3 March 2016   Leave a comment

The success  of Donald Trump so far in this election season has flummoxed many political scientists.  But there are political scientists who have been studying the phenomenon of authoritarianism (including Matthew MacWilliams, a Ph.D student at UMass) whose findings shed a great deal of light on Trump’s success.   Unfortunately, their findings indicate that the reasons for Trump’s success are enduring, suggesting that a tendency toward authoritarianism is deep in the current of American political economy today.  Indeed, their analysis suggests that this tendency correlates with the rise of authoritarianism in other parts of the world.

The African Union is fifteen years old this year.  It replaced the Organization for African Union and is composed of 54 countries (Morocco is the only state in Africa which is not a member due to an ongoing dispute about Morocco’s claims to the Western Sahara).  The Union has scored some successes, notably in the area of peacekeeping, but it has not yet achieved the dynamism necessary to unite the nation-states of a very complex region of the world.  The Union suffers from a lack of resources, and the world has not yet committed sufficient help to ensure its eventual success. Africa will undoubtedly be one of the more dynamic areas of the world over the next 25  years, and the neglect of the rest of the world is short-sighted.

African Union Flag

Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay is one of the most beautiful natural features of the planet.  But in recent years the Bay has been fouled by garbage and sewage and Brazil has lagged far behind in its efforts to clean it up.  The matter will receive a great deal of attention as the Bay is scheduled to be the site for some of the competition in this year’s summer Olympics.  Brazil is poorly positioned right now to be the center of global attention:  the pervasiveness of the Zika virus, the domestic recession, and now the poor condition of the Bay will all detract from the wonders of this magnificent country.

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Posted March 3, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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