Link Round-up for April 21

From around the blogosphere:

A victory in the effort to hold powerful white men accountable for sexual assault and harassment, this week Bill O’Reilly was forced out of his position at Fox News. O’Reilly had long been television’s top rated cable news host. The New York Times.

(Robert Wright for The New York Times)

Also this week, Theresa May did a 180 on her previously stated commitment to not hold a “snap election.” Elections in the United Kingdom will now take place on June 8th. CNN.

Protests in Venezuela flared up again this week. The country’s decline over the last two years has received scant attention, at least in American media. MPR.

Thursday, just days before the first round of French presidential elections set for Sunday, a policeman was killed on the Champs-Elysées. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by ISIS. The attacker Karim Cheurfi, a French citizen, was killed at the scene. There has been a proliferation of speculation about how the attack may influence the French election. With opponents of Marine Le Pen worrying that fear could increase her chances of victory. Financial Times.


(CNN)

Many believe Donald Trump bluffed and conned his way to the American presidency, but how will this strategy work in international politics? The revelation that it was false that an aircraft carrier had been sent towards Korea last week raised questions such as this one…The Atlantic.

The suicide of political scientist Will Moore has sparked grief across the discipline as well as calls to take mental health issues more seriously. Though I never met him, Will was an advisor to one of my professors, Joseph K. Young, who shared his grief and reflections at Duck of Minerva. Philip Schrodt also reflected on Will’s suicide on his blog. Inside Higher Ed ran an article on Will, with a particular focus on the status of mental health issues within the academy—not in relation to students, but faculty.

A post to be read by the not-faint-of-heart. Van Jackson argues that the personalities of Defense Secretary Mattis and Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and their potentially shared “coercive theory of victory” make inadvertent war on the peninsula likelier than ever before. War on the Rocks.

Finally, some discussion on the role of objectivity, factuality, and truth in politics and academia today. On Monday, Casey Williams wrote an op-ed for the New York Times arguing that Trump’s relationship to truth needs to be read in part as the result of the right-wing’s appropriation or strategic use of critical and postmodern critiques of objectivity and truth.

Matthew Yglesias, of Vox fame, responded derisively on Twitter…

Closer to IR, and perhaps a more sophisticated take comes from Laura Shepherd, writing for The Disorder of Things. Personally, I’ve been uncomfortable seeing academics who normally have nuanced critical takes on truth and reality doubling down on a sort of naïve realism to differentiate themselves from anything that resembles a system in which “alternative facts” can be given legitimate status. As Shepherd persuasively argues, postmodern or generally anti-positivist modes of thinking are not implicated in Trumpism's approach to facts and reality.

 

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