On cities

David Miliband, writing in the Guardian, asks why no one is talking about cities — In all the many column inches on the European refugee crisis, one point has barely received a mention: the overwhelming majority of Syrian refugees are not in refugee camps. Rows of white tents in an otherwise sparse landscape are often […]

Read More On cities

On responsibility, visibility

One of my favorite current essayists, Roxane Gay, has a piece up in the NYT about the recent events in a school in Columbia, South Carolina — In the wake of such indecency, there has been a vigorous public response — shock and outrage, with many people denouncing Mr. Fields’s actions. There have also been […]

Read More On responsibility, visibility

On Norwegian budget debates

[this post will be continually updated as debates about the final national budget continue — changes in immigration law included] 23.11.15: Her er budsjettet samarbeidspartiene skal godkjenne i dag 19.11.15: Disse innstramningene er partiene engige om 16.11.15: Krever at asylinnstramminger blir midlertidige 11.11.15: Anklager opposisjonen for politisk spill om asyl 10.11.15: Dropper flytningforhandlinger med kun […]

Read More On Norwegian budget debates

On intervention and vacuums

I feel like the same point keeps popping up in discussions about interventions: From David Ignatius in the Atlantic, on the spread of ISIS — The story of ISIS teaches the same basic lesson that emerged from America’s other failures in the Middle East over the last decade: Attempts by the United States or Islamist rebels […]

Read More On intervention and vacuums

On blindness

The NYT just posted a wide-ranging conversation between George Yancy and Seyla Benhabib in their The Stone blog — George Yancy.: We far too often fail to understand each other across racial divides. A “post-racial” discourse might even occlude the effort to do so. How do we create spaces for understanding the conditions of others, especially within […]

Read More On blindness

On interviews

I think I safely fall into the camp that would happily have a conversation with Terry Gross. I’d be lying if — like the Ira Glass note below — I didn’t admit to listening to her interviews to study the nuance of the art. From Susan Burton’s profile of Terry Gross in the New York Times […]

Read More On interviews

On a crisis of values

From Volker Türk’s remarks at the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union General Debate — Yet the single-most important challenge to the protection of refugees, as well as to reaping the development potential of migration more broadly comes from populist politics and uninformed public debates. They engender a climate of fear. In some countries there […]

Read More On a crisis of values

On countering rape

Elisabeth Jean Wood and Dara Kay Cohen published an op-ed in the NYT on how to counter rape during war, Last year, at a global conference on sexual violence during war, many speakers agreed that the best way to deter such crimes was prosecution, and they called for more of it. But prosecutions are not enough. We […]

Read More On countering rape

On smuggling and securitization

In a discussion posted to Asylum Corner, Pamela DeLargy made an interesting point about smuggling and securitization — Asylum Corner: What is your opinion about the EU determination to focus on fighting the smugglers? Pamela DeLargy: The smugglers are only providing services, there is a demand for their services and they are just offering them. […]

Read More On smuggling and securitization

On push factors

Emanuel Stoakes in Foreign Policy’s Dispatch blog discusses testimonies and documentary evidence shown in the new Al Jazeera documentary, “Genocide Agenda” that purports to link the Myanmar government to anti-Muslim incitement. The film points to a multi-pronged strategy by the government to encourage anti-Muslim hatred across the country, while pursuing policies against the Rohingya that legal […]

Read More On push factors