• Erica Weiss and Guy Ben-Porat respond to Stacey Gutkowski's blog, "Groundhog Day all over again"

    Salvaging Israeli Secular Culture Erica Weiss, Tel Aviv University In 1970, Jacob Gruber coined the term “salvage anthropology” to describe the practice of 19th century ethnographers documenting the languages and cultures of those peoples threatened by extinction due to European and American colonialism. And so, it is somewhat ironic that this practice of recording vanishing cultures is just what jumps to my mind as I read Stacey Gutkowski’s account of modern secular Israelis. This is hyperbol…

  • Groundhog Day all over again - but new ways of studying political violence, peace and the secular in Israel/Palestine and beyond by Stacey Gutkowski, King’s College London

    Close observers of Israeli politics could be forgiven for thinking they have fallen into the film Groundhog Day, where a character played by Bill Murray lives the same day over and over again in excruciating detail. The Israeli electorate now faces their fourth national election in two years after the coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to agree a budget. The country is yet again in a pre-electoral holding pattern, with the exception of the Covid vaccine roll out…

  • Fratelli tutti: The Foundations of Pope Francis´ (Geo)political Programme by Petr Kratochvil

    Papal encyclicals are among the few documents produced by the Catholic Church that seem to be tailor-made for our times. They allow their authors to present matters of doctrine and morals rather accessibly, connecting them with a personal story, a parable, an anecdote. Popes have turned into celebrities of sorts and encyclicals (or, rather, their newspaper summaries) are the exact amount of Catholicism that the global audience is willing to process. Pope Francis makes the reception even easier b…

  • Interview with Ahmet Kuru on his new award winning book: Islam, Authoritarianism and Underdevelopment

    Professor Kuru's book was the recent co-winner of APSA's International History and Politics Section book award. How did you become interested in the intersection between international history and politics? I became interested in that intersection when I wrote my PhD dissertation, which was later published as a book, Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey (Cambridge University Press, 2009). While writing it, I was trying to understand why American sta…

  • International religious freedom and US foreign policy: How will Biden's policy differ from Trump's?

    by Jeffrey Haynes, London Metropolitan University, UK Improving international religious freedom (IRF) has been a priority of US foreign policy for a quarter of a century, since 1998 when Bill Clinton signed into law the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) (Haynes 2020). During the Trump administration IRF concerns focused on: (1) Christians and Muslims in several countries around the world (2) furthering what Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, was pleased to call Judeo-Christian values, a…