February 7, 2017

The development of post-war European politics is difficult to grasp without a discussion of the role of Catholicism. It’s central role is evident across the continent, most obviously in the establishment and subsequent influence of Christian Democracy in Germany and Italy, but also in myriad social movements and in the diverse processes of democratization. As noted in a recent article in The Economist discussing this issue: “Devout statesmen such as Robert Schuman of France, Italy’s Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer of Germany (pictured, left... Read more

July 28, 2016

There has been much talk over the years as to whether Liberation Theology has raised its status in the Church since the accession of Francis to the papacy. I will leave the theology to the theologians but as a political economist, if it has done, it certainly has a funny way of showing it. When Catholics think of the economic side of Liberation Theology, it’s generally associated with Latin American economist Raul Prebisch and Dependency Theory. For those unfamiliar with... Read more

July 26, 2016

Observing the tragic news from the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the usual thoughts come to mind: the increasing frequency of these events, the implications for the upcoming French elections (particularly increased support for the far right Front National), and deep concern as to what increasingly appears to be something more akin to a form of domestic insurgency in Europe rather than terrorism. Jewish institutions in Europe have regularly been targets of extreme violence, with the climate of anti-semitism becoming so marked... Read more

July 19, 2016

As democracy has withered in Russia, the Kremlin has increasingly sought alternatives to a mandate at the ballot box to legitimize the government. In the early years of the regime, the relative stability and prosperity that were experienced (granted, a low bar when placed in the context of the chaos and economic collapse of the Yeltsin era) seemed to do the job. More recently, with the price of oil far below the level necessary to sustain the Russian government’s annual... Read more

June 15, 2016

While this blog generally focuses on international affairs, in light of recent events in domestic politics – it seems the right time for a post about the good ol’ U.S. of A. At present, no one seems quite clear as to the where American politics is headed. Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, has taken the GOP off in new directions. While on the other side of the aisle, the undeniable success of Bernie Sanders – despite his primary loss... Read more

May 26, 2016

Earlier this week President Obama paid an official visit to Vietnam as part of his current tour of East Asia. Upon his arrival on Sunday the Vietnamese government released from prison one of the country’s most well known dissidents as a gesture of good will. Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, a founder of the pro-democracy movement Bloc 8406, has been in and out Vietnam’s prisons since 1977, spending much of remainder of that time under house arrest. While he was... Read more

May 15, 2016

The people of the Philippines went to the polls this week to elect a new president.  Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, the current occupant of Malacañan Palace and son of former president Corazon Aquino, was constitutionally barred from seeking a second term. On election day, his supporters split between Senator Grace Poe and former Senator and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Thus, on Tuesday the world woke up  to discover that the third largest Catholic country in the world, with a population of 100 million of... Read more

February 8, 2016

A little over a decade ago George Weigel, writing in First Things, noted the absence of attention to what he termed “Catholic international relations theory.” This was the first time that I had encountered the term. At Emory University, I had completed a B.A. in international affairs and philosophy, and a M.A. in philosophy with a focus on the Scholastic tradition but had never come across this concept. Subsequently, I would go on to complete my doctorate in political science at the... Read more

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