Books and glasses

Best of the week - 6 November 2020

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Each week BISA Director, Juliet Dryden, scours the internet for IR-related content that might interest you. Here she brings you this week's best readings and podcasts to keep you up to date with what's happening around the world.

COVID-related news

America’s pandemic response hangs in the balance. Angela Rasmussen in Foreign Affairs.

US election and politics

US election: what the tight results mean. Thomas Gift in the Conversation

Naom Chomsky believes Trump is the worst criminal in history. Isaac Chatiner’s interview in the New Yorker

The answer to extremism isn’t more extremism. The left and right are radicalising each other. Anne Applebaum in the Atlantic

The story of our mad king will live on well beyond the election. Thomas Wright in the Atlantic

Even if Biden wins its Trumps America now. Jonathan Tepperman in Foreign Policy

A new administration won’t heal America’s democracy. Larry Diamond in Foreign Affairs

Democracy’s afterlife. Trump, the GOP and the rise of zombie politics. Read Fintan O’Toole in the New York Review of Books

Populism is meaningless. Yasmeen Serhan explains why in the Atlantic

Podcast: What just happened? Listen to TALKING POLITICS with David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Gary Gerstle who try and make sense of another extraordinary election

Podcast: Jo Biden takes the lead. Listen to the Daily.

It’s been a distracting week but let’s not forget the best of the rest…

UK politics

The pandemic has changed parliament. Will it be forever? Read Alex Prior in The Conversation.

Climate change

Can America really go green when its oil and gas industries employ 10 million people? Read Helen Thompson in the New Statesman.


Open letter on the threat of academic authoritarianism – international solidarity with anti-racist academics in France. See Open Democracy.

Nagorno Karabakh

How Nagorno-Karabakh fell under a shadow. James Robins for Prospect.

Middle East

America’s future might be Lebanon. Read this excellent essay by Kim Ghattas

The UAE’s invisible Palestinian hand. An exiled foe of Mahmoud Abbas helped engineer the Arab peace deals with Israel that are infuriating the aging Palestinian president. Jonathan H. Ferziger in Foreign Policy

A look at the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin 25 years on: the destiny of two nations altered forever. Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian

Yitzhak Rabin is still being assassinated says Ori Nir in Haaretz.


Ethiopia’ s clash with Tigray: getting to a ceasefire and national dialogue. Read this analysis from International Crisis Group.


Podcast: Britain’s museums are filled with objects from around the world. What would a ‘decolonised’ museum actually look like? Listen to Aaron Bastani and Dan Hicks from Novara Media.

And for something completely different…

The magic of mushrooms forces us to rethink what intelligence means. Phillip Ball in Prospect Magazine.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash