“How to Hide an Empire”: Daniel Immerwahr on the History of the Greater United States

“How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” That’s the title of a new book examining a part of the U.S. that is often overlooked: the nation’s overseas territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, former territories like the Philippines, and its hundreds of military bases scattered across the globe. We speak with the book’s author, Daniel Immerwahr, who writes, “At various times, the inhabitants of the U.S. Empire have been shot, shelled, starved, interned, dispossessed, tortured and experimented on. What they haven’t been, by and large, is seen.” Immerwahr is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University.

Reconciling after civil conflict increases social capital but decreases individual well-being

Science Journals — AAAS

Civil wars divide nations along social, economic, and political cleavages, often pitting one neighbor against another. To restore social cohesion, many countries undertake truth and reconciliation efforts. We examined the consequences of one such effort in Sierra Leone, designed and implemented by a Sierra Leonean nongovernmental organization called Fambul Tok. As a part of this effort, community-level forums are set up in which victims detail war atrocities, and perpetrators confess to war crimes. We used random assignment to study its impact across 200 villages, drawing on data from 2383 individuals. We found that reconciliation had both positive and negative consequences.

The EU Must Terminate Hungary’s Membership

The West’s meltdown in Afghanistan shows that democratic institutions cannot be established by force and foreign aid. The lesson for the European Union should be clear: if it does not lead by example and expel its own authoritarians, its stated commitment to democracy will mean nothing.


Monetary Order and International Security

Historically, there have long been close parallels between the collapse of monetary systems and the fall of global security orders. Hegemony requires a sound financial basis and global credibility – assets that can evaporate much faster than anyone in power cares to admit.

The nineteenth-century global order had been built around British imperial power, with the gold standard serving as its financial foundation. The gold standard was sustained by the expectation that even if it was suspended in times of war, the end of hostilities would allow the currency to return to its pre-war gold value. That promise of a constant gold value provided an element of credibility that made it easier for a wartime government to borrow, and thus to bear the cost of the conflict. 


How Beijing Is Redefining What It Means to Be Chinese, from Xinjiang to Inner Mongolia

Although Article 4 of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China theoretically guarantees equality for all its 56 ethnic groups, in reality the Chinese Communist Party rules according to a Han Chinese orthodoxy, which claims a direct lineage from the early Yellow River basin tribes and alone defines the national vision. It is this ideology that drives not just the assault on religion in Xinjiang but also the erosion of freedoms in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, curbs on local language in Inner Mongolia and the corralling of 2.8 million Tibetans into urban work groups under the guise of “poverty alleviation.”

The goal, according to an official ordinance on the government website for the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, is to “break lineage, break roots, break connections and break origins.”


From the Street to the Peace Table: Nonviolent Mobilization during Intrastate Peace Processes

Though nonviolent grassroots movements often help spur transitions to peace and democracy, they are rarely invited to play a role in formal peace processes. Yet these movements can and do influence the course and content of peace negotiations and contribute to the quality and durability of the resulting peace. This report examines the strategies they employ and provides insights for grassroots movements currently mobilizing for peace or change in Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.


Why is China smashing its tech industry?

Maybe because what countries think of as a “tech industry” isn’t always the same 

In other words, the crackdown on China’s internet industry seems to be part of the country’s emerging national industrial policy. Instead of simply letting local governments throw resources at whatever they think will produce rapid growth (the strategy in the 90s and early 00s), China’s top leaders are now trying to direct the country’s industrial mix toward what they think will serve the nation as a whole.


Indicator Podcasts on Water Scarcity

Here is a series of four 9 minute podcasts exploring different aspects of water security, scarcity, access, and other related issues. This topic provides great connections to HLX concepts like Health, Environment, Borders, and Security along with issues related to economic development.

Here are some other articles under the category of “water”

Water In The West: Bankrupt?


Liquid Markets


Water’s Cheap… Should It Be?


Should The Lawns In Vegas, Stay In Vegas?


The 9/11 Effect and the Transformation of Global Security

The scale and audacity of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, spurred sweeping changes in the way the United States, its partners, and adversaries used the machinery of state and technology to respond to threats. In this Council of Councils global perspectives, five experts reflect on the legacy of the attacks and offer insights into the biggest changes in counterterrorism, human rights, surveillance, international law of war, and border security.


Why it Matters Podcast: Water Scarcity

Fresh water is more than just a resource, it is the source of all life. But in many arid regions of the world, water supplies are under pressure from climate change, and outdated rules and infrastructure are making the problem worse. What does the world need to know about water consumption, and how can societies build better systems for a dryer future?   Featured Guests:  Mark Giordano (Professor of Geography and Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environment and International Affairs, Georgetown University)  Sandra Postel (Founder and Director, Global Water Policy Project)