Intercultural communication and logical fallacies

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This blog is the first in a series in which I explore intercultural communication through the lens of logical fallacies, linking each fallacy to a current trend or event. I have chosen fallacies in the first instance because, as their name…

Wreckers are as important as builders

I was reading Eric Hobsbawn’s excellent eulogy on Tony Judt this rainy morning. One sentence struck me. Speaking of the end of the Communist system, this Marxist historian stated: The real heroes of the period [i.e. the end of communism]…

Diplomacy as poetry

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Can poetry help diplomacy? A joke, surely! Poetry and diplomacy are worlds apart and have nothing in common other than using language as a medium. Diplomacy is devoid of poetry unless, that is, we count the alliteration in President Trump’s…

A brief history of Yoga diplomacy

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Yoga, said Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2014, is not just exercise. 'By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can also help us deal with climate change.' He then urged the nations…

After Merkel

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When Paul McCartney was coining the lyrics for 'Those Were the Days', performed magnificently and with a touching romantic crescendo by Mary Hopkin, a young, bright, and promising student in Templin was dreaming of making breakthroughs in…

Why should diplomatic academies shift to online learning?

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A major outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has been a surge in online distance learning. As they say, necessity is a great mother of both innovation and change. With schools, universities, and other educational institutions…

The US approach to offline and online threats and attacks on critical infrastructure by non-state actors

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The US government has increasingly identified critical infrastructure as a particularly attractive target for criminal and terrorist groups that seek to injure the state’s interests and capabilities. But what is critical infrastructure? In…

Strategies of modern-day small states

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A general, yet to a certain extent incorrect, feeling in international relations is that smaller states are weaker than large or medium-sized states.  Many factors shed light on this school of thought, including the fact that larger states…

Digital accessibility in Kenya after COVID-19

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When the COVID-19 outbreak was first announced in Kenya in March 2020, panic began as people saw the effects of curfews and the closing of offices, businesses, and schools. Three days after the initial information regarding the first COVID-19…

Of topoi and memes

I’ll admit to a prejudice. I dislike Richard Dawkins, the emeritus professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. Holding such a pompous title is enough to warrant a demerit. Dawkins is broadly known for two insights. Both have…

Violent left and right: Which is more dangerous?

We condemn the violent left and right. Are the threats equivalent? Is one more dangerous? Let’s reflect – in compact fashion. 1.       Both share an ideology of a ‘desirable’ hierarchical social order Both extremes share a…

The abuse of analogies: Upon reading the article ‘Reading the CCP Clearly’

The pivoting argument in the article ‘Reading the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] Clearly’ by Perry Link (The New York Review of Books, 11 February 2021 issue) on US policy toward China is the topos of appeasement vs disagreement or resistance.…