Paul Marshall

The Disjunction of Liberal Theory and Liberal Polities
The Disjunction of Liberal Theory and Liberal Polities

The confounding of contentious liberal theories with actual concrete polities stems from the assumption that liberal democratic states are somehow the product of liberal theories.

The State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights: Concerns and Five Recommendations

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s July 8 announcement of who would serve on the new State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights has drawn a wide critical reaction.

Robert Kagan and the Many Meanings of Liberalism
Robert Kagan and the Many Meanings of Liberalism

Despite his extravagant claim that liberalism alone can anchor any decent human life, Robert Kagan does not tell us what liberalism is in his Washington Post article.

Indonesian Presidential Election Win for Jokowi Is Good News
Indonesian Presidential Election Win for Jokowi Is Good News

Jokowi’s reelection helps cement democracy in Indonesia, a vitally important reason the US should warmly welcome it.

Goodbye Ahok, Hello “BTP”: Inside Indonesia’s Convoluted Politics
Goodbye Ahok, Hello “BTP”: Inside Indonesia’s Convoluted Politics

On January 24, 2019, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, formerly known by his nickname Ahok and now as “BTP,” was released from prison. What happens to him will tell us much about Indonesia’s political future.

Blasphemy Returns as a Political Weapon in Indonesia
Blasphemy Returns as a Political Weapon in Indonesia

A seemingly small incident in Indonesia is the first shot in the use of religion, specifically accusations of blasphemy, as a political weapon against President Jokowi in the ongoing presidential race.

Rudyard Kipling “The Ballad of East and West” is Hardly Racist
Kipling’s “The Ballad of East and West” is Hardly Racist

Last month Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If—” was scrubbed from a mural at Manchester University because students believed that Kipling stood “for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights.” But his “The Ballad of East and West” can hardly be racism.

Canada’s Supreme Court Ruling Is a Grave Blow to Religious Freedom—and Not Only in Canada - Trinity Western University
Canada’s Supreme Court Ruling Is a Grave Blow to Religious Freedom—and Not Only in Canada

In a case concerning a Christian university, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling on June 15 that is a major blow to religious freedom.

Cause for Alarm? Indonesia’s Weekend of Violence Prompts Vigilance and Concern
Cause for Alarm? Indonesia’s Weekend of Violence Prompts Vigilance and Concern

Last weekend’s seven bombings in Surabaya reveal a marked escalation of ISIS capabilities in Indonesia and also show changes in tactics. This is probably only the first wave of awaited attacks by ISIS returnees from the Middle East. Nevertheless, the terrorism threat in the country remains small.

Advice for Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback
Advice for the Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom

While the work of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom is vital, the ambassador is most effective when he or she influences the department and US policy as a whole. The combination of ambassador-at-large and religion is thus a difficult one at State, so having someone as politically experienced as Brownback in the role is vital.