initial dissatisfaction led to a historic event.

Find an abridged transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

Prof. Sifiso Ndlovu

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The curious case of the (almost) Republic of North Macedonia

A statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje [Photo: Robert Benson]
On September 30th, the people of a small country on the periphery of the European Union went to the polls to ask the question: what, if anything, is in a name?

For the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the stakes could not be higher.  Since its independence in 1991, Macedonia has been in a quixotic albeit highly-charged public row with Greece over its official state title. The problem stems from the perceived appropriation of the name Macedonia from a geographic and historical region of northern Greece which shares the country’s namesake.

The Greeks, for their part, claim that the government of Macedonia has deliberately tried to co-opt its Hellenic culture through a policy of ‘antiquisation’. Literally, the building of garish monuments and bronze statues scattered seemingly ironically through the capital city of Skopje and culminating in a surreal tribute to Alexander the Great: A spectacle that one must first see to believe.

The policy was the brainchild of then Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, whose nationalist government was brought down by a series of dramatic wiretapping revelations in 2016 and who this year was found guilty of abusing state funds.

Yet lavish spending and recriminations aside, the otherwise risible dispute has serious policy implications that extend well beyond the Balkan Peninsula.

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Interview: Inken von Borzyskowski on suspension and withdrawal from international organizations

                                                                                                                                                                                  [Photo: WZB]

In this new episode of our interview series, our host Lynda Iroulo talks to Inken von Borzyskowski, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Florida State University.

Listen in, as Professor von Borzyskowski gives insight into her research on states leaving international organizations, political backsliding, and potential lessons to be drawn from Brexit and US policy under Trump.

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

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It’s Time for Behavioral and Emotional International Relations

Two trends are emerging in International Relations (IR). One is the increasing receptiveness of scholars to insights from behavioural economics; the other is their growing interest in the role of emotions. These two trends have one thing in common: they both seek to bust the myth of rationality. Admittedly, many IR theories have already attempted to do so (e.g. constructivism, post-structuralism, feminism, or practice theory). However, these new approaches differ from the old ones in one important respect: they are more empirical because they are grounded in experimental and neuroscientific findings. This creates an opportunity for an interesting new body of IR scholarship. Before I get to that, let me first say a few words about behavioral economics and the scholarly turn towards emotions.

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Interview: John Boli on his career, methodological individualism and writing better

In this episode of our interview series, our host Lynda Iroulo talks to John Boli, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Listen in, as Boli gives insight into his journey to being a sociologist, current challenges within the discipline, and advice to young researchers on how to be better academic writers.

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

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No Clean Slate: Why the legitimacy of the Security Council isn’t what it used to be

 

If you were to sit down and design a new international organization whose job it was to “maintain international peace and security,” and you came back with the design for the current United Nations Security Council, you would be handed your hat.

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Interview: Nitsan Chorev on the politics of global health

In this episode of our interview series, our host Luis Aue talks to Prof. Nitsan Chorev, Harmon Family Professor of Sociology and International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

Listen in, as Chorev gives insight into her research on pharmaceutical production in Africa and the politics of trade, development and foreign aid.

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

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G-7 Summit: What it Tells Us About the Challenges to Western Cohesion

Image: pxhere.com

1975, Château de Rambouillet, 50 kilometers south-west of Paris. The heads of state and government of the six leading industrial countries gather for their first joint summit meeting. Today’s Group of Seven (G-7) was born. At its 44th summit, which took place at La Malbaie, Canada last week, the group saw a historic transition from careful policy coordination to undisguised political discord. From tensions over a possible readmission of Russia to President Trump’s instruction not to endorse the arduously negotiated communiqué – the gathering ended in a diplomatic fiasco. The more so as only one day later, on 10th June, China successfully orchestrated the inking of a joint summit declaration among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which also counts Russia and, more recently, India and Pakistan, among its members. Is the West breaking apart while the East consolidates?

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Norms of gender equality and the backlash against Istanbul Convention

Image from Wikimedia Commons, Zagreb March 2018
Banner says “Stop Istanbul (Convention) for Sovereign Croatia”

During the first couple of months of 2018, several countries in Europe witnessed a backlash against the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, widely known as the Istanbul Convention. In February 2018, Bulgarian government decided against the ratification of the Convention pointing out to the lack of popular support. At the same time, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church declared that the Convention opens the door to “moral decay” with its “gender ideology,” which is considered “alien” to Bulgarian society. The governing coalition (GERB) decided to withdraw the Convention from the parliament when faced by the opposition from both its coalition partner and the socialists.

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Interview: Enrique Beldarraín Chaple on the Cuban Health System and Medical Internationalism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Spondylolithesis/Gettyimages]

Dr Enrique Beldarraín Chaple

In this episode of our interview series, our host Claire Galesne talks to Dr Enrique Beldarraín Chaple, Chief of the research department at the Cuban National Information Centre of Sciences and professor of Public Health and History of Medicine.

Listen in, as Chaple gives insight into why he became a doctor, explains the Cuban health system, and talks about Cuban medical cooperation with other countries.

Find a short transcription of the interview below or listen to the full one here:

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