Tag Archives: repressive regimes

“A Theory of Deeds” Threatens the Russian State

Could helping your neighbor deem you an enemy of the state? The Duma, Russia’s legislature, is leaning that way by trying to regulate what de Tocqueville admired in early America: the “innumerable multitude of small undertakings” that constitute community, what … Continue reading

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What If Propaganda Were Cool?

A recent article in The New Republic about the motivational art by Hugh Macleod commissioned for tech start-ups demonstrates an almost-antidote to its more buttoned-down corporate counterparts that are so often and easily parodied. Macleod’s back-of-the-business-card doodles can be a bracing … Continue reading

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How to Watch Propaganda

Certain parts of the blogosphere are atwitter about China’s announcement that it has commenced flight tests aboard its first commissioned aircraft carrier.  You can watch this five-minute newscast on the PLA Navy’s Liaoning from CCTV: I’m personally less alarmed, and as … Continue reading

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The Subjective Political

While virtually everything to be said about the recent presidential election has been said, it may help rein in the unseemly round of Democratic schadenfreude to suggest it wasn’t too long ago they were in the same position as the … Continue reading

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The Problem of Propaganda

Last week, the Vietnamese government sentenced two musicians on the charge of “anti-state propaganda,” apparently the first case in recent memory that Hanoi imprisoned artists under the charge. But within the month the government put on trial three writers on the same charge of … Continue reading

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IKEA Pussies Out in Russia

The Moscow Times recently reported that IKEA, the world’s most recognizable home furnishings brand, recently pulled this image (left) from an online competition to produce the cover image for their products 2013 catalog in Russia. In place of this image, … Continue reading

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Confining and Defining Terrorism in Syria

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared Syria a “terrorist state” while the country has hosted a crush of refugees fleeing regime persecution across the two countries’ shared 556-mile border. Turkey is a powerful and influential country in a volatile … Continue reading

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Riot Girls

Almost everything that needs to be said about the case of Pussy Riot, the Russian all-female punk rock band now awaiting a verdict in a “hooliganism” trial in Moscow, has been said.  Nobody seriously doubts this is a political show … Continue reading

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How Dictators Kiss Babies

My recent photo essay in Foreign Policy discussed the use of images of children from conflict zones in political communications and was based in large measure on my experience working at NATO.  But it was also informed by a close … Continue reading

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Hemlines, Symphonies, and Nuclear Weapons

The New York Times’ recent article about rising North Korean hemlines and the speculation they raised about changes in the country’s leadership under Kim Jong-Un was a journalist’s device for exploring the opaque nature of a hermetic and paranoid country. … Continue reading

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