The day I met John Hume

You never think it will happen to you, until it does. Leaders around the world, former colleagues, and friends have described him as Ireland’s ‘most significant and consequential political leader’ of the 20th century. In the 1970s and 1980s, reports by United Kingdom (UK) civil servants show him to be a thoughtful, determined, and skilful… | Read on »

Covid-19: the pandemic and the monolingual state

At the beginning of March when the pandemic was starting to spread, the Council of Europe warned that public health information about coronavirus was not being disseminated systematically by the authorities in minority languages. The Council – responsible for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages – said that it had noticed that information… | Read on »

‘Some unfinished business’: New Zealand, Samoa and the legacy of the Great Flu pandemic of 1918

This blog is co-authored by Gavan Duffy and Gearóid Barry. New Zealand’s handling of the current Covid-19 pandemic has, to date, attracted much positive commentary, with a considerably better record than Ireland, for example, taking our similar-sized populations and island situation into account. New Zealand’s experience in 1918–1919 was not as commendable, especially when it… | Read on »

Monuments Matter

We called it Cannon Park. A triangular sliver of green separating the Court House lawn from High Street, it was just around the corner from our front door in Chestertown, Maryland. We passed it on foot on the right on the way to church on Sundays, or on the left when we headed uptown to… | Read on »

Hearts, Minds, Institutions: Dismantling Racism in America

Americans have had to face an old question with new urgency: “How do we fix racism?” Among the solutions, some observers have focused on the challenge of changing “hearts and minds”, but historically progress in that regard has proven fitful, and quantifying success is difficult. The slow process of converting racists to non-racists or less-racists… | Read on »

Africa and ‘Blackness’ in the Irish Imagination

Widespread protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have generated new awareness of historically sanctioned racism that shapes the lives of people of colour in the USA and in other countries around the world. Here in Ireland  the issue of racism is also being discussed. A large part of the debate has centred… | Read on »

China and the United States – An Emerging Cold War?

Introduction In recent weeks the Covid-19 crisis has significantly increased the tension between the US and China. The trade war of the past three years has damaged both economies. And the US concern about the evident ability of Huawei to compete successfully in the international 5G market has been well articulated by politicians in the… | Read on »

“Proper to Throw it Out”: The Bristol Electors, Edmund Burke and the Relocation of a Statue of Edward Colston to the Bottom of the River Frome

Until this Sunday two statues stood in Bristol’s historic Centre. Both statues were cast at the end of the nineteenth century, both of single-term MPs for the city: you might be forgiven for wondering what it was about the 1890s that had made Bristol so nostalgic for men it hadn’t wanted to re-elect. Growing up… | Read on »

Canada, COVID, and Police Brutality: The Experience of the Black Community

Protests are sweeping across the United Sates due to the public murder of African American George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Cities have risen up in response. The federal government and US states and municipalities have responded with tremendous use of force to shut down demonstrations and silence protestors thereby, denying them their First Amendment rights…. | Read on »

The COVID-19 Exposure

As published in ZNet, June 6, 2020     Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted multiple responses to safeguard life, and the efforts of frontline workers across the globe are a reminder of the empathy and resilience of the human spirit. Throughout history, all societies have shown a capacity for a politics of care, and… | Read on »