Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Two new Guardian articles

The Guardian published two more articles from me this week.

The first is entitled, "How Scientific is Political Science?" The argument I make there is that it is neither possible nor desirable to research the subject of politics in an apolitical, value-neutral way, as many mainstream scholars claim to do.

The second is entitled "I welcome the 'Where are you from?' question my brown skin elicits", which is a response to Ariane Sherine's article in last week's paper, where she expressed her exasperation with being often asked about her background. Like her, I'm born and brought up in the UK and of mixed-ethnicity, but I take a different view of being asked about my family origin. I think its positive when people have a friendly curiosity about difference, and certainly not something to be discouraged. That article's published in today's print edition, as well as on the website.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wearing speaks Arabic

Except I don't.
But for those few of my readers who do speak Arabic, you can find an Arabic language translation of my recent article "United By A Goal" published in the Arabic edition of Le Monde Diplomatique this month. The article talks about Iraq's heroic victory in the Asian football championships, and uses the popular reaction to that victory to examine the state of nationalism in the country.

You can buy a copy on the newsstands or, if you're prepared to shell out for a subscription, you can read it online here. LMD's an excellent publication, so the subscription fee's a good investment.

For the rest of you, here's the article in English.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Britishness" and British Foreign Policy

My latest article, “Understanding Britain”, is available on UK Watch. The article examines the relationship between UK foreign policy and the current debates about “Britishness” and national identity. An excerpt:

If we are to understand the nation’s role to be that of performing certain functions for our benefit and its value as the extent to which it performs those functions, then a utilitarian view demands not reverence but a dispassionate assessment. History can be used to inform both the democratic utilitarian and the mystical views of nationalism: the former, by an objective analysis of the factual record designed to inform the value judgement described above, and the latter by making selective use of that record and subordinating history to the aggrandisement of the national self-image. As we examine how an objective and rounded understanding of history might help us to influence our society and government productively in the present day, the nature of the problems that arise from taking the chauvinistic course will quickly become apparent.

Read the rest
here. A supplementary to the article is a recent post on this site entitled “Celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of slavery’s abolition …121 years too early”.

UK Watch is not only a really excellent site already, though only in its infancy, its also a site that offers lots of hope for the future. As it says in their "
about" section

"In an age dominated by corporate media control, the importance of alternative media – in contesting mainstream interpretations, promoting alternative understandings and supporting the development of a radical popular culture – can hardly be overstated. ukwatch.net is our contribution."

...and in addition...

"We particularly wish to promote constructive visions of a better society and work that discusses the tactical and strategic choices required to achieve them. Toward this end, we seek to encourage organisations, authors, activists and scholars to share their knowledge and experience with others in the UK activist community."

So if you have something you think you can
contribute, be it ideas for the site, tech support or an article, then get in touch with them and let them know. I think UK Watch has the potential to be as multi-faceted, informative, and high-quality a resource as its US sister-site ZNet. If you can contribute to that then don’t be shy.

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