Essay in English

Shuddhshar always strives to finding new ways to satiate the intellectual appetite of its readers. Towards that end, we have added an Op-Ed section—the latest addition to Shuddhashar’s repository of intellectual tools. We aim to build a constellation of columnists from diverse backgrounds who would, from their unique perspectives, produce commentaries on contemporary sociopolitical issues and events that demand rigorous scrutiny, constructive criticism, and sober reflections. We also encourage our readers, especially those who live under the yoke of a repressive state apparatus, to use this platform to speak truth to power by penning columns and engaging in lively discussions in the comments section.

Climate — a gamechanger in Norwegian elections

The Center Party (Senterpartiet) was the big winner in the recent Norwegian elections. Although the Labour Party won fewer seats than previously, they are seen as winners too, as they now by far are Norway’s biggest party.  The Conservative Party (Høyre) lost many seats. The left will now form a government, under the leadership of …

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Do Elites Learn?  The Evidence is Worrying

“They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing!” was Talleyrand’s alleged description of French elites as they returned home in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the Revolution. Unable to conceive that their own actions might have cast France into chaos, these elites oscillated between pretending the Revolution never happened and taking revenge on participants. …

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Will the West’s newfound solidarity with the Afghan refugees last?

While a humanitarian crisis was unfolding on the tarmac of Kabul International Airport, through a televised address by the French president Emmanuel Macron, Afghan refugees caught a glimpse of what to expect in life on the run. Now accused of pandering to the far-right, Macron argued that his country must “anticipate and protect itself from …

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Elections — Norwegian style

Norway is the world’s most democratic country according to ‘The Economist’ magazine’s ‘democracy index’ of 2019.  With 9.87 points out of a possible 10, Norway tops the 167 countries included in the index. Iceland is just behind, Sweden follows in third place as the most democratic EU country, followed by New Zealand. Denmark, Canada, Ireland, …

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Pegasus Spyware and the Globalisation of the Security State

In July 2021, in what is likely to be the spy scandal of the year, Amnesty International released a list of 50,000 phone numbers they claimed had been hacked by an advanced spyware program known as “Pegasus.”  Many of the numbers belonged to journalists, activists, government officials, and even heads of state. Independent verification of …

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African Women’s Participation in Political Leadership

Historically, politics or government leadership have been depicted as a masculine line of work. Generationally speaking, men have been given the inherent right to govern society’s public arenas. Political cultures and current theorists have either expressly or tacitly granted males the right to lead (Annan 87). According to ancient philosophers and contemporary theorists, men are …

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Students and Scholars as agents of coercive force in the populist and (resurging) authoritarian states

The Existing ‘Mis-Perception’ Since the ‘third wave’ of democratization, beginning in the mid-1970s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, both scholars and political commentators focused on student activism as drivers of democratic transitions. Among development practitioners, higher education is considered vital for expanding middle classes, which are still seen as a catch-all …

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A Monument to Terrorism —The Irish “Sea Border”

When is the use of violence legitimate, and how much violence can be used?  Unless you’re an absolutist pacifist, it is likely that you believe violence can be legitimate. For instance, in cases of self-defence, criminal arrests or the protection of loved ones, you might think a measure of physical force is acceptable, even necessary. …

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Could this be the end for Africa’s last absolute monarchy?

A wave of pro-democracy demonstrations and violent riots erupted amid Southern Africa’s 2021 winter season. Anti-monarchy protests flared across the kingdom of Eswatini (the continent’s last absolute monarchy). Various news reports described the protest situation as violent, chaotic and deadly. Amid the protest action, government properties were set alight while military forces mercilessly opened fire …

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Cuba in Focus

On July 12, 2021, international media began to report on the protests breaking out in Cuba.  The cause, it seemed, was the long-term failure of the Cuban economy, import shortages triggered by COVID-19, and the extra pressures of the Trump-era sanctions targeting both the tourist industry and foreign remittances to Cuba, among other things. Although …

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