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World Affairs

PODCAST | A Just State? A Look Inside the Tyranny of ISIS

Mara Revkin, PhD candidate in Political Science at Yale University, unveils the legal structure, recruitment, and media management of the infamous yet understudied so-called Islamic State (ISIS). As part of her research, she has conducted interviews with defectors and individuals who have escaped ISIS occupied territory. She has also interacted with active members. In the podcast, Revkin explains the legal structures of ISIS and why it is appealing to followers.

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Thinking and Writing About Terrorism: Reflections on an Uncertain World

I am writing a book that will be called Confronting Terrorism. It examines the evolution of terrorism that culminates, for now, in the Islamic State’s ability to hold and “govern” substantial amounts of territory. This requires me to immerse myself in both the literature of terrorism and to view, from a distance, the nasty realities of this topic. I do not pretend to be as intimately involved as are the people who must live under terrorism’s darkest shadows every day. But I think a lot about how terrorism’s presence changes our world...

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Tech, Time, and Jihad

On December 28th, 2015, when the Iraqi army felt confident enough of the military situation around Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, it invited the world’s media to witness the raising of the national flag atop a central administration building. For the Iraqi government, the ejection of ISIS jihadists from …

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PODCAST | ISIS, Revolutionary Romance and the Seduction of Social Media

In the 1960s, marginalized and disenchanted by the social order, veteran journalist Abdallah Schleifer joined a rebellious literary movement and became a social revolutionary. Decades later, he reflects on what attracted him to the far left movement. In this excerpt from a longer conversation, Schleifer unpacks what draws marginalized youth to ISIS, articulating that just like the social revolutionary movements of the ’60s, the appeal of ISIS is not ideological, but rather existential.

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PODCAST | The Paris Attacks and the Refugee Narrative

With the tragic attacks in Paris last week, the emerging discourse has inevitably connected this atrocity to the migration crisis, particularly the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe. The closing of borders, and the decision to further restrict the flow of refugees by several Western countries has further escalated the already contentious debate about how best to handle this crisis. In light of this, we speak with The Guardian correspondent Patrick Kingsley about the media narrative around the crisis.

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Book Review | Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography

In Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography, Ariella Azoulay interrogates issues of visual culture, in particular photography, the role of spectator-critics, body politics, and citizenship, through the lens of the Palestinian struggle. She argues that the boundaries of the aesthetic, the political, and the civil perpetuate power relations of nation-states and exclusions. Kiranjeet Kaur Dhillon reviews.

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Cloud Computing and the Monolithic Narrativer

Rami Khater discusses the implications of automated translation based on cloud computing and warns that the subaltern’s narrative and voice could be removed from the interpretation of all human history if our collective knowledge passes through the filters of these trained algorithms.

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