We Are Not Worthless: Resentment, Misrecognition and Populist Mobilization

July 12, 2021

We live in resentful times. Dare we even utter these words? They sound as trite and cliché as that time-honored opening sentence that has introduced so many articles on populism in recent years, “A specter is haunting Europe.” It can easily apply to Latin America, or the United States or, why...

Green Gold: The Curse of the Avocado

June 02, 2021

Guacamole, or so BBC has claimed, is “undoubtedly one of Mexico’s most popular dishes,” dating back to the times of the Aztecs. Thanks to Pancho Villa and Old El Paso’s spice mix, guacamole has conquered European lunch and dinner tables from Norway to France, from Switzerland to Spain....

Europe’s Thirst for Virtual Water: Blueberry Fields Forever?

May 27, 2021

Blueberries have long established themselves among the superfoods. They are tasty, low in calories and full of beneficial nutrients. Most importantly, they are a rich source of antioxidants that serve to protect against a range of diseases, most notably cancer. This might explain why the demand...

The Good Old Days: Nostalgia’s Political Appeal

May 21, 2021

Donald Trump is gone, yet his specter continues to haunt American politics. The UK is no longer part of the European Union, yet Brexit continues to provoke emotions on both sides of the Channel. Both Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election and the outcome of the Brexit referendum of...

The Politics of Recognition vs. Redistribution

May 12, 2021

At an earlier stage of my life, I had the great pleasure of spending two years teaching at York University in Toronto, Canada. Unlike the University of Toronto, whose campus looks like Harvard or Yale, York resembles British public universities such as Sussex: modern, functional, but without what...

What Led to Europe’s Vaccine Disaster?

April 15, 2021

In late December 2020, it was announced that Switzerland would start its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Eligible persons were asked to make an appointment. Those of a particular age with certain health risks — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and allergies — were encouraged to...

Germany’s Handling of the Pandemic: A Model of Incompetence?

March 15, 2021

There is an unwritten rule in politics: If you are incompetent, at least you should not be corrupt. It seems nobody ever informed the German Christian Democrats that this was the way of things. How else to explain why Christian Democratic MPs thought it was perfectly fine to take advantage of...

White Trash, White Privilege

March 12, 2021

I grew up in southern Bavaria in the 1960s. I started formal education at the age of six at the local Volksschule — the people’s school. Quite frankly, I don’t remember much about this time. Among the few things I do remember is the warning my parents gave me on my way to school to keep away...

Divide and Rule: What Drives Anti-Asian Resentment in America?

February 24, 2021

Donald Trump might have left the White House. His nefarious legacy, however, lingers on. A prominent case in point is the dramatic rise in the number of attacks on Asian Americans, ranging from verbal insults and harassment to physical assault to deadly acts of violence that has gone hand in hand...

What Happened to the Emerging Democratic Majority?

February 18, 2021

In November of last year, Donald Trump lost the presidential election with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate ever and the second-highest for a presidential candidate. Only Joe Biden did better. Trump also managed to garner the second-highest share of the non-white vote, 26%....

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