Coup and Counter Coup in Turkey (first of a series of posts on Turkey since 15th July 2016 and background topics)

On July 15th 2016, a group of army officers up to at least the Brigadier General (one star general) level attempted to seize control of the Turkish state. On the morning of the 20th it was evident that the coup had collapsed though the government, along with its allies in the media, social media, think … Continue reading Coup and Counter Coup in Turkey (first of a series of posts on Turkey since 15th July 2016 and background topics)

The Coup in Turkey

I am based in Turkey and have been at the edge of some dramatic events. Before I was in Turkey, I was in the Turkish sector of Cyprus (officially designating itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but only recognised as such by Turkey), where I followed the Postmodern or Indirect Coup of 28th February … Continue reading The Coup in Turkey

Assessing Elections in Poland and Argentina in the Context of Populism and Liberalism in Europe and South America I (liberalism in the classical sense of course).

Election results I’ve seen today from weekend elections in Argentina and Poland and the more general thoughts they have inspired. Rather longer than I anticipated so posted in two parts, though not separated in time given that I am articulating immediate reactions. The Polish parliamentary election has been bad news for those who share the perspective of … Continue reading Assessing Elections in Poland and Argentina in the Context of Populism and Liberalism in Europe and South America I (liberalism in the classical sense of course).

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VI. From the 1832 Reform Act to World War One

In this post, a look at comparative growth of democracy in Europe along with Britain’s role in World War One and subsequent European diplomacy. Britain made some progress towards extending voting rights beyond a very tiny minority in the Reform Act of 1832, which was also a law to make constituency distribution relate to the … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, VI. From the 1832 Reform Act to World War One

Against Imperial Nostalgia: Or why Empires are Kaka

I write in response to Fred Folvary’s post on this site, “Restore the Turkish Empire!” Living as I do in the largest city of the Republic of Turkey, Istanbul, which is its commercial and cultural centre, with a formidable concentration of universities (explaining my presence here), it made an impact, but of the most irritating kind … Continue reading Against Imperial Nostalgia: Or why Empires are Kaka

Expanding the Liberty Canon: Cicero’s On the Republic

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) was a prominent lawyer, politician, and thinker in the last years of the Roman Republic. His death was a murder in revenge for his attacks on Marcus Antonius (known in English as Mark Anthony), in the form of a speech in the Senate against tyranny known as the First Philippic. … Continue reading Expanding the Liberty Canon: Cicero’s On the Republic

Expanding the Liberty Canon: Rome and Carthage in the Histories of Polybius

This historically-based exploration of writing on liberty now reaches the point where the Greek world has fallen under the domination of Rome, but even at this point we can see that the Greek language and heritage will continue to be important in a Roman dominated Mediterranean, particularly in the eastern parts, leaving the legacy of … Continue reading Expanding the Liberty Canon: Rome and Carthage in the Histories of Polybius