Antoney Bell, McGill University
Cat Zakrzewski and Craig Timberg, “Biden’s tech agenda gets a reality check as Elon Musk buys Twitter,” The Washington Post.
Big Tech will become more powerful in the new digital Gilded age after the Elon Musk Twitter deal is finalized. While Elon Musk has argued that removing censorships from twitter will allow unfettered free speech, which is “the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” the Democrats have criticized the tech mogul by suggesting that the growing influence of billionaires has become a threat to democratic governments. Despite Washington voicing its disapproval of the Twitter deal, the lack of regulatory policies for corporate technology companies has allowed Big Tech to rival the world’s most powerful governments.
Ndongo Samba Sylla, “The Franc Zone, a Tool of French Neocolonialism in Africa,” Jacobin.
Although many African countries have attempted to dismantle their colonial ties with European countries, former French African colonies have remained integral to France’s geopolitical and economic relevance for more than fifty years after gaining their independence. France has maintained its grip on Africa through cooperation agreements which are nothing more than a neocolonial system of compliance that has entrenched French rule in Africa and contributed to the continent’s underdevelopment. Sylla argues that the French government has forced many of its former colonies to adopt the CFA Franc, a colonial currency backed by the French treasury, which ensures its economic stability and dominance in regions of Africa “apart from [its] outright military intervention.” French economic prosperity through African subjugation has continued under Macron who is now seeking to isolate Nigeria with the help of the Ivory Coast in order to “turn the process of regional monetary integration in [his] own favor.”
Elizabeth Zerofsky, “France’s Far Right Turn,” The New York Times Magazine.
Despite Macron’s re-election, right-wing extremism and ethnic nationalism have corrupted French electoral politics in recent years. In this article, Zerofsky describes the rise of far-right politics in France through influential political figures including Éric Zemmour, Marine Le-Pen, and Maréchal who have incited anti-immigrant sentiments, reinforced the legal doctrine of secularism to persecute French Muslims, and rejected any notions of religious pluralism or multiculturalism by adhering to discourses on France’s white Christian heritage. With Macron controlling mainstream French politics, the elections have shown that far-right populists and anti-establishment radicals are the only alternatives to the current president. Is France’s presidential election part of a trend among participatory democracies that are seemingly undergoing a transition towards right-wing extremism?
Daniel R. Quiroga-Villamarín, The Graduate Institute Geneva
Frederik Dhondt, “Book Review: Jennifer Pitts Boundaries of the International: Law and Empire Cambridge, Harvard University Press,” 2018, 304 p. Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 76(4), 858-861.
In his recent book review, Dhondt highlights some of the absent presences of Pitt’s Boundaries of the International monograph. He concludes with a call to complement our accounts of traditional Western European empires with the less explored histories of the Ottoman or the Russian empires—and of the rising Italian and German imperial constellations.
Patryk I. Labuda, “On Eastern Europe, ‘Whataboutism’ and ‘West(s)plaining’: Some Thoughts on International Lawyers’ Responses to Ukraine,” EJIL: Talk!
As reader might remember from my previous selection of readings, the last couple of weeks have been saturated with commentary from international lawyers in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In his nuance and textured think peace, Labuda urges for a situated approach which considers the particular historical traumas of Eastern Europeans.
Sophie Rigney, “Symposium on Early Career International Law Academia: Your One Wild and Precious Life,” Afronomics Law
In this post, which is part of a broader symposium cohosted by OpinioJuris and Afronomics Law on early career academia, Rigney reflects on the challenges of maintaining a healthy work-life balance for junior researchers. While this symposium is mostly geared towards legal scholars, I hope that this post can also resonate with some of the dire situations doctoral researchers face in History Departments and across the social sciences.
Martin Crevier, University of Cambridge
Jean-François Nadeau, 'Oublié, le pouvoir ouvrier?', Le Devoir https://www.ledevoir.com/societe/685566/cinquante-ans-du-front-commun-oublie-le-pouvoir-ouvrier
John Gallagher, ‘Where wolf?’, LRB, https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v44/n07/john-gallagher/where-wolf
Yaël Eisenstat and Nils Gilman, ’The Myth of Tech Exceptionalism’, NOEMA, https://www.noemamag.com/the-myth-of-tech-exceptionalism/