Some interesting things we’ve come across this week:
- America’s hip-hop foreign policy: an interesting read from the Atlantic discussing the role of rap in the war on terror. Apparently America is dealing with ‘jihadi rap’ by sponsoring ‘good muslim hip-hop’. The discussion of how rap has been used both to radicalise and in turn as a tool of diplomacy is particularly interesting.
- Yugoslavia as science fiction: discusses art from the former Yugoslavia and the way in which it’s being viewed today, with a fascinating discussion of what this implies about the post-Yugoslav space today.
Acknowledgements: the first two pieces were kindly forwarded from @laurence_cooley and the last one was spotted via the always excellent @caiwilkinson!
Hope everyone has had a great week – here are a few interesting things we’ve come across (usually while avoiding other work):
First up, the US government shutdown is now in its second week. Lots of interesting things have been published on this, and of course it has huge implications for government staff who either aren’t allowed to work or have to work for no pay. On the security front, it also means that 90% of US nuclear safety regulators were shut down yesterday. The article notes that ‘If something truly terrible goes down, of course, they’ll be able to call in emergency backup’ – though efforts to actually make reactors safer are now officially on hold. While we usually think of the US as a ‘reliable’ nuclear power state in terms of safety procedures, Greenpeace US have long campaigned to shut down American nuclear reactors, with some success in particularly problematic cases.
The Guardian have started a worthwhile debate over UK universities overseas partners, as six UK universities set up campuses in Uzbekistan – a country with an abysmal human rights record – including forced labour practices. This report also follows discussions from earlier this year over UK universities’ investment in (and generally close ties to) fossil fuel industries. Isn’t it time to start holding universities accountable for unethical practices?
A guest post on the Duck of Minerva asks, Why didn’t the US ‘re-interpret’ the UN Charter on Syria?
Some research found interesting links between slave ownership and modern management practices. Control over every aspect of human lives basically allowed slave owners to maximise productivity, and the lessons learnt are still used in management today.
Lastly: Don’t be that dude: handy tips for the male academic – a discussion that unfortunately still needs to be had, in 2013.
Have a good weekend all!