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  • Colonialism in reverse

    The story of Juba Arabic is one of colonization. The language is a mixture of different tongues imposed upon the South Sudanese by outsiders. That makes the story of Juba Arabic an allegory of sorts. 

  • What democracy actually does

    Opinions about the best way forward can fracture a country in countless ways. Democracy, at its most fundamental level, is about creating a structure that can absorb those disagreements without violence or tyranny.

  • What money can’t buy in politics

    Money does other things that are subtler yet in some ways just as concerning as outright corruption. And, in a bit of a shock, new research suggests that money doesn’t do something that many think it does. 

  • Demanding more from politics

    What the Kavanaugh hearings showed is the tendency to be satisfied with the 'politics of personal destruction.'

  • The triumph of gray

    Perhaps the answer to growing concerns about capitalism is not in black or white – it is in the perpetual reconsideration and recalibration that reveals the symphony within the gray.

  • How to create a world full of winners

    When politics appeals to our zero-sum fears just to get us to the ballot box, it is a small step back toward the Stone Age.

  • Searching for a balance

    Is saving the Amazon really just about protecting some trees here and some species there? Behind each of these efforts is a larger question that begins to show that the partisan 'us vs. them' narrative is full of false choices. The question is whether we can learn to live in balance with nature.

  • A shift in Islam – and beyond

    What is the right balance between a living faith that embraces the changing times and the religious traditions and doctrines that are often millenniums old?

  • New look, changing team for the Monitor

    Every so often, I take this space to let you know about happenings at the Monitor.

  • The power of losing

    For two consecutive American presidential elections, many of the losers have seen the winner as illegitimate. Putting aside the merit of the claims, that broad fact speaks volumes.