March 10, 2016 | By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week’s Reads – Global Shifts and Strains

A student offers a heart-shaped paper cutout to a French CRS riot policeman during a demonstration against the French labour law proposal in Lyon, France, as part of nationwide labor reform bill protests by students and union members, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

The dual forces of globalization and authoritarianism are colliding—in America and abroad. Deep structural shifts have taken place in the global economy, from rapid technological advances to major changes in migration. And while these shifts have created economic opportunity for millions, they have also put many out of work, displaced others, and stirred discontent on a mass scale. The upshot is fertile ground for authoritarian leaders who feed on fear and uncertainty. This week’s reads help to illustrate the nature of these shifts, and provide a glimpse of some of their uglier ramifications.


The Rise of American Authoritarianism

Amanda Taub/Vox

Researchers have found that authoritarianism is the greatest indicator to predict supporters of Donald Trump. These findings reveal long-term American support for authoritarian leaders.

Autocratic Attitudes Emerge in a Modern American Setting

Jacob Weisberg/Financial Times

Weisberg contends that autocracy in America is different from that of Europe, and that Donald Trump embodies American autocracy. The Republican establishment realized this, along with his commanding power over the Republican electorate, too late to pose a formidable challenge to Mr. Trump.

Europe is Horrified by Trump, but He’d Fit Right In

Stephan Faris/Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Faris cautions European critics of Donald Trump who believe he would never be elected in Europe. Trump’s key messages would most likely resonate with marginalized working-class European voters who have put other nationalist politicians in positions of leadership.

Turkey Seizes Newspaper, Zaman, as Press Crackdown Continues

Safak Timur and Tim Arango/The New York Times

On Friday, Turkish authorities seized control of the country’s most read newspaper, Zaman, with a court order. This caused protests from Turkish citizens, newspaper employees, and global advocates of freedom of the press.


Berlin/Ankara Migration Pact — Wrecking Ball or Silver Bullet?

Alex Barker and Duncan Robinson/Financial Times

Germany and Turkey’s plan of returning any refugee who arrives on any Greek island back to Turkey is simple, but it faces several legal, political, and logistical obstacles in order to be deemed a success.  

Global Trade: Structural Shifts

Shawn Donnan/Financial Times

This year will mark the fifth straight year of dismal growth in global trade. Experts believe this is a sign that factors that have driven globalization are shifting to include the digital world and big data.

The World Has a Problem: Too Many Young People

Somini Sengupta/The New York Times

Sengupta argues that having too many young people is a problem in developing nations due to a lack of well-paying jobs for them. This can spur mass relocation, political discontent, negative impacts on the global economy, and myriad other negative consequences.


The Man Who Made Millions off the Afghan War

Matthieu Aikins/The New Yorker

The New Yorker presents the story of an Afghan contractor for the United States military who earned more than one hundred and sixty million dollars for his services. The contractor is accused of making record profits from bribery. 

The Great Land Rush

Tom Burgis/Financial Times

Vast Ethiopian farm lands have caught the attention of land-hunters, who invest large sums into farms in the hopes of maximizing profits. The farm lands remain both a source of triumph and violence for Ethiopia.


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