14 September 2017   Leave a comment

Mayesha Alam is a Mount Holyoke graduate and she is making  her name known as an analyst of international relations.  Her most recent article is in the Washington Post, and it outlines some important characteristics of the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.  She makes clear why the long-standing animosity between the Muslim Royinghas and the Buddhist Burmese exploded so dramatically in the last few months.  Mayesha argues that the “simplest” explanation is the decision by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) to respond militarily to the Burmese repression and the decision by the Burmese military to “ethnically cleanse” the country of Royingha.

Royingha Refugees


Nation-states are relatively young political agents.  We can actually trace the formal beginnings of the modern nation-state to the peace of Westphalia in 1648.  They currently number about 194 and are seemingly invulnerable to challenges from alternative institutions.  Yet there is no reason to believe that they will always be around–many of the challenges facing humanity, such as climate change, are much too large to be solved by nation-states.  Other problems, such as a meaningful and coherent political identity are too small to be addressed by a territorial state.  Jamie Bartlett argues that perhaps the city-state is poised to make a comeback in the future.


North Korea has tested another missile.  It’s still early and we do not have much solid information yet, but the missile flew over Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan.  The missile flew about 2,300 miles, far enough to reach the US military base on Guam if it were directed in that direction.  The missile test seems to be in response to the most recent round of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.  But it also seems timed so that news about the hurricanes in Texas and Florida would be less distracting.  North Korea clearly wanted everyone in the US and the world to know that Kim Jong-un was not intimidated by the threats against North Korea.

Posted September 14, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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